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  1. We are after as many aquarium plant images that we can get, doing so will assist us in completing the aquarium plant database.

    https://barrreport.com/threads/aquatic-plant-images-wanted.14374/
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I Chose A Method, Defined A Goal, But Not Sure About Light

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by LittleBrownDog, Apr 5, 2018.

  1. LittleBrownDog

    LittleBrownDog New Member

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    Hello,

    First of all, big thanks to Tom Barr among and others that have made EI attainable. It starts off super confusing, but with all of the breakdowns and articles, you finally realize it's not as difficult as your brain naturally wants to make it.

    I want to create a nature aquarium with slow to moderate growth. I am starting out with 1/4 EI levels and daily doses of excel. My tank is a 125 gallon six foot tank. I have roughly a 3-4" of the tank left unfilled to allow for plants to grow out of the water. The main plants include or will include:
    -Bolbitis
    -Java fern narrow leaf
    -Water Sprite
    -Brazilian pennywort
    -Hygrophilia types
    -Rotala
    -Ludwigia repens

    Current lighting is five 23 watt CFL bulbs in dome fixtures. It is hard to know how much light this is, especially near the top of the tank because most of the par data I have found starts at 10". I don't know if I should change the light or just see how things go. I would much prefer if there was a tried and true light for what I want to accomplish. Since I am experimenting with ferts and excel, having my lighting solid would be a big help.

    I would appreciate some help picking out something that would work for my goal and method. CO2 is not currently an option due to budget, but I hope to take advantage of any advantage Excel will offer for plant growth. I want to make sure my current lighting is not limiting.

    Thank you,
     
  2. Christophe

    Christophe Subscriber
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    Take care not to overdo the light, especially without CO2. You really need less than you might think. A CFL every foot or so sounds like overkill, I'd go with maybe 3 of those for starters, for no more than 7 hours.
     
  3. LittleBrownDog

    LittleBrownDog New Member

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    Thank you so much for the response.

    Wow, sounds like I need to cut down the light. I do use acrylic tops, so the par will be lowered by roughly 30% based on what I have read. Another forum indicated that my lighting may be too low, but I think people underestimate CFL.

    I will lower the light. Is this one of those deals that will take months to determine if the lighting is right?

    Aw man, six hours is a short photoperiod. Can I add a small LED or sometbing to extend my viewing time?
     
  4. Kyalgae

    Kyalgae Lifetime Members
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    As a former light addict, initially the thought of having a dimmer tank sounds lousy, but I soon forgot about that, as my plants struggled to grow, got covered in algae in under a week, and maintaining the tank became a constant battle with algae.

    I have my tank come on in the late afternoon and extend into the evening when I go to sleep, so it’s on when I get back from work. It’s something to look forward to after work, the tank looks best in the evenings anyways. It’s not so bad :) I would argue more tank maintenance, in the long, run is going to be a worse experience.
     
  5. LittleBrownDog

    LittleBrownDog New Member

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    Should I consider dropping my bulbs down to 14 watts?

    I have a lot of bolbitis. But the plant is a very dark green color, not like what I see online. Almost like a grey-green, it is so dark. Could that be an indicator of anything? Up until recently, I was not dosing.
     
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