Lighting for a 29 gallon tank

Madelon

Hey all,

I just set up my first tank and have realized that my NICREW light isn't really doing the trick. Is the Fluval 3.0 light any good for a 29 gal tank? Do I need to pay attention to watts? I have low-light plants as of right now, but would eventually like to introduce different plants that require medium to high light. Any recommendations would be appreciated.
 

Prevail

Hey all,

I just set up my first tank and have realized that my NICREW light isn't really doing the trick. Is the Fluval 3.0 light any good for a 29 gal tank? Do I need to pay attention to watts? I have low-light plants as of right now, but would eventually like to introduce different plants that require medium to high light. Any recommendations would be appreciated.
I use the finnex stingray light in my 29 gallon, and I totally recommend it. You can grow some medium light plants and all lowlight plants in it and it's only around $60-70 on amazon
 

John58ford

Whoa. That's a huge range of light from nothing to pretty extreme. Which nicrew light in which size do you currently have? What is your plan for planting and fertilizing/CO2?


I'm not saying I would die hard recommend a nicrew but having used one, the 30" classic plus is about as much light as you can get away with using on a 29 in a natural cycle (the sun's not up for only 4 hours per day) without CO2. It's actually the benchmark I built all my custom lighting for my rack of low tech high light planted tanks to match; I can turn them up a bit more but on an equatorial light cycle (10 hours bright, 1 hour dim each side) that causes issues. The defense of a long light cycle is the natural growth patterns of plants, encouraging blooming, and, it happens to allow allot of viewing time for us humans. I do have a thread going about a lily bloom in a tank that allot of people consider to be well planted, balanced and attractive. It's often forgotten that that's the only tank on my rack(s) still using a non-custom light as the tank above it has some very special heating/clearance requirements. That light is a classic plus.

Yes the fluval in the right size can destroy the nicrew, if you have the cash, spend it and enjoy the features for sure. You may find yourself running it at 40-60% and wonder if it's worth it if it's a pinch on you though.
 

Madelon

Whoa. That's a huge range of light from nothing to pretty extreme. Which nicrew light in which size do you currently have? What is your plan for planting and fertilizing/CO2?


I'm not saying I would die hard recommend a nicrew but having used one, the 30" classic plus is about as much light as you can get away with using on a 29 in a natural cycle (the sun's not up for only 4 hours per day) without CO2. It's actually the benchmark I built all my custom lighting for my rack of low tech high light planted tanks to match; I can turn them up a bit more but on an equatorial light cycle (10 hours bright, 1 hour dim each side) that causes issues. The defense of a long light cycle is the natural growth patterns of plants, encouraging blooming, and, it happens to allow allot of viewing time for us humans. I do have a thread going about a lily bloom in a tank that allot of people consider to be well planted, balanced and attractive. It's often forgotten that that's the only tank on my rack(s) still using a non-custom light as the tank above it has some very special heating/clearance requirements. That light is a classic plus.

Yes the fluval in the right size can destroy the nicrew, if you have the cash, spend it and enjoy the features for sure. You may find yourself running it at 40-60% and wonder if it's worth it if it's a pinch on you though.
I'm not home at the moment, but I know it's the 30-36" length. I'm just not sure which version it is. I eventually would like to get another tank and use CO2, but for now, this 29 gal is a low tech tank. I am using low-light epiphyte plants but I've noticed the leaves on the anubias nana aren't looking too good. I'm not sure if it's normal for the leaves to look like someone took a bite out of them when placed into a new tank, but I definitely didn't buy it looking like that. It looked beautiful when I placed it in the tank.
 

John58ford

I wouldn't believe that holy anubias is being caused by too low of a light source in nearly all cases. I have grown anubias in "tanks" lit by nothing but the nearby lamp on a desk, holes are usually caused by too much light/too little nutrient, or predation by hungry snails, goldfish, cichlids and live bearers. Also if a leaf got rough handling.

Let's see if we can figure this out, I'll work on it here if you don't already have a plant deficiency thread going.

I believe you likely have plenty of light, how long per day is it running is it on a timer?

What is your stocking?

What fertilizer or root tabs do you use?

What is you substrate, and what did you mount the plants on?

Finally, have a picture you can share with us? One of the whole tank and maybe a close up of the plants?
 

Madelon

I wouldn't believe that holy anubias is being caused by too low of a light source in nearly all cases. I have grown anubias in "tanks" lit by nothing but the nearby lamp on a desk, holes are usually caused by too much light/too little nutrient, or predation by hungry snails, goldfish, cichlids and live bearers. Also if a leaf got rough handling.

Let's see if we can figure this out, I'll work on it here if you don't already have a plant deficiency thread going.

I believe you likely have plenty of light, how long per day is it running is it on a timer?

What is your stocking?

What fertilizer or root tabs do you use?

What is you substrate, and what did you mount the plants on?

Finally, have a picture you can share with us? One of the whole tank and maybe a close up of the plants?
I'm super new to the hobby and have spent hours/days/weeks researching different things, but plants are still something that confuse me. It could very well be too much light. I'll send over the specifics of the light I have once I get home from work.

The light is running 12 hours a day, but I have read the java fern and other low light plants do well with just 8-10 hours. Not sure if I should just cut back on the light or not.

At the moment, I'm doing a fish-in cycle with two sunset honey gouramis. They're very small. I will send pics later.

I am currently not using any fertilizer or root tabs although I do own seachem root tabs. I have gravel for substrate and all my epiphyte plants are either tied to driftwood or rocks. The anubias that is struggling is attached to a soft pebble-like rock like the attached photo. I have another anubias nana on the same kind of rock that sits below the middle of a piece of driftwood I have and it seems to be doing well. Maybe it's doing well since it's shaded? Do you recommend floating plants to maybe help with this or should I cut back on the light for a few hours a day to see if this helps?

The gravel I have is bought from a local aquarium store. It's beautiful and very soft pebble-like gravel.
I should maybe mention that I am also running the tank around 80 F and have heard that lower temperatures might help the plant in the long run. Any thoughts?
I wouldn't believe that holy anubias is being caused by too low of a light source in nearly all cases. I have grown anubias in "tanks" lit by nothing but the nearby lamp on a desk, holes are usually caused by too much light/too little nutrient, or predation by hungry snails, goldfish, cichlids and live bearers. Also if a leaf got rough handling.

Let's see if we can figure this out, I'll work on it here if you don't already have a plant deficiency thread going.

I believe you likely have plenty of light, how long per day is it running is it on a timer?

What is your stocking?

What fertilizer or root tabs do you use?

What is you substrate, and what did you mount the plants on?

Finally, have a picture you can share with us? One of the whole tank and maybe a close up of the plants?
Here's a full shot of the tank before I added Java fern in the back left corner. I'll take another picture once I get back home. The anubias that is struggling is the one in the back right corner. The fish love hiding under the driftwood over there. I can take a better picture of the leaves later.
 

Attachments

  • 71WLeJzI3AL._AC_SL1500_.jpg
    71WLeJzI3AL._AC_SL1500_.jpg
    226.1 KB · Views: 2
  • Image from iOS.jpg
    Image from iOS.jpg
    231.6 KB · Views: 2

John58ford

I'm super new to the hobby and have spent hours/days/weeks researching different things, but plants are still something that confuse me. It could very well be too much light...

...low light plants do well with just 8-10 hours. Not sure if I should just cut back on the light or not.

At the moment, I'm doing a fish-in cycle with two sunset honey gouramis. They're very small. I will send pics later.

...not using any fertilizer or root tabs although I do own seachem root tabs. I have gravel for substrate and all my epiphyte plants are either tied to driftwood or rocks. The anubias that is struggling is attached to a soft pebble-like rock like the attached photo. I have another anubias nana on the same kind of rock that sits below the middle of a piece of driftwood I have and it seems to be doing well. Maybe it's doing well since it's shaded? Do you recommend floating plants to maybe help with this or should I cut back on the light for a few hours a day to see if this helps?

The gravel I have is bought from a local aquarium store. It's beautiful and very soft pebble-like gravel.
You're awesome and seem to be a great learner. Thank you for researching a ton before jumping in.

As far as lights I have played with, the nicrews at minimum size (your using the biggest light for the smallest tank) range from medium to high lighting at 18" deep. If you have the one I use it would be high light if it's sitting on a clean glass lid on a 29. I would back it down to 8-10 hours as you've read for now.

The fish in cycle is a decent method of done with caution and not on water rationing, and I'm sure since you've researched you are monitoring levels. I bolded two things: The downfall to this is that the plants likely are going to be using most to all the nitrogen biproduct (which for all purposes here are the nitrate, nitrite and ammonia) that they can based on the amount of phosphorus and possibly potassium they have access to. They will have little access to this as most fish food is lacking in it so they are not going to be able to process at the rate your light is feeding them.

The catch is during fish-in it's not recommended to add nitrogen biproduct as it could overwhelm and put off your balance of growing bacteria. Some fertilizers even use the ammonia form of nitrogen which would be the opposite of what you need right now. It is hard to find a readily available source of phosphorus that doesn't contain the rest of the n-p-k (nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium)puzzle.

I recommend you do use the root tabs for now and they will help a bit, try gently tucking roots into the gravel to get them started running down to the nutrient bed. Yes, floaters will help, but you are also currently very nutrient limited for the health of the fish. I use lily, and ludwigia to shade my plants in the tank I run most like yours, without them my Java fern and even swords start to have issues with excess light/nutrient balance. If you do add floaters, and after 2 days have no detectable nitrogen, start dosing a fertilizer. I don't use them but I have heard great things about niloc, and easy green, whichever you can get ahold of easiest.


To run a 29 without ferts on that much light:
1x 5"+ clown pleco
4x Otto
12x rummynose
3x leftover tetras of various type
3x large mystery snail
6x mother endlers
25-50x endler fry at any given moment
1x very large amano.
Lots of work to balance the nutrient load and roughly 55% water changes every 2 weeks, keeping nitrate at 15 ppm and phosphorus just above detectable after the change. It took a long time to work up to this stocking and the plants worked up slowly with it. You can see some of the timeline (but not stocking focused) in my lily thread Nymphaea - water lily - night blooming - experience. | Aquarium Plants Forum | 515172. I also started this tank by squeezing old filters into it so it wasn't quite as fresh of a nitrogen cycle as you are starting with.
 

Madelon

You're awesome and seem to be a great learner. Thank you for researching a ton before jumping in.

As far as lights I have played with, the nicrews at minimum size (your using the biggest light for the smallest tank) range from medium to high lighting at 18" deep. If you have the one I use it would be high light if it's sitting on a clean glass lid on a 29. I would back it down to 8-10 hours as you've read for now.

The fish in cycle is a decent method of done with caution and not on water rationing, and I'm sure since you've researched you are monitoring levels. I bolded two things: The downfall to this is that the plants likely are going to be using most to all the nitrogen biproduct (which for all purposes here are the nitrate, nitrite and ammonia) that they can based on the amount of phosphorus and possibly potassium they have access to. They will have little access to this as most fish food is lacking in it so they are not going to be able to process at the rate your light is feeding them.

The catch is during fish-in it's not recommended to add nitrogen biproduct as it could overwhelm and put off your balance of growing bacteria. Sine fertilizers even use the ammonia form of nitrogen which would be the opposite of what you need right now. It is hard to find a readily available source of phosphorus that doesn't contain the rest of the n-p-k (nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium)puzzle.

I recommend you do use the root tabs for now and they will help a bit, try gently tucking roots into the gravel to get them started running down to the nutrient bed. Yes, floaters will help, but you are also currently very nutrient limited for the health of the fish. I use lily, and ludwigia to shade my plants in the tank I run most like yours, without them my Java fern and even swords start to have issues with excess light/nutrient balance. If you do add floaters, and after 2 days have no detectable nitrogen, start dosing a fertilizer. I don't use them but I have heard great things about niloc, and easy green, whichever you can get ahold of easiest.


To run a 29 without ferts on that much light:
1x 5"+ clown pleco
4x Otto
12x rummynose
3x leftover tetras of various type
3x large mystery snail
6x mother endlers
25-50x endler fry at any given moment
1x very large amano.
Lots of work to balance the nutrient load and roughly 55% water changes every 2 weeks, keeping nitrate at 15 ppm and phosphorus just above detectable after the change. It took a long time to work up to this stocking and the plants worked up slowly with it. You can see some of the timeline (but not stocking focused) in my lily thread Nymphaea - water lily - night blooming - experience. | Aquarium Plants Forum | 515172. I also started this tank by squeezing old filters into it so it wasn't quite as fresh of a nitrogen cycle as you are starting with.
It's also worth mentioning that I was running the light for 12 hours a day on the max setting so I can understand now that that may be too much light for the plants. I'll start cutting back on the light and will update you if I see any noticeable changes.
 

Similar Aquarium Threads

Replies
3
Views
370
ahouseofscales
Replies
5
Views
255
Ophitoxaemia
  • Question
Replies
2
Views
329
Shrimp42
Replies
4
Views
196
Thunder_o_b
29 Gallon Tank Planted Aquarium Light
Replies
12
Views
602
Dechi

Random Great Thread!

New Aquarium Light Threads

Latest Aquarium Threads

Top Bottom