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lighting issue do i have enough

alan_uk

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27 Jun 2010
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240
hi everyone im new here so this is my first post sorry its a problem 1 :)

firstly i have an aqua one 620t aquarium that im trying to grow a nice jungle scape but the lower plants are i think struggling?? the only lighting i can fit is the bulbs available for this aquarium as the wattage and size is limited so this is what i have
do you think with the 2 x 18watt tropical/sunlight bulbs that i have ample lighting as its on around 14 hours a day for the plants im growing or do you think im over doing it on lighting hours

also i am going to buy 2 x 18watt sunlight only white bulbs on wednesday which means the lights will be new and have there full power i have also fitted yesterday a light deflector in the lid to brighten the tank and light the rear of the tank also

and i was going to fit the 120 super white led's in to the lid also but wasnt sure if these would do anything at all for the tank? what do you think and do you know anything about led lighting and if its any good for growing plants

the tank is also between 77-78 degrees f depending how hot a day it is as the 300watt jewel heater i have starts at 77 for some reason and cant go any cooler ??

im using tetra presurised co2 with a tester in the tank which is on dark green which says on the reading that its fine

im also using liquid leaf zone plant food

ive just replaced the filter sponge and carbon in my filter which is a trickle filter in the hood

there aint a very good current in the tank i do have a small elite filter which i use as a water moover but the top of the water gets a little oily from time to time and there as i say aint much of a current would fitting a power head to circulate the water make much difference?

and lastly which im thinking of changing i only have sand as substrate but am thinking of changing that to soil based substrate but cant find anywere in uk that sells it ? any ideas

sorry for all the questions but im stumped as to whats wrong ive been doing 1/8 water change daily to remove the waste from the 3 platy i have in to cycle the tank and eat the algae thats there

the 2 plants im having trouble with are the

crinium natans, and Pogostemon Helferi and some of the ends of my java fern leaves are starting to go see through and then brown

i also wanted to grow hair grass but dont dare until i find whats wrong i also ordered some riccia fruitans but hasnt arrived yet and am unsure if this will die also

any help on the matter you can give would be great
thank you alan
 

arty

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13 Jun 2010
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140
About leds i personaly think - if china cheap leds then this light will be very bad.
I personaly don't wanna go for leds, fluoriscent light is much better and that energy saving on leds is blef, possibly You can save energy if You wanna read books on leds light and nothing else more.
But that personal my choose, i preffer much better t5 and look pls what others people say.
If low tech tank possibly leds ok, but if You wanna realy plant growth then cheap leds is bad.
I think for good tech tank need at least Luxeon leds with normal color temperature and PAR.
 

alan_uk

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27 Jun 2010
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240
they were actually uk led's but if there no good then i wont bother

i cant get a t5 light that fits in to the hood on my tank :(

only 18watt double sunlight which is white/white
or 18 watt sunlight/tropical which is white/pink

there is 2 of these bulbs in the hood both 18 watt so i have 36 watts and 34 gallons

im also trying to find an aquatic soil thats not too over priced that i can have in the tank without having to put a substrate over the top if anyone can help
 

arty

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13 Jun 2010
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About soils i bought aqua clay bag for my new small tank for 10 pounds from aqua essentials, that cheap price.
Unfortunately i don't found this clay before and bough for my Rio400 gravel 50kg , 25kg for same price, practicaly in Liters same as gravel :(
UK leds nothing mean, in UK 90% all things are from China :D
 

arty

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13 Jun 2010
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140
I specialy wanna buy some cheap luxeon 3 X 3WATT LUXEON LED MINI TORCH for expirement.
Like that:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/3-X-3WATT-LUXEON- ... 335ccad2ba

Very powerfull leds and i wanna take off from torch driver with led and place on diy panel and that from my calculations cheaper as luxeon leds buy alone.

You can look for some suitable bulbs from lamp spec. online shop
http://www.lampspecs.co.uk

There is defferent bulbs for many lighting types.
Take some 6400-6500K bulbs.


Cheers,
 

alan_uk

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27 Jun 2010
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well thank you for that

i will not bother with the led's

other thing if i buy aqua clay from aqua essentials for mine will i need a substrate to cover it or will that be the only substrate i will need ??

and do you think 2 brand new 18watt daylight white/white bulbs be ample to grow hair grass and the other plants im struggling with ?
 

arty

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13 Jun 2010
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I personaly think is very low light for normal grow, but is a lot people who say it's enough :).
Only if You wanna go higher light then CO2 necessary.
 

alan_uk

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27 Jun 2010
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what do you mean higher light i am running pressurised co2 at the min ?

thats the only light i can fit other than led's :(
 

Garuf

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Alan, I'm glad you took my advice, I'm a little busy at the moment but there are a lot of things in your post that need addressing, first of, when you say you're using pressurized co2, do you mean as in an aerosol or a proper co2 system with a regulator.
Lighting wise you have enough light, co2 looks a lot like it is your downfall. Arty is right regarding the lampspecs tubes but that is another thing I must search up and get back to you on.

Regarding the aquaclay, depending on what you person choice is in manufacturer it should be enough, but like I say it depends on the specific brand, as a personal choice plantedboxes floragro substrate gets my vote.

I think you should avoid LED's initially, there's very little known about them and those that have had them are currently struggling because par readings seem so much higher than anticipated.

A picture of the inside of your hood will help with lights. Initially however I think you have plenty of light, especially for the plants you have, it appears that light and circulation of co2 or co2 levels or both are where the issues lie.
 

GHNelson

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Hi Alan
I think arty means more watts.
You could always remove the t8 and re-fit t5s.
I would buy a couple of pots of hair grass and see how they go.
You wont get massive growth but I'm sure they wont die off if you go down the EI route.
hoggie
 

alan_uk

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27 Jun 2010
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hi thanks for all the help everyone i will get there if it kills me lol

the co2 im using is a presurized aerosol can here is a pic i fill the in tank tube on a morning and by 9pm its all gone in to the tank and the reading on my reader is dark green which indicates good by the chart :(
here is a pic and also the liquid ferts im using

062710233253.jpg

lighting i dont know if the bulbs are t8 but there not t5 and i cant get t5's
i am however going to buy 2 brand new double sunlight bulbs which are both white giving out good red and blue's on the light spectrum which i belive is good for plants and the white/pink thats there now are not so good ive heard and the white/white is a better bulb for plants again im not clued up on this ?

here is the lid i fitted the reflector to try and get the light brighter at the bottom as i thought this may be the problem ?
062710233143.jpg

062710233201.jpg


and the tank at the min
062710233231.jpg


can anyone also shed any light as to why my water is yellowy and cloudy and oily on the surface so often as im baffled and have been doing water changes every other day to try and stop it with no luck ??

again thanks for any help
 

Garuf

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The oily residue is plants leaching fatty acids from being co2 deficient. Honestly, you have enough light, plenty loads a tonne don't worry about those for the minute. The type of lighting you have is called Power compact or pll, they're effectively a t5 bent back on itself and produce a very good ammount of light. Lets not run before we can walk, adding more light now will only add to the issues.

I don't know too much about the ferts you're using but I'm pretty certain it's just a trace mix and therefore you're missing many elements which are needed for good healthy growth, if you look in the tutorials section of the forum you'll find the article on EI dosing, read this and it will give you a very good grouding on the basics, it's a lot to take in but more than worth it. One of our sponsors is a ferts specialist, and are well worth contacting, they go under the name fluid sensor and are very good quality of ferts and service. Fly fisherman worked out a ratio of which weights are best to buy them in for longlevity but I can't find the post, I'm sure he'll chime in if he spots this post.

This brings me to your co2, the system you bought isn't really up to the job for the ammont of light you have (the dark green drop checker if you're using it correctly will attest to this, seriously, don't believe the high light hype). For the time being I would recommend that you suplement or better still replace it entirely with liquid carbon and dose accordingly, any of our sponsors stock it, off hand I think Plantedboxes is the cheapest. This will give you chance to see if the hobby is for you and also provide the plants with co2 before shelling out on a proper co2 system which can be an expensive addition (though can be made cheaper by shopping about, german regulators are the best, far east ones tend to be very cheap but you get what you pay for and by reading the fire extinguisher guide by themuleous). Alas the system you have is pretty duff, in a low light system it would be fine as a suplement but in a high light situation a true pressurised system would be best.

Further info on all of the posts are available in the tutorials section of the forum and will provide you with invaluable insight. I can recommend lampspecs for replacement tubes if you want to swap them out, any will do pretty much as long as you pick a spectrum in the daylight range, this is a personal thing really since almost all lights will grow plants.
 

alan_uk

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27 Jun 2010
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great stuff thank you for that

i did think that the co2 i had was pants as it don't really diffuse properly at all

out of curiosity would i be ok with a home made system if i use a proper diffuser and a bubble counter as i really dont want to shell out a fortune as i only ever wanted a low tech jungle scape with mainly ferns and moss :)

also where you mention the ferts i will look in to this and im not sure if you know but is flourish excel any good and would i still need 2 kinds??

i will still replace the bulbs as they are over a year old now and will most deffinatly be loosing what they need to preform correctly if what ive read is true so will purchase the double sunlight white bulbs which should help am i correct

as for water circulation would this help at all or will i be wasting my money
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... 3557wt_989

thank you alan :thumbup:
 

alan_uk

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also forgot to ask but would i still need soil based substrate if i sort out the above issues as i like the way the sand looks and if i can get away with it id prefer to keep it over the soil :)
 

Garuf

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Increasing flow will always help, are you meeting the 10x turnover rule? Increasing water flow will always help.
If you're wanting low tech then there are ways and means but they will need lower levels of lighting and methodology, I'm not overly versed in this department so I can't point you too far in the right direction except to say that tom barrs non-enriched method seems as though it would suit you best.

Forget flourish, save yourself the money and make your ferts yourself. 3 months worth of ferts for £10 or a years worth for about the same, I know where my money would go.

Also, riccia is a floating plant, chuck it in some a bucket vase getting sunlight say on a window sill, change the water daily and you'll have loads in no time.

Soil based substrates as I said in the cat litter thread are beneficial as they allow you more wiggle room as theres more nutrients available to the plants and they're well likely to go deficient and get algae, you can grow more or less anything in plain gravel as long as you provide enough nutrients and co2 to match the levels of light, but you're more likely to go deficient if you stray or miss a days dosing for example. I'd suggest that if low cost is your number one concern then tropicas base layer and plain gravel of 1-2 mm size would suit you fine, if you end up going more high tech then i'd point you in the direction of clay based products, ada aquasoil or flora base via planted box. That said, in a low tech system the substrate is normally of higher importance as this and the fish would become the sole source of nutrients. Now is really the time to do your research on techniques that meet your goals then pick your road accordingly.
 

alan_uk

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27 Jun 2010
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cheers :)

thats exactly why im here :) im not very clever when it comes to working things out

i get confused very easily and end up getting everything wrong this is the first time ive ever tried a nicely planted aquarium and just want something thats nice to look at and easy to maintain with a pretty low cost as i dont want to go mad in the hundereds of pounds to experiment with hard to grow plants

here is the spec i have

tank is - aquaone 620t 620mm long x 600mm high x 390mm deep
lighting will be 2 x 18 watt pl sunlight white/white bulbs (have no idea how long a day i should have these on) would like info or help on this if possibe
filter is trickle filter in lid with sponge,carbon (which i have just replaced both of yesterday) and noodles
heater is a jewel 300watt which is set at 77 deg f which is the lowest setting

substrate at the min is sand only nothing else

hardscape is bog wood and rock

plants i have are
java fern (tied to bog wood)
java moss (tied to bog wood)
christmas moss (tied to bog wood)
anubius nana (tied to bog wood)
2 kinds of crypts (planted in sand with no problems seem to be doing well)
riccia flutains (which should arrive tomorrow) (will be netted over a rock)
Pogostemon Helferi - (had decaying to leaves and falling apart planted in sand)
1 bulb plant called crinium natans - (this 1 also has decaying leaves with browning and is planted in sand)

the only other plant i would like is hair grass to make a nice frontal carpet but if it will be a hard 1 to grow i can miss this if there is an easier option

as said i am looking for a low tech low maintenance set up that requires minimal effort as its my first and dont want to run before i can walk so to speak

i have been using the co2 and ferts above which im guessing are not really up to the job and wouldnt mind giving diy co2 a go as its cheap to do and will buy a bubble counter and a glass dispenser to make it look nice in the tank

also would like to use the correct ferts but again would need help if anyone wouldnt mind as i say i cant really take things in reading detailed threads on things like this lol im just not that clever to work everything out :(

and substrate like i say i like the look of the sand but if this is helping towards my decaying (easy to grow) plants i will happily ditch it for a cheap soil based substrate if there is such a thing thats just plug and play so to speak

i also have a elite mini filter in at the min as a water mover but its very weak so will buy this tomorrow
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... K:MEWAX:IT

and remove the elite 1 ive also purchased a heater guard as i thought that may be damaging the plants lol but it will look better with it anyway

the only fish i have at the minute are 3 platy which i put it to eat up some algae and cycle the tank

sorry for sounding so thick and for the long read i just really could do with the help so any input would be great

thanks again alan :thumbup:
 

alan_uk

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27 Jun 2010
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also would like to add the power head on the filter is 650 lph and there is 130 litres so would that meet the 10x turn over rule ??

and if i add the 3000lph power head would that be ok and meet these requirments :) :?:
 

Burnleygaz

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21 Jun 2010
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The power head on your filter would be 5x turnover but the ratings on these things usually dont translate to reality once you add filter media and what not , the 3000 lph power head will give you 23x turnover alone , so that should suffice (tho it might be a bit fierce so you might want to adjust it to its lowest flow setting if it`s adjustable).
 
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