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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-16-2012, 03:15 AM Thread Starter
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New guy question!

Hello all,
I am new to these forums so please excuse me if I place this post in the wrong area.

I have been elbows deep in fishkeeping for years now but all my experiance comes from reef keeping. While buying a some corals from someone on craigslist i obtained a small 3 gallon pico tank and would like to try my hands at a planted aquarium.

I, of course, jumped head first in and set everything right on up and went for the most creative aquascaping i could muster without first thinking to do a little research. my results havent been bad but they havent been good and im thinking i need better lighting.

http://www.amazon.com/Wave-point-6-I...words=nano+LED

This is the light i have in mind but im not sure if it woulf be good enough for my tank (which i will post pictures of later hopefully for more constructive critisizm). what the amazon post does NOT say (that i saw) was that each LED in this varient are .25 watt 10K LEDs. the "wattage/gallon" is enough but im wondering if the kelvins are good or if there is enough "base" lighting to support HC and drawf grass (the occupants that seem to be having difficulty growing).

I do suppliment with everything you can think of and have flourish tabs in the substrate, which is "Seachem flourite black".

Please put my mind at ease and let me know if its good enough
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-16-2012, 03:50 AM
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Do you have co2?
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-16-2012, 03:54 AM
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Beginner here as well, and like you I'm a reef guy trying my hand at planted with a little 3.4g. I haven't started it yet though

As far as I understand it, that lighting may not be as complimentary to the plants as it would be in a reef. I think the warmer colors are more appropriate, with most people targeting between 4500k and 6500k.

According to the Amazon pic I'm thinking they're 1w LEDs (there are 8 of them and they advertise 8w). I'm thinking that actually may be too much light. There's another nano I've been reading up on here at plantedtank and he's got a 9w fixture for a 2g and he's throttled it back to only 3w. I don't think you want too much light unless you know there is enough co2 to support the increased growth.

So anyways, this is just my thoughts, maybe it helps? Free bump at least

I'm going DIY for my light, 3x XT-E 6500k LEDs.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-16-2012, 04:14 AM
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Normally in FW I stick with CFL bulbs and for Reef Tanks I like to use LEDs.

The Fraternity of Dirt #97Just because its dirt doesn't make it low tech


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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-16-2012, 04:28 AM
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your first issue with those plants, is your substrate.
IME, both hc and eleocharis sp have trouble rooting in flourite. their roots are too fine and the substrate too coarse.
i have had astounding success with both in ADA aquasoil (probably the best substrate you can buy, and thats why it costs). but you can also grow them in other, cheaper substrates.

now you think you need better lighting, but you havent told us what lighting you have, so i cant agree or disagree.
and i cant help you with the light your thinking of, since i know nothing about LEDs. however, the lighting section in here has some awesome info comparing the PAR of different light sources at different distances from the light; it would be worth checking out.
on a 3 gal i would probably run a ordinary desk lamp with a spiral 6500k CFL from homedepot, if i were going high light. as for k rating, i normally go with 5000k to 10000k.

but lighting may not be the big thing. 99% of the time, any problem in a planted tank is a CO2 issue. even a low-light tank will show better faster growth with CO2 supplementation.
with CO2 there are 2 important things, the amount, and the distribution. you need X moles of CO2 in your tank, or more, to keep your plants happy. but you also need it distributed to the plants. often, people will have areas where there is less flow, and thus less CO2. these spots typically experience much slower growth, and algae problems.

if your 3 gal doesnt work out the way you want it, please dont get discouraged. you picked an awfully small tank to make into a high light setup. its certainly possible, but i only ever see good ones made by very advanced hobbyists. i only ever tried a high light 3 gal once (an eclipse 3 retrofitted with more light), and it ended awfully. the main issue for me was CO2 distribution. i couldnt stick a canister filter in there, and without it, it was too difficult for me to get the CO2 to the entire tank.
when i got my ADA 30C (about 7 gallons) and stuck an ehiem on there, CO2 became easy. an that made everything else easy.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-16-2012, 04:34 AM Thread Starter
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@vincent,
yes i have CO2 in the form of Flourish "excel" but i will be upgrading to a DYI CO2 canister system using reg CO2 containers (not fluvals expensive stuff) so we will see what happens then.

@ajmckay,
glad to know im not the only on in this boat :P iv never heard of anyone throttling BACK on light for plants. fo reef it makes sense as you dont want to shock/bleach/scorth your corals (or any other problems that may occure with to much lighting) but for plants all i have read is that you basically need to balance light v CO2 and as long as you suppliment enough CO2 you could run a 150W halide on my tank and the plants would be ok. Not that i wanna run that much light lol. maybe im wrong? thats what the more expeiacned members here are for (hopefully)

@Fisheries,
I currently have a 9W CFL on my tank but i dont know how old the bulb is nor if its actually outputting 9 watts :P i wanna do LED for two reasons 1) to minimize the amount of space it takes up visually when looking at the tank from a distance 2) so i dont have to worry about bulbs and all that stuff that has plauged me for years running halides on reefs. Maybe im just being unnecessarily vealous about all this but i would just like to make sure i have lights that WILL work and that i wont have to worry about.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-16-2012, 04:41 AM Thread Starter
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@ marko,
http://www.amazon.com/CaribSea-Eco-C...s=ADA+aquasoil
Is that the kind of substrate your speaking of? my substrate is not much different in terms of size than that (i remember looking in my LFS at it). perhaps i shall rip everything out of the tank and resubstrate if my current stuff is that bad :/ wont be a big deal. i made the mistake of letting my wife chose my current substrate based on looks rather than functinality. :P and dont worry buddy i knew i was getting into a project and while i usually have good success with experiments (on the salt water side) im no fool when it comes to fish. crashes/unexplained failures happen and im prepared for that. ill be in here until i figure out how it works
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-16-2012, 04:45 AM Thread Starter
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So here is the tank. my concern is that if you look at the HC and dwarf grass in the first pics of when they appear to the most modern one(which is current) they are browning out and definatly not growing. granted this is a NEW tank setup and they have only been in there a week 1/2 - 2 weeks. but still.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-16-2012, 04:51 AM Thread Starter
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sorry about the losided pics :/ just twist your head
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-16-2012, 06:16 AM
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I'm still learning too. But 2 weeks is just a short time especially, if those plants were grown emersed (which most are, especially the ones you buy in big box stores; that's why they look so good and free of algae when you 1st buy'em). You should expect some dying off of the plant. In my experience, it took at least a month for my plants to transition from emersed to submersed. And that was with high CO2 flow. You can see how long it took for my HC and e.belem to progress in my Eheim Aquastyle journal. Both grown in eco-complete BTW.

Anyways, I'm curious to see what kind of LED light you end up buying. And for future nano tank projects you will have, you might want to give the Dry Start Method (DSM) a try. Might save you some headaches with tying of moss and keeping up with an excel based fertilizer program.

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