My Lighting

yukoandk

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My new goldfish tank is planted and has some goldfish babies Thanks for all your help so far with substrates and such. I'm trying Tetra SafeStart for the first time on this tank to see what all the hype is about--if it works, great, if not I'll transfer seeded media from my other tank.

This is a 55 gal, has a mix of Flourite, Flourite Sand and top layer of gravel. There's a 25 gal sump underneath, and in it I threw some Hornwort and a clamp light with a 75w equiv CFL. The lighting on top is 2x39w T5HO, 6700k & 10000k, and the tank is rather tall at 24".

Question of the day: Does the watt-per-gallon rule work the same way when you have HO bulbs? Can I call this a "medium-light" tank for the purpose of finding suitable plants as far as the light requirements go? I would like to add few more plants in near future.

Thanks!
 

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Nutter

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T5HO lights have roughly double the light intensity per watt in comparison to T8 (assuming you have a good reflector, (10w T5HO = 20w T8 roughly).

So 2 x 39w = 78w. Double 78w is 156w, (2.83wpg). Then you have your 75w equivalant CFL on top of that. I'm npot a fan of the wpg rule. I think it's rather stupid actually but I can safely say that you are in the high light zone & it would be well worth you adding co2 & nutrients to the mix if you are not already doing so.
 
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yukoandk

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Hello Nutter,

I added some fertilizer tabs in gravel hoping it will help with root growth to anchor the plants. I do have Flourish comprehensive and Excel on hand, but I'm not sure how to go about using them or if I need to use them. From what I understand, they need to be dosed on a schedule of at least every other day? I've learned so far that I need to strike the balance between light/nutrients/co2 for the plants, and if in this case the light is pushing the chart, can it cause the plants to fail?

The clamp lamp is for the sump which sits inside the cabinet under the tank. Without fully proofing my logic, I decided to set the timer to switch on/off the two lights alternately--while the tank light is on, the sump light is off. Do you foresee any issues with this? I guess my logic was when/if the plants grew well, I didn't want the oxygen level to be depleted at night for my goldfish.

The giant hairgrass is turning brown in the mid part, and I'm afraid it will loose most of its top growth. It did have some brown spots prior to planting so it could be from shipping, but it is not recovering as I'd hoped. Other plants are doing relatively well--Ludwigia lost some leaves, Rotala is looking a little soggy toward the bottom, but they all have new growth.

Thank you as always, do you ever think you may want some goldfish? Just kidding!
 

Nutter

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Seeing as your not injecting co2 gas, having alternating lights between the sump & the main tank is probably going to be a good idea, assumming there are just as many plants in the sump as there are in the main tank. Having the lighting like that will help keep the PH more stable as well as the oxygen levels.

Definitley start using the Excel or injecting co2 gas somehow. The lack of co2 is going to be a big problem to your plants, especially the Hairgrass. The other problem is that if you have high light, good nutrient supply but no added carbon (co2) then you will have an imbalance in the aquarium & algae problems are sure to set in.

Adding Excel each day is no big deal. Use a syringe to get the right amount & squirt it in the tank when you feed the fish in the morning. Using the Comprehensive is just as easy. Use a syringe for that as well (different syringe to Excel) & add a set amount every day or every 3 days or whatever works for you. Start off with the recommended doses of both Excel & Comprehensive & increase them from there if you feel the need to. Keep a good eye on your fish to make sure they don't start exibiting signs of oxygen deficiency from the use of Excel as you increase the amount of it you are using.

If you like you can PM me with the details of how many of what kind of plants you have & I can work out a fertilizer regime for you that will be a good starting point for you to work from. If you do that please include the exact water parameters (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, KH, GH & PH), as well as the length of time the lights are on in each tank.
 
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yukoandk

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Ok, Nutter. I'll try Excel and Comprehensive. I'll see how the plants do and will let you know. Thank you so much!
 
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