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Too much light?

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Ekrindul, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. Ekrindul

    Ekrindul Guru Class Expert

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    Just realized this today. Having setup my 20 gallon long, I used my 30" coralife fixture with two 31 watt T5HO bulbs. Time to take a bulb out. Don't know how I missed that. Forunately, only a week in to this tank's life.

    Here's where I have a question. My 55 gallon is using a 48" coralife fixture with two 51 watt T5HO bulbs. The fixture sits about 2" to 2.5" above the tank, so about 3" to 3/5" above water surface, on for 8 hours a day, using glass tops. I have no visible algae a month in with this tank. I dose Excel every day, about 6 ml. No pressurized CO2. I prefer to plant heavy and grow slow, so am I ok with two bulbs here, or should I remove one? I'm thinking in this case, one bulb may be a bit low, but since they are T5HO, I'm not sure.
     
  2. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    If it is doing well I would leave it alone :)

    I would keep an eye on your growth. If some area does well it may cause an inbalance with the available c02/nutes....As long as things go well and no algae, you should be good to go. I think the covers and the bit of distance help. Are you doing WC on this tank at all?

    Long term IMO 1 decent T5HO on a 55 gal is plenty. Unless you can get some PAR readings we are just guessing. I would then go by what the plants tell me.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Ekrindul

    Ekrindul Guru Class Expert

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    Thanks, Gerry. That's what I keep telling myself, but wanted some reassurance.

    50% to 60% each Sunday on the water changes. I've never had much trouble with algae. BBA before I made the water flow a much higher priority.

    I worry about the light intensity more due to the lack of pressurized CO2. I think growth-wise I'm doing well. I left one stem of hygrophila difformis in this tank as I know it's growth well and it has stayed bushy and not rushed to the surface, which is what I wanted to see. My crypts fill out quickly, relatively, as does my anubias. I'm getting good rooting and decent growth with staurogyne, so I'm pleased with that.
     
  4. Ekrindul

    Ekrindul Guru Class Expert

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    Sorry, I missed your comment about 1 T5HO being plenty, or rather, I think I misread it initially.

    Are you saying 1 bulb is plenty?
     
  5. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    In my opinion ONLY :)

    I think you could do fine with just 1 bulb is all I was saying.

    If things are fine with 2 then stick with it.
     
  6. Ekrindul

    Ekrindul Guru Class Expert

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    Right. I realize without the PAR data, we are stuck with our opinions, but I respect the opinions of many here, you included, more than my own in my limited experience.

    When I take pictures of my 55 gallon, my first thought is always, the light is too bright in the tank, even as I take photos with the brightness cranked down to get the shutter speed manageable. The lights look very bright on the tallest plants. Often, the red highlites in my h polysperma is impossible to see due to the brightness of light on them. The reason I take photos of my tanks so often is I get a better overall perspective on what is going on sometimes from a still image--less distraction I guess. If the plants can grow, and I have no real difficult plants in this tank, on one bulb, that's what I'd prefer to go with.

    For instance, see the h polysperma near the center right? That's with the camera brightness cranked down nearly as far as it will go. It's not quite that bright to the naked eye, but it's not far off.

    [​IMG]
     
    #6 Ekrindul, Aug 18, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 18, 2010
  7. kos

    kos Lifetime Charter Member
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    And if wisteria rushes to the surface, what does that mean? Mine grows skyward like crazy, and I considered that a good thing. My plants all otherwise look and seem healthy in a low-tech setup. In fact, I shelved plans to try CO2 because of the fantastic growth.

    Am I misreading that growth?
     
  8. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    If the stems are bare but the tops are nice, I may say things could be better.

    But if the plant has nice growth the length of the stem and becoming better as it reaches the top, that would be expected.

    Wisteria can have many growth patterns and will also spread along the substrate and upwards. You will see that soon I expect if not already.

    Wisteria is a weed and can grow in many conditions. It is a great plant IMO and has many uses. Fish love it. It is also very attractive.
     
  9. kos

    kos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Okay, stems aren't bare. They aren't as lush as the top, but the plant still looks nice. Here's some pictures. Wisteria is on the right.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The tank is about 10 weeks old. It's my first planted tank, and I'm less focused on aquascaping right now than figuring out how to make the plants grow and fish/shrimp thrive. Still, growth has seemed great to me. So as long as "lush" remains the order of the day, I'll stay happy. Thanks!
     
  10. Ekrindul

    Ekrindul Guru Class Expert

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    Gerry is spot on. IME, a fast rush to the surface leads to a stemmy wisteria plant. I want a bushy, compact plant.

    BTW, Gerry, I did end up removing 1 bulb on this tank and I have seen overall healthier looking plants after several weeks now. Thanks for gently pushing me in that direction.
     
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