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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey y’all! So…. I’m in the middle of a paludarium build and trying to figure out if I have high, medium or low light. This will help me determine what plants I’ll be buying.

The enclosure is about 18” tall, but I’ll only be having about 6” of water in it.

The light is a finnex 24-7 ALC 48”.

What do y’all think? High, low or medium light??

thanks!!
 

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Well I run a light that is comparable to the Finnex ALC, the Fluval 3.0 and the Fluval Aquasky. I researched these in the past and it really comes down to the small differences that each person cares about. I say that because I am going to talk about my lights which you can pretty much transfer over to your light.

My Fluval 3.0 is on a 75 gallon full to the brim and it lights everything fine. The corners and the two sides I can obviously tell there is definitely less light there from the plant growth so plan accordingly. However if you are only going to have 6" of water, you can do whatever you like. I don't even have my light at 100%, close, but not there and again, have 19" or so of water to the substrate with a single 48" light, it gets dwarf sag to carpet. Yes I would like to have two but one works just fine.

Anyway, I bought Fluval cause it seemed just slightly more powerful and it was on sale at the time. Most Finnex have similar specs from what I recall, at least in the new ones, ALC, CRV and so on. I found this in my research, helped me. From other research I feel the two brands a closer than this PAR chart would lead you to believe. But then again, I have never owned a Finnex

Product Azure Font Rectangle Screenshot


So to answer your question about high, medium, or low. I would say you're gonna be in the high bracket from the info you have given us. At least in the center of the lighted areas. The sides you'll probably be medium.

If you had the tank mentioned full of water I'd say you're in the medium light in the middle range of the tank and anything that is planted up a few inches like attached to a branch or large rock. Then low light at the substrate and corners.

Lastly, I believe these measurements were taken at about 3" above the water. Whereas you're going to be more like 12" above the water, so there will be more light dissipation. So you're 6" PAR would be lower than the 202 listed in this chart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Amazing response! Thank you for sharing your info and experience.

I’m planning on planting some dwarf hair grass, chain swords, compact swords, anubias and maybe some frog bit or water lettuce. There’s also going to be a bunch of moss and tropical plants on the terrestrial portion.

I figured that I probably had high light… I was hoping to keep it low tech to hopefully avoid algae issues that can be caused by too much light. With that being said, I also have Co2 injection that I’ll be installing.

Substrate: eco complete
 
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No problem, that's what this forum is here for!

That dwarf hairgrass I think will be your toughest to get going, both just to take and then for it to start carpeting. Put some right in the brightest area just to get it started is my recommendation. Once it's started a good spread you can pull bits out and move them since it should be used the water parameters. But make sure it's going good and strong, I would wait at least a couple months after it starts to carpet well. Not just after it's first little new growths as that could be from stored nutrients. also, the floaters are great. They are so easy that I would recommend waiting to get them a couple months after the rest so everything has as much light as it can get. If you had a single plant of water lettuce, it will basically double every week(this is how mine is with injected CO2). So in two months it's everywhere. lol. You won't have trouble with the floaters once everything is dialed in. and the anubias is probably going to be the slowest grower so lower light areas might be good so the algae build up is less on those leaves that seem like they're never ever freakin' gonna move.

what is going to go in the water to combat the algae? Like what Livestock? some snails (you may get some free ones that will do perfectly with the plants you get) or shrimp would be good. If you're going sand maybe a handful of corydoras? Or once this thing has taken off and plants are all doing really well you can do some Otocinlus. Not sure of the space you'll have actually covered in water. But I personally like to get snails for sure and some shrimp if possible to take on the algae for me(amanos are the easiest if you can get them). Yes I have to do some cleaning still too but that team will take care of a solid chunk for you.

Oh yeah, the CO2, you can keep it more or less low tech, I personally do like a medium tech. I have CO2 but don't do the whole 1.0 pH drop, just there to keep the plants up well. And I dose with Iron, potassium, and with a trace solution from time to time. No schedules just when I feel like it basically. And I don't do potassium and iron at the same time, usually have at least 2 day separation. I don't recall why anymore, just that I don't wanna do them together.

When you add CO2 and light, that's good for the plants, but they take nutrients in tandem so they will need other nutrient boost to keep up with the light and the CO2. This is one way you end up with algae too. Having excess of a type of nutrient. Also, if you have a lot of plants and just a few shrimp or something you may want to look into dosing Nitrates as well for the plants.

Good Luck! what you're doing is something I have toyed with trying to do. Maybe I will soon.
 

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The Finnex ALC is more powerful than the crv by good margin, and a small amount more par than the fluval 3.0 in the 48 inch model. I have 2 ALC lights on my 75 for front to back coverage, but with you only having 6 inches of water, will have good spread of light that far down. There is another thread here with finnex par numbers, comparing the ALC, HRC and CRV lights. At 18 inches the finnex is 88 par. Id say youd be in the medium/high range for par.
 

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