The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
387 Posts
Hi everyone,

This is my first post.

I'm in the process of switching from low to high tech, I have receieved my new 24 in. AquaticLife Dual Lamp T5 HO Freshwater Light Fixture, and although I also got a regulator, I still don't have any CO2.

I have a 20 gallon high, it's been running for about 4 months. Very newb of me but I can't recall the name of most of my plants though I have just a few.

I dose Excel, Potassium, Leaf Zone. Under current low lighting I have, I run 12 hr light cycle. I am aware that with higher lighting I should probably dial that back to closer to 8 hrs.

But basically, my plants aren't doing that great, I'm wondering if I can start using my light or if I should wait another 2 weeks until I have CO2.

Any advice appreciated.

More specifically,

Will going from a tiny canopy light to probably more than double the wattage a recipe for an algae outbreak?

I don't know if there is a way to phase the lights in one bulb at a time or if I just go for it and make the switch.

I also wonder if the CO2 and new lights should go hand in hand, if I should start them at the same time, or if upping the lighting could do me some good with nothing but the Excel for now.

I haven't had an algae outbreak to speak of yet, but I know with the growing pains of learning high tech, the algae is coming.

One thing I do know is a change in lighting can cause algae, so I guess I don't know if there is any "good" way to double my lighting or if I just have to do it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
879 Posts
I'd suggest getting your CO2 dialed in (consistent daily injection) as well as know what ppm NPK and micro nutrients you want to target first. This way your light will be a limiting variable for plant growth. Get you a pH, KH, and phosphate kit if you do not already have any to ensure your dosing method is getting you close to target for having nutrients in excess. Know your baseline before you begin moving variables or you can quickly get lost in an imbalanced algae doom.

Then once you no longer are seeing nutrient deficiencies (if any issues here) then feed them more light. Think of light basically as the accelerator for growth while the ferts & CO2 are your basic essential fuel sources. You do not need higher light levels right off bat unless you have high light requiring plants. Another option is to use only one of your new bulbs initially or move your photoperiod down to 4-5 hrs. Either way you should not need more than 8hrs.

Never stop researching and learning though. My suggestions are simply a conservative approach the way I would do it. I went low tech to high lighting last April and had issues because I didn't have CO2 yet. Then it took me a while to learn how to dial it in then CO2 consistency was an issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
387 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'd suggest getting your CO2 dialed in (consistent daily injection) as well as know what ppm NPK and micro nutrients you want to target first. This way your light will be a limiting variable for plant growth. Get you a pH, KH, and phosphate kit if you do not already have any to ensure your dosing method is getting you close to target for having nutrients in excess. Know your baseline before you begin moving variables or you can quickly get lost in an imbalanced algae doom.

Then once you no longer are seeing nutrient deficiencies (if any issues here) then feed them more light.
Thank you for this.

Can you expand on this first paragraph a little more? I'm still learning dosing. You said "know what parts per million NPK and micro I want to target"...what do you mean by target? The ones I need according to my water or...

Also I have the API master test kit, maybe not the best but does that cover what you mean? Kh and phosphate?

This is good stuff, thank you, if you can sort of explain in the above stuff to me I would appreciate it.

I get what you are saying overall, and I am on board, I will do these things first before the light change as soon as I make sure I have a grasp on the details.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
879 Posts
Thank you for this.

Can you expand on this first paragraph a little more? I'm still learning dosing. You said "know what parts per million NPK and micro I want to target"...what do you mean by target? The ones I need according to my water or...

Also I have the API master test kit, maybe not the best but does that cover what you mean? Kh and phosphate?

This is good stuff, thank you, if you can sort of explain in the above stuff to me I would appreciate it.

I get what you are saying overall, and I am on board, I will do these things first before the light change as soon as I make sure I have a grasp on the details.
Ok, you will need to read this thread to understand the basics of dosing to target specific ppm (parts per million) of the the different fertilizers (ferts). Read the labels on your current ferts to see what your doses are now based on your tank size. Then use your test kit(s) to see if you are close to your tanks target yet. I'm not sure what all comes in the Master Kit but ensure you have phosphate, nitrate, GH & KH, and pH and that they are not expired. You may have to get separate kits. You will learn below about the relationship between KH & pH measurments to determine you CO2 levels at specific pHs...this will help you dial in your CO2.

Initially having a drop checker will help you understand if you're getting close to ball park for CO2 levels (blue color needs more CO2, green is about target, lime green is typically better, yellow is higher CO2) the drop checker accuracy will greatly depend upon the accuracy of the standard 4dkH solution inside the drop checker as well as your pH & KH (or buffering capacity measurement accuracy) but many do not get too hung up on this relationship. Most just generalize it and say my baseline pH is say 7.0 without CO2 so I want to add about 30ppm CO2 and that typically means a pH drop of one full unit so in this case pH 6.0. In reality to optimize CO2 is to drop it slowly until you see fish stressing then bring it back up slowly a few tenths of a pH unit (read up on this though). Best to measure pH with a meter if you have the means due to inaccuracies of test kits, human eye, lighting in the room when measuring, etc...

Dosing / Ferts Thread (Post # 36, 100, & are really good):
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=21944

Another dosing thread (EI Method...close to what I & most others do)
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=517945&highlight=fertilizer+calculator

SeaChem ferts broken out
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=572026&highlight=fertilizer+calculator

Online fertilzer Calculator (note if you are up for it...it's very easy then dry ferts are by far the cheapest way to go)
http://calc.petalphile.com/

CO2 & pH thread:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=21944

Just in case you start seeing algae issues this thread saved my tank and many others but read carefully for the method's disclaimers:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=203684


I know this is like trying to drink from a fire hose right now but hang in there, keep researching / learning and it WILL pay off. Better to learn all of this now rather than after your tank is over come by algae. Many of folks have given up for these reasons.

HAPPY READING :hihi:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
387 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok, you will need to read this thread to understand the basics of dosing to target specific ppm (parts per million) of the the different fertilizers (ferts). Read the labels on your current ferts to see what your doses are now based on your tank size. Then use your test kit(s) to see if you are close to your tanks target yet. I'm not sure what all comes in the Master Kit but ensure you have phosphate, nitrate, GH & KH, and pH and that they are not expired. You may have to get separate kits. You will learn below about the relationship between KH & pH measurments to determine you CO2 levels at specific pHs...this will help you dial in your CO2.

Initially having a drop checker will help you understand if you're getting close to ball park for CO2 levels (blue color needs more CO2, green is about target, lime green is typically better, yellow is higher CO2) the drop checker accuracy will greatly depend upon the accuracy of the standard 4dkH solution inside the drop checker as well as your pH & KH (or buffering capacity measurement accuracy) but many do not get too hung up on this relationship. Most just generalize it and say my baseline pH is say 7.0 without CO2 so I want to add about 30ppm CO2 and that typically means a pH drop of one full unit so in this case pH 6.0. In reality to optimize CO2 is to drop it slowly until you see fish stressing then bring it back up slowly a few tenths of a pH unit (read up on this though). Best to measure pH with a meter if you have the means due to inaccuracies of test kits, human eye, lighting in the room when measuring, etc...

Dosing / Ferts Thread (Post # 36, 100, & are really good):
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=21944

Another dosing thread (EI Method...close to what I & most others do)
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=517945&highlight=fertilizer+calculator

SeaChem ferts broken out
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=572026&highlight=fertilizer+calculator

Online fertilzer Calculator (note if you are up for it...it's very easy then dry ferts are by far the cheapest way to go)
http://calc.petalphile.com/

CO2 & pH thread:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=21944

Just in case you start seeing algae issues this thread saved my tank and many others but read carefully for the method's disclaimers:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=203684


I know this is like trying to drink from a fire hose right now but hang in there, keep researching / learning and it WILL pay off. Better to learn all of this now rather than after your tank is over come by algae. Many of folks have given up for these reasons.

HAPPY READING :hihi:
Wow, thank you! Thanks for the guidance.

I have some reading to do.

Sent from my SGH-M919 using Tapatalk
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top