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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey,

I currently have a 30" T8 fixture with a single, Floramax light bulb. I have a cryptocoryne and crinium calamistratum in a 29 gallon. The crypt is doing well but I have not seen any new growth from the crinium. The water pH is 7.8-8, lights are on for 10 hours a day and I treat weekly with Flourish Comp. I know that crinium are generally slow growers but its been about 3 months and I haven't seen any growth that I can tell.

What I'm wondering is how can I get the crinium to grow faster. I'm wondering if I need a new bulb or if I should get a new fixture all together (T5 or LED?) I don't want to add a CO2 injector because 1) they are expensive 2) it will lower the hardness of the water, which needs to stay high.

Basically, if you could recommend a light fixture brand that I going to increase the growth of the crinium, I'd be very appreciative!
 

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Do you only have the two plants in the tank, and if so, are you planning on adding more plants? I would hesitate to increase the light by much without adding more plants. You may just increase the chance of algae.

I don't have experience growing crinum, but I just looked up its needs and it is a higher light plant, whereas crypts are generally lower light plants.

How old is the current bulb? Also, what type of hood is on the tank?
 

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Do you only have the two plants in the tank, and if so, are you planning on adding more plants? I would hesitate to increase the light by much without adding more plants. You may just increase the chance of algae.

I don't have experience growing crinum, but I just looked up its needs and it is a higher light plant, whereas crypts are generally lower light plants.

How old is the current bulb? Also, what type of hood is on the tank?
I agree with this post

Single T8 is very low light so I am not at all surprised you are seeing next to no growth out of your plants. Definitely be wary that if you increase lighting you will also need to increase plant mass to compensate or like the above poster said you could run into issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The bulb is maybe 4 months old, the hood is a standar aqueon one.

Currently there are only 2 plants: the crypt and crinium. I could add more criniums to the tank if I need too (they look nice). If I get 3 more criniums (5 plants total) could I upgrade to a T5 or LED?

If I don't upgrade my light fixture, what are some options to increase plant growth?

Thanks
 

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If you increase the light, then you should add some fast growing plants, such as stem plants. Those could be hygros, the less demanding rotalas, ludwigias, etc. Also, more crinums if you like them. A 29 gallon tank has a nice footprint and can take quite a lot of plants. In the foreground, you could try Corymbosa compact. It grows well for me in my low tech tank and stays low. Sword plants do well, also. Any of the cryptocornes.

If you stay with your existing light, I would stay with the plants that are low light plants. Cryptocornes, anubias, the mosses, java fern, things like that. I have a little low light shrimp tank with anubias, crypts, java moss, rotala rotundifolia (it stays green and doesn't grow quickly), a few pieces of ludwigia repens right under the light, and bacopa.

With low light, your plants will grow slowly. That isn't a bad thing. A slow growing, low tech tank can be lovely. Your bulb is fine at 4 months old.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
OK thanks for the advice. For substrate I have a neutral, medium grade sand. Is this OK for plants? For lighting, do you think a Finnex FugeRay Planted+ Aquarium LED Light Plus Moonlights would work?
 

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I have not used that light, so will let others with experience with it give you advice on that particular light. By upgrading your light, though,you would be making the leap into much higher light, so would definitely have to look into greater plant mass and co2 supplementation of some sort, either co2 or liquid carbon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I just read that my crinum calamistratum needs a nutrient rich substrate. How necessary is this? I was just planning on increasing the lighting with a finnex planted+.
 

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I run the classic planted + on my low tech 29g and you are going to have algae city on your hands if you fail to add more plants. My tank had bad algae before I introduced a handful of water sprite and pennywort. These floating plants stabilized my tank almost immediately and grow very quickly. I disagree with the claim that CO2 supplementation may be needed. I used to use excel and flat-out stopped using it a long time ago and I have seen no ill effects. Also remember that CO2 only helps if it can help your plants grow. The PLANTS are what wards off algae - not CO2. CO2 is not some magical gas that inhibits algae. All it does is help your plants grow to their potential which in turn inhibit algae. Without the plants CO2 is useless.

If you put that fixture over a tank with 2 slow growing plants you are doomed

This is my 29g from a few months ago for reference:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yikes! I don't think I can fit that many plants, since half the tank is covered in rocks for a pair of N. buescheri. I've been thinking a lot about this, and as much as I like the crinium, I think I may trade it in for a few Vallisneria sp (spiralis?). Do you think that this bulb
would be sufficient? since most Vals are low light tolerant.
 

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Just replacing the bulb won't make much of a difference, since your current bulb is only 4 months old. You would have to increase the amount of light if you want to grow more plants.
I would add the vallisneria and see how it does. It doesn't need much light. I have it growing like crazy under cfl bulbs in a 15 gallon high tank.
 
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