Planted 46 Gallon - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-20-2014, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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Planted 46 Gallon

Hey guys. I plan on heavily planting my 46 gallon bowfront. Currently I have a dual t5ho light fixture with two 39w bulbs. 10,000k and 7,500k. Here are some plants that I want in my tank. Anubis, java moss, dwarf hairgrass, ruffle swords, and amazon swords. Am I running enough light over my tank for these plants, and should I consider co2? I am leaving the lights on for 8 hours a day. Is that too short of a time? Thanks for your help.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 05:43 AM
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Welcome to TPT!

You'll most likely need CO2 to keep up with that much light, if it's a good quality fixture. The dwarf hairgrass also is not likely to carpet without CO2.

8 hours/day is a good photoperiod to start with, you can adjust up or down as needed depending on how everything is doing.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 01:37 AM
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Agree with above statement, CO2 is not necessary unless you are trying to carpet and/or get rapid growth.

Seems like you have a potentially lowtech low light tank, should be pretty easy to keep.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 05:05 PM
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Hi Searth
I also agree. I have a 46g bow and you're looking at a 21" depth on that. That's going to put your light right in between med & high and will depend on your reflector which one it leans toward. If when you look at the bulb reflector on your light you see that the reflector is like a mirror, it is fairly wide being significantly wiser than the bulb, and you see mutiple reflections of the bulb in it then you've got a high quality light.

I'm growing swords, anubias, dwarf hair grass, wisteria, moneywort, various crypts, and I used to have java moss. I have a good quality 4 bulb T5 but only run two at a time except for a 1/2 hour overlap and for a total of 7 hours. I also run pressurized CO2 system and a EI method of fert dosing. I was aiming at high growth.

Your suggested 8 hours will be a good place to start if you want to keep it a low to med maintenance tank. I agree with Bob though that you probably won't see the DHG filling in much without more light and CO2. A different cover plant might be an idea. I'd also discourage you from the java moss. It is a fairly low light plant and grows fairly easily but it grows all directions with no real shape to it. It can also be a algae magnet and when it gets loose it will plug your intakes. I ended up throwing it into a small low maintenance tank I have and the baby mollies seem to love it and it seems to like being there. But in there I don't really care what it looks like.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 06:51 PM
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I've only been successful with dwarf hairgrass carpeting on mgo capped with sand. Stuff took off like crazy. Medium light levels with diy CO2.

It took 2 months to start to spread and then filled in less than two weeks. I'd read reports that it like rich substrates. I confirmed that it really does like it.
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