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Lighting, pearling, plant colors, etc.

Discussion in 'Aquascaping' started by DavidR, Apr 10, 2005.

  1. DavidR

    DavidR Prolific Poster

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    I've been pondering the lighting issue for quite a while now, and would like some input.

    When I first got into high light/CO2 injected tanks, I was excited. Plant growth was awesome, they pearled like crazy, colors were vivid, and there was zero algae. This was in a 29g tank with 180w of PC lighting & pressurized CO2. I attempted a high light setup in a 100g (55wx6), but the sheer maintenance of pruning was too much at the time; I was pulling 5g buckets of plants out each week. I wanted to slow things down a bit, so currently I have a 75g with a Coralife 4x65w PC fixture (the 100g with 55wx5 is now a planted cichlid tank with rooted plants). Well, the plants grow well in the 75g, but they don't really pearl. The colors aren't quite as vivid as I'd like and have known, and if anything becomes shaded, the shaded plant suffers. Plant growth is relatively slow. I've got a little more time now to prune, and would surely like the LFS credit so I can get food for my fish (my cichlids are hungry guys!). The good thing is that TB's got me on track with nutrient dosing now, so algae's not a big factor.

    My question is, should I look into more light? Maybe a different fixture? Are my reflectors to blame? Is it something else? It seems that that top 8" of the tank grows nicely, but the lower 10" suffers. I'm thinking that each tank needs a certain amount of light. I don't think I'm getting the light I need, or something is amiss. I definitely enjoy the ease of a low light tank, but in this particular tank, I'd like to keep things changing at a little faster pace. I think I've got my 100g dialed in as far as proper light and plant selection and overall ease of maintenance, but my 75 is my stem plant tank, and I'd like to see a little more activity.

    I could write a book to explain it all, but I'll just leave this open for questions and advice, and I'll answer as they come. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. chubasco

    chubasco Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Lighting, pearling, plant colors, etc.

    David,
    What's the CO2 amount going into the 75? Light is #1 but CO2 is #2 on the
    dial :) Most stem plants are CO2 hungry....

    Bill
     
  3. DavidR

    DavidR Prolific Poster

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    Re: Lighting, pearling, plant colors, etc.

    I like to keep it about 6.4-6.6-ish. I have 12 dkH. My tap is about 7.8-8.0. I have to be careful, as I keep some nice fish that I don't want to die or jump out of the tank (it's open top). My rainbows will jump if the CO2 concentration gets too high. This would be a shame, because they are really gorgeous and blend well with my plants.

    You're right about the stem plants. I should add that I'm not really complaining about the plant growth. They do grow, but I'd like a little more, and I know they can do better. I'm actually having a difficult time with my R. indica & L. repens, but the acurata narrowleaf version grows very well. My hairgrass is spreading very slowly (I would say it's established, but just slow growing), but this is the first time I've kept it, so I'm not sure if that's normal. My E. stellata v. broadleaf is doing great! But my pearlgrass & H. zosterfolia aren't doing as well as they could. Any ideas?
     
  4. magicmagni

    magicmagni Prolific Poster

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    Re: Lighting, pearling, plant colors, etc.

    6.4 to 6.6 with a KH of 12. That's around 100ppm C02!!! Are you sure about that?
     
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