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Adding a red LED for plant growth?

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Crom, Apr 3, 2015.

  1. Crom

    Crom Junior Poster

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    I currently have what is designed to be a 72 gallon, Excel dosed, non-CO2, low/med light planted tank.


    I have the "Current" LED light fixture which I believe hits the bottom at about 25 par.


    I feel my plant growth is weaker than I would like. There may be some potassium deficiency which I am working on, but my other concern is- the crypts were full when I put them in, now they are spaced. My mosses don't seem to be responding at all, while the sags, micros swords and some marsilea hirsuta is slowly dwindling away to nothing.


    My thought are, I should buy a second Current LED fixture and just double up (which I likely will)


    However, I am understanding that the problem could be that not enough red light is penetrating. I bought a Marineland submersible red LED (which seems rather bright). - and I am blasting it across the bottom for about 5 hours per day. DO YOU THINK IT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE?


    My current lighting schedule is 4 1/2 hours of 6500K LED's + the Red LED's, 90 minutes off... then 5 1/2 hours of just the normal LED's.


    I don't have any algae problems, and my ferns and anubis are doing ok.


    Thanks for any feedback.
     
  2. jemco

    jemco New Member

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    25 par won't do it for just about any plant. You need about double that especially for marsilea and microswords. Your wasting your $$ on buying another Current led. 2 things : you need to start adding CO2 and if your depth is more than 18" from light fixture to substrate try either Finnex Ray2 or a buildmyled light strip. Check it out here : http://www.buildmyled.com I have 2 BML strips for my 120gal. ( depth from light - which is about 2" above water surface - to substrate is about 23" ) These lights are so powerful I have the intensities dialed back to ~60% and my foreground Blyxa j., HC, and Glossostigma is growing out like a carpet.
     
  3. Crom

    Crom Junior Poster

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    I appreciate the feedback, that light is actually cheaper and looks like it holds 45-55 par or so at 20 inches. So I will probably pick one up.


    I am still curious about the affect of a RED led light, since that was the primary reason a few years back LED's weren't viable because they couldn't replicate red in the spectrum.


    Again, thanks for the light recommendation, but I disagree on the CO2


    http://www.barrreport.com/forum/barr-report/non-co2-methods/2936-non-co2-methods


    I have 2 other tanks that are thriving with non-CO2, including a 120. Only difference is they are T5.
     
  4. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Not sure about the PAR being an issue. I Remember reading some people running 25-35 PAR and doing OK with it. They most likely had CO2 and good circulation though. Without an actual meter your PAR values are a complete WAG though.


    So there's definitely some wiggle room with a very large "It depends". I'm not familiar enough with the red LED in question but I suspect if they aren't at least 1 Watt LEDs they are probably more of a color accent kind of light vs anything actually helpful unless you have a shallow tank.
     
  5. Dennis Singh

    Dennis Singh SynKing!

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    What plants are you doing? If this is a low tech tank, which seems so your not using co2, then 25 par is plenty hitting the substrate. You have pictures, would help distinguish the problem. I grow syngonanthus at about 40 par at the substrate and erios at about 12 par indirect lighting. + - 8% accuracy on the par meter. People tend to overkill lights a lot. Co2 would help. Excel might be overdosing as its a sterilizer more in my opinion
     
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