Help with striking a balance

Rebroxx

New Member
Joined
1 May 2020
Messages
4
Location
UK
Apologies if this is the wrong place for this, but I think itmostly comes down to co2 over light
Right now I'm having alot of trouble striking a good balance between co2 and light, mainly for my red plants.

My main issue seems to be keeping my plants red and striking a good balance between light and co2. Right now I have 2 light units on my juwel, a juwel t5 unit with two 54w bulbs, and a juwel led unit with two 29w led tubes. I am finding that the lights don't seem to be good enough to keep my plants the colour I want, and some reds either aren't as red, or simply turning a mish mash of red/green.

I have tried reflectors on the t5s which are at the back, to increase intensity, and although this worked (such beautiful colours) it gives me a green algae on my plants, espcially my reds such as AR mini, and front glass (almost like a green beard algae). I know this is likely due to the co2 not matching the light intensity.

Photoperiod with the reflectors was down to 5 hours, whereas without im trying to get up to 10 (currently on 8).
I guess my question is how do I match the co2 to higher intensity lights? More bps/ bigger ph drop? Or is there a way to get better reds with longer duration/different lights?
Right now I'm at lime green drop checkers by the time the lights come on (one each side of tank), i have a APS 1400 with spray bar, a fx4 with spray bar, and two powerheads one each side for flow. I believe, though i may have to remeasure, im at, at least a 0.8 ph drop (6.8 before co2 comes on after airstones have been on all night, to 6 using the api ph test). Im using two diffusers due to the size of the tank, one each placed under a spray bar.

I'm wondering also if its worth changing my t5s to a LED unit, however if possible Id love to use what i have (with or without reflectors), and hopefully improve the co2. I just want to give my plants the best colour and health.

I have a juwel rio 350, dimensions 120x 50 wx 65 cms.
Filters: all ponds solutions 1400 spray bar
fx4 with spray bar
Powerheads: 2 x 3000 l/h
Co2: dual stage regulator, two co2 arts bazooka diffusers placed under spray bar
EI dosing

I had to take out my AR mini to get rid of bad growth and algae from the reflectors, and replanted them.
106422187_2789688961259209_8649603475384037526_n.jpg
 

hypnogogia

Member
Joined
6 Apr 2017
Messages
594
Location
Oxfordshire
Your plants look red on the pics. From what I’ve read in the forums, you need to be lean on your nitrates to get redder plants, something that with straight EI dosing isn’t going to happen. I think you’ll also find that they will get redder closer to the surface, and at the moment your red plants are short - are you I the sing to keep them that short in the foreground? Nice amazon sword in the middle. Is that a E. Hormanii?
 

Rebroxx

New Member
Joined
1 May 2020
Messages
4
Location
UK
The reds aren't bad, just not as red as I would like I guess. My L. aromatica only seems to go red at the tops when there is a reflector, though It did go somewhat red before when i was at 10 hours photoperiod, so maybe I just need to head that way again.
I agree, they do get red as they get taller, but i have been trying to create bushier... bushes xD, so have been chopping tops off and replanting. My AR mini aren't usually that short and singular, but i had to take them and remove any bad leaves and replant them so they ended up a bit shorter.

The swords in the middle are E. argentinensis and i do believe it is E. hormanii, or E. reni.

I guess i will try and see what happens with a longer photoperiod first.

This is the tank when i had the reflectors on, but it also gives me bad algae, its hard to see but it creates a thick band of it in the middle of the glass. It also shows my AR mini before i replanted. It gives me much better reds, but id rather healthy plants and no algae, than redder plants and algae

105912336_10163781350350542_8119791205341319010_o.jpg
 

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