Big Reduction in Light = Dramatic Growth - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-13-2006, 05:21 AM Thread Starter
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Big Reduction in Light = Dramatic Growth

No joke.

I was burning my P. Stellatus, A. Senegalensis, and R. Macranda.

So - I cut my 12 hours of 4x65W CF down to:
3 hours 2x65W
3 hours 4x65W
3 hours 2x65W

Wasnt quite sure what to expect, but growth has been phenomenal. Maintained EI ferts + Fe + Excel, and kept CO2 at about 2 bps into a powerhead run in-tank reactor.

P. Stellatus is the most improved. It just TOOK OFF. L. Aromatica which was not growing at all now has several shoots. Just about everything has gone wild. Red Myrio (sp?) has come back to life, and my Moneywort grew almost 3 inches in 3 days.

I still am having green dust algae problems (not bad) - but I am not able to tell the effect on BBA (which I was having small problems with).

I will post as I notice more. Specifically - I will let you guys know if the crinkled leaves on the A. Senegalensis and R. Macranda goes away.

Crazy hobby....
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-13-2006, 05:27 AM
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Some plants get more "leggy" with less light. More light can keep them shorter with tighter nodes, I believe. That said, 9 hour photoperiod is generally thought to be enuf.





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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-13-2006, 06:09 AM
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With 4x65w, you're blasting the plants with 260 watts of CF for 12 hours. My R. rotifundiolia gets scared of my high lighting and starts to bend away from the lighting. I had to drop and modify my lighting schedule to get it to grow straight. =)
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-13-2006, 07:16 AM
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Sweet!

The GDA will go away rather fast, turn the filter off, clean the glass good at next H20 change, then change as much as you can.

The BBA will not just vanish, you will have to remove that by hand, it will not grow back if you keep running the tank as you are.

The tank will be spotless clean of algae soon, then you can stop the Excel and enjoy growing healthy plants, this is when you can start tweaking the light and C02.

Congrats Patrick, sounds like you are the road to recovery...lol

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-13-2006, 02:43 PM
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Yes, I see the same thing with 2x55w over a 20H. My r. rotundifolia bends away from the light as does rotala sp. 'colorata' and several others. There's some plants that simply don't grow at all, but that may be another issue.


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With 4x65w, you're blasting the plants with 260 watts of CF for 12 hours. My R. rotifundiolia gets scared of my high lighting and starts to bend away from the lighting. I had to drop and modify my lighting schedule to get it to grow straight. =)

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-13-2006, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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The only bummer is - the tank doesnt "look" as brigth with only 2x65 over. I am used to bright saturated light into the tank....kind of a more dusky look now....but oh well. Better than no growth, burned leaves, and algea.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-13-2006, 04:00 PM
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More light doesn't burn the leaves. It does drive the plant growth so much they run out of fertilizers, including CO2. So, when you reduced the light you stopped that high fert demand, leaving enough for all of the plants to grow well. Good move. You have up to 3.5 watts per gallon, which is far from what is needed by the plants, so you can only use it if you are willing to do the close monitoring and additional fertilizing needed to keep up with the growth rates. (Plus, you need excellent water circulation to avoid local shortages of ferts.) All of your algae battles will be easier to win now. GDA will still require some work to keep it from returning every time you wipe it off, and BBA still requires that you remove all of the existing growths, but now you have some flexibility in time for doing that.

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-13-2006, 04:39 PM
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(Finally) Folks are seeing that you do not need so much light.
I've suggested for many years ya'll don't need this much, and that plants look better and grow better at less light.

A washed out looking fish and plant are not aesthetic.
Nor is dealing with super fast growth rates.

Plants have their limits and then they become more unruly.
So more is not better, it's just more work.

A little pateince with the growth/light and things are much less promblematic.,
Oh...but what do I know.....

Regards,
Tom Barr




Regards,
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-13-2006, 04:49 PM
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MMM, okay, so I'm planning a 90 gallon and I'm thinking about a light purchase. My options are 2*65 (130W), 4*65 (260W) or 4*32 (128W, far less lumens that 2*65 cf)).

A 90 gallon has the same bottom area as a 72. So how much light do you suggest for this tank? I guess I could drop to 55W bulbs in the above scenarios...
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-13-2006, 05:48 PM
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Brilliant - good luck! I predict that you will have algae problems unless you really stay on top of it.
I'm converting my 90g to a planted and will probably go with a 4x65w fixture, giving slightly less than 3wpg. That should be plenty, even in a 24" deep tank. I don't want to be trimming and scrubbing algae so often that it becomes a dreaded chore =/

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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-13-2006, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by original kuhli View Post
I guess I could drop to 55W bulbs in the above scenarios...
The ballast dictates the wattage, not the bulbs. So a 55W bulb in a 65W ballast will still burn 65W.

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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-13-2006, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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Kuhli -

If you want to follow in the ways of Amano - then see this article:

Lighting in Amano Aquaria

According to this (FWIW) you would want to put abotu 180W over teh tank.

But - you could buy the 4x65 and just rotate the lights as I do. My light is a CurrentUSA Orbit Moonlight. I replaced the 2x65 Actinics with Dual Daylight (6500/10000) bulbs. Each row of lights has its own power plug - so I just got two timers, synchronized them, and keep one row of 2 lights on for 9 hours, and flash the other row of 2 lights on for 3 hours in the middle.

Works fine.

Hoppy - I believe a good analogy to your post would be the tortoise and the hare. Under hight light, my plants were growing VERY fast until the ferts ran out....then the plants got stressed, stopped growing, and algea began to grow (the rabbit that got the big lead then fell asleep). Now, my plants continue to grow for the entire cycle - slower per/minute growth, but sustained for a longer period (the tortoise).

I ask this becuase I swear my plants are gaining more volume/height now than when the lighting was higher (same level of ferts).

You know...sorry for rambling...this would explain why my NO3 was 0 when I was testing a few weeks back. Even though I was pouring in the No3 (EI) I was still running out becuase my light was so darn high.

Hmmmm......
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-13-2006, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ringram View Post
Brilliant - good luck! I predict that you will have algae problems unless you really stay on top of it.
I'm converting my 90g to a planted and will probably go with a 4x65w fixture, giving slightly less than 3wpg. That should be plenty, even in a 24" deep tank. I don't want to be trimming and scrubbing algae so often that it becomes a dreaded chore =/
Thank you...I deleted my post because it isnt going to help anyone.

I am doing 50% water changes per week. Fertilizing according to sticky. Working just fine. I dont run my lights for 10-12 hours a day.....heh....I forget where I am at now but it isnt even half that...

I just put a new fixture on my 90g...way more watts per say then before...I am amazed how well she is doing...

Id like to see L. mini in one of these lower light tanks.


Pbohart, I had the same issue with N...I was testing 0. Shortened my photoperiod now I can manage the tank.

Want to see more...check out my website
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-13-2006, 11:26 PM
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I started running 8 hours a day a couple weeks ago. My tank was loaded with BBA, now I am only seeing a little Clado, which I don't mind.

I am running 2.25 wpg of NO T-5 and 12 hours was still too long.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-14-2006, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by original kuhli View Post
MMM, okay, so I'm planning a 90 gallon and I'm thinking about a light purchase. My options are 2*65 (130W), 4*65 (260W) or 4*32 (128W, far less lumens that 2*65 cf)).

A 90 gallon has the same bottom area as a 72. So how much light do you suggest for this tank? I guess I could drop to 55W bulbs in the above scenarios...
I would recommend a T5 setup. 4x54watts. Better to have enough light to punch a midday blast. You can run just one bank for 8-10 hours and both banks midday for 3-4 works pretty well IME. Or go with the 4x65 PC you mentioned . The T5s I have experience with are Sunlight Supply's Tek Light and Current USA's "Nova Extreme. The Nova has three little moonlights which is nice and includes an acrylic shield and weighs less than the heavy duty Tek.





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