Being an idiot all this time, too much light?

Herrwibi

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Hi all,

I started a low tech planted tank a month ago. I went from 2x10w led to a 20w led .

I was having issues with the bottom of the leaves dying off so i have cut that down to 6 hours .

I seem to still be having issues and as said before i think its too much light. Thats what was recommended to me before . The leaves on this plant are turning brown on the lower levels which shows to me a co2 deficiency caused by too much light?

I've gone back to the 2x10w leds as they seem to be less bright in a hope to recover the plant. What do you think?
 

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dw1305

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Hi all,
The leaves on this plant are turning brown on the lower levels which shows to me a co2 deficiency caused by too much light?
I'd be surprised if it was too much light, you don't have much wattage (I know they are LEDs) and a short photo-period.

The problem for us is that it could just as easily be too little light, dependent on the light spread etc.

Do you have any floating plants? They have access to aerial CO2 and have evolved to be able to grow under tropical sun-light. If they don't look very healthy you can discount CO2.

cheers Darrel
 

Mick.Dk

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Your plant look a lot like some kind of Alternanthera. It is very common for Alternanthera to shed lover leaves quite fast, if growing in "low tech" (= no adeed CO2). It is difficult to give Alternanthera too much light ( they need to be in constant, good growth ), but they do need added CO2 to perform really well.
If you choose to grow Alternanthera "low tech", you need the light, to ensure constant supply of new leaves to make up for the relatively short lifetime of each leaf. Do remove leaves as soon as they look unhealthy, since these are inviting different algae for an easy dinner.....
 

Herrwibi

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Hi all, I'd be surprised if it was too much light, you don't have much wattage (I know they are LEDs) and a short photo-period.

The problem for us is that it could just as easily be too little light, dependent on the light spread etc.

Do you have any floating plants? They have access to aerial CO2 and have evolved to be able to grow under tropical sun-light. If they don't look very healthy you can discount CO2.

cheers Darrel
I do but i've just recently added frogbit, I've had duckweed+ salvinia but due to my current they keep tumbling under the water so i'm changing them out for something bigger. I will have to wait a week or so for them to adjust.

Your plant look a lot like some kind of Alternanthera. It is very common for Alternanthera to shed lover leaves quite fast, if growing in "low tech" (= no adeed CO2). It is difficult to give Alternanthera too much light ( they need to be in constant, good growth ), but they do need added CO2 to perform really well.
If you choose to grow Alternanthera "low tech", you need the light, to ensure constant supply of new leaves to make up for the relatively short lifetime of each leaf. Do remove leaves as soon as they look unhealthy, since these are inviting different algae for an easy dinner.....
I am tempted to add co2 to this aquarium. I have co2 running in my 40g which i'm thinking about making into more of a low tech tank and removing the co2. I only have java fern, s repens , vals and dwarf sag which non really need co2 they will just take longer to grow. My only concern is taking away the co2 and how the plants would react. I know i would need to lower my light and reduce ferts to maybe an all in one once a week.
 

Herrwibi

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Hi all, I'd be surprised if it was too much light, you don't have much wattage (I know they are LEDs) and a short photo-period.

The problem for us is that it could just as easily be too little light, dependent on the light spread etc.

Do you have any floating plants? They have access to aerial CO2 and have evolved to be able to grow under tropical sun-light. If they don't look very healthy you can discount CO2.

cheers Darrel

So nothing seems to be working. After decreasing my light there seemed to be an outburst of brown algae, which makes me think that low lighting is probably the cause of my plants not doing as well as i hoped?

The s repens are not looking healthy and seem to be dying off. Also my rota hasn't really grown since planting compared to my rotala sp green.

What should i do? i've purchased a chihiros a601 to help with the lighting issue.
 

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dw1305

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Hi all,
After decreasing my light there seemed to be an outburst of brown algae, which makes me think that low lighting is probably the cause of my plants not doing as well as i hoped?
That would be my guess, judging by the increased internodal length of your stem plants, but it is really difficult for us to give advice on light intensity. I can look at a tank and light and make some guesses for what might grow, but even then it is just guess work (based on the look and wattage of the lights), unless you have a PAR meter.

In the same way that the Duckweed Index was designed to do away with needing to test nutrient levels, it also does away with most of the guess work about light intensity, because your floating plants have first dibs on the light, as well as access to aerial CO2. Plants like <"Limnobium laevigatum"> or <"Pistia stratiotes"> naturally come from <"varzea lakes"> etc where the light is always <"turned up to 11">.

Personally I don't mind having an intense light, I just have more plants. I always use a limited palette of easy plants, and if I have a tank with lower light intensity I just have floating plants, moss, Anubias and Bolbitis.

All my tanks run on a 12 hour day, I've always done this, on the grounds that this is what happens in the tropics, but I realise that those who have more vibrant tanks, with more demanding plants, have found that a shorter light period helps them.

cheers Darrel
 

Herrwibi

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Hi all, That would be my guess, judging by the increased internodal length of your stem plants, but it is really difficult for us to give advice on light intensity. I can look at a tank and light and make some guesses for what might grow, but even then it is just guess work (based on the look and wattage of the lights), unless you have a PAR meter.

In the same way that the Duckweed Index was designed to do away with needing to test nutrient levels, it also does away with most of the guess work about light intensity, because your floating plants have first dibs on the light, as well as access to aerial CO2. Plants like <"Limnobium laevigatum"> or <"Pistia stratiotes"> naturally come from <"varzea lakes"> etc where the light is always <"turned up to 11">.

Personally I don't mind having an intense light, I just have more plants. I always use a limited palette of easy plants, and if I have a tank with lower light intensity I just have floating plants, moss, Anubias and Bolbitis.

All my tanks run on a 12 hour day, I've always done this, on the grounds that this is what happens in the tropics, but I realise that those who have more vibrant tanks, with more demanding plants, have found that a shorter light period helps them.

cheers Darrel
So would you advise me running my light for 10-12 hours for the extra photo period until my new light arrives ?

Are you saying having a more intense light with a high plant base would stop algae or reduce the affects? I'm guessing ferts would have to be on the medium to high side for an intense light ?

All my floating plants seem to be doing well and have no issues .
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Are you saying having a more intense light with a high plant base would stop algae or reduce the affects? I'm guessing ferts would have to be on the medium to high side for an intense light ?
I use the Duckweed Index as an indication of when to add fertiliser, rather than a regular nutrient addition, so my tanks would definitely be in the low nutrient range.

None of my tanks will have much PAR at the substrate level, because they are full of plants, which will intercept the PAR.

cheers Darrel
 

Herrwibi

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Hi all,I use the Duckweed Index as an indication of when to add fertiliser, rather than a regular nutrient addition, so my tanks would definitely be in the low nutrient range.

None of my tanks will have much PAR at the substrate level, because they are full of plants, which will intercept the PAR.

cheers Darrel
I understand what you mean .

What would you advise me to do about the lighting situation ? Just to increase the period for now ?
 

jaypeecee

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In the same way that the Duckweed Index was designed to do away with needing to test nutrient levels, it also does away with most of the guess work about light intensity, because your floating plants have first dibs on the light, as well as access to aerial CO2.
Hi Darrel,

As the Duckweed may receive a lot of light compared with the submerged plants, it will require more nutrients than the latter. So, if the Duckweed shows signs of nutrient shortage, then you presumably add more nutrients to compensate. What are the implications of this for the submerged plants, fish and other tank inhabitants, and the potential for algae growth?

JPC
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
As the Duckweed may receive a lot of light compared with the submerged plants, it will require more nutrients than the latter.
Yes. It gets more light and more CO2. Real Duckweed (Lemna minor) is also a plant that likes <"eutrophic conditions">.
So, if the Duckweed shows signs of nutrient shortage, then you presumably add more nutrients to compensate.
Yes.
What are the implications of this for the submerged plants......
If the Duckweed greens up, and <"starts propagating"> rapidly, you know you have enough nutrients for your submerged plants.
.......fish and other tank inhabitants?.....
Positive I think, the single most important factor in maintaining water quality is actively growing plants.
..........and the potential for algae growth?
Probably greater for the Green Algae (Chlorophytes), mainly because they share their <"basic physiology with all the other green plants">, if conditions are good for plants ("the plants we want"), they are also good for green algae ("the plants we don't want").

I have tanks with a lot of plant mass, and a variety of <"tank janitors"> and I don't tend to have much algae. I assume if I removed the snails etc., and reduced the plant mass, then the algae would become more apparent.

cheers Darrel
 

jaypeecee

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Hi Darrel,

Thanks for your detailed reply. I am particularly drawn to your statement that "the single most important factor in maintaining water quality is actively growing plants". But getting all plants to grow actively continues to elude me. Keeping fish is much easier than keeping healthy plants - in my experience. I still can't get my E. bleheri to grow properly. It dawned on me recently that most of the leaves on this plant have no stem - just leaf. I have suspected for some time that this plant receives too much light - the subject of this thread. As my tank has glass covers, I have placed some white plastic film on the glass just above this plant. But it refuses to grow in height. It really frustrates me that I don't have a PAR meter to measure and optimize the light intensity that each of my plants receives. I have other Echinodorus species in this tank that grow like crazy when CO2 concentration is around 30ppm.

I have only four plants in my 125 litre tank at the moment. I would welcome suggestions for other suitable plants in this tank, which has a South American theme. I am really struggling with this tank at present. Still trying to control BGA with Blue Exit. Oily film on the water surface. Using Seachem Renew to supposedly remove dissolved organics. Perhaps I should try the Duckweed Index approach.

JPC
 

jaypeecee

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@Herrwibi, apologies if I appear to be stealing your thread. As your thread is concerned with too much light, I felt we had something in common.

JPC
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
It dawned on me recently that most of the leaves on this plant have no stem - just leaf. I have suspected for some time that this plant receives too much light - the subject of this thread.
You are OK, the submerged leaves of <"Echinodorus bleheri "> are always sword shaped, without an obvious petiole. The blade just narrows towards the plant crown.
Perhaps I should try the Duckweed Index approach.
I always have floating plants and then observe how they grow, once you've taken CO2 and light out of the equation it just leaves the mineral elements.

It is still a guessing game, but you've diminished the possible options and improved the probability of finding the answer.

cheers Darrel
 

jaypeecee

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You are OK, the submerged leaves of <"Echinodorus bleheri "> are always sword shaped, without an obvious petiole. The blade just narrows towards the plant crown.
Hi Darrel,

Thanks for that. If I were to further reduce the light that the E. bleheri receives, would it grow in height? It doesn't appear to be a suitable choice for a 'high tech' setup. I suspect it would grow better in low light with no added CO2. Perhaps I could have a floating plant (as per the Duckweed Index) over it. But how well would the floating plant cope with drips of water from the glass cover?

JPC
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
If I were to further reduce the light that the E. bleheri receives, would it grow in height? It doesn't appear to be a suitable choice for a 'high tech' setup. I suspect it would grow better in low light with no added CO2
It does pretty well low tech, with relatively low light levels. I think @Mick.Dk says that it is the easiest "Sword" to grow under-water and one of the more difficult to grow emersed?
But how well would the floating plant cope with drips of water from the glass cover?
Probably not very well, if you have a lot of drip?

cheers Darrel
 

jaypeecee

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Hi Darrel,

I suspected that floating plants would not be happy being dripped on. And, if I remove the glass windows, I would have to cover it with mesh of some description to prevent the Nerites escaping. I think a better choice of plant is the way forward. In fact, you can probably help me here. I lack knowledge of individual plants' requirements regarding nutrients, water hardness, lighting level, etc. Is there a single, comprehensive resource where I can find this information? I also find that the classification such as Easy, Medium and Advanced to be misleading. E. bleheri is considered to be an 'Easy' plant on the Tropica web site. Light demand is considered 'low' but then it says 'The average or medium light demand of an aquarium plant is 0,5 W/L'. So, what is a low light demand and why are we still using Watts/litre? Rhetorical question.

JPC
 

sparkyweasel

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If you adjust the supports of your cover glasses, maybe with pieces of clear platic used as spacers, you can tilt the covers so that all the drips fall at the back (or front) and floating plants will be fine at the front (or back) of the tank.
 

jaypeecee

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If you adjust the supports of your cover glasses, maybe with pieces of clear platic used as spacers, you can tilt the covers so that all the drips fall at the back (or front) and floating plants will be fine at the front (or back) of the tank.
Hi @sparkyweasel,

Unfortunately, I cannot do what you have suggested as the cover glasses move from side to side in grooves. Lifting either side out of the groove would run the risk of a glass panel falling into the tank. Thanks anyway.

JPC
 

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