Plant newbie with questions! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-03-2014, 02:16 AM Thread Starter
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Plant newbie with questions!

Started planting my tank a month ago.
40 gallon breeder, freshwater, stock...cory cats, upside down cats, blue botia & cherry barbs.

Tank is medium planted (anubius, Amazon sword, Kyoto, compacta & bamboo)

Glass covered tank, not lifted. Tank maintains temp of 78/80 degrees, plenty O2, BUT aeration stays on 245hrs, as tank is very stocked. Fertilizer - leaf zone api x1/wk.

I want to heavily plant my tank with all of the plants already mentioned and i need help with lighting.

Right now I only have LED lighting.

I have a very limited budget for lighting so if somebody could give me some options I would appreciate it!
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-03-2014, 02:57 AM
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Well, what kind of LED lighting do you have currently? Some LED lights are quite powerful, although based on the tone of your message I'm guessing you have something fairly low-output....
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-03-2014, 03:15 AM Thread Starter
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Its a marineland hidden light system. I dont know the exact specs. :/
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-03-2014, 03:23 AM Thread Starter
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I read a few reviews that said its "making there plants thrive" but I was under the impression that a highly planted tank cant survive off LED alone??

Is this not true?
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-03-2014, 03:35 AM
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Which size do you have? The marineland website lists these specs for these lights.

Size .06 Watt White LEDs .06 Watt Blue LEDs Par/Lux at 12" PAR/LUX at 24" Lumens
17" 56 16 25/886 10/302 400
21" 72 16 25/1121 11/377 550

You can compare these numbers to this thread to see if this will be sufficient light for the type of plants you have.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=160396

From what I see, either way this is low light.
Bamboo is not a true aquatic plant. It will eventually die if it doesn't have access to air. Same with the "Kyoto", also known as Mondo grass.
Hygrophila corymbosa 'Compacta' likes bright light.
Anubius and Amazon Swords prefer medium light, but you could probably get away with these two in low light.

My tank -
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-03-2014, 03:49 AM Thread Starter
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Its 21". I appreciate all the stats you listed above but I honestly cant get a grasp on what I actually need. I plan on doing a little shopping tomorrow and I was hoping to buy 10-15 more plants but only if I can figure out if what I have is sufficient or what else to purchase at a pretty cheap budget.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-03-2014, 04:14 AM
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PAR is what's important for LED lighting.
As for what plants you could do with your current lights, take a look through the plant profiles section of the forum. They have stats on just about any plant you can find out there. Or google low light aquarium plants.

My tank -
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-03-2014, 04:59 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks! So in your opinion my tank is rated at low light? If I decide to add another of the same lighting, would it be considered medium?
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-03-2014, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenxcore View Post
I read a few reviews that said its "making there plants thrive" but I was under the impression that a highly planted tank cant survive off LED alone??

Is this not true?
That much is nonsense... there are plenty of densely planted tanks that run off LEDs alone.

Now that said, these aren't running off a tiny strip of small LEDs like a hidden led... Compare the last two photos in this thread, for example..

http://forum.buildmyled.com/index.ph...h-results.135/

Those BML fixtures aren't cheap, but they can produce results.

As mentioned, your hidden LED fixture isn't much light. It is really intended for fish-only use, or as a "booster" to raise the light level in a planted tank that needs just a little more.

Fluorescent is quite popular because it is still quite cost-effective, particularly in terms of up-front costs. And you already said you are on a limited budget...


On a very limited budget, some popular popular options are:

dual-bulb T8 fixtures, available at hardware stores.

clamp-on desk lamps outfited with spiral CFL bulbs. Get one that you can adjust the neck of, so you can raise it or lower it to adjust light levels.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-03-2014, 12:28 PM
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Probably not, it's not completely additive even when the two lights overlap perfectly.

My tank -
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-03-2014, 02:05 PM
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Your going to need more light than you have for the swords. I have marineland led plant light on my 40 and the swords have lots of growth. Root tabs will be important to.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-04-2014, 12:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattinmd View Post
clamp-on desk lamps outfited with spiral CFL bulbs. Get one that you can adjust the neck of, so you can raise it or lower it to adjust light levels.
+1. This will be your cheapest route to more light. Just make sure you get the daylight bulbs (I was able to find a 2pk of 6500k bulbs at lowes for around $7) and not the cheap 6 for $4 bulbs.


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