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Upgrading to T5HO - Need suggestion

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by royalbijoyjoy.ashokan@gma, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. royalbijoyjoy.ashokan@gma

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    First , my tank specs:

    Dimension: 4l x 2h x 1.5 d.
    CO2: Pressurized. 1 bubble/sec. (Don't have drop checker to measure ppm.)
    Fertilization: JBL ferropol + macros weekly once.
    Plants: Heavily planted tank.
    Current lights: 50W LED flodlight + 72W PLL
    Filtration: 1800L/hr external canister+internal sponge filter.
    Substrate: Bottom layer - JBL aquaplus, Top layer - Marfied Controsoil
    Tank params : I do not have a test kit to test the nitrate and other stuff. But have a ph test thing which read 6.5.
    Height of lights : 5 inches above water.


    Problem: Plants not growing quite fast. Carpet plants almost melted away. Leaves are very old and so they get covered with brown mulm whenever the substrate is disturbed(either me or my cichlids). I tried everything from Compact Spiral -> Shop lights -> PLL(4x34W) -> LED(100W floodlight). The tall plants I brought from the LFS just melted away. They were so red and broad leaved at the LFS, but once in my tank, they became pale, smaller and eventually melted away.


    Possible Upgrade : I went to the LFS and the guy told me that I had to upgrade my lights to T5HO which I never tried. HE told me I would need 4 x54W T5HO and that would solve all the problems. He also mentioned that since I had a 2 feet deep tank, I would need 10000K lights. Another point he made is that the electronics in the choke made it possible to run at 30W even though the lights are 54W. I didn't believe this statement as I know energy cannot be produced just like that. If the chokes used 30W, I would get lights for 30W an not 54W as he said. Please correct me if this is wrong.


    Suggestions needed:
    1. Should I go for 10000K - 12000K as he mentioned or stick to the 6500K ones which are best for plants?
    2. What reflectors should I go for? Please let me know the type of reflector and not any brand as I may not get those brands here. I did hear that SLR reflectors are good. Any sample pic of a good reflector is what I am looking for. The ones he showed me did not have reflectors for each of the tubes, but were for all the tubes together. I am planning to get a good one from a lighting shop rather than from this LFS guy. But I need to be sure about the reflectors. He also asked me to buy plant grow lights by JBl which were expensive. Do I really need them at all?
    3. Should 4x54W T5Ho be enough for my tank size( I am looking forward to some carpet plants like HC, baby tears)?

    Video -[video=youtube_share;9zAi8hTmNyw]http://youtu.be/9zAi8hTmNyw[/video]
    Pics - View attachment 3282 View attachment 3283
     
    #1 royalbijoyjoy.ashokan@gma, Jul 2, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2012
  2. Htomassini

    Htomassini Guest

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    Ok. The k value does not affect the intensity only the color spectrum. Stick to 6500k lights with 2 flora reddish bulbs.. 10k will give everything a bluish hue.

    With co2 you should be dosing at least 2x week plus weekly water changes.

    The 54w hot5 unit will run only 54 w bulbs.

    What is your dosing regimen please?



    Henry tomassini
    www.theplantedaquariumstore.com
    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  3. royalbijoyjoy.ashokan@gma

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    I just add 50ml of JBL ferropol weekly once(that's what the LFS guy asked me to).
    I have got K2SO4 + MgSO4 + EDTA iron from a chemical factory(yes the factory owner was very quite surprised that someone had really come to their factory to buy 500gm and not 500Kg of chemicals!!!!!!!.... It turned out, he too was a fish freak and I ended up getting a free ph test kit... :)), which I dose once in two weeks I would say. I do not perform weekly water changes and that's the reason I do not overdose chemicals in a week. I would prefer the natural way of fertilization though. Not sure if that's the right way to do, but read some books by Diana Walstad persuaded me to do so. Having said that, I have to add 20L of water every week to compensate the evaporation.
    Though theoretically 10000K would be more bluish, I saw the tanks at the LFS and they were perfect white color as in the Amano tanks whereas mine with 6500K gave a slightly yellowish and greenish tint because of all those green leaves I got in my tank(As you can see in my tank pictures in this post). Aesthetically I would prefer the 10000K ones, but let me know if that's gonna affect the plant growth, as the lights are for the plants basically.
    Unfortunately I do not have a CO2 checker and so I am relying on what the LFS guy told me(1bubble /sec). Not sure if its the right reading to go with. I had a very very bad experience when my CO2 regulator started bubbling massively just a few mins after I adjusted it for 1bubble/sec and left to office. I came back in the evening and all 20 cichlids were dead. The tank was full of CO2. My regulator is probably the cheaper Chinese one which is not very precise. It takes a minute or two to know what the bubble rate is before it settles down to a constant. Since I do not have a solenoid, I keep it at 1 bubble/sec just to be safe it doesn't overdose when the lights are off.
     
    #3 royalbijoyjoy.ashokan@gma, Jul 4, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 4, 2012
  4. Htomassini

    Htomassini Guest

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    3:24 PM
    Ok, so you are not dosing any nitrates?
    If you want a natural way of dosing why co2?

    See adding co2 (very little at your rate) and not doing water changes and not dosing all the macros is contradictory to each other.

    First things is to figure what you want out of the tank.

    High growth or slow controlled growth?

    In either case if you have cichlids ( high protein eaters) w/c every week are a must to clean up the organics.

    But getting back to the 2 scenarios.

    High growth:
    Co2 at higher rate with solenoid
    40% w/c weekly
    Dose 2-3 times week all macros and traces
    Buy the light kit (mix 10k and 67k bulbs)

    Slow growth
    Keep your light setup
    No co2
    You could dose with seachem excell 3x week
    20% weekly wc
    Dose once a week after wc macros and traces

    The brown gunk is a combo of lack of steady macros and prob high organics.

    The only tanks that work well with infrequent wc are low light low bio load tanks.
    I have my sons 5.5 that gets a wc once a month and grows java fern and java moss like its going out of style. Tank has a 7 w compact pc light through a glass cover.
    7 fish total (danios )




    Henry tomassini
    www.theplantedaquariumstore.com
    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  5. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    If the above quotes are the 'TOTAL' advice provided, I would never listen to this person ever again on any subject, assuming of course you outlined your setup and issues such as you did in your original post. If this is a senior person at the store itself, I would most likely avoid advice from them in general. Was there more about how light drives plant growth and subsequent nutrient demand? Or how to provide this demand?

    Was there anything remotely resembling the information provided back to you by Henry in his posts? Henry does own an LFS and I can't imagine he or his wife coming out with statements as above.

    Sorry, but this is just an incorrect (in many ways) and lazy answer from someone who should be more educated. It is fine to say 'I don't know' if in fact you do not know. I wish this person had chosen that route...

    The thought that HIGH LIGHT is an automatic cure for myriad plant growth issues is a MYTH and is NOT supported by any evidence whatsoever.

    Especially in light of the fact that neither of you KNOW for a fact how much light is actually CURRENTLY available in terms of PAR, or so I again assume.

    Sorry, this really ticks me off if you can't tell :) Mostly because it wastes time and effort on the part of the recipient of said advice and can set them back considerably in their goals. This misinformation leads to plant growth issues and possibly eventually leaving the hobby out of frustration.
     
    #5 Gerryd, Jul 4, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 4, 2012
  6. royalbijoyjoy.ashokan@gma

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    Thanks for the information Henry/Gerry. I was overloaded with information I got from people regarding macros, and got lost in the track. Some said nitrates are required and some said they are bad for fish(might be I will have to balance the dosage using some EI method). There were people who said potassium is the only nutrient which may go scarce in a fish tank and that's the reason I got K2SO4. Also many said Phosphates create algae problems. So I am in a confused state as to what macros to doze.What do you suggest are best as macros? I can get them this weekend and try using them instead of wasting my money on T5s. Can I still use the K2SO4 and MgSO4 + some extra stuff which I would need help with?
     
  7. Htomassini

    Htomassini Guest

    Local Time:
    3:24 PM
    Ok first things first. Use wets calculator and use the ei low light method.

    http://calc.petalphile.com/

    Use this dosage once a week with a 40% wc every week.

    What fish do you have in this tank please?

    I would not use co2 until you get your dosing right. Thoroughly vacuum the detritus out of the tank. Clean your filter pads.

    Show us a pic of your light set up please.

    Btw IMHE low co2 levels+lack of proper ferts+high doc+lack of wc= disaster.



    Henry tomassini
    www.theplantedaquariumstore.com
    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  8. royalbijoyjoy.ashokan@gma

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    The majority of fish are cichlids (African - 12) along with 2 SAE, 2 roseline sharks and 2 crayfish. I do not see any aggression in the tank.
    My light setup is attached.[attachment=1134:name]. I got 2 LED floodlights(50w each) and 2 PLL lights(center) 36W each.

    Thanks for the link, but it has all the chemicals I can ever think of. Can I narrow to a few of the important ones to start with?
    I guess NPK are the macros and so I have already got K(K2SO4). I need to get some form of P and N. What would you recommend to get those in the tank, please?
    The JBL ferropol probably provides the traces required.

    05072012005.jpg

    05072012004.jpg
     
  9. Htomassini

    Htomassini Guest

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    I think you have enough light. Use the calculator to figure out how much to dose for. I don't know what you access to dry ferts or commercial liquids. Choose which one and go for ei low light n, p,k trace




    Henry tomassini
    www.theplantedaquariumstore.com
    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  10. royalbijoyjoy.ashokan@gma

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    I got some KNO3 from a hydroponics shop. Not sure what king of algae I have on the tanks, but I tried scrubbing with a brush and it didn't come out. Its dark brownish in color and doesn't look good. Might be I will try taking a closer picture to get more details. I did a thorough vacuum of the substrate today and my tank looks a lot better. All plants cleaned, added macros+ traces. Fingers crossed to see how the plants behave.... Will keep posted.
     
    #10 royalbijoyjoy.ashokan@gma, Jul 6, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 6, 2012
  11. royalbijoyjoy.ashokan@gma

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    Wow. Henry you were right. The limiting factor in my tank were the macros. I now see heavy pearling in my tank even days after the water change, which I never got before. The plants have become greener and the algae infestation has reduced drastically(removed the remaining algae infested leaves too). I am now adding macros + trace elements and doing 60% water change weekly. That was some really useful advice. I dropped the idea of upgrading to T5HO. I feel my current LED floodlight + PL lights look OK for my tank.
     
  12. Htomassini

    Htomassini Guest

    Local Time:
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    Good to hear that. And saved you a buck or too.
    Now get some growth and start aquascaping!



    Henry tomassini
    www.theplantedaquariumstore.com
    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
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