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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone,

I just recently rehabbed a dirty tank into a 10-gallon Planted tank, and am new to the forum! I have had a a lot of experience in keeping African cichlids, but finally made my way to the community tank. I eventually plan on upgrading to a 30-55 gallon at some point, but want to test the waters first with plant care. Right now I have a Dwarf Sagittaria, A cryp, an Amazon Sword, and an unknown plant I bought from my LFS( trying to identify in other post). My main question is if I have the right lighting. It is a 6- Watt LED with blue and white colored lights that are on for about 11-12 hours a day mostly. Is this a strong enough light to sustain my plants. I have notices the dwarf sagittaria has already started sending out runners and the runners are growing pretty rapidly( After two weeks in the tank). This makes me believe I have enough light, but I was reading online that you need at least 2-3 Watts per gallon. In this case I would be severly lacking light. Also, the sagittarius is starting to turn yellow on a few leaves( as seen in picture down below). could this be due to light?

P.S. Any answer is greatly appreciated!
 

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My two cents....the 2-3 W/Gal will really depend on your plants needs. If memory serves me right (correct me if Im wrong) 2-3 W/Gal is usually thrown out there for medium/high light plants. I've grown plenty of crypts, anubias, buce, and other low light plants lower than that. My next thought regarding the yellowing is possible nutrient deficiency. Do you dose any fertilizer or use and root tabs? If they are planted in sand they may be needing some additional nutrients (I can't tell if you are using any aquasoil for substrate). Also 11-12 hours a day is a lot of light and based on your photos it looks like you have some algae creeping in. Long photoperiods for low light plants like yours can lead to algae break outs and can starve your plants looking for addition nutrients to deal with extend light times if you're not adding ferts. Higher intensity and longer the photoperiods the more demanding your plants are for nutrients, co2, etc. Before you consider buying a new light I would suggest trying to reduce your photoperiod to 6-8 hours a day. I've grown the same plants without ferts, but seen better growth when dosing so something to also consider.
 

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The 2 to 3 watts per gallon rule was back before LEDs. Its pretty meaningless now. What we mostly concern ourselves with is PAR/PPFD at substrate. PPFD is the measurement of how much light in the spectrum plants use reach a certain area. People on the internets frequently just call this PAR. Anyway for a low tech tank you want somewhere around 15 to 30 par/ppfd at substrate.

You can figure out par by using a par meter. This is expensive, like 250 dollars will get you a cheapy that you plug into your computer. Or you can download the lux meter app for your smart phone. Measure the lux at a similar distance from the light as your substrate is, and then take that number and divide by 80. This is a rough approximation but will give you an idea.

Your light is a light bar? 11-12 hours is a long time for a light like that on a low tech tank. I'd consider reducing the schedule to 8 hours a day. You can split that up to extend viewing times (4 hours in the morning, 4 hours in the evening). Get a timer/smart plug to help with this.

Your dwarf sag was grown emersed (the tops out of the water and the roots in the water). This is common with greenhouses because plants grow a lot faster. All the current leaves with those big bulbous tips will die and new growth will take over that looks like the runners you are seeing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My two cents....the 2-3 W/Gal will really depend on your plants needs. If memory serves me right (correct me if Im wrong) 2-3 W/Gal is usually thrown out there for medium/high light plants. I've grown plenty of crypts, anubias, buce, and other low light plants lower than that. My next thought regarding the yellowing is possible nutrient deficiency. Do you dose any fertilizer or use and root tabs? If they are planted in sand they may be needing some additional nutrients (I can't tell if you are using any aquasoil for substrate). Also 11-12 hours a day is a lot of light and based on your photos it looks like you have some algae creeping in. Long photoperiods for low light plants like yours can lead to algae break outs and can starve your plants looking for addition nutrients to deal with extend light times if you're not adding ferts. Higher intensity and longer the photoperiods the more demanding your plants are for nutrients, co2, etc. Before you consider buying a new light I would suggest trying to reduce your photoperiod to 6-8 hours a day. I've grown the same plants without ferts, but seen better growth when dosing so something to also consider.
I do not have root tabs but have been looking into getting some as a previous post mentioned them(I also just have a sand and gravel mix as a substrate). I does with flourish excel and trace elements made by seachem, but have learned that I probably should stop dosing and see how it affects my plants. I am thinking about not dosing with the flourish excel and trace elements and see how that works. I am going to severley reduce the light in my tank because this is something that seems to be a common theme in my posts. Thank you for the reply!

The 2 to 3 watts per gallon rule was back before LEDs. Its pretty meaningless now. What we mostly concern ourselves with is PAR/PPFD at substrate. PPFD is the measurement of how much light in the spectrum plants use reach a certain area. People on the internets frequently just call this PAR. Anyway for a low tech tank you want somewhere around 15 to 30 par/ppfd at substrate.

You can figure out par by using a par meter. This is expensive, like 250 dollars will get you a cheapy that you plug into your computer. Or you can download the lux meter app for your smart phone. Measure the lux at a similar distance from the light as your substrate is, and then take that number and divide by 80. This is a rough approximation but will give you an idea.

Your light is a light bar? 11-12 hours is a long time for a light like that on a low tech tank. I'd consider reducing the schedule to 8 hours a day. You can split that up to extend viewing times (4 hours in the morning, 4 hours in the evening). Get a timer/smart plug to help with this.

Your dwarf sag was grown emersed (the tops out of the water and the roots in the water). This is common with greenhouses because plants grow a lot faster. All the current leaves with those big bulbous tips will die and new growth will take over that looks like the runners you are seeing.
Thank you for the reply! That gives me a little piece of mind in the plants yellowing and dying. The light is a light bar and I am going to reduce the light in the tank, and see how it goes.
 
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