Lighting and plants - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 02:39 AM Thread Starter
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Lighting and plants

Wasn't sure where to post this question, so I thought I would here in the general area..

I have a 46 gal bowfront, non CO2, moderately planted with mostly low light plants. I have a 39X2 watt T5HO. I came to realize this was too intense, so after a couple weeks of running them on 4, off 3, on 4, I diffused the light with some screen material. Worked quite well, so well in fact I believe that my plants are not happy with the light reduction. I have dwarf sag that was sending out runners and growing well. That is no longer the case. They are not growing, it seems, at all. I understand they need more moderate to high lighting to do well. Here is my question: for a non CO2 tank, dosing glut and dry ferts, what is a better lighting arrangement, to have full strength light but a break midday or diffused light on 11 hours?
Plant stock consists of: swords, vals, wisteria, ludwigia repens, anacharis and dwarf sag. My swords are alive, but not flourishing. I just started dosing dry ferts last week, I do use root tabs near the swords
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 04:01 AM
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Specifically what light do you have? A FishNeedIt light is far from the same as a Tek light, for example. The best light for a non-CO2 tank is about 20-35 micromols of PAR. Less and the plants may have trouble growing. More and it may be excessively hard to avoid major algae growths. The Excel or glutaraldehyde helps when you don't have CO2, but it isn't nearly as effective as CO2. Generally the best lighting period is 8-10 hours a day, whether you interrupt it with a lights off period or not. But, people do well with less or more often enough that it isn't a hard and fast rule.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 04:25 AM Thread Starter
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I have the odyssea dual light and I have it across the open top of the tank, so its maybe 20 inches above the substrate. Once I diffused it, there was a huge huge difference in the tank, everything had looked green, like you would expect. Since the diffusion I have some leaves showing deficiency's and slow growth. I guess this will have to be one of those experience type situations. Suppose I try one set up for a period of 2 weeks or so, and then revert to the other way and see what my plants tell me
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 04:38 AM
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Basically your plants became use to the high lighting that you first provided, and then just cut them off to reduce the amount of lighting on the tank. Think of this like a person who smokes is trying to quite, going cold turkey can have major effects on them, whereas slowly cutting down the amount they smoke is easier on them for quitting.


So basically you cut the amount of light right away, where as if you would of slowly eased them into the lower amount of light the effects would be different. Dosing with excel is perfectly fine, I've seen lots of people with big tanks, and lush plants with only dosing the excel + ferts.....

What you can do is swap out the bulbs you are using in the lighting system, plants do best when there's different kelvin lighting available, you can do anything between 5000k-1000k bulbs, My own personal success was with 1x5000k bulb + 1x6500k bulb + 1x8000k bulb + 1x10000k bulb in my old 75 gallon setup. This is because of the different lighting ranges of the bulbs. You can also setup a DIY Co2 setup for the tank, and see if that helps as well.

45g Long - High Light Planted Tank / 30g - Plant Grow Out Tank / 100g Tank - currently resealing
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 04:45 AM Thread Starter
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well my bulbs are both 6500k. I did take time to make the changes, I slowly added the break in between when I was running th high light. Once I diffused it, I took about a week or two to get them completely off of the midday break. I could look into using a different K rated bulb, but I still don't know if I should stay with the diffused light, or go back a step with the midday breaks and full light.. Any DIY CO2 or paintball co2 set up is not feasible for me right now, I have no where to contain all of the hoses and tanks and I have toddlers that are very curious.
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