Lighting Help with Fluval Vicenza 180

Ben Cuthbert

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24 Feb 2020
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4
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York
Hi all,

I have being struggling with keeping so called easy Tropica plants 53b & Amazon Swords.

Although neither plants seem to die but both all looking yellow/brown - i do get some new slow growth on the 53b but again eventually all turn the same colour

I am thinking it could be down to lighting as im only using the standard LED ligthing which came with my Tank (Fluval Vicenza 180).

Here is a list of

Tank- Fluval Vicenza 180 LED
Filter- Oase 600 Thermo
Substrate - Tropica Aqua Soil mixed in with Sand
Ferts - Dosing 2 x 10ml theaquascaper complete liquid plant food per day
Lighting - On for 8 hours per day Specs from Fluval: 14.5 watt, 1920 Lumens, 50 par at 12 inches deep
Co2 - 2-3 bubbles per seconds (comes on 1 hour befor lighting and goes off 1 hour before lights go out)
Water - Hard water area ,28.5 degrees (Discus Temps) - 50% water change once a week.

Any help where i might be going wrong would be much appreciated.

Thanks

Ben
 

alto

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24 Dec 2014
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5,988
I’m somewhat dubious over that reported light intensity
(LED lights for their Roma and Vincenzo series (that I’ve seen) are very dim ... but it’s fairly easy to check, ask Fluval for the specific emitters used in your light, also LED number and wattage, driver information etc - this is not secret nor difficult information but I suspect they will claim such ;))

But, even if it were the case,
  • Aquarium measurements – H55 x W92 x D41cm
PAR at 55cm will be much less than half that reported at 30cm - I don’t know why they would even send you such a meaningless value for your tank :rolleyes:

Given your hard water and higher water temperature, I suspect you may fare better, beginning CO2 at least 2h before lights on (off 1 hour before lights is fine)

Are you measuring CO2 in the tank?
even a drop checker while not fast (reports range from 30min - 2 hours for accurate measurement), will show how much CO2 is actually dissolved in the water

Unless the tank is heavily planted and there is measurable plant growth, you can likely dose less fertilizer (I don’t recall if Aquascaper Complete gives a dose range?) (this is just a save your pennies consideration ;))

Depending how long plants have been in the tank, you may fare better just replacing them with new (full of energy from the nursery growing conditions) plants

If you want to retain your existing plants, trim back stems and replant the best tops (must be at least 10cm, 15 is better given tank height, especially as you need to plant them 2-3 cm deep (or more depending on fish)), gently lift swords and check roots and “rhizome” bit, trim old and damaged leafs

Until you receive a new light unit, can you arrange for some morning sunlight on tank - I’d try a couple hours filtered sunlight if possible - I’d also increase current light period to 12h, and go back to daily water changes if possible
 

Ben Cuthbert

New Member
Joined
24 Feb 2020
Messages
4
Location
York
Thanks Alto

Yes im using a drop checker and colour is green which is in the optimum range

I will up the lighting to 12 hours adjust the co2 time to kick in a couple of hours before and look at doing 25% daily water changes

Would you reccomend any light inparticular that would fit my tank - i have looked at the Fluval plant 3.0 but im not convinced these would be any better than my current light.

Thanks
 

alto

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5,988
What are your goals for the lighting?
Dimmable?

What livestock?

Can you post a tank photo?

What do you want in terms of plants?

Can you remove the hood? (Or do you want to?)
Obviously this would allow greater lighting options

Are there nearby shops where you can look at various aquarium lighting options?

In some ways, Fluval 3.0 is a decent light, for a reasonable price it has decent on-board program/dim options, and if your tank was 45cm High it would be an easy choice (there are various in depth discussion of this light, especially on some of the US forums, and several hobbyist PAR estimates (most use equipment or method that is non-scientific, but it still gives you an idea of what the light delivers)
It would certainly give you more light than you have presently, 46watt, 3300 lumens
As a comparison, Heliolux 40watt, 140 lumen/watt so 5600 lumens (obviously a much more efficient design) - and the basic light cost is much the same BUT there is no programmability without the controller (I don’t know if anyone has tried using a generic dimmer (similar to Twinstar supported one))


With a 55cm tall tank, a Twinstar S is going to give you more plant options, but considerably higher cost + a basic dimmer/time control (which really is all you ever need in a light program) - and you need to like the red biased spectrum


If you want to adjust spectrum, create cloud, (thunderstorms are the WORST option ever for fish :crazy: ) etc that means either the cost of an additional controller (Juwel Heliolux), or less investment in the actual LEDs

You can achieve good PAR in this tank with HOT5 system with decent reflectors, but as soon as you select the dimmable option, cost is inline with LED, also replacement T5 colour, intensity, size etc options have declined drastically (which is why I finally switched out my rather nice T5 luminaire ... and maintenance is certainly easier without its bulk, and fish are definitely happier with the graduated ON of the LED)
 

Ben Cuthbert

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24 Feb 2020
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Location
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Something that was dimmable would be nice but not looking for a light to mimic lighting ‍♂️

Plant wise just want something along the lines I have now but just want them t be healthy really

There’s doesn’t seem to be any local shops near me that stock too many lights other than your standard fluval Aquasky etc.

Like the look of the Twinstar S but i dont want to remove the hood or should i say i wouldnt feel comfortable removing it.

This is my current setup:

IMG_1662.jpg
IMG_1662.jpg IMG_1662.jpg
 

alto

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5,988
In terms of running the Twinstar S inside your hood, I’d discuss this with the folks at AG (and then purchase the light from them ;))

This is from @Surya (awesome rescape :))
Fluval 3.0 Fluval Roma 240

Your amazon plants actually look relatively green in the photo, the crypt looks OK (most crypts and swords prefer deeper substrates (6-10cm), yes, you can insist they grow in shallow substrates, but they often require more attention to thrive), the Siamensis 53B is least happy (and is also the plant which naturally has a faster growth rate)

It looks as if you’re running an air stone - this may be driving off significant CO2 - your Oase 600 should be able to oxygen sufficiently during daylight hours, though you can certainly run the air stone off-photoperiod

I’m quite concerned for your discus though- they appear far too thin :eek:
What are you feeding?
Discus are quite slow eaters, while the tetras are very fast eaters
What other fish do you have?

I’d set up a Cone feeder for the discus with bloodworms, australian blackworms etc
Cone feeding discus video - you can alter the relative amounts of frozen bw, bs, dry food etc
I’d recommend feeding the frozen foods at this time as your discus are very thin and I prefer to overfeed frozen (large water percentage) foods over dried foods

Modified cone feeding for freeze dried blackworms

(Personally I’d also remove any competing fish from the tank until the discus have put on significant weight)
 

Ben Cuthbert

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Joined
24 Feb 2020
Messages
4
Location
York
Oh no i never really noticed the discus were thin......

I currently feed them 3 times a day with the following :
Discus Pellets
Fluval bug bites
Tetra Colour crisps
Frozen Blood worms (every other day)
They seem to like to eat the bottom leaves off the 53b as well.:twisted:

I am aware the Discus are slow eaters and mine tend to graze most of the time so i generally try to feed the Tetra colour crisps 5-10 mins to try to fill the tetra's before i feed the remianing food.

Current tank mates :

6 Corys
10 Rummy Nose Tetra's
10 Tetra's
2 Ballon Rams

I will defo get a couple feeding cone to make sure they are getting enough of the food :thumbup:



Many thanks for your help
 

alto

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24 Dec 2014
Messages
5,988
You might also try adding a cone feeding late at night once the tank (& room) has been dark for a while - leave a small ambient light nearby so you don’t startle the discus when you approach the tank

There’s a good chance the tetras will remain quiet and the discus will be able to slowly polish off their night snack

If you notice the tetras getting quite fat, then you’ll need to reconsider
 

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