Planted Tank With Led's: Glass Canopy Or No?

Cyclsnipas

Valued Member
Messages
428
Reaction score
108
Points
78
Experience
More than 10 years
I've noticed a lot of planted aquariums do not have lids or canopies on them. I assume this is for better lighting.

I have Fluval Planted 2.0 and Aqua-sky led fixtures on my planted 65. The tank came with glass canopies and I've always kept them on the tank. Lets just say my plants have never done particularly stellar even with regular use of Thrive fertilizer, iron, potassium and root tabs. They grow slowly and tend to get leggy when they do grow. Being a deep tank at 24", I'm wondering if the glass canopies are causing lighting issues. Should I lose the canopies???
 

Jocelyn Adelman

Fishlore VIP
Messages
4,930
Reaction score
2,992
Points
308
Experience
2 years
Chances are the aquasky isn’t providing enough light for a tank of that depth. Canopies do have some effect on lighting, but not enough to make a huge difference... (unless of course you don’t clean it often)...issue with open tops is evap as well as damage to non water proof leds. I run most of my tanks open topped, more due to my laziness in not wanting to clean the hard water stains off too often... with that also comes the risk of jumpers...
 

-Mak-

Fishlore VIP
Messages
4,666
Reaction score
3,101
Points
298
Experience
3 years
Rimless/hoodless/topless tanks are for aesthetic reasons more than anything, it keeps the tank itself from being distracting from the aquascape. However, it does help with lighting.
 

Wraithen

Fishlore VIP
Messages
4,352
Reaction score
1,694
Points
198
Experience
3 years
I used barkeepers friend for my glass in my 65 gallon. The hard water etching was polished away very quickly.

The glass takes some of your par but you're fighting an uphill battle with plants in a 2 foot tall tank. How much substrate do you have? 4 inches helps a lot. I've got the planted 3.0 and the edge 360 on different times. You wont get bushy growth in that tank without co2 and some serious lighting. My swords, hygro, crypts, mosses, and sag do ok. I killed a lot of them off treating my tank but they are making a bit of a comeback.

It's tough in that tank. I feel ya!
 

SFGiantsGuy

Well Known Member
Messages
1,088
Reaction score
388
Points
108
Experience
More than 10 years
Or to prevent shrimp from catapaulting themselves out abounds from the tank, or to halt snails from slithering amuck lol I still keep lids on some of the tanks that house snails and shrimp mainly for those exact purposes. Lids generally also don't really have an overly dramatic effect on your light's overall PAR parameters either all that much really, especially if you have a really good, strong light.
 

SFGiantsGuy

Well Known Member
Messages
1,088
Reaction score
388
Points
108
Experience
More than 10 years
Hmmm, still run the Ray2 though as well heh...and planted + 2.0's and NICREWS here. Honestly, I'm very surprised that Thrive did NOT do so well for you...it's pretty strong stuff...perhaps some more micros...? And/or a stronger light with more penetrating PAR? I dose a concoction of Easy Green, Flourish AND Thrive, (mostly Thrive though) as well as API and Flourish root tabs. (mostly for my Swords, as I've said before, they ARE root tab pigs!) Never had any issues with canopies or lids when it comes to lighting, but if I did NOT have any snails or shrimp, I'd go lidless.
 

86 ssinit

Fishlore VIP
Messages
4,719
Reaction score
4,005
Points
308
Experience
More than 10 years
Yes what kind of plants? I have a 90gal that is 24” deep and I’m happy with plant growth. No co2 yet but I’m growing all the easier plants swords,crypts,anubias some draft lillys and a few other plants. My lighting is a finnex 24/7 and a vivagrow 24/7. Seems like enough lighting to me. My tank is acrylic so it’s covered. Hope this helps.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #10

Cyclsnipas

Valued Member
Messages
428
Reaction score
108
Points
78
Experience
More than 10 years
Basically I'm wondering if the combination of canopies and tank depth could be the problem. I'm going to be adding Co2 as soon as my regulator shows up, hopefully that helps.

Currently I'm growing Java fern, numerous species of Anubius, Brazilian Pennywort, Dwarf Pennywort, Rotala Nanjenshen, C.Wendtii bronze, C.Spiralis, C.Balansae, Crinum Calamistratum, Dwarf lilies, Amazon, Red Melon and another unknown species of sword plant.
 

SFGiantsGuy

Well Known Member
Messages
1,088
Reaction score
388
Points
108
Experience
More than 10 years
I think it maybe was TexasDomer who submitted the metaphor for the "triangle": Light FIRST, then substrate, and then finally, ferts. Think you may require a more powerful light for deeper in water PAR effect, (especially at 2 feet of depth!) that will be universally acceptable for your plants. Light first and foremost.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #12

Cyclsnipas

Valued Member
Messages
428
Reaction score
108
Points
78
Experience
More than 10 years
I should mention I have a 3 hour break in lighting during the day. I used to have major algae issues when the tank was first set up. Maybe I should remove the break? Perhaps the plants need stronger and/or longer lighting?
 

86 ssinit

Fishlore VIP
Messages
4,719
Reaction score
4,005
Points
308
Experience
More than 10 years
No the 3 hr break is a good idea. Think you need more lighting. I’m growing almost the same plants and dosing all you are but is stead of trive I’m using flourish comprehensive
 

TexasDomer

Fishlore Legend
Messages
33,058
Reaction score
9,021
Points
608
Experience
2 years
Cyclsnipas said:
Basically I'm wondering if the combination of canopies and tank depth could be the problem. I'm going to be adding Co2 as soon as my regulator shows up, hopefully that helps.

Currently I'm growing Java fern, numerous species of Anubius, Brazilian Pennywort, Dwarf Pennywort, Rotala Nanjenshen, C.Wendtii bronze, C.Spiralis, C.Balansae, Crinum Calamistratum, Dwarf lilies, Amazon, Red Melon and another unknown species of sword plant.
Are you having trouble with all of them, or just the more demanding ones (Rotala, the last two crypts, Crinum)?

A canopy shouldn't affect lighting, as it is above the light bulb. But a lid would affect the lighting.

24" tanks are difficult to work with. I gave up on my 24" tank as a planted tank.

SFGiantsGuy said:
I think it maybe was TexasDomer who submitted the metaphor for the "triangle": Light FIRST, then substrate, and then finally, ferts. Think you may require a more powerful light for deeper in water PAR effect, (especially at 2 feet of depth!) that will be universally acceptable for your plants. Light first and foremost.
It wasn't me, and I would caution against getting a more powerful light without addressing ferts. And substrate doesn't have a lot to do with it, as long as ferts are sufficient.

Cyclsnipas said:
I should mention I have a 3 hour break in lighting during the day. I used to have major algae issues when the tank was first set up. Maybe I should remove the break? Perhaps the plants need stronger and/or longer lighting?
No, the break shouldn't have anything to do with it.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #15

Cyclsnipas

Valued Member
Messages
428
Reaction score
108
Points
78
Experience
More than 10 years
Wouldn't removing the canopies (lids) that are usually covered in condensation, water spots and muck allow better light penetration??? That equals stronger lighting no???
 

SFGiantsGuy

Well Known Member
Messages
1,088
Reaction score
388
Points
108
Experience
More than 10 years
True, but still, light first and foremost, as he may not have enough PAR especially with a 2 foot depth; thus, that would render any ferts ALMOST ineffective. He needs to find the balance of light AND ferts, so in most respects, guess we're BOTH correct, Texas! lol Yeah and you're right, substrate's not all that critical...
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #17

Cyclsnipas

Valued Member
Messages
428
Reaction score
108
Points
78
Experience
More than 10 years
I could crank up the intensity on the 2.0. Right now its around 3/4 to max. The tank looks plenty bright as is, increasing the lighting anymore could be overkill...I'm also thinking, though the tank itself is 24" deep, the plants are not 24" away from the lighting. I have at least 4" of substrate which brings them that much closer. Am I grasping at straws here?
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #18

Cyclsnipas

Valued Member
Messages
428
Reaction score
108
Points
78
Experience
More than 10 years
The plants aren't necessarily doing horrible. Just not great. There is growth, albeit marginal. I see other tanks with similar setups and plants and they're growing like mad. Its baffling to me that I never seem to get similar if not same results. Makes me think there's an underlying issue I'm missing.
 

Wraithen

Fishlore VIP
Messages
4,352
Reaction score
1,694
Points
198
Experience
3 years
Cyclsnipas said:
The plants aren't necessarily doing horrible. Just not great. There is growth, albeit marginal. I see other tanks with similar setups and plants and they're growing like mad. Its baffling to me that I never seem to get similar if not same results. Makes me think there's an underlying issue I'm missing.
By similar setups are you referring to 2 foot high tanks? I'll admit all of my plants are doing ok. I dont expect great growth in my tank though, just good colors and steady growth. The only thing that grows great in my tank is my hygro temple plant. I just got weeping moss but its placed high on driftwood and I wont know for sure how well it will do for a while.

Your 4 inch substrate does more for you than your lids are doing against you. I was reading another forum and someone was posting par readings without lids, with clean lids, and with dirty lids. Even the dirty lids weren't reducing a crazy amount of par. I cant remember now, but while it wasnt a negligible amount, it also wasnt a crazy reduction.

Co2 wont help much if your plants cant get enough light. I would bump up the lighting to full when it is on and see what problems that gives you. Your plants can tell you for sure when they are getting stuck with missing a component for photosynthesis.

Bottom line, with 4 inches of substrate, good lighting, root tabs and ferts, you should be getting ok growth with a clean glass lid. I clean mine once a month with barkeepers friend. Its readily available and is great for removing hard water etching. Can we see a pic of your tank? You may be doing better than you think if you're comparing against smaller tanks and experienced aquascapers.

Another thing to be mindful of is sometimes your plants will do ok for a few months and then explode in growth as they reach better lighting. My temple plants started shooting up very leggy and are now growing many more leaves per inch of stem than they were when they were only a couple inches long. My swords and val will do the same in a few months since I had to chop them almost to the roots.
 
Toggle Sidebar

Aquarium Calculator

Follow FishLore!





Top Bottom