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Old 11-28-2009, 12:08 AM   #1
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dumb lighting question

so some of you will laugh at this question, i have myself a few times. I have two 10g tanks side by side, one just has a whole lot of HM, the other has enough plants to plant a 55g (anachris, wisteria, java fern, and a few others that ive forgot the names of)... anyways, theyre all low-medium light plants. Ive had a single 15w light over the one with just HM in it for quite a while with good results, but i noticed my anachris had some brown soft spots appearing on the top like it was dying. In a dumb thought, i stole a light off my 150g and put it across both of them. Basically, im asking if i have a 32w bulb that is half over one tank, half over the other, as well as a 15w over each one, how many watts does each tank have and what lighting range does that put me in (low, low-medium, medium). Hope that made sense
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Old 11-28-2009, 02:20 PM   #2
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That would be ~31 watts over each tank. That puts you in the med to high range. Of course that is going off of wattage per g. Since they are 10 g tanks, I would say that puts you in the high range.

FWIW, I'm thinking that the brown spots aren't because of insufficient lighting, but because of a nutrient deficiency. So, if upping the light wattage doesn't work, I'd look into dosing ferts.
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Old 11-28-2009, 06:44 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Blueiz View Post
That would be ~31 watts over each tank. That puts you in the med to high range. Of course that is going off of wattage per g. Since they are 10 g tanks, I would say that puts you in the high range.

FWIW, I'm thinking that the brown spots aren't because of insufficient lighting, but because of a nutrient deficiency. So, if upping the light wattage doesn't work, I'd look into dosing ferts.
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i cant imagine more lights will help at all. by adding more lights you are going to make the plants take up more nutrients. and it sounds like you're already running out of something.
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Old 11-28-2009, 07:54 PM   #4
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yeah im not sure what im running out of... i did want to increase the lighting for some of the plants i have that need higher lighting than my 15w light was putting out... it now has two 32w bulbs over it, nothing else. I looked at a chart i think it was you timwag that posted it... showing the leaves at different stages of nutrient defficiency... i need to take a look and see whats going on... some of my anubias is getting light brown with darker brown splotches on it. I dose the tetra flor-pride 0-0-3... im guessing there is something else needed. Btw, one tank only has snails, the other has a zebra danio fry and a rubber lipped pleco, so im assuming theyre not getting enough nitrate... my nitrate always reads 0 in that tank
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Old 11-28-2009, 08:02 PM   #5
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If the nitrate reading is always zero, it seems reasonable that you need more ferts. Addign additional light to a tank that already has a nutrient imbalance will create even more of an imbalance if the lighting isnt the problem because lighting is a nutrient as well. You will probably want to go ahead and get your trates up
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Old 11-28-2009, 08:03 PM   #6
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how would i go about getting them up? does the 0-0-3 fertilizer have nitrates in it? If so i could always do like a 10x dose or something
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Old 11-28-2009, 10:57 PM   #7
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the numbers 0-0-3 refer to the three macro nutrients N-P-K. so you arent dosing nitrate or phosphate, but the product is 3% potassium.
you can buy liquid ferts like seachem products, or pfertz. they are quick and easy. but if you start getting serious and are adding co2 and increasing lighting you can buy dry ferts from aquariumfertilizer.com. you can dose your with dry ferts or you can mix it up and keep it in bottles.

when you buy liquid fertilizers you are just paying for water, bottles, name brand, shipping, and all that other good stuff that comes with business. its the same thing as buying the dry stuff and mixing it yourself
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Old 11-28-2009, 10:59 PM   #8
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ok, so for now, until i figure this all out, what would you recommend liquid wise? i can run down to my lfs tomorrow and pick something up. they have flourish and flourish excell, would either of those help? btw, sorry for the ignorance, im still a noob at plants lol
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Old 11-28-2009, 11:09 PM   #9
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no problem. we all start somewhere.

seachem makes the line flourish. there are different types of flourish. there is flourish (comprehensive) which is probably what they have at your lfs. it contains a little bit of everything, macro and micro nutrients, and is a good base fert for you. but it has low levels of N-P-K so it is recommended that you use it with other flourish products like flourish nitrogen (Seachem. Flourish Nitrogen), phosphate, and potassium.

so to keep it short and simple flourish comprehensive will help but you'll still need a bit more.
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Old 11-28-2009, 11:11 PM   #10
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I use sea chem products because I can get them locally, the pfertz are actually better from what I have read. Sea chem has trace, comprehensive and iron. You can use excel but use it with caution, it does help with algae but can also melt some plants
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Old 11-28-2009, 11:18 PM   #11
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ok, well i have no algae at all, im assuming because the plants are using up all the nutrients... i leave my lights on for about 12 hours a day. im going to look and see if they have any of the flourish nitrogen, which im assuming is what im needing. if i can get around to it, ill take a few pics and see what you think about them. thanks alot for the help so far
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Old 11-28-2009, 11:36 PM   #12
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i think that you dont have algae because you've had a low level of lighting. by increasing the lighting you are increasing your odds of an outbreak.
contrary to you would normally think. algae issues are commonly caused by a lack of nutrients. read through the list of causes and cures of algaes in this guide. James' Planted Tank - Algae Guide

when plants dont have ideal living situations they die. but algae thrives in those conditions.
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Old 12-03-2009, 11:34 PM   #13
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Question

so what do you think? i got some nitrogen fertilizer, added today... getting ready to test my nitrates, but i added the recommended dosage and it said to aim for 10-20ppm... The biggest concern is my anubias.. i figured since it was a low light plant, it would be the easist of all to keep goin, but the new leaves its popping out are yellow, not the green like the new ones were before... btw, i completely forgot the names of my plants, except the wisteria, anubias, and HM... i also plan on getting some better pictures, hopefully this weekend, with my parents camera, and crossing my fingers that santa might bring me a dslr
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Old 12-03-2009, 11:37 PM   #14
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and here are a few more...
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Old 12-03-2009, 11:52 PM   #15
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anubias plants leaves are often yellow when they are new. probably because it hasnt produced alot of chloroplasts yet. also you shouldnt look for nutrient deficiency in slow growing plants like anubias. they will pop out quicker in the fast growing plants. so if you dont see any problem with them but you do with your anubias there is prob something else going on other than nutrients.

dont forget the other nutrients. remember you need to have N-P-K and trace. a pretty good ratio to keep in mind is 10-1-20.

also. instead of dosing your tank the full 10-20ppm (whichever you think you need) divide it by three and dose it every other day.
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