Originally Posted by hawaii
I've got a Cabomba caroliniana (I think) that is not too healthy in spots - produces white leaves and brownish clored tops - howver, the stands that are in the rear of the tank (away from grow light) are very healthy - planning on reducing light from 13 hours to 10 - any reason I could not do 5 hrs (8am-2pm) and 5 hours(7pm-11pm). I realize it doesn't follow natural cycle but thats the time I love to enjoy my wet pets. Will ferts help? others (Moneywort and penny wort (I need help with Identifying them - on line pics are vague) are very healthy and I'm concerned it will be overkill w/ ferts.
This site is the best - all are friendly, helpful and encouraging - great way to start a great hobby!
I was taught that dark green plants require low or subdued light. The light green plants need stronger light. You can use basic florescent lamps from the hardware store. GE makes a good tank light for plants and the cost is minimal. Two lamps either T8 or 12 put on a timer for 12 hours on and 12 off will provide enough energy for the dark green plants. For the others, you'll need a fixture that holds 4 such lamps. Lowe's or Home Depot carries them.
If you have quite a few fish in the tank, then you really don't need to add fertilizers. The dissolved wastes from the fish is enough. If you increase the light, you have to increase the food too. Seachem's Comprehensive is a good supplement. Just dose according to the instructions.
Add to the above, large and frequent water changes to replenish minerals for the plants and you'll have a nicely planted tank.