Lighting ? Plants ?

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Sha123, Jul 4, 2014.

  1. Sha123New MemberMember

    im fishless cycling a 55 gallon tank with ammonia of 8.0 and heavily planted it .i have cryptocorne balansae , wendtii, anubias nana, green temple narrow leaf, java fern , amazon swordplants , dwarf sag , and moss . i have flourite substrate red, driftwood and lava rock. no c02 and i have 3 , 23 watt cfl bulbs 6500k . total watage is 69 . i cannot figure out why my plants always die. this is my second time trying with plants and im wasting so much money, i just dosed it today with flourish ( not flourish excel). I just want to know if i need more light and if there is something i am doing wrong can you please tell me ??

    Please help .
  2. dcutl002

    dcutl002Well Known MemberMember

    Sometimes plants will "melt" and then emerge with new growth. I believe your lighting is sufficient, but I have a question about your CFL bulbs. Are the bulbs mounted horizontally or vertically?

  3. hopeful fishWell Known MemberMember

    Are all of the plants melting, or just some? Which plants seem to be dying off? Some plants on your list are more sensitive to certain things than others, so knowing which ones are dying or dying faster will help.

    Your lighting is definitely a bit low for a few species on that list, but not so low that it would cause them to die really fast.
  4. OP

    Sha123New MemberMember

    Thank you for your responses, btw happy 4th of july. My lights are placed horizontally, my sword plants have completely turned yellowish/brown down to the stem, dwarf sag seems to be doing the same, java moss is slowly turning brown, some of the crypts are i guess you can say melting and the leaves are splitting and tearing hard to explain on the crypts but ive read they melt but im not sure what it would look like if i saw it. i have done alot of reading but can never get a definitive answer and ive tried so many different things for some reason it doesn't work and I'm kind of tired of spending money to only achieve failure in just this aspect of the hobby i want to get it right and not have to worry no more. I thought at first it was the high ammonia due to the cycling but it happened in my other tank which is established, than i thought i should use liquid ferts, i get to much algae growth (following prescribed dosing on bottle) so i lower the light. I need a balance which i cant find, without having to use co2 how much lighting should i put in the tank? how high from the water level should i place the light fixture? should i place them vertically? any kind of help would be most appreciated. Thank You again and hope everyone enjoys thier holiday :)

    also my photo period is 3 hrs on 2 hrs off and than another 3 hrs on so it goes like this (8am-11am lights on..11am-1pm lights off..1pm-4pm lights on) i read somewhere that will create co2, i put this information in so that in case this isn't what i should be doing you guys can correct me
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 5, 2014
  5. delta5

    delta5Well Known MemberMember

    You should do 16hrs on 8hrs off. Your light bulbs may be not outputting the right spectrum. I am only running a single 48" 35W full spectrum light on a 55G tank and no issues.
  6. Rivieraneo

    RivieraneoModeratorModerator Member

    I believe CO2 is created by staggering your photo period when you have fish in your tank only, not just plants. Also, when cycling, you want to keep your ammonia below 4PPM, anything more can hinder beneficial bacteria growth.

    I've also moved your thread to the aquarium lighting section of the forum. Best of luck.
  7. hopeful fishWell Known MemberMember

    Hmmm…. You said that you experienced algae with ferts and higher lights. If you hadn't had algae before the ferts were added, than this was probably an overdose of ferts, which you fixed by lowering the light. If I were you, I'd bring the higher lighting back (up to 2-3 watts per gallon, right now you're a bit over 1) and use less ferts.

    The Sword is probably melting b/c of lighting (they need at least medium). I know what you mean by the crypt's leaves "splitting"--mine have done this before. They typically die off when you first get them, so I'm not shocked. The java moss dying concerns me, though. Typically, this plant can live through anything but bleach. Do you know your levels of nutrients in the tank?
  8. OP

    Sha123New MemberMember

    thanks for the reply, um no im not sure what my nutrient levels are, how can i check nutrients? is there a test kit for that? and what should my levels be at?
    i just started dosing flourish iron everyday for the past few days i was hoping that would bring some of the plants back to life, even tho i stated i didn't want to ad co2 but now im thinking i may as well if its gonna keep my plants from dying and make them grow full potential, any thoughts? i was going to do the diy paintball co2 system, i read a lot about it and i happen to have a co2 container laying around so i figured why not

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