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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had my 20 long running for a few months and have redone the setup once. I have 3 spiral CFLs (two 23w 6500k and one 23w 5000k) for 8 hours a day and an extra 23w 5000k cfl for a few hours in the evening. The extra 5000k CFL is in a clamp on fixture so that I can position it where I feel the tank best needs it. I dose EI daily with extra iron (DPTA 11%). My nitrates are high so I'm thinking about limiting the KNO3, supplementing the K2SO4, and I've heard phosphates help so I'll try increasing those to target 2 ppm.

I recently got Rotala macranda, Limnophila aromatica, Rotala colorata, Pogostemon stellatus and a few other colorful plants...but I fear they will head the way of my ludwigia repens and turn mostly green. As you can see most plants are not yet halfway up to the top where they may start turning naturally.

Any suggestions? The spiral cfl setup is what I have to work with right now..

 

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Hello this is strange because I once grew very red ludwigia repens with only 2 -23W CFLs in a 20H tank, with diy CO2. CFLs were on 10 hours a day.

I was dosing nitrates and phosphates only.

Michel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hmmm that is interesting. Well you had longer light periods than I did. How close were the lights, or how close were the plants to the top of the water?

The undersides of the leaves on the ludwigia repens are starting to turn pink/red while the top surface is turning a lighter shade of green (doesn't appear to be a deficiency) as the leaves look real nice.

I'll see what I can do with my fertilizer schedule. Thank you for the comment, if you had any photos I'd like to see them or hear any extra information that you have. What spectrum were the bulbs?

- Garrett
 

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It is not always light related............
Sometimes high Nitrates ect. affect color..
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=26710
It was light related in my tank. I added another CFL w/ Full Spectrum 23W bulb. It was one of those seasonal depression bulb that closely mimic the sun. I had to go into one of those weird new age health stores to get it.

Same tank, same dosing, same light, extra light bulb on the orange selection of the plants. But the result could be due to more light too, who knows. I end up going full spectrum LED and never finish the experiment.



Another angle, the left side had a desktop lamp on boxes at the same height.



You might not need to go full spectrum, you might get some result with adding more light.

Note - This is just what I experienced in my tank, by no means do I consider any of my experiments up to par academically.
 

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some of those bulbs loose their intensity quickly. cheap store/generic brands seem to faster than GE (my belief). either way I think their intensity really diminishes after 6 months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It was light related in my tank. I added another CFL w/ Full Spectrum 23W bulb. It was one of those seasonal depression bulb that closely mimic the sun. I had to go into one of those weird new age health stores to get it.
Well, we have plenty of those stores + Lowe's, Walmart, etc. for me to shop around. The full spectrum you mention, is that 6500k or what is called "daylight"? I know where I can get the GE brand 23watt 6500k...perhaps the bulbs that I have could use a switch out...

Meanwhile, I'm adjusting my fertilizer regimen. I checked the nitrates and they are at least 40 PPM and probably higher than 80 (hard to tell with the API test kit once it hits red). So I'm backing off the KNO3 a tad, and increasing the KH2PO4, CSM+B, and DPTA Fe just a bit. CO2 is completely dissolved in my cerges reactor and plants start bleeding bubbles like crazy around mid-day on my light cycle, so no problem there. I'll keep updating once I get significant new growth that I can document.

Also, I'll try to get my brother's DLSR to take some better photos.

- Garrett
 

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How close were the lights, or how close were the plants to the top of the water?

What spectrum were the bulbs?

- Garrett
The bulbs were 2" from the surface of the water, the tank had a depth of 14", with 2" of flourite red on the bottom.

The bulbs were Sylvania 23W 6500K that I bought at the grocery store.

Maybe it was because of the diy CO2 I got red colors, I don't know.

Michel.
 

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I do nothing special to any of the 3 tanks that have reddish colored plants and they nearly always stay that way. Some are bright red, and Ludwigia Repens is not one of them. Like was said in the thread that was linked, pick a different plant. I have no special fert regime and my NO3 levels get to the 60ppm range by the end of the week.
 

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found this interesting....... enjoy.. ;)

The pursuit of red plants is like drug addiction. Without getting into a political or sociological discussion, we can all agree it is generally bad. Pursuing red plants, like messing too much with your water chemistry and constantly testing your water is riding the dragon, pure and simple.
Now, I can tell you exactly how to get bright red plants and it is simple. Bright light, high CO2, high GH, lean nitrogen (nitrates as low as 5 ppm's) and lean phosphorous (phosphates less than 1 ppm's). There you have it. In two weeks you will have unbelievably red plants. Failing that, try Adobe Photoshop. That's actually how most people do it. Really. I'm sorry to have to be the one to tell you all this.
Please, be happy with beautiful, healthy, normal greens or if you want reds, get consistently red plants like Alternanthera reineckii or Ludwgias or certain Rotalas. Things that stay red regardless of water depth and light exposure. Try and enjoy the hobby and the color palette nature has provided us in what is ironically a very unnatural pursuit.
http://www.aquaticplantenthusiasts....-want-red-plants-then-you-must-masochist.html

The argument for less NO3 is well founded for more stressed plants = more red. But this is walking the tight rope so to speak. Too much limitation of N= stunting and BGA. Too little limitation= not the desired effect.
There are many other factors relating to Red color than iron and N however.

Color spectrum and our own perception of red reflected light. A red bulb will reflect much more red color than say a blue or white bulb, regardless if the color spectra is optimal for photosynthesis.
I use them and folks think my plants are extra red, but it's the lighting.

I tend to never fuss with trying to achieve red color, rather, I tend to focus on growing plants well.
http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/10332-Iron-amp-Red-Plants
 

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So I checked into these "full spectrum" spiral cfls....so they are 5500k. I might give them a shot after I try two weeks of fertilizer adjustments and the recently added fourth light.
I check my CFL out and it's a "Verilux light therapy" bulb.
 

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CFL cant be full spectrum by definition. the reason it is more efficient than incandescent is that it is not full spectrum but has like two or three narrow peaks in spectrum.

OP, you can replace your ludwigia repens with ludwidia rubin. basicly the same looking plant but more red
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
found this interesting....... enjoy.. ;)
Thank you for the links. Good reading. I really thought I had seen a few times that HIGHER phosphates were needed, the first link suggests lower. I'll look into this.
I noticed that a helluva lota light is not being directed into the tank but out of it. You need better reflectors.
YES! I was thinking that as well. The reflectors are cheap ones and not long enough to cover the bulbs. Because I want to stick with spiral CFLs, I either need to A) get new reflectors that are deep enough (for an example, zoo med deep dome) or B) rig up a new fixture similar to this one here: http://hamsaquariumdesign.wordpress.com/page/3/#jp-carousel-98

and here:

http://www.aquascapingworld.com/threads/diy-2ft-light-hood-ada-inspired.3763/

I think they look pretty slick!
CFL cant be full spectrum by definition. the reason it is more efficient than incandescent is that it is not full spectrum but has like two or three narrow peaks in spectrum.

OP, you can replace your ludwigia repens with ludwidia rubin. basicly the same looking plant but more red
I actually have ludwigia rubin that I'm converting from emersed. It's coming along but once it does I would probably swap out the two. The undersides of my L. repens are starting to change colors. I'll give it a few more days and I'll post a photo.


What do you all think about a 4 bulb fixture like the links posted? or 2xtwo bulb fixtures and an ADA style light arm? Sounds like a possible weekend project. :icon_wink
 

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I'd go with deeper dome style reflectors. CFLs will get better PAR with those than something like the ones you linked (although they do look pretty slick!)

You'd probably be just as well off to keep your same reflectors, and go down to 13W bulbs. They are smaller and would fit all the way up inside the current domes. You're losing a good bit of light from having the 23s anyway, due to the fact they stick out the bottom.

There's some great info on using CFLs in this thread - http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=85667

The good stuff begins about halfway down page 2
 

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But is more complicated that that. You can have quite different rendition from one 5000K bulb to another 5000K made from another manufacturer.

Michel.
You're absolutely right. My blanket statement wasnt worth much in retrospect lol. Fwiw the 6500K I didnt like, because it was so green, was a Sylvania Daylight Instant On. The 5000K that looked really good to me is a generic Ulitech (or something like that) fom Lowes.
 

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So my ludwigia repens turned green while other stems in the tank turned red. Now the green ones are becoming more red. I think some plants were more stressed in the mail. I use 13 w spiral cfls from home depot. Philips 6500k.. i use foil to reflect better light lol. Diy reflector but it seems so much brighter since i did it.i use a brass two bulb music stand lamp and i also have a regular table lamp next to it too . Yes lol the inside of the lamp is lined with foil and it's bright as well. I mean bright. A desk lamp.. plants are going crazy. My bulbs cost 8 dollarsfor four.had my lights. 8 dollar diy tank lighting. Oh foil, 25 cents
 
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