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Old 08-19-2007, 12:27 PM   #1
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Done with medium light already.

I purchased a coralife lunar light for my 75 gallon tank about a month ago and left the 03 bulbs in there to try out the tank at about 2 WPG.

My glosso is growing upwards now, many of my stem plants have lost all their lower leaves, my Hydrocotyle verticillata is just dying, and the Tonina sp. 'Belem' is all but gone.

It's time to go back up to the 3 -4 WPG side of things again. Some of the plants are doing better under the 2 WPG, but the species I really like are not.

So to everyone saying go with 2 WPG, make sure you research the species you are going to grow and just having CO2 is not enough for some of them.
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Old 08-19-2007, 01:00 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear that, thanks for the heads up though. I run 2wpg, ei dose, diy co2 on my 29g tank and my plants seem to do pretty well i'd say. I don't have plants in there like glosso and the red plants in your pic.
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Old 08-19-2007, 01:11 PM   #3
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Thanks for the update, Randy. I was wondering how the plants were doing since they have been under the lower light for a longer time now. I know there have been posts about going to lower light for ease of maintenance, and I don't doubt that , but I think you nailed it right here:

Quote:
Some of the plants are doing better under the 2 WPG, but the species I really like are not.
I have been thinking about a 55 gallon tank and if I want to go with the "standard" 130 watts for a planted 55, or go lower. I really want to keep Pogostemon stellatus again and if it won't do well under a lower wattage, then I'd go for the higher light too.

Can you make a list of which species did well in the 2 WPG range and which ones did not?

I have some Hydrocotyle verticillata in a 5.5 gallon, 18-watt tank. It's doing very well. I didn't think the lighting in that tank was much above the low side of medium. (lol, real scientific term!)

I just threw out a bunch of stem cuttings yesterday but if you need anything, let me know. I can cut a piece of Hydrocotyle verticillata as a starter and let it grow out for you if you need it.
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Old 08-19-2007, 10:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by An t-iasg
Thanks for the update, Randy. I was wondering how the plants were doing since they have been under the lower light for a longer time now. I know there have been posts about going to lower light for ease of maintenance, and I don't doubt that , but I think you nailed it right here:

Quote:
Some of the plants are doing better under the 2 WPG, but the species I really like are not.
I have been thinking about a 55 gallon tank and if I want to go with the "standard" 130 watts for a planted 55, or go lower. I really want to keep Pogostemon stellatus again and if it won't do well under a lower wattage, then I'd go for the higher light too.

Can you make a list of which species did well in the 2 WPG range and which ones did not?

I have some Hydrocotyle verticillata in a 5.5 gallon, 18-watt tank. It's doing very well. I didn't think the lighting in that tank was much above the low side of medium. (lol, real scientific term!)

I just threw out a bunch of stem cuttings yesterday but if you need anything, let me know. I can cut a piece of Hydrocotyle verticillata as a starter and let it grow out for you if you need it.
Deb,

I will make up the list tomorrow as I have to go to bed now.

I have plenty of H. verticillata left in the tank, it's just some of them are not getting enough light and dying off. Never had that problem before.

I've also had my share of fert problems. Everytime I dose K2SO4 (once a week now), I get a thick shean on the surface of the water. My CO2 went from 3 BPS to 1.5 BPS to maintain 30 PPM. I still get some pearling as well.

It has been easier to maintain. ie no dosing pretty much. It's just not 'full' any more, if you know what I mean. I have to seperate every stem plant to allow some light to get to the lower parts and the leaves still end up falling off. With 4 WPG it was just throw the plants in all together and they all did well.
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Old 08-20-2007, 12:58 AM   #5
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Hey there rkilling1, you have always had one of the most beautiful tanks I've ever seen, hit it with more light if you need to. I just want to see some pics of your tank again!
I hear you about the lower light, I am on the fence on that issue. I've been running lower light in a couple of tanks for a while now, they are doing well. It does work. As you say, you have to sort of settle on plants that will thrive in lower light. If you can be happy with those plant choices, lower light is great. I agree that you need to get into the 3 to 4 wpg range to grow some of the reds and tougher species. The only foreground plant I've had any luck with in lower light has been clover. Everything else has just fizzed out. It's all trial and error. Try everything, do what works best for you.
Post some pics of your tank will ya!
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Old 08-20-2007, 07:24 AM   #6
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Hmm, this is interesting. I've been back to 1/2 light (from 65w CF on 20gallon high) for about 2-3 months now and have seen a similar trend, especially with my Rotala mac. and even my stargrass. The lower leaves tend to fall off early and I had just assumed it was a fert deficiency. Now I'm wondering if it could be the light level either due directly to the amount of light, or due to the plant placement....
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Old 08-20-2007, 10:12 AM   #7
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I just switched my tank to lower light and pre-emptively switched out a lot of my plants to replace them with lower-light plants. So the stargrass, macrandra, L aromatica, Hyrgo salicifolia all went to be replaced by various crypts, compacta swords etc. The only stem plants I kept were the Rotala rotundifolia, the Hemianthus micranthemoides carpet (which so far seems to be staying put) and some Hydrocotyl (not sure what sp but not the foreground one). I do miss some of the higher light plants, but I knew I didn't have the time to keep the tank up at the moment (trying to finish up my thesis), so I gave them all away to people who would enjoy them!
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Old 08-20-2007, 10:28 AM   #8
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Randy and Brooke, did you notice any change in the fishes' behavior with the lower light?
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Old 08-20-2007, 11:07 AM   #9
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An t-iasg,

You didn't ask me but I noticed no difference with the light change in my tank. Mine was from a 6700k to a 50/50 so the actual brightness level didn't change much to my eyes, so that may be a factor (as opposed to say removing a bulb from a multi-bulb setup).
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Old 08-20-2007, 12:54 PM   #10
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Thanks Randy. Suspicions confirmed.

The farther I get into this hobby, the more I am drawn to rare and difficult plants (and fish). High light works for everything and I don't see a good reason to change that. IME, it being difficult to "balancing a high light tank" is a myth.

Current WPG:

72-gallon 4.5wpg (324w of T5HO)
17-gallon 5.6wpg (96w of T5HO)
3-gallon 8.7wpg (26w of CF)

All tanks doing wonderful - no limits and maintenance is down to 30-45 minutes once a week on Saturday.

I would probably install an auto dosing and auto water change system before I would lower my lighting - if I was worried about maintenance (at least on my larger tank). Though I am coming to learn that a lot of the joy of the hobby for me is adding/changing/messing with things...
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Old 08-20-2007, 03:12 PM   #11
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I also changed from 6700/10000K to 50/50, so no change in intensity. Right after the change the rainbows did seem to be more lively but it could have been confounded by the huge water change and filter rinse that I did in the process of rescaping the tank. They really like the flow when the filter is freshly cleaned.

I do miss some of my plants, the macranra was doing beautifully and I just love L aromatica, but between this tank and the reef tank I just didn't have time. The nice thing about just switching the bulbs rather than the light fixture is I can easily go back to full blast light if I want (ie when I finish my thesis!) I am enjoying the look of my Crypt forest and have added some new plants (Lobelia cardinalis and broad leaf hygro) which I am looking forward to seeing how they do. Both are growing at the moment and most of the new crypts have finished their post-transplant melting phase and should start to grow soon.
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Old 08-20-2007, 03:46 PM   #12
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Thanks for your observations, everyone -- I certainly didn't mean to exclude others' answers to my light and fish activity question. I just knew for certain that rkilling and newfound had lowered their lighting. I am considering a 55 gallon tank and I want to make sure of the light level I want before I buy the fixture, so everyone's observations help!
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Old 08-20-2007, 05:28 PM   #13
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Here is the list of plants I currently have in this tank and how that are doing with 2 WPG:

Fine:

Anubias barteri v. 'nana'
Anubias barteri v. nana 'petite'
Bacopa sp. 'Colorata'
Cabomba palaeformis
Echinodorus bleheri 'compacta'
Echinodorus tenellus v. 'Tenellus'
Hemianthus callitrichoides
Microsorum pteropus 'Windeløv'
Pogostemon stellatus 'Broad Leaf'
Polygonum sp. ‘Kawagoeanum’
Ranalisma rostrata
Rotala macrandra 'Narrow Leaf'


Not so good/bad:

Glossostigma elatinoides
Hydrocotyle verticillata
Limnophila aromatica
Ludwigia inclinata var. verticillata 'Cuba'
Micranthemum umbrosum
Tonina sp. 'Belem'

Better:

Blyxa japonica
Ludwigia brevipes
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Old 08-20-2007, 05:35 PM   #14
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I have a 55g with 130w of light (2x65w CF fixture) and I've found its hard to grow alot of plants. Even with pressurized CO2. It may be my inconsistent fertilizing (nitrates shouldn't be a problem though) or possibly that I had glass tops over it for awhile blocking some light...I'm not really sure. The plant that does the best in the tank is Hygro polysperma (what tank doesn't it grow in). I've had good luck with other low light plants of course, but anything else, like Ludwigia repens and Bacopa caroliniana just loses their bottom leaves (even with they receive direct lighting with no shading). I'm pretty much fed up with this lighting and whenever I can afford it, I'm either getting another dual 65w fixture or a 260w fixture to replace the one I have.

I personally would go ahead and get the 260w fixture and just have 130w for most of the day, then a burst of 260w during midday sometime.

It may be possible, but with my tank, I wouldn't count on Pogostemon stellatus growing....but it could be different in your hands.

Thats just my experience and suggestions from my experiences with my 55g (which i am fed up with....).
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Old 08-25-2007, 01:02 PM   #15
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Received my 10KK :P bulbs from the good doctors today and I just installed them. So I am officially back to high light. Yeah.

So if anyone needs 03 bulbs, lol:

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewto...112&highlight=
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Old 08-25-2007, 02:45 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dapellegrini
The farther I get into this hobby, the more I am drawn to rare and difficult plants (and fish). High light works for everything and I don't see a good reason to change that. IME, it being difficult to "balancing a high light tank" is a myth.
I couldn't agree more. While it is very possible to grow most plants under less than "high-light" conditions, many plants only do their best when given large amounts of light, and some simply will not grow without it. High-light also allows you to create very thick bunches with short internodal growth, something that cannot be done in most cases with lower light levels.

And balancing a high-light tank is not much trickier than the lower light varieties - you just need to adjust the nutrient requirements for the increased growth rates and provide them regularly. Trimming, on the other hand, will increase, but I kind of like doing it

Current WPG:

125G - 5.2wpg (500w MH + 156w T5H0 = 656w)
30G - 6.4wpg (192w CF)
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Old 09-04-2007, 03:35 PM   #17
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I was a fan of the "low light/low maintenence" until I got to see how Trav does his tank in person.

Wow, so much easier, so much lower maintenence, so much more growth.

Low light = TOUGH in my opinion and experience. I had nothing but problems.

I am a high light convert.
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Old 09-04-2007, 04:38 PM   #18
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I think low light really needs to be treated like high light in that the best way to keep algae under control is with CO2, no matter what kind of light is on the tank. I still run CO2 on both my tanks, with 1.5 and 2 wpg and the algae comes right back when the CO2 mix runs out. Not as fast as it would when I had high light, but it does.

I do miss the rampant growth and constantly changing tank scape....but on the flip side I just don't have the time to trim the tank every 2 weeks at the moment. I haven't touched it in well over a month now except for adding some new plants (and routine maintenance, of course) and I have yet to trim or touch the 10g since it was set up in March!
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Old 09-05-2007, 07:43 PM   #19
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Why would you use only the Atinic blubs?
I'd predict poor growth as well.

The other issues are spread and angle of the light.

If I use 150w MH's on a 60 gallon cube tank and switch it to 70 w, the pattern would be close, the point source/spread/angle is similar.
If I used 6x 24w T5 lights, and used only 2-3, say the ones in the rear, the angle and the spread are not the same.

If you use say 4x 55w PC's on a 75 gallon tank and shut off one bank, you likely have poor light spread over 1/2 the tank at least as well as another angle, if you use 2 x 54w T5's at about 12" apart, you should be fine. You can lso raise the lights up higher, some even move their lights when they get home.

This is a simple example, but it does show how the spread and angle play a role.

Some might have issues, but you should not give up so easily. You know it can be done.



108 watts on a 70 gallon tank.
Hardly near 3w/gal.

Neil Frank consistently raised R macrandra as did Steve Dixon for many years at 2w/gal in a 24" deep tank. Steve's tank graced the 1st issue of the Planted Tank Magazine.

You'll learn some day if you keep trying.
Folk's in the past had troubles going from low light to med and high light as such light fixtures became available, I guess some have the reverse problem.

Regards,
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Old 09-05-2007, 08:13 PM   #20
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Tom,

The fixture comes standard with 2 x 65 watt 10000K bulbs along with 2 x 65 watt 03's. Normally people replace the 03's and that's why I said I left them in.

The spread and angle I'm sure caused some of my problems. The 03's were in the rear bank and that helps to explain why I lost most of the lower leaves of the plants in that area. (good point)

I don't and haven't doubted that medium light is doable. I was just making my observation that growing the species I like, ie Tonina sp. 'Belem'. does not do well if at all in this lower light.

I would have to say that even though some species are quite capable of thriving in lower lights, there remains a minimum light threshold for many species I like to grow. (based on my observation)

I agree that a tank can look good with less light, but at the expense of losing some of the more difficult species.

This was a test to see if 'My' plants could grow and prosper with cutting the lighting in half. I know it takes time for the plants to adjust and this lighting ran for 40 days. Half of my plants didn't do well at all as stated earlier.

I have also seen you post that pic on this forum before, and I must say, even though it looks nice that's not my boat. Having only 3 or 4 different shades of GREEN doesn't look good to me.

If you look at a lot of the AGA entries, they are mostly running higher lighting.

PS I do have Rotala macrandra growing nicely in 2.5 WPG in another tank.
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