Type of LED light causing slow growth? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-17-2020, 03:00 AM Thread Starter
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Type of LED light causing slow growth?

Hi guys,

I've been doing EI dosing thrive all in one with co2 injection for about 2 months now on my 10 gallon. I've not getting very fast growth though, it's worse for some plants than others. My rotala rotundifolia is growing decently fast, but my rotala colorata and rotala enie are growing rather slowly, and my dwarf hairgrass hasn't changed at all. What's odd is my Java moss is barely growing as well which is the most concerning. It's growing so slowly that some bba has taken up residence in it.

I'm using a nicrew bright led which puts out some pretty high par values and should be considered high light, so that combined with co2 should lead to very fast growth. It's not an expensive light so what I'm wondering is if the color temperature is adversely affecting the plant growth.

Besides high par + co2 and EI dosing, is there something I'm missing that would lead to better growth?
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-17-2020, 04:20 AM
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Did you buy the moss and hairgrass emersed? What's the temperature of your tank? Also, what's the color range of he nicrew bright LED? I know that I looked into a lot of cheaper LED systems, and some of the reviews/comments would clearly state "does not grow corals/plants", which impacted my buying decisions.

So many fish/plants/inverts to keep, not enough aquaria.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-17-2020, 04:32 AM
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Hi @Jah410,

There was an excellent talk at the 2019 AGA convention about Rotalas. Apparently several of the species in the Lythraceae family, which includes Rotala, Nesaea, and Cuphea species, do not respond well to high nitrate levels in the water column (poor growth, deformed leaves) but prefer to absorb their nutrients through their roots. You might try backing down on the water column dosing and try some Thrive root tabs instead.

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-17-2020, 04:44 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ichthyogeek View Post
Did you buy the moss and hairgrass emersed? What's the temperature of your tank? Also, what's the color range of he nicrew bright LED? I know that I looked into a lot of cheaper LED systems, and some of the reviews/comments would clearly state "does not grow corals/plants", which impacted my buying decisions.

Thanks for the response! I'm actually not sure about the hairgrass state when I purchased it.The moss I've had for 6 or more months. I reused it in this new setup (just rescaped the tank), it never grew fast in the previous setup either granted I used the same equipment.

My tank temperature is around 77 degrees for my Cardinals.

The nicrew site doesn't specify the color range but says 7500K. I'm using the deluxe version. Not sure if that's helpful information though.

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Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
Hi @Jah410,

There was an excellent talk at the 2019 AGA convention about Rotalas. Apparently several of the species in the Lythraceae family, which includes Rotala, Nesaea, and Cuphea species, do not respond well to high nitrate levels in the water column (poor growth, deformed leaves) but prefer to absorb their nutrients through their roots. You might try backing down on the water column dosing and try some Thrive root tabs instead.
That's quite interesting information! Do you have a link to this information so I can read in more depth?

Last edited by Darkblade48; 06-17-2020 at 05:49 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-17-2020, 12:01 PM
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I'm pretty sure the high nitrate levels in the water column thing where only relevant if the KH levels were very high. People have been growing Rotalas FOREVER in EI dosing. Besides his moss isn't even growing.


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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-17-2020, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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I'm pretty sure the high nitrate levels in the water column thing where only relevant if the KH levels were very high. People have been growing Rotalas FOREVER in EI dosing. Besides his moss isn't even growing.
I have a kH of 4 and gH of 8.

I'm considering upgrading to a finnex fugeray planted plus light which should have a better color spectrum.

Do you think my lighting choice could be what's limiting me? I've always felt that even with co2, I'm always battling algae at the high points of the tank especially. I'm just wondering if the type of light I'm providing isn't being utilized by the plants efficiently.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-17-2020, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jah410 View Post
I have a kH of 4 and gH of 8.

I'm considering upgrading to a finnex fugeray planted plus light which should have a better color spectrum.

Do you think my lighting choice could be what's limiting me? I've always felt that even with co2, I'm always battling algae at the high points of the tank especially. I'm just wondering if the type of light I'm providing isn't being utilized by the plants efficiently.

Your KH and GH match my numbers out of tap, so I don't think that's the issue. If KH was 7+ then maybe. Besides the Java Moss do the stems have algae as well? 7500K color temp is fine. If the light is too strong and your getting algae everywhere then the light is too strong and/or combination of too much organics for the setup.
]


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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-17-2020, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jah410 View Post
I have a kH of 4 and gH of 8.

I'm considering upgrading to a finnex fugeray planted plus light which should have a better color spectrum.

Do you think my lighting choice could be what's limiting me? I've always felt that even with co2, I'm always battling algae at the high points of the tank especially. I'm just wondering if the type of light I'm providing isn't being utilized by the plants efficiently.

Your KH and GH match my numbers out of tap, so I don't think that's the issue. If KH was 7+ then maybe. Besides the Java Moss do the stems have algae as well? 7500K color temp is fine. If the light is too strong and your getting algae everywhere then the light is too strong and/or combination of too much organics for the setup.
]
My colorata can get some algae on the tops as it approaches the light, the rotund does not get algae. The AR mini gets a little algae at the tips and the moss which is on some driftwood in the top quarter of the tank is always battling hair algae.

Photo period is 8 hours per day
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-17-2020, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Jah410 View Post
My colorata can get some algae on the tops as it approaches the light, the rotund does not get algae. The AR mini gets a little algae at the tips and the moss which is on some driftwood in the top quarter of the tank is always battling hair algae.

Photo period is 8 hours per day
Still sounds like light mgmt issues to me. Are you running full light for 8 hrs? If yes it might be too much and algae is getting in the way of growth.


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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-17-2020, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
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Are you suggesting less light period or add a dimmer? If I'm not seeing significant algae on my other plants, wouldn't lowering light slow their growth rate further?

I don't see enough alage on the rotala colorata to greatly hinder its growth. Same for the hairgrass as well.

I'll attach a picture

I really just feel like I'm missing some component that would increase my growth rate.
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-17-2020, 11:59 PM
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Keep in mind that I haven't grown the exact mix of plants that you have, but in the past since I started a planted tank I've grown plenty of plants with everything from 5000k through to 10000k. I've found that I much prefer the higher color spectrum and now any time I look for lighting I always start with the 10000k lights. After AH Supply went out of business, I had to build my own LED lights because I couldn't find much in the way of the 10000k LEDs, especially anywhere near the price I was willing to pay. Everything I do have planted grows just fine with the 10000k spectrum.
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-18-2020, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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Keep in mind that I haven't grown the exact mix of plants that you have, but in the past since I started a planted tank I've grown plenty of plants with everything from 5000k through to 10000k. I've found that I much prefer the higher color spectrum and now any time I look for lighting I always start with the 10000k lights. After AH Supply went out of business, I had to build my own LED lights because I couldn't find much in the way of the 10000k LEDs, especially anywhere near the price I was willing to pay. Everything I do have planted grows just fine with the 10000k spectrum.
That's quite a blueish tint isn't it?

So what is the advantage of having "true 660nm red led" lights? I see that it's often important to people that higher end lights have this spectrum.
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-18-2020, 01:18 AM
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Still sounds like light mgmt issues to me. Are you running full light for 8 hrs? If yes it might be too much and algae is getting in the way of growth.
If you are I recommend getting a ramping timer. I have one on my 20L which has a Nicrew LED on it. I run it for 9 hours a day but only 3 hours at full power. I prefer the Beamworks timer to the Nicrew timer, it's much easier to program. However, I'm just growing Java moss, and what I think is dwarf sag, so I don't know how much this will help you.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-18-2020, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Jah410 View Post
Are you suggesting less light period or add a dimmer? If I'm not seeing significant algae on my other plants, wouldn't lowering light slow their growth rate further?

I don't see enough alage on the rotala colorata to greatly hinder its growth. Same for the hairgrass as well.

I'll attach a picture

I really just feel like I'm missing some component that would increase my growth rate.
Do you know what your PAR is about? Either way you have algae on hardscape and plants. As far as missing something you have light, co2 and ferts. The big variable is maintenance. Water changes, removing dead/damaged leaves. All these things go into it. Generally speaking it's easier to grow healthy plants and avoid algae by reducing your lighting period, actually correction starting off the tank with a reduced lighting period or have the ability to use a few hours good light and the rest dim.


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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-18-2020, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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Here is the discussion where someone used a par meter for this light. They end up getting pretty high numbers actually.

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/s....php?t=1306339

One thing that concerns me is that even at these high levels of light, my rotala colorata only turns pinkish at the top 3 inches of the tank, and my rotundifolia only turns blond in the top 3 inches of tank. It's always made me question if my lighting is sufficient.

I do weekly water changes and use a baster to free excess debris from the gravel and plants. I feed three times per week to try to limit bioload as well. I also have Amanos to help as a cleaner crew.
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