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Old 05-11-2006, 09:32 PM   #1
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Ok plant people..mission accomplished!!(updated 9/13/6)

(now would be a good time to start playing that mission impossible song in your head)

As you may have seen on the fresh water main board I have a new TALL tank.Not what I would have bought if I had payed for it,but I'm loving it for free.

My 29 is planted and really looking good at 1.2 wpg and fert tabs.As a matter of fact I'm getting close to having to clip and ship some to other members here,because I'm out of transplant room in there.

Your challenge (if you choose to except) is tho get this 50g hex planted.

I have no clue as to what might work and what won't.Obviously tall plants are a plus.

The details:

The tank is currently lit with two short strips.Each has the standard bluish/white bulb @ 15 watts each.

The tank is 30 inches tall.

The substrate is pool filter sand.

Here is a pic for reference:


I'm willing to pay shipping if you guys are willing to send something my way that you think it will work.

I'll continue to update this thread with pics as the mission moves along.

End transmission:

I'm pretty sure this post will not selfdestruct,but now might be a good time for safety glasses just in case.
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90g SW FOWLR
50g tall fw planted at .6wpg
29g fw planted at 1.2 wpg
10g fw planted at 3 wpg cf
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Old 05-11-2006, 09:37 PM   #2
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I would love to help you out but my computer will self-destruct in 10 seconds...ROFL!

Tall stem plants will work but you will definitely have to change those bulbs. Considering the depth of the tank, light penetration will be your biggest concern.

Try finding those nice replacement screw-in CF's at the hardware store or HD, Lowe's, etc.

Bacopa, L. repens, hornwort are just a few that could do well.

You may even be able to do a few crypts.

gotta go, my computer is melting.
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Old 05-11-2006, 09:59 PM   #3
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If you want plants you need a lot more light! Otherwise, everything you can do is put some pretty stones in it and maybe grow some algae.

When you have new light I would buy one or two slim pieces of driftwood and put them vertically, maybe in a slight X shape against the glass. Then plant some Javamoss, riccia or sth. similar on it.

At the bottom I would get a groundcover that suits your lighting conditions (very tall tank etc) and make the gravel about 3"-4" high, maybe slightly sloping toward the wall.

Something like this:
http://showcase.aquatic-gardeners.or...0&vol=1&id=102
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Old 05-11-2006, 10:33 PM   #4
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two words: cryptocoryne retrospiralis
http://www.plantgeek.net/plantguide_viewer.php?id=75

it grows rather tall, and is low light. a typical crypt species.

a lot of other crypt species will work for foreground plants too. In that tank you could easily do a crypt only setup, run a little CO2 to beat algae, but it wouldn't need to be 30ppm...just a little DIY to kick things in gear. trace dosing, possibly a little potassium.

what's the substrate in there?

I could probably set you up with some spiralis, and some lower growing crypt species for shipping and handling.
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Old 05-12-2006, 09:45 AM   #5
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I agree with Jchillin, getting light to the bottom is the biggest challenge.

First step, upgrade those lights, replace them or overdrive them....try to get up to at least 1.5 like your 29.

Next some stem plants that are 8 to 12 inches tall to start, or like Tiffi said build something up to get the plants closer to the light.

I wonder if anyone has ever measured how much light we loose per inch of water?
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Old 05-12-2006, 10:41 AM   #6
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TwoHobbies, its easy to measure lost light if you have a lux meter.

there's a SW club in Omaha that bought one and they rent it out to non-members, but I've never tried it out.
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Old 05-12-2006, 12:00 PM   #7
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There should be a formula for it, because I don't have a lux meter.

I don't think SCFatx will be growing any carpet plants in 30" anytime soon.
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Old 05-12-2006, 12:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
There should be a formula for it, because I don't have a lux meter.
There is, but it's based on the clarity of the water, which will vary from tank to tank. But assuming you have a decent filter, and aren't suffering from a bout of GW, this should work:

light at depth = light at surface^-K*depth of water

so that's light at surface raised to a power that is the product of -K and the depth (break out those scientific calculators, or Excel (not the plant food))

K is the tricky part. It's the "light extinction coefficient" and is usually determined by measuring light over a range of depths and then calculating it. I have a light meter (at work) but it's too big to accurately measure depth changes in my fishtank....I usually use it out in the field to measure every 1/2 meter or so.

Based on what I can find, a value of 1 seems reasonable. The depth of the tank should be entered in meters, and the light in watts. Give it a try and see what you get!
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Old 05-12-2006, 02:59 PM   #9
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As to not hijack the thread, I posted a new thread about the formula. I think everyone is on the right idea about helping SCFatz with his (?) tank....let's keep that going!
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Old 05-12-2006, 03:38 PM   #10
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Wow...you guys are some mission oriented folks!!lol
Now for some questions:
Quote:
Try finding those nice replacement screw-in CF's at the hardware store or HD, Lowe's, etc
Does this mean a whole new fixture(s) as well?Or are they made to fit the strip?

Quote:
a lot of other crypt species will work for foreground plants too. In that tank you could easily do a crypt only setup, run a little CO2 to beat algae, but it wouldn't need to be 30ppm...just a little DIY to kick things in gear. trace dosing, possibly a little potassium.
A lot of what is mentioned here is a whole new ball park to me...are you saying that crypts might work with the current lights if I add CO2?

Quote:
what's the substrate in there?
Pool filter sand...good choice?

Quote:
I could probably set you up with some spiralis, and some lower growing crypt species for shipping and handling.
Thanks for the offer...as the mission moves along I guess I'll know when I'm ready to try em.I'll glady take you up on it.

Quote:
replace them or overdrive them
Can some one post a link as to how to "overdrive" the current bulbs?I have know clue at the moment what that actually means.
Also..can I just buy higher wattage bulbs for the current strips?Is it that simple?

Quote:
SCFatz with his (?) tank
His it is.
m/35/married forever..three fish loving kids 11,8 and 5.The oldest is my only son who,bless his heart,looks just like me.(poor fella).

I'm really impressed with the interest this thread has generated.You guys are a great help....its going to be cool to watch this come about I'm guessing...especially when it comes to you folks trying to drill new knowledge into my head lol.

Mission on...




[quote]
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90g SW FOWLR
50g tall fw planted at .6wpg
29g fw planted at 1.2 wpg
10g fw planted at 3 wpg cf
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Old 05-12-2006, 03:48 PM   #11
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<Mission...infiltrate online references for compact floursecent screw in bulbs that will fit in established hood....also show a description of ODNO>

You will have to determine if these can work in your current hood. I doubt if replacing the hood is a viable alternative.

ODNO, an acronym for Overdriving Normal Output flourescents may not be an alternative for that hood. You first need normal flourescents. However, if you are into DIY stuff, you can build a hood and then look here for all things ODNO.

<mission completed>
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Old 05-13-2006, 05:46 AM   #12
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Since it's a tall tank, how about some anacharis (Egeria densa). It's a simple looking plant, but grows well under low light and grows tall. It grows to the surface and then bends to grow across the surface in my 25-high (about 21 inches tall) - and my tank isn't very plant-friendly.
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6g Marineland Eclipse (8w T-5):
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Old 05-13-2006, 09:00 AM   #13
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I have some of that (anacharis) in my 29g right now...and it is the fastest grower by far...maybe i'll try moving some of it during the next water change just to see.

As far as the lights go I'll get some pics up of exactly what I have now (strips and bulb) on sunday night.Then you guys can decide if screw bulbs or ODNO is an option with my current equipment.
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90g SW FOWLR
50g tall fw planted at .6wpg
29g fw planted at 1.2 wpg
10g fw planted at 3 wpg cf
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Old 05-13-2006, 11:03 AM   #14
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SCFatz I just wanted to throw this at you.

Have you thought about one of these lights for that 50 hex. It should give about 3wpg, and have more than enough power to get to the bottom. Just going to have to add co2 so it doesn't turn into an algea factory. But its nice and small to fit over the top. The only thing though you will need to change the bulb out because its tailored for the saltwater guys.

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Produc...&N=2004+113352
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Old 05-15-2006, 10:45 PM   #15
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Thanks for the suggestion lemonheadmech.No doubt it will work,but thats quite a few dollars...that would be hard for me to justify.

I lost my high speed connection (hardware issues it seems) so I'm on dial up now...Not going to try to upload the pictures of my current equipment on the 56k.

But...I have a friend who has an electrical degree and I discussed this issue with him.He wondered why I couldn't replace the balast in each strip with a higher wattage one,then step it up for the bulbs as well.
Thoughts on that suggestion?
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90g SW FOWLR
50g tall fw planted at .6wpg
29g fw planted at 1.2 wpg
10g fw planted at 3 wpg cf
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Old 05-15-2006, 11:06 PM   #16
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One thing you could do is get a used 75/150/175 metal halide light off ebay for $35-$40 and make your own hood. That'd definitely get you the best depth penetration.

If you have a friend whos good at electrical stuff, you can get a new ballast kit from businesslights.com for $38 or so, get a new bulb from home depot and wire it up.

Since its hard to pack a bunch of fluoroescent bulbs across your tank, its probably the way to go, plus it'd give you 1.4-3.5wpg depending on which wattage you go with.
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Old 05-15-2006, 11:23 PM   #17
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If you are willing to experiment, those aponogeton bulbs you can buy at walmart do pretty well with low light and they send up loooong shoots with leaves. I have grown these with less than 1 wpg.
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Old 05-15-2006, 11:24 PM   #18
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Overdriving bulbs starts to get out of my area, but the fixture you have is that a flourescenet strip with two bulbs or is it one that uses the standard screw in bulbs? I cant tell.
The tank is currently lit with two short strips.Each has the standard bluish/white bulb @ 15 watts each.
Quote:
Try finding those nice replacement screw-in CF's at the hardware store or HD, Lowe's, etc.

If its the one that uses the screw in bulbs I thought the upgrade was throwing in some of the screw in compact florescents. Just curious but how do you overdrive that type of bulb?

I thought the only bulb you could overdrive was normal output florescents. Interesting.

If going through all the trouble of replacing a ballast why not check out MH ballast and a mogul socket. http://www.hellolights.com I've seen some cheaper ballasts on here and the hardware for DIY to save some coin. That way all you have to do is rip the guts out of your hood and install the new mogul base with reflector and then mount the ballest inside the stand. Just an idea

If though you want to do the upgraded ballest to overdrive bulbs that should work, just find out if you can do that with those screw in cf first.

Sorry in advance for the long submit. Got messed up trying to arrange quotes with writing. LOL
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Old 05-16-2006, 12:03 AM   #19
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No...they are just the normal bulbs...two prongs at each end.Thats why I needed to get pics up,so yall would know the starting point...and figure out if I can get there from where I am.
Or the best way to do it.

Edit:I'm gonna try get some pics up 56k or not.

The top of the tank...Two housings..18"s each.


One of the light strips on the floor.
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90g SW FOWLR
50g tall fw planted at .6wpg
29g fw planted at 1.2 wpg
10g fw planted at 3 wpg cf
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Old 05-16-2006, 08:15 PM   #20
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Getting pics up isn't to bad for my 56k, but then I'm not used to high speed. Yeah the little bit I've heard you should be able to buy the hotter ballast and just wire them up to your lights the way there are. Just ofcoarse take out the old ballasts. But then with the new ballast I think they double the output of those 15 watt bulbs. Like I said overdriving is out of my realm.
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