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Original title: Hemianthus Callitrichoides and Blysa in 2.5g, lighting question

I am trying to grow these in a 2.5g. My lighting is currently provided by a desk lamp that contains a 5w flourescent bulb that according to package gives off 25w of light.

If you want to see the details, it's THIS ONE.

Is that enough for them or should I get something stronger?
 

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I'm growing HC and blyxa in a 2.5 with 8w of LED lighting. I'd definitely go with something higher powered, maybe two of those bulbs would work? But then you'd be adding another fixture..
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I could just get a 10-15w bulb if I need double power, right? why would I need a new fixture? :confused:
 

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You certainly could get a higher watt bulb, but some fixtures are only rated for a certain wattage so make sure before you change bulbs. I am currently growing Blyxa and HM in a 5.5 gallon with 27 watts of compact fluorescent and they are both thriving, if that helps you gauge how much light you may need... Good luck, I'm sure it will look great!
 

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I'm growing HC and blyxa in a 2.5 with 8w of LED lighting. I'd definitely go with something higher powered, maybe two of those bulbs would work? But then you'd be adding another fixture..
could you post more info on where to get them? experiences? thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just checked my lamp, I am allowed up to a 60w bulb, so 15 is more that doable, I will try to get a 13 though, that way my wattage will be similar to yours fishstoregirl :D
 

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also you dont want a 2700k bulb like the one you linked too, go with a 6500k they are readily available at the hardware stores
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes, thank you! :3 did get one of those, the blyxa is doing just fine with that light and excel, the HC, however, all died.

The person that sold it to me said I should at least install DIY Co2 system if I want the HC to take off. Anyone know if this will really fix the problem?
 

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Yes 6500 is fine.

Adding more CO2 will help any plantd tank. HC is especially picky and I would say it is almost a necessity.

You can also get a 27w 6500k CF desk lamp at Home Depot. Its around 20 dollars and I have only heard good things about that lamp. Remember that adding more light without increasing the available nutrients, ie ferts, for the plants will only give you an algae farm. Also without the right amount of CO2 or ecel you will also be limiting the plants and algae will be more than happy to make up te difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The tank has been running for a few months now and I still have not had any algae problems.

The lamp I have can actually handle up to a 60w bulb (was bought at Home Depot BTW).

I rather like the low light, anything else would be too much for my small room. I do have dry ferts, but I'm still trying to figure out exactly how much to dose in such a small tank before actually adding any. :icon_redf
 

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Could you provide a picture of the tank?

What is the gh, kh, ph and co2 of the tank. There is always Co2 in the water.

How about just trying a different plant. Four leaf clover would probably work. I have it growing in my low tech 29 gallon tank. I had 65 watt of PC bulb and 20 watt T8 bulb. Now just went down to 2 - 20 T8 bulbs. No Co2, dosed with flourish comprehensive daily and sodium bicarb when doing water changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·


gh: 30 dH - 530ppm+ (liquid rock)
kh: 1 dKH
pH: 6.2

Maybe my test kits are wrong (the gh and kh one), I'm using the JBL ones. Both results seem kind of extreme.

I have nothing right now that can help me measure Co2.

I have looked for the four leaf clover, but it seems no one has it here in Mexico. I was recommended Ranalisma Rostrata by the same person that sold me the HC, but I'm not sure how that one looks in a nano.

Other carpet plants I can get (through mail) are, Glossostigma elatinoides, Lilaleopsis, Eleocharis acicularis (dwarf hairgrass ?), Eleocharis vivipara and a variety of mosses.

The blyxa (top right) and the parrot feather (right besides it) are both doing fine though, they all arrived at the same time since I got the from the same seller.

The blyxa has new leaves which took a nice green, and the parrot feather which arrived brown, nearly all dried up (it was a gift so I did not complain), has done a complete recovery and is now looking bright green.
 

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Hi, AirSong... I'd like to make a few comments on your tank and your quest for lighting. I keep small tanks like yours myself with good success - and I thought I'd share a few ideas with you and also dispel some half-true statements that are constantly being echoed among hobbyists.

I'm glad to see that you are targeting the light. This is very important as it is the one thing that drives the biology in your tank. Most people fail from the start by not really assessing the light in their tank. They like to apply rules like watts per gallon etc, but that is not really assessing the light.

Your original HC died because it wasn't getting enough light to photosynthesize. Even if it had been given enough light, it would have died because of lack of nutrients (given the picture in your last post).

People will tell you that you need injected co2 to grow HC, glosso, riccia etc. but it simply is not true. I grow them, and I grow them well in non-co2 tanks, they create nice carpets. But there's a lot of accumulated knowledge that goes into it and you can't just follow everyone's "rule of thumb" to achieve success. You have to put more attention into knowing about your light, and you have to know exactly what kind and how much nutrients you are providing. Then you will have a much better chance of success.



YOUR LIGHT

You say that you "like the low light, and anything more would be too much for your room". You can't use this a basis for your tank if you want to grow HC or glosso etc. I would also tell you to forget about anything you've heard about the "watts per gallon" rule. It's antiquated and it holds no meaning.

WPG rules would only work if everyone used the exact same kind of light, with the exact same kind of efficiency, placed exactly the same height above the same size tank. You've already encountered that the light you wanted to use didn't fall neatly into everyone's rule of thumb. Also, just because one person used 27watts of a certain bulb on a similar sized tank doesn't mean it's going to work in your situation... for many reasons.

What exactly is low light? What exactly is high light? The amount of watts isn't going to give you the answer. Here's an example: I have 100 watts of metal halide lighting above my 5gal tank (really). That comes out to be 20 watts per gallon. Is that high light? Or could it be low light?

Many would say that's definitely high light. But, the answer is that it is low light, given the way it is set up. And you can only know that if you measure the light in a different way: a PAR meter. A PAR meter doesn't measure LUX or Lumens, those are human vision quantities and don't mean anything to plants. A PAR meter measures the amount of light that is available for photosynthesis. It has a funky unit of measurement because it counts the number of photons that strike a surface over time.

Now, I know you probably don't have a PAR meter. But, I do and I'd be interested in helping you determine exactly what bulb might give you enough light, given your fixture and distance from the water. I can tell you immediately that you're going to have to have more than 15watts of the bulb that has been mentioned earlier. If you're interested, send me a private message and we can work out the specifics, I have an idea.



YOUR SUBSTRATE

After you get your light worked out, I would concentrate on the substrate next. Based on the picture of your tank, I would not consider that to be a adequate substrate on a couple of levels: one, it is too coarse for small rooted plants like HC and glosso; and second, it effectively is inert and provides no nutrients to the plants.

There are so many philosophies on what kind of substrate to use, but whatever philosophy you choose, you'll have better success if you choose one that actively provide nutrients to the plants, like soil for example.

Personally, I use a layer of yard soil in the bottom of all my tanks topped with a fine grain gravel - and I think is an important aspect of a non-co2 tank. Diana Walstad's book covers the mechanics of aquarium soil quite extensively, if not intensely.

I would highly recommend using real soil. Some claim it is messy, causes cloudiness, and is generally a pain - but I do not find this to be so. The hardest part is finding the CORRECT source of soil. And for small tanks it's nice because you don't need that much... only a 1/2 inch layer on the bottom.

But, even if you decide that soil is not in your interest, then at least use a fine grain clay fractured substrate: the fine grain helps tiny roots, the clay fractured aspect allows better bacteria colonization.


YOUR NUTRIENTS

Especially if you don't use soil, you have to provide water column nutrients. Fish waste and uneaten food will provide some nutrients, but it is better to supply a consistent source; and more nutrients than you need (to a point). The idea is to not limit the nutrients to the plants. Once your plants become limited in any aspect, you are setting the stage for algae. So supply more than they need, and they will always be growing. Please don't fall into the trap of thinking that excess nitrates and phosphates causes algae. Read about Estimative Index to learn more.

Even in my non-co2 soil tanks, I dose 10ppm nitrates and 2ppm phosphates and 0.2ppm iron each week.

Whatever the method, you will have to actively sit and look at your setup and ask yourself: How are my plants getting nutrients?

In my opinion, light and nutrient deprivation is the BIGGEST reason people fail at growing HC, glosso, and riccia in non-co2 tanks. As far as nutrients go, this is why soil is good because it supplies a steady slow flow of nutrients to the plants.

In a very small tank, it is better to use your dry ferts to create dilute nutrient solutions that you store in bottles. Then you can dose small amounts of the solution into the tank. To create the solutions, all it takes is an accurate gram scale, storage bottles, a pipette for dosing, and a little bit of math.

Don't be afraid, unleash that inner chemist... at least a little.

Here are some pictures of my tanks... Can you tell me which one is non-co2?










Cheers!
 

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Absolutely beautiful tanks i4x4nMore. I would be interested in how exactly you determine approriate light levels if not watts per gallon. I know you mentioned using a par meter. Is that what you do? I would be more interested in learning about your methods. You stated that nutrient deprivation is the biggest reason that people fail at growing HC, glosso, and riccia in non-c02 tanks. However, IME I have seen riccia grow like a weed(even when tied to rock) in my high tech and low tech non-c02 tanks, but in the same tanks Hairgrass has died off and HC has failed to grow at all(even with ADA Aquasoil II and water column dosing). What is your explanation for this? Light intensity over c02? I have reservations about shining too intense light on a tank. Even experimenting with a 10 gallon where c02 tested ideal, water parameters were ideal, fert dosing was ideal, and even plant growth was explosive with only 30 watts fluorescent lighting(6500K daylight) that tank was literally raped by just about every algae imaginable. BGA, followed by black brush, followed by clado, and even green dust algae. The single biggest change that resulted in the algae disappearing was a reduction in light intensity from 30 watts total to 20 watts(6500K daylight)
 

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very interesting, I believe light is a big factor in HC growth. Recently i upgraded my lighting system from 108w to 216w at the same amount of height above my tank and boom, GW! However, the HC was growing like mad, spreading faster than ever. Too bad i couldnt see the plants with my gw and uv sterilizer did not help. So i raised my lighting and so far the gw is slowly going away but my HC isn't growing as well anymore.

Although i fail to mention one thing is that during all this my CO2 diffuser broke so my CO2 distribution is varying from a ceramic diffusing to directly injecting co2 into my canister. I believe once i get my new ceramic diffuser in the mail HC should grow better but not as fast or lush as it was when the lighting was lowered.
 

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This is an interesting thread. I was under the suspicion that my lack of CO2 use in my 15 gallon long was causing my HC to disappear, but based on this, it may be my lighting. I am using a Coralife NO T5 (28 watts), Eco-complete, and Excel along with EI dosing. From a significant swathe of HC, I'm now down to 2 patches, but they are very low growing and appear to be healthy. Maybe it's time I though about more light.
 
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