Mini-M w/ 13W Ott Light? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-13-2010, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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Mini-M w/ 13W Ott Light?

Anybody have any experience w/ a 5.5 gallon tank 13W light (specifically an Ott Light)? I'm getting ready to start up a Mini-M, and would like to use a single 13W Ott light.

The plan is to make it an Excel only tank, and hopefully house some UG, Blyxa, and perhaps a few other species of plants.

Anybody out there been successful in this medium light, Excel only environment?

Thanks very much!

Tom

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-13-2010, 04:46 PM
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I would consider one 13watt Ott to be low light in an M... I'm doubtful that your chosen plants will do well, and getting even distribution of light throughout the tank will be an issue as well.

I use two 13watt Ott desk lamps (with the bulbs ~2" above the surface of the water) on my
Mini-M and consider it to be medium/high light.

My recommendation would be to use two lights over the tank with the bulbs raised 6" to 8" above the surface of the water... (Ugly Genius used CD jewel cases to raise the fixtures above his Mini-M)

HTH

Larry
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-13-2010, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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I do appreciate the input. In my mind I was hoping to stay in the 18W range, but of course you can't do that with an Ott light form factor. I would have thought that 26W would be a lot for a medium light tank, but I forgot about the option of keeping it a ways above the surface to limit that light.

Thanks again for the input!

Tom

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-15-2010, 01:39 AM
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FWIW, I used two Ott-Lites, directly at the waters surface, over a Mini-S, no Co2, with Marsilia minuta and Java Fern, both VERY slow growers, and never had a problem with algae.
Also, if you are wanting to keep costs down on running two Ott-Lites, I know for a fact Office Max carries a similar light for $20 and it works just as well.

As far as that plant selection goes, I've gotten much better growth out of Blyxa in a medium-high light enviroment. UG doesn't seem nearly as picky, I've grown it in high light, medium light, and actually, my roommate is growing some in a 5g tank using that OMax Ott-Lite I mentioned directly on it.


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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-15-2010, 02:03 AM Thread Starter
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Great to hear the 13W or so approach can produce some healthy growth. I'll definitely check out the Office Depot lights. The last couple days I've been trying to figure out whether to go for 2x13W or 1x18W. Either way it's going to be Excel only, so I don't want to overdo the lighting. If I can get some nice slow plant growth and no algae that would be just wunnerful.

Also good to hear the UG is doing well for your roomy. Is he using Excel, CO2, or nothing?

Thanks again!

Tom
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-15-2010, 02:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom855 View Post
Also good to hear the UG is doing well for your roomy. Is he using Excel, CO2, or nothing?
He's now using pressurized Co2, but he's been growing it with Excel, without Excel, with Co2, without Co2.
That's the thing about UG. It doesn't REQUIRE any special treatment or anything of the like. It will grow in high light, or low light, high tech or low tech, dosed tanks and non dosed tanks, emmersed or submerged. The thing with it though, is that it has to acclimate to your tanks own parameters. Give it a little bit and it will make the wait well worth it.
This is all just from my experience, though.


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-15-2010, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks rrrramos.

Ever heard of anybody drystarting the stuff?

I'd like to give it a try, but will stay away from it if it's not realistic.

Thanks!

Tom
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-15-2010, 02:35 PM
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Dry starting UG is a great approach. You are able to skip the whole adjusting period where it might look like it's just all gone, and get great coverage pretty quickly. That's how I went about growing most of my UG.
Blyxa on the other hand, is not possible to dry start. It's one of the few stem plants that can't grow as such.


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