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20 gallon high lighting

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by nebulou5, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. nebulou5

    nebulou5 Junior Poster

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    I have been getting more and more into planted tanks as of late. I have quite a few of plants in the tank and a decently stocked 20 gallon. With DIY CO2, and a Hagen ladder (1 Hagen bottle and 1 2 liter bottle), is two t5 ho 24 watt glo lights on the tank. I am trying out a low level EI dosing regime. Do I have currently have to much light? Growth is ok, the dwarf saggs are going crazy, the scarlet temple is only doing so so, and crypts not so well. No algea problems as of yet, doing a 50% water change weekly. Stem plants doing ok, I guess. I have been reading more and more and I am wondering if 1 T5 HO is enough light, and is 2 way to much light for the tank with just DIY? Please help me out. Thanks guys. This stuff is fun.
     
  2. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    A single 24w T5HO would probably be appropriate for a 20g with DIY CO2. The 2nd will probably run you in to algae. You could probably go higher if lighting is an issue by supplementing with another lighting source; a T8 or regular T5 perhaps.

    It's all a matter of what you want to achieve with your tank. Higher light, and more importantly better spread, is important to people who want high density ground cover. With DIY CO2, you probably won't be heading this way, so lower light is a far easier alternative.

    -Philosophos
     
  3. nebulou5

    nebulou5 Junior Poster

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    I have moved to just the one 24 watt T5HO and placed it about 3 to 4 inches above the aquarium with no glass. I always figured if an algea break out would have happened it would have been during the start. I still am doing 5ml excel every other day, and DIY CO2. Is it possible to get decent growth with Alternanthera reineckii, DIY CO2, and lower light? Is this even considered lower light, or medium, the whole T5 HO and light specs can be so damn confusing. I assume I should probably cut back to about 1/3 EI.

    My goals are to have lush healthy growth with the materials I have. I have the patience to wait it out.

    Thank you very much for the response -Philosophos
     
  4. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    You can dose full EI on a low light tank, though 50% might be preferable.

    Red plants aren't about light level; they do fine at 50mmol PAR as well. The question would be whether 24w will maintain this level at the leaf in your specific tank.

    To be honest, if you have healthy plants, and the setup is atypical, I'd recommend figuring out why it's working. If it's sustainable, then you've got a new method on your hands.

    It sounds like you've doubled up your DIY CO2, which I missed the first time. Perhaps you're achieving almost necessary levels that way. Paired with say a nutrient deficiency with those light levels and reduced ferts, you may have slowed the algae growth down a little.

    How old is the setup? It sounds like your crypts aren't even done melting and regrowing yet. Tanks under a month old show plant that are more of their previous conditions than their current.

    -Philosophos
     
  5. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    If you can, alternate the lights with a short over lap. What are you dosing other then Excel?
     
  6. nebulou5

    nebulou5 Junior Poster

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    Um, as far as dosing goes I was dosing liquid ferts, Flourish, Phosphate, Pottassium, Nitrogen.

    Philosophos, you are correct about the crypts, I believe they are in the process of coming back, one doing better than the other two at this time. I think the dwarf saggs were sucking alot of the nutrients up because they were going crazy at first, now they appear to have slowed down in growth.

    The tank is serveral years old actually. I just recently attempted to bring it back to a fully planted tank (DIY low tech style) instead of just moss and a few swords. I started dosing with the instructions on the back of the Seachem product bottles and using better light about 2 months ago. The saggs went crazy immediately and the amazon got out of control and began to take up to much space so I removed it within the last two weeks and started to rescape the entire tank with the exception of the crypts and dwarf saggs. As far as the Alternanthera reineckii it never looked good to begin with honestly but other than the bb algea (which I have since removed bad leaves, pruned, and replanted the cuttings) its looking better in my tank but far from what I have seen on this forum and others. I have read it is a slow grower so I hope it turns out well. Do you believe this plant is viable with just the 1 24 watt t5 ho? Anyways, I have been reading about EI for a bit so when I rescaped and pruned the plants I moved to this.

    Tug, what do you mean alternate the lights with a slight overlap? Hey, I live in Alexandria!

    So I should go for about a 50% EI?

    Currently the plants I have are java moss on drivftwood, anubias nana on driftwood, some golden nessea (which the pet store was gonna throw away but I am trying to bring it back), dwarf saggs, 3 crypts, and the Alternanthera reineckii bunched on the right side, pennywort, and vals.

    Thanks for the input guys.
     
  7. nebulou5

    nebulou5 Junior Poster

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    Um, as far as dosing goes I was dosing liquid ferts, Flourish, Phosphate, Pottassium.

    Philosophos, you are correct about the crypts, I believe they are in the process of coming back, one doing better than the other two at this time. I think the dwarf saggs were sucking alot of the nutrients up because they were going crazy at first, now they appear to have slowed down in growth.

    The tank is serveral years old actually. I just recently attempted to bring it back to a fully planted tank (DIY low tech style) instead of just moss and a few swords. I started dosing with the instructions on the back of the Seachem product bottles and using better light about 2 months ago. The saggs went crazy immediately and the amazon got out of control and began to take up to much space so I removed it within the last two weeks and started to rescape the entire tank with the exception of the crypts and dwarf saggs. As far as the Alternanthera reineckii it never looked good to begin with honestly but other than the bb algea (which I have since removed and pruned the plant and replanted the cuttings) its looking better in my tank but far from what I have seen on this forum and others. I have read it is a slow grower so I hope it turns out well. Do you believe this plant is viable with just the 1 24 watt t5 ho? Anyways, I have been reading about EI for a bit so when I rescaped and pruned the plants I moved to this.

    Tug, what do you mean alternate the lights with a slight overlap?

    So I should go for about a 50% EI and stick with the lower light?

    Currently the plants I have are java moss on drivftwood, anubias nana on driftwood, some golden nessea (which the pet store was gonna throw away but I am trying to bring it back), dwarf saggs, 3 crypts, and the Alternanthera reineckii bunched on the right side, pennywort, and vals.

    Thanks for the input guys.
     
  8. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Ya, you'd be nutrient limited if you're dosing with seachem specs. Try doing true EI; get your self some dry ferts. It'll be cheaper long term, and it gives you a chance to learn about nutrients along the way.

    Cut back to 50% EI if you're doing 50% light. Dose the seachem full strength at half light perhaps, maybe double at what you're doing right now. If you do, you may see algae blooms because of insufficient CO2 (depending on whether that DIY is enough), if you don't dose you'll probably see deficiencies popping up.

    Tug's idea isn't bad at all; you could run one set full day, and do short bursts with both on if need be.

    -Philosophos
     
  9. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    The one T5HO will be plenty of light. I've been told it is medium light, say 3 wpg. I was just thinking if they turn on and off independently then run one light for part of the day and the other the rest of the day to increase the life of the bulbs.

    This is what I dose per 10 ml water and for now w/out CO2.
    1/4 Tsp KNO3 = 10 ppm and IMO this also gives me enough Potassium. Add fish wast and soon the water reaches a nitrate level of 20 ppm.

    1/2 Tsp Flourish Phosphate = 5 ppm.

    1/8 Tsp Equilibrium.

    Just wondering, what happened to your Vals when you started using Excel?
     
  10. nebulou5

    nebulou5 Junior Poster

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    Hmmm, come to think of it, I have noticed that they are melting a little.
     
  11. nebulou5

    nebulou5 Junior Poster

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    Well, I looked today and it appears no more mid day pearling going on. Is this a good or bad thing, or just different? Maybe its just in my mind but I always used to come home and see bubbles coming from the bottom and the ricca all covered in bubbles. Any ideas Philosophos or should I just be patient? What about if I raised the two lights to the highest level on the fixture?
     
  12. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    Just different

    When you say cut back to 50% EI are you talking about frequency but not dosage? Frequency maybe, dosage should stay the same.



    Please read, The Estimative Index of Dosing, or No Need for Test Kits if you haven't already. About your pearling question this post answers your question. Trying to understand pearling better
     
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