Do you use "full" lighting at tank set-up - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-21-2010, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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Do you use "full" lighting at tank set-up

Hi,

Just curious if when starting a fully planted CO2 tank - do you start with the lighting at full on day1 of planting, or do you only use say 1/2 lighting for a while before cranking up (in the same way you might fertilize less NPK initially, then raise).

90gal, 4x55 CF, pressurized CO2, flourite. I plan to plant on day1 with lots and lots of hygro corymbasa - plus various (blyxa, staurogyne, Heteranthera zosterfolia, crypts, java fern, anubia). I will dose EI at half strength for about the first 2 weeks.

thanks,
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-21-2010, 12:07 PM
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Personally, I have done this on my 110G from day one, and have only a week ago rebuilt the layout and replanted all the plants.

After 7 days now, I have excellent grow and I also have excellent root development (that I have checked).

So for me it's working a treat.

Also dosing CO2 and Ferts like normal, before the rebuild.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-21-2010, 12:21 PM
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It's a good question.

One of my tanks ia 72g with the same light setup as yours. I run 2 bulbs 8-9 hrs and I run full strength (4 bulbs) for about 3 hrs. At startup 2 bulbs around 6 hrs and 4 bulbs around 1.5 hrs. Until I build up to the 8-9 hrs.

The range of lighting, etc in planted aquaria is quite wide, it usually comes down to what kind of setup you have and your lifestyle (how much regular maintenace you want to do), but generally speaking less light 'duration' at startup especially has always meant less algae issues to deal with.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-21-2010, 03:34 PM
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Unlike fertilizers, light isn't "used up" by plants. If a plant needs X amount of light intensity to grow well, it doesn't matter if the tank is 50% full of plants or 5% full of plants. In both cases you would want X amount of light intensity. So, I always used my full light intensity immediately after setting up a newly started tank. Light duration is another matter. Many people have reported that starting a new tank with only short duration lighting - 4 hours or less - is beneficial for avoiding startup algae infestations. That is consistent with the fact that running the lights for more than 8 hours at any time seems to make algae problems worse. I haven't done any experimenting to see what effects using short lighting periods initially produced, so I only know what others have reported.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-21-2010, 04:22 PM
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I'm running full light for 6 hours. 48 gallon with two 70watt MH's.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-21-2010, 07:50 PM
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For new setups, I always run reduced the light for the first 2 to 3 weeks. I also don't dose nutrients for at least a week until I see some good plant growth.

As you can see, everyone does that differently, for different reasons, with different outcomes. Hoppy's suggestion about running full blast for just a few hours sounds great too. You get to pick what you want to do!


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-21-2010, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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>You get to pick what you want to do!

Yeah, but then I actually have to make a DECISION. Instead of looking at the pretty pictures and reading posts. (ha ha).

Thanks for feedback. I too like Hoppy's suggestion.

Wasserpest - can you give me an example of your cut-back strategy. When you say you run reduced lights initially; for you, in your set up, what does that mean?

Thanks, very helpful.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-21-2010, 09:54 PM
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Let's say I am going to set up a high-light tank with dense plant growth, you know, the jungle look.

Let's say the plan is to put four T5HO bulbs over the tank. When the tank is set up initially, plants are still very small, light goes all the way down to the bottom, no shading etc. I'd start this tank with 2 bulbs only, perhaps 8-10 hours light period.

Once plants have grown in and up, and the tank has gone through its first algae cycles, I add the other bulbs. First as a short burst during the middle of the period, and later extend that.

Again, many ways can lead to beautiful planted tanks.


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-22-2010, 01:05 PM
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6 hour photoperiod for the first two weeks, then increase 1 hour per week till you reach 10 hours.

if you are using aquasoil, you do not need to EI dose during the first few months. they suggest dosing extra potassium.

I you're using EI w/ no nutrients in the substrate (high cec), you can dose full strength.
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