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The high light requirement myth

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Gerryd, Jul 18, 2010.

  1. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Although I'm using kind of low light, I have to admit that I like the tank more with 100 micromols at the substrate. It looks more bright, colours of fish and plants look better, especially cardinals. And I'm at 60 micromols now. If I turn it down to 40 I need a flashlight to see my fish. :(

    regards,
    dutchy.
     
  2. inkslinger

    inkslinger Guru Class Expert

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    I have a 110g tank {60x18x24} an have 3 pair's of t5 HO's 54w's , Would this be consider High , Should I only use 2 pairs x9hr's . I did started out with 3x 10k and 3x 65k and was fighting with algae and BBA at one point I lower the lights to 10hr with a noon burst of 2hr {all 3 pairs on} my BBA was due to low water circulation . But since redoing my tank I want to use 2 pairs to start from with 9hrs and change the lights to 2x pink 5000k and 2x midday 65k any opinion's

    :gw

    DSC_0036..JPG
     
  3. Gilles

    Gilles Lifetime Members
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    Guys i told you once before about my blyxa (japonica) not hitting more then 2" in height. Can this because i have to much light? HOpe to get my PAR meter tomorrow ;) if they actually shipped it......
     
  4. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Yikes....That's a LOT of light. I use less on my 180 gallon. I'm not surprised you had issues. Although PAR can vary with different kinds of hardware, I can give you an estimate about what to use, based on my experience in measuring various tanks. Since your tank is only 18" deep, only ONE pair of T5 with reflectors would be enough. This will still give you light enough to grow everything you want. Also this is based on NOT using any "pink" lights, because they put out only half the PAR value in comparison to a 10K. If you want to use a pink lamp anyway for aestethic purposes, you could use three tubes. (not pairs)
    Using more is just a waste of energy and work to keep all the issues away.

    regards,
    dutchy
     
    #24 dutchy, Jul 22, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 22, 2010
  5. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    I think it is not the light itself. It is that the high light drives the plants to demand more c02 and nutes. I don't think we can really supply this amount of c02 required for PAR values this high w/o harming our critters...

    So, lower light generates less demand which is somewhat easier to provide...

    I HAD high light and my blyxa is close to 6-8" high...

    I would look to c02 and general maintenance to ensure all is well. Good flow, c02, 02, etc...
     
    #25 Gerryd, Jul 22, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 22, 2010
  6. Oreo

    Oreo Guru Class Expert

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    That's a metric TON of light right there. I also have a 110gal (tall: 48"x18"x30") My fixture has two pairs of 54w T5HO, and no parabolic reflectors. I found out real quick that using all four bulbs was a mistake. Now that I've got good flow & CO2, I'm starting to wonder if I shouldn't use just one single bulb, based on what I'm seeing with algae growth. I also run a 9hr photo-period. I've been contemplating a lot about where exactly the sweet-spot balance is between light intensity & period length. 8hrs w/2bulbs vs. 9-10hrs w/1bulb... not sure. But you sure don't need 6 bulbs any way you slice it.
     
  7. inkslinger

    inkslinger Guru Class Expert

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    The pink lamps I was refering to was 2x Gieseman Aquaflora t5 54w Lamps and 2x Gieseman Midday Lamps
    Will if 2 pairs is to much there is alot of differnent ways to run these , Like 1pair 3hr each from Back to Front, or Back side pair for 4.5hr and Front side pair 4.5hr w/ a 1hr Burst with the Center Lamps Off.
    What do you think?
     
  8. CL_

    CL_ Guest

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    Ugh, tell me about it!
    That's probably why Tom nags on the lower light, CO2 is important issue.
    Many of the people on forums are kids haha. Plenty of adults as well, but they can be just as stubborn :D
     
  9. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    I'm with Gerryd on the Blyxa. Give it loads of CO2 and you can put virtually no light above it. Its a rampant weed:

    This picture was taken a day before I ripped the stuff out. 1 month growth from a few sprigs and there are even some new plantlets floatin g in the pic :) The lighting is a single T5HO 4500K pink light 30W over a 33USG (0.9WPG.)

    [​IMG]

    If you put CO2 into a 'low light' tank you see pretty surprising growth speeds. Not far from the 'highlight' tanks but of course that is also due to being much easier to keep on top of the CO2 :)

    AC
     
  10. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Yes, there are a lot of options here. Doesn't matter how you do it, but I would advise against running more than 1 pair, although a short noon burst with two pairs couldn't hurt if you can match the CO2 demand.

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  11. ismenio

    ismenio Lifetime Members
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    See this

    95 G, 24W philips cfl tornado 8 hours day, no CO2 EI one time a week and water change one a month.

    View attachment 1564

    I have other with 20 G, 24 W T5 8 hours day with CO2 and EI one time a week and water change one a month, and plants grow and no algae unless the co2 bottle finish and i let go on.

    Regards

    DSC00150_..JPG
     
  12. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Even without CO2 my blyxa has been a weed. If you can't keep up with CO2 it helps to have decent amounts of current and surface movement/skimming. At least then the atmospheric CO2 is constantly being refreshed.

    I'm only running 2 x54W on my 60x18x24 tank. Any more than that and I don't see how I'd keep up with it.

    -
    S
     
  13. inkslinger

    inkslinger Guru Class Expert

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    What type of lamps are you using and hours run?

    :gw
     
  14. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    T5HO 54W Geisemann. One daylight and one "pink". Tek 5 fixture. I've got two more daylight lamps I can turn on for when I think I might have that winter seasonal depression or just feel like I need a tan.

    I think I've got it set for 8 - 9 hours. I can't really remember. Just the two bulbs, and I've got the system suspended over the tank a good distance. Plus there's some white eggcrate on top of the tank that I use as covers to keep the cats from swimming. So all around I'm losing light from this tank.

    No pics unfortunately as I just tore everything apart (again) on this tank and plants are everywhere. I just can't seem to get this how I want it. Patience and this tank do not seem to coexist...

    -
    S


     
  15. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi all,

    Here is a pic of my tank after almost 30 days (28 days later! :) ) of lower light at 60 PAR (max) at substrate.

    The stauro carpet gets 20-40 in many places and does very well.

    EI dosed several times per week.

    C02 at about 3-4 BPS.

    Seems to be doing well and very easy to care for.. growing in like I had hoped.

    Comments and thoughts are appreciated.

    View attachment 1655 View attachment 1656 View attachment 1657
     
  16. inkslinger

    inkslinger Guru Class Expert

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    nice setup Gerry
    what type of plant is the stauro ? is this your foreground cover
     
  17. barbarossa4122

    barbarossa4122 Guru Class Expert

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    I have a standard 55g and a standard 29g. On my 55 I have 2 t5ho 54w Giesemen Aqua Flora and Midday bulbs. The light fixture is 8" above the tank. (raised it another 2" the other day from 6 to 8)

    On my 29 I have 2 39w t5ho Giesemen bulbs and the light fixture is 10" above the tank.
    I raised the lights recently after I won the battle against BBA. I do not have co2 but, I am using Metricide/Excel.
    I am planning on raising the lights 12" (about 27 to 29" above substrate) on both tanks this weekend. According to the charts I saw (Hoppy's) this will give me medium light ( 60 to 80 micromols of PAR at the substrate ). If this is not enough , I will try window screen to reduce the light even more.
    When I bought the lights I made the mistake of going by wpg "formula". Some day I will muster enough courage and go CO2.:)
    Glad to join the "low light brigade".

    Edit:

    Done. My lights are one foot above the tanks.
     
    #37 barbarossa4122, Sep 3, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 3, 2010
  18. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    60-80 PAR at the substrate is a little higher than required IMO....40-50 is fine for many plants....

    My stauro does well from 25 and up...

    The stauro repens 049 is a small stem plant and is my main carpet plant....got it from Tom originally and now has taken over.. Love it.

    BTW, the low light is really working well.

    It has slowed growth a lot, so trimming is neglible.

    However, the stauro still grows like weed and fills back in quickly...

    The tank maintains a nice 'frozen' look and requires very little effort.

    I am moving soon and will do a rescape at that time. Hoping for a new stand (at least) as well as maybe (finally) the removal of the weir walls (since tank will be drained/cleaned for the move), along with the new black intake/outlets...

    Hoping to get a conduit hanging fixture setup as well if I can find the time......
     
    #38 Gerryd, Sep 4, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2010
  19. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Ink,

    YES!!!!! I would consider this OVERKILL :)

    You are using way too much light....please dial it back a lot.. 1 set of bulbs is more than enough most likely as long as a good spread is maintained.

    It is more c02 that is the vital component to match to light levels to sustain good growth..

    Folks can grow blyxa in both high and low light. The common denominator seems to be c02...

    Mine has slowed considerably since I lowered the light, but I can see it WANTS to take over lol

    View attachment 1686
     
    #39 Gerryd, Sep 4, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2010
  20. barbarossa4122

    barbarossa4122 Guru Class Expert

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    Hello Gerryd.

    You right but, I hope the reflectors are not that good:) One fixture has individual reflectors, the other has a single reflector but, it's very well polished from what I can see. 48" Nova Extreme and 36" Finnex. 2 weeks since my bba treatment and it did not return, yet.
     
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