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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone, even though I have not posted much I have been on and about this forum drooling at your wonderful tanks. I am an experienced fish keeper, but am very new to plants. However, I have always had some plant or another under my stock lighting hood. Naturally, you can imagine that nothing stayed alive for very long, and I was wasting money. About 2 years ago, a salesperson at my LFS told me that I just had the wrong spectrum bulbs. This is when disaster struck for the final time, and I did my homework. I have not taken pictures of my tank regularly, but here are some for reference (at my total lack of skill :icon_smil) Keep in mind that all of these pics are from this year (can't find anything else). I almost regret not having pics from my first year, now that was truly pathetic:flick:

Edit- a pic of what my tank looks like today 06/11/14 check out the later pages to see an actual planted tank :icon_roll:smile:



 

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it also kind of depends on how many watts per gallon(WPG) you have and if they can make it to the bottom of the tank depending on how many watts you have(i think its like only half of what you have makes it to the bottom) and please correct me if im wrong
 

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Great looking tank! What is are its spec's (subtrate, lighting, CO2, ECT)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
specs are as follows:
20 gallon high
penguin 100 hob
stealth heater
moonlight sand for substrate
plants:
java fern, anubias, anachris, hornwort
fish:
boesmani rainbows, australian rainbows, rtbs, 2 baby goldfish
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
wadesharp ~I think that wpg gallon is important, and tank height is a factor but there is no definite rule?
Anyway, after research I have decided on the glo lighting system from hagen. This setup (double strip t5ho) would allow me to use one bulb if required so that I can go low tech if i run into too many problems with co2. After much pleading and begging with my parents, we went to the lfs and bought the fixture. However the annoying owner did not have the life glo bulbs that I needed, and I wouild be losing money if I didnt buy the bulbs he offered (marine glo & power glo). I guess I'll try to trade the marine glo bulb elsewhere. Nevertheless, the new lighting looks fantastic, very different from the stock lighting.
 

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T5HO lights are really strong. You might want to try DIY CO2. Hope you can find the bulbs!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
DIY co2 will be on the way as soon as I get the bulbs of the correct spectrum. However, I am wondering if the plants would be able to use the power-glo bulb (18000 k)? I threw in some hornwort to prevent algae problems and I saw some pearling today. Does this mean that they can use some of the light?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Pics

Here are some pics of the christmas present:icon_bigg. But with the wrong stinking bulbs :angryfire.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
More pics

And....here are some pics with the new light. Huge difference, especially in the colors of the fish, pics dont do it full justice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
How exactly does that work? I thought that plants grow best under something between 5000-10000 k:icon_conf
 

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The PowerGlo is fine, but actinic lighting won't do anything for your plants. It looks really nice though, and if you like how it looks you *might* be able to keep those bulbs if the PowerGlo alone gives enough light (someone back me up if that will work :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I think you might be right because the plants that I have right now are flourishing (4.5 inches of growth on hornwort in a week & 3 new leaves for Anubias nana). I know the actinic doesnt help, but will probably take my time replacing it as it brings out the colors of my rainbows quite nicely.
 

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I thought that plants grow best under something between 5000-10000 k
When dealing with nature nothing is written in stone. Nature is fickle. Just keep an eye out for algae on the plants. If you don't get algae in 3 months then the eco-system is balanced. This what I learned from Homer_Simpson. Also according to Tom Barr plants adjust to what ever light they have. They just won't grow the way you want them to if they don't have the optimum light, as trees in the winter. I and others have found that when the plants are growing well algae does not. My theory is that is like crab grass. If something good is not growing in an area the algae starts taking over. Thus some add some floating plants to control algae, like Hornwort.

I think the power glo will be okay, too. Since the spectrum of the light is higher than needed the plants will grow faster and need more nutrients.

A good complete plant fert is CSM+B or Seachem Comprehensive Flourish. CSM+B is a dry fert that will last longer the Seachem which has water in it. Dry ferts can be bought on line from Aquarium fertilizers store.

I know the actinic doesnt help, but will probably take my time replacing it as it brings out the colors of my rainbows quite nicely.
Now you got me thinking of turning my actinic light on for my Neon Rainbows look pail.

Actinic have a reputation for growing algae but I have seen a few use them on a planted tank. Read that starting out with 5 hrs of low light is best to not encourage algae growth.

If you don't get many responses, which is the norm now, contact Tex Gal. She lives in Texas, very experienced, and very kind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Had first major trim, and moved hornwort throughout tank. Also added a ruby red melon sword. I was thinking about taking the top of my aquarium bcz I like the open top look:icon_bigg, but will my rainbows jump? I have 2 2.5 inch long Australian rainbows & 4 1.5 inch long Boesmani rainbows.:confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Update 1/10/10

So I saw a couple of tansk and really liked the contrast of white sand with black gravel. Here are the pics before and after.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
You guys are absolutely right, but they are only in the aquarium in the winter. They spend the summer in my pond (4 foot diameter).
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Update 2/06

Update:
Added some plants Giant Hygro, Ludwigia repens, and Micro sword
The Micro sword was a complete flop, as it did not root when I cut it up to plant it.
Growth is not apparent, but I guess it will come with time.
Have a small diy CO2 set up connected yesterday, and it is producing maybe 1 bubble per minute.
Unfortunately, the tank appears to be very cloudy today. Any ideas as to why?:icon_conf
Pics coming soon!!!!:icon_cool
 
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