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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-21-2004, 03:08 AM Thread Starter
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brown spots!

Well, I've got the dreaded brown spots, holes shredding going on in my java fern.. I don't know what is causing this though... I've had the ferns for about 3 weeks. The roots aren't submersed, right now I'm just having them sort of free float by my driftwood, but the water is very calm in that are of the tank, so they aren't moving at all. I have only had an algae eater in the tank for the last 3 weeks, just a few days ago I got my platys, so I haven't had to add fish food to the tank until recently. Substrate is just regular old gravel. I've got an 11 watt incadescent bulb and its a 5g, Some of the leaves are fine, some aren't so hot, some are in rags (thankfully just the very small leaves). What am I doing wrong, I am worried the plant is going to die! I'm very appreciative of any suggestions.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-21-2004, 03:20 AM
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Incandescent lighting does not provide the spectrum needed by plants -- even low-light plants.

Get some sort of compact flourescent or something. That's your primary problem ... that and five watts of any light isn't going to be able to grow much of anything aside from algae. Good luck!
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-21-2004, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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whoops, sorry I just looked at my box, I got it backwards, I *had* incadescent and switched to florescent. Also, I don't have 5 watts. I have a 5 gallon with an 11 watt bulb.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-22-2004, 12:02 AM
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That's still a very low light tank. The WPG rule breaks down on small and large tanks. On my 5.5 gallon tank I have 28 watts of light and I consider it a medium light tank.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-22-2004, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry, but I thought java ferns were low light plants? I had heard they would be fine with less then 2wpg, and I have over 2wpg, though not by much. Is that the only problem folks are seeing?
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-22-2004, 04:14 AM
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They are low light plants. And on larger tanks, say 20 gallons or so 2 wpg is low light. But on smaller tanks you need more light. I cover this subject in my FAQ. If you had a gallon of water with a 2 watt light you would have 2 wpg but would be unable to grow plants. You need to reach a certain threshold of light just to get the plants to live. And IMHO your current lighting doesn't meet that threshold.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-22-2004, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
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Rex

I read thru your faq, but I don't see any information about a minimum to grow... If you think the problem is my 11 watt bulb, what is the minimum that I should have? Unfortunately, the hood I have says the 11w is the most it can hold safely, so that's what I'll have to use unless I decide to make a DIY project any time soon..but I'd still like to at least know for any future tanks I put together that are a small size. At least my java moss is doing great.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-23-2004, 01:11 AM
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On a 5 gallon tank I really think you need to be in the 20 watt range at a bare minimum. You can get a second fluorescent strip light for around $23 or so that will give you another 15 watts as I recall. That would be a decent amount of light.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-23-2004, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, thanks for the suggestion! I will look into a diy hood for my 5gallon marineland hex then, unless anyone wants to point me in the direction of a similar project? I"m just worried about the size of the tank being a problem.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-23-2004, 11:27 PM
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I've used a mini mite (dual) in the past with great results over a 5. Grew java fern without much work.

Eric


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