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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-11-2006, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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Plant Issues

I've got a 110, 55, 2x29, 2x20, 3x10 and I'm soon to be setting up my 150 and possibly the 125 but I don't know where to put it yet. I keep cichlids mostly but I do have plants in all my tanks. I've noticed that the 10g and 29g setups that I got at wal-mart (all in one box tanks) have had better plant growth and success than all the rest. In my 110 and 55 I have decent success with swords, crypts, onion plants, and anubias while my hornwort, anacharis, and water sprite all go nuts but nothing like how the plants on this forum are. I've tried plenty of the other common aquarium plants and had mild to no luck with most of them in these bigger tanks and some success in my "all in box" tanks. For some reason my plants do better in the all in one tank setups and not too well in my bigger tanks.

I have a DIY CO2 system on the 55 and 110 which help a bit but I'm wondering if the lighting might need changing. On the 110 I have 4 48in strip lights hanging suspended from a frame and hanging about 18in off the water surface so my hardy lilly can grow. I have 2 GE Plant and Aquarium lights using 40w and putting out 1900 lumens and two normal home lighting bulbs with 40w usage and 2200 lumens output. I know they're not the best lights but I don't have the money to spend 40 bucks a bulb to get the ones at the pet shop. The 55 has a single strip flourescent with a 32w All Glass Aquarium bulb which I don't know the lumens on. I'll go ahead and say now that my tanks are for fish first and plants second. I like them equally but I pay a lot more for the fish so plant success is not quite as important. I was wondering if y'all might have some money conscious suggestions on how to get better plant growth. Thanks for any suggestions.


This is the 110g Central and S. American Cichlid setup


This is the 55g Community tank.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-11-2006, 11:31 PM
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wow you have frontosa's in a 55g. I don't wanna start a fight but I would hope that this is just for growout. those things get big.
My first opinion is that I'm not big on a african cichlid planted tank. it just doesn't seem natural. but that's probably just me. I'm used to american and south american cichlids in planted tanks, but not africans.
To get better plant growth...I'd have to say that better light is a must...but again it's not cheap. I mostly buy my lights from TriCityTropical.com, they sell refurbished items. Both my big lights came from them and they were at least 50% of brand new cost. So I saved a bunch, but they were still not cheap. And the CO2 is a must...but you seem to have a little of that already.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-11-2006, 11:35 PM
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i like the little sign on the fish tank in the first pic.....my sentiments exactly

30 gallon pita...102watts..pressurized co2 ...jbj regulator...eco-complete substrate...xp-2... inline c-02 reactor...turbo twist uv
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2006, 01:08 AM
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i like the little sign on the fish tank in the first pic.....my sentiments exactly
That si the first thing I noticed too...lolol
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2006, 01:22 AM
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i like the little sign on the tank. it reminds me of ketchup
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2006, 03:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by triple red
i like the little sign on the fish tank in the first pic.....my sentiments exactly
lol,that was what caught my eye too..haha..maybe i should do that too. afterall,my little cousins who are like 3 yrs old will always come and bang on the glass,scaring all the fishes.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2006, 04:11 AM Thread Starter
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You gotta love that most of the discussion is about the sign on my tank and not the plants therein. . . but it does do it's job. I used to have trouble with everyone wanting to feed the fish (who doesn't like to watch them eat) and then when I'd go to feed them they wouldn't be hungry and I'd worry there was something wrong not knowing they'd eaten 5 times already.

The frontosa's are goin' in the 150. . . just lettin' them grow up in the 55 for awhile until I get the 150 set up. Plants I think are a good thing in any tank as they balance out the bioload whether it's natural or not.

I already have plenty of fixtures but I'm not real sure on how many lumens I need to shoot for or what type of light spectrum. Any help with that?
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2006, 04:14 AM Thread Starter
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For anyone who is interested. . . the bottom line on the sign says "Violators will be shot on suspicion"

It's good to have a gun handy to wave around just to reiterate
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2006, 06:04 PM
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Ha ha... A great sign!!

I think I might try lowering the lighting fixture on the first tank - if the tank maintenance would still be ok. You do have reflectors in your fixture? They help a lot and are quite affordable.

The second pic shows the plants in the pots they were sold in. You might want to remove those and the rock wool in them. Plants grow better if planted in the substrate. (But this is old news to you, I'm sure. )

I like Rex's guide on lumens/ Lux per square inch here
Full spectrum lights I think are deemed the best. They will also bring out all the colours in your fish nicely (which I have noticed the hard way... too red bulbs and the blue spangles on my Thorichthys are not showing well enough..). You can check some bulbs and their colour temperatures + spectrum charts for example here.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2006, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Daniel*Swords
Ha ha... A great sign!!

I think I might try lowering the lighting fixture on the first tank - if the tank maintenance would still be ok. You do have reflectors in your fixture? They help a lot and are quite affordable.

The second pic shows the plants in the pots they were sold in. You might want to remove those and the rock wool in them. Plants grow better if planted in the substrate. (But this is old news to you, I'm sure. )

I like Rex's guide on lumens/ Lux per square inch here
Full spectrum lights I think are deemed the best. They will also bring out all the colours in your fish nicely (which I have noticed the hard way... too red bulbs and the blue spangles on my Thorichthys are not showing well enough..). You can check some bulbs and their colour temperatures + spectrum charts for example here.
Thanks, the sign is quite effective. Those plants in the pots are actually ones that I clipped off the runners from my Amazon Swords and potted myself in some Grodan and mesh pots I got off ebay. . . I use them for trade-ins at the LFS and they give me more for them when potted. The reflectors on the lights are quite small. . . do you think a sheet metal hood over them would help? Home Depot sells the same style of light with a larger reflector too that maybe I could line with tinfoil to get maximum reflectiveness.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2006, 11:13 PM
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Thanks, the sign is quite effective. Those plants in the pots are actually ones that I clipped off the runners from my Amazon Swords and potted myself in some Grodan and mesh pots I got off ebay. . . I use them for trade-ins at the LFS and they give me more for them when potted. The reflectors on the lights are quite small. . . do you think a sheet metal hood over them would help? Home Depot sells the same style of light with a larger reflector too that maybe I could line with tinfoil to get maximum reflectiveness.
Jimmy check www.ahsupply.com talk to Kim. They have great light sets, reflectors, retro kits...etc. You can't go wrong with them.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-13-2006, 06:05 AM
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also I would go for lights in the range of 6500K to 10000K range...it seems that anything more than that is just not that effective on plants.
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