What LED colors do plants need most?

StarGirl15

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Im new to the LED world and I have no clue what to set my colors on...I have mostly low light plants.

Anubias
Jungle Val
Moneywort
Ludwegia Repens
Crypt Lutea
Amazon Sword

Someone said too much blue promotes algae. I just was reading blue grows leafs better than any other, but needs Red with it.
Green doesn't do much but they still need it.

So I need a bit of a hand for a good starting set up. Mine right now is at:
80% white
78% green
75%red
50% blue

Running from 2pm to 10pm
 

kallililly1973

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I don't know the specific colors they need or prefer but i have had a Finnex 24/7 on my 55 for over 2 years and the first few months i had it set on the 24/7 mode and it made a lot of algae in my tank so i switched it to just the brightest light setting for 8 hours from 12-8 and also with the help of my cleaning crew its basically algae free and very heavily planted.
 
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StarGirl15

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Side note..... @kallililly1973 does your albino pleco have any whiskers yet? Mine does not so Im hopeful its a female. I know you wanted a male. Are they still to young?
 

Rcslade124

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Green plants dont use green red plants dont use red. Blue helps photosynthesis in the plants
 

kallililly1973

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StarGirl15 said:
So what was the 24/7 mode, all colors 100%?
Yes it is an extremely bright light and IMO and IME an amazing light for a planted tank when the time it is on is regulated :)
StarGirl15 said:
Side note..... @kallililly1973 does your albino pleco have any whiskers yet? Mine does not so Im hopeful its a female. I know you wanted a male. Are they still to young?
I think they are still a bit young to tell. My 29 need s a serious trimming but he/she is always out n about grazing. Still hoping we get the genders we want to be able to share their growth :)
 

WetRootsNH

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Rcslade124 said:
Green plants dont use green red plants dont use red. Blue helps photosynthesis in the plants
This is the standard understanding but has become a bit... aged...
Most older text books and websites went for the simple: "green plants are green because they reflect the green light" thing.
Many have now changed or are changing. It's not that simple. Green plants don't use as much green light as they do the other spectrums. But they still do use green a wee bit. Specifically when you get beyond the outermost surface of the leaf. It seems that the inner leaf does use some green light in a few of its functions.
So, Green plants don't use very much green. Either way, you'll need green in your spectrum for your green plants to look nice as that will show their coloration the best and the same goes for red plants needing red light to look their best to us.
For red plants you need that blue, violet, and sometimes UV-A to develop that red coloration in the plant itself but to your eye, you'll need red light to see the coloration. Red plants however still utilize red spectrums to a more meaningful degree than straight green plants utilize green spectrums. Red pigments are added pigments not replacement pigments. So there's still chlorophyll in there which is still going to have that desire for red spectrums. It just has a nice red coating as well. That being said, you can bring out "more red" in red plants temporarily by reducing the plants access to nitrogen causing the chlorophyll to die back (think autumn leaves; chlorophyll is shorter lived and dies back showing all the pretty colors underneath) and therefore reducing the amount of green in the leaf. This allows more of the red pigment to show up to your eye. In the long run this is not healthy for the plant though. Which is why people will often do it only before photoshoots or contests.

To not jump ship and actually answer the OP:
Plants need blue and red spectrums the most but prefer the entire spectrum and will utilize all of it in one function or another. Can you get by with Blue and Red? Yeah, in most cases. But blue and red heavy with the rest of the spectrum slipped in is going to make for the healthiest growth and provide the best viewing to your eye.
UV, violet, blue for cartenoids, anthocyanins, and the beginning of chlorophylls A and B's production.
Cyan, green, yellow for viewing pleasure and lower level functions in the plants.
Red for the back end of chlorophylls A and B's production.
Apparently far red and into infrared are even used to trigger sleep/energizing periods and flower production.
In short, I'd go for a light with white, red, blue, and green spectrums and if possible (controlled spectrum) lay on the blue and red a little thicker without sacrificing too much of your viewing quality.
 

altwitch

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Also use Planted + on all my planted tanks. Lighting comes down to two main factors from experience so far, spectrum and duration. A couple short periods, about 3 hours on then three hours off promote plant growth and inhibit algae. The Finnex in it's standard configuration is on about 16 hours per day and moves slowly through the color spectrum providing a warm reddish light like sunrise in the mornings, transitioning to intense white light at midday and moving toward a midnight blue toward the end of the cycle; however, this can easily be programed and I've played with mine as I've had problems. Have 2x 48" in my main 120g which is 24" deep and 1 light on my 18" deep which needs tweaked as it's producing a bit too much algae on one side.

Hope that helps.
 

WetRootsNH

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smee82 said:
As @WetRootsNH said but i believe you want a bit more red then blue. I personally prefer t5ho to led's though.
And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Or any approach for that matter. People worry too much about the specifics. If you are going to go all out then you should go all out but if you just want to grow some plants, most lighting approaches will work.
Everyone is always worried about hitting that 6500k sweet spot, or getting higher wattage, or worried about getting their schedule down to the minute. It is not critical to hit exact parameters to grow healthy plants and avoid algae. You can grow plants with lights of all kinds of temperatures, wattage, and constructions. As you get into more demanding species you may have to make some alterations but there is no point at which you are going to need exactly 6501k temperature with exactly 92.5092 watts lights of a sodium halide specific construction.
 

Vinh

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WetRootsNH said:
And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Or any approach for that matter. People worry too much about the specifics. If you are going to go all out then you should go all out but if you just want to grow some plants, most lighting approaches will work.
Everyone is always worried about hitting that 6500k sweet spot, or getting higher wattage, or worried about getting their schedule down to the minute. It is not critical to hit exact parameters to grow healthy plants and avoid algae. You can grow plants with lights of all kinds of temperatures, wattage, and constructions. As you get into more demanding species you may have to make some alterations but there is no point at which you are going to need exactly 6501k temperature with exactly 92.5092 watts lights of a sodium halide specific construction.
So! What is your suggestion:
With 8 hrs light for most green plants and few red plants for 18 inches tank deep. Red 100% Blue 100% Green 30%-40% and white is set for eyes pleasant range from 10% to 100%. Is that good setting to avoid algae and promote the grow??
 

WetRootsNH

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As far as spectrum and intensity goes I typically start it lower than I anticipate I will want it and then raise it until I start to see evidence of algae forming then dial it back a touch. So that my light is capped and a constant.
For schedule I do the same. Start at 8. Raise if I can, lower if algae is starting to show.
The trying to reduce specific spectrums to grow plants and not get algae is not something I'm keen on. Most algae use chlorophyll just like plants do. If you are reducing a color enough to stop the algae from photosynthesis than you are doing the same to the plants.
 
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