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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In 2019 I picked up a second hand Waterbox (4x2x2). It was run as a marine tank and came with a couple of Hydra 26 lights. They have a total of 26 diodes per unit and are rated at about 90W each from the wall. They're very heavy in blue with roughly half of the LEDs being some variation of blue. There two red diodes, two blue diodes and the rest are white.

I decided to test my PAR today with my Seneye and got this.


It's obviously blue heavy as you might expect, and the PAR reading is probably a little higher than I expected. That's at the substrate directly under the light.

Since setup in 2019 I've had issues with old leaves deteriorating, becoming covered in algae and dying off. When I say old, the top 2-3 nodes on stems are okay, the rest struggle. This has persisted across a substrate change from Fluval Stratum to ADA Amazonia, changes to biological media, a more powerful return pump, the addition of an inline atomiser feeding a DIY cerges reactor, experimentation with commercial fertilisers and various DIY formulations including chelated and unchelated micros and improvements in my maintenance schedule.

The only things I haven't tried are switching to full RO water (we have beautifully soft, good quality water here - others run successful tanks on it) and a change to the lights.

I've been tossing up buying some Chihiros Vivid 2s, but want to get some idea of whether the lighting above is likely to cause issues like I'm having with old growth. I've read that people care about spectrum more than plants, but new lights are about the only thing I haven't tried.
 

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I’m by no means an authority on this kind of stuff, but I’d guess that the marine spectrum is not gonna work well for plants, other than those that are undemanding light wise.


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I am no expert on lighting and PAR, but it seems like that spectrum lacks the available usable light most plants require. To my understanding, plants use all available light, but require most of it to be between 500-700nm, which is the blue-green to orange-red areas on the spectrum. A lot of green light is reflected by plants, but they still use that light to grow.

A mainly blue light is mostly for displaying corals or night viewing.

I may be lacking information so maybe someone else can add on.
 

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225 ppfd at substrate is pretty high light. Do you have an option to dim the light? Cut it back to about 50 ppfd at substrate. As you know its all balance. You are giving the plants enough light that they can consume a crazy amount of fertilizer and co2... if its available. If not then they will stall and you would get algae and deterioration.

What are you running by way of fertilizer? With this much light you would need to be really good with fertilizer and frankly running a lot of it and a lot of co2. I used to run a tank like this and frankly struggled with getting it to work well. My medium, low, and even the lower end of high light tanks have worked much better for me.
 

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In 2019 I picked up a second hand Waterbox (4x2x2). It was run as a marine tank and came with a couple of Hydra 26 lights. They have a total of 26 diodes per unit and are rated at about 90W each from the wall. They're very heavy in blue with roughly half of the LEDs being some variation of blue. There two red diodes, two blue diodes and the rest are white.

I decided to test my PAR today with my Seneye and got this.


It's obviously blue heavy as you might expect, and the PAR reading is probably a little higher than I expected. That's at the substrate directly under the light.

Since setup in 2019 I've had issues with old leaves deteriorating, becoming covered in algae and dying off. When I say old, the top 2-3 nodes on stems are okay, the rest struggle. This has persisted across a substrate change from Fluval Stratum to ADA Amazonia, changes to biological media, a more powerful return pump, the addition of an inline atomiser feeding a DIY cerges reactor, experimentation with commercial fertilisers and various DIY formulations including chelated and unchelated micros and improvements in my maintenance schedule.

The only things I haven't tried are switching to full RO water (we have beautifully soft, good quality water here - others run successful tanks on it) and a change to the lights.

I've been tossing up buying some Chihiros Vivid 2s, but want to get some idea of whether the lighting above is likely to cause issues like I'm having with old growth. I've read that people care about spectrum more than plants, but new lights are about the only thing I haven't tried.
First "normal" Hydra 26
  • 6 - Cree XP-G2 Cool White (> 70 CRI)
    [*]6 - Cree XT-E Royal Blue
    [*]6 - Cree XP-E2 Blue
    [*]2 - OSRAM OSLON Deep Red
    [*]2 - Cree XP-E2 Green
    [*]2 - SemiLED 415nm
    [*]2 - SemiLED 400nm
That amount of blue could "possibly" stunt stem plants but that is about it..

And I agree w/ the fact you may be driving the plants too hard ..
To balance your light try shutting off both blue and royal blue channel.
all the rest at 100%
Below is adj for the fact the CREES were 1W but the Semis were 3w
3 green =1 on your array.
* MIXING LIST
----------------------------------------
Cree XP-G CoolWhite (5000-10000K) [120°] x18
Cree XP-E Green (520-535nm) [120°] x6
OSRAM OSLON-SSL HyperRed (644-666nm) [120°] x6
SemiLEDs C35L-U-A UV (400-410nm) (U60) [120°] x2
SemiLEDs C35L-U-A UV (410-420nm) (U70) [120°] x2
----------------------------------------

* SIMULATION DATA
----------------------------------------
Luminous flux : 3,353 lm
Radiant flux : 13,632 mW
PPF : 58.3 umol/s
TCP : 6990 K
CRI : 94
λp : 413 nm
Color : #EAF3FF
----------------------------------------

* PERFORMANCE @ 30cm
----------------------------------------
Irradiance : 16.1 W/m²/s
Illuminance : 3,953 lx
PPFD : 68.7 umol/m²/s
----------------------------------------

by SPECTRA 1.0β @ 1.023world
1025812
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone. I was genuinely surprised at the PAR levels. I would have guessed that they were around the 100 mark. I’ll likely lower them. They run off the AI app so I can specify any percentages I want for any of the channels and I’ll likely do as jeffkrol suggested and knock out the blues.

As for ferts. I’ve gone for 6/6/16 with unchelated micros. Pretty well a shameless copy of Burr/Greggz micros. I’ve been watching the NO3 levels and they were at 5ppm just before the last water change. I’ll need to up that a little. Dosing is done by an autodoser so is regular and well controlled. The drop checker in my sump is straight out yellow most days. Substrate is 2 month old Amazonia.
 
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