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View Full Version : Changed to CFL and my plants are NOT happy. :(



AdrienDeLaChicago
09-16-2010, 02:35 AM
I changed the light source that was a typical fluorescent bulb and the wattage for that bulb is 15. It is from an aquarium kit. This kit is the Petco bookshelf aquarium and I was using the bulb that came with it.

So I made some shelves and wanted to create my own light. I switched to a bulb I found at Menard's and the brand is called Buyer's Choice. Here are the specs:

13 actual watts but output is more like 60
6500K
800 Lumens
120V

I have Crypts, Rotala Rotundifolia (Indicia) and compact Amazon Sword plants.
The Crypts are on the ends of the aquarium and they are melting. People say Crypts can have a tendency to melt when you move them but I have never had this happen when I have moved plants around before. I think it is because of the different lighting.

The Rotala Rotundifolia looks somewhat okay. There is also a watermelon plant that is doing okay and the swords look okay. Maybe it is too soon to tell but what do you guys think?

I am getting a nagging feeling to go back to standard fluorescent bulbs.

I am also doing a DIY carbon injection with sugar and Brewer's yeast. I have done this in the past and my plants were quite happy. Also I am giving them some Flourish Excel every other day.

Not sure if it is because the Crypts are melting but the water looks a tad cloudy. These tanks were torn down and set up about 72 hours ago.

Any suggestions?

Adrien

WhiteDevil
09-16-2010, 02:58 AM
Crypts will melt when transplanted, being its only been 3 days id say the crypts are just in the typical transplant shock and will come back, just leave the roots where they are.

My water lettuce died off when i went to a CFL bulb and the plants that were in the water didnt particularly fair to well with the cfl's either.

AdrienDeLaChicago
09-16-2010, 03:13 AM
Crypts will melt when transplanted, being its only been 3 days id say the crypts are just in the typical transplant shock and will come back, just leave the roots where they are.

My water lettuce died off when i went to a CFL bulb and the plants that were in the water didnt particularly fair to well with the cfl's either.


So did you go back to a T5 or the type of tube fluorescent lights that are designed for fish tanks?

The thing is I have moved my Crypts around here and there and they have never melted. I think they melted this time because they are not liking the new lighting.

I am suspecting that the lighting I have is too high. These tanks are 6.6. They had 15w of light with a standard fluorescent plant bulb. Maybe since the bulbs I am now using (CFL) are the equivalent to 60w it is burning the plants? There are no yellowing or browning of the leaves. But they do look different. I cannot explain it.

How do plants respond when they are getting too much light? I would imagine it is different than regular household plants.

SunSchein89
09-16-2010, 11:41 AM
They're probably just getting used to their new lighting, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. If I'm not mistaken, I think I remember reading that this is especially true with crypts: some plants can appear to completely die off when introduced to new light, but will eventually grow all their leaves back that are now fully accustomed to the new spectrum/intensity light. The fact that your crypts are the ones that seem to be having the most trouble after switching lends me to believe this is the case. Do you happen to know the spectrum, wattage, and type (T8, T5, cfl, etc.) of the bulb you switched from?

Obviously you can have such a thing as too much light and crypts are definitely "low light" plants, but with a lower gallon tank like the one you're using, measuring your "watts per gallon", is not quite that accurate. A 13 watt bulb can only put out so many lumens. If you put one over a 1 gallon tank, you'd have 13 watts per gallon, but if it was really tall and skinny, any plant on the bottom would still not grow all that well.

AdrienDeLaChicago
09-16-2010, 07:24 PM
The previous fluorescent bulb that came with the Petco bookshelf aquarium is an 18" bulb and all is says is:

Aqua Ace Bioplant
Fl15BR 15W
Made in China

I do not see anything about lumens.

Maybe you are right about the Crypts. Because I have some red Wendii and since these red varieties tend to like more light (at least from what I've read) they have not melted. The only ones that have are the greener and olive green types of Crypts that I have. They were so pretty. And now all my ghost shrimp are feasting on the melted leaves. I assume this is okay for them to eat? :11:

They seem fine.:ssmile:

WhiteDevil
09-16-2010, 08:25 PM
I have T5's on two of my planted tanks and T8's on the other. the T5's produce ALOT more growth and colors.

SunSchein89
09-16-2010, 08:45 PM
Looks to be a T8 bulb. The CFL should be a bit more efficient, I would think, if you have a decent reflector behind it; not sure what your other bulb was housed in. I couldn't find anything on the spectrum of the other bulb, either, but it does say "Bioplant," so I'm assuming it was at least somewhere close to the right range. I'd just keep an eye on the plants and see if any of them start to look better or gain some new color or something. If all the plants start to fade/die after allowing them time to settle in, which they really shouldn't, you can always switch back.

Plant Man
09-16-2010, 10:02 PM
That much light is like asking a staving person to run a marathon. The plant is photosynthesizing without any carbon (food). Back your lighting down to the appropriate amount for the carbon and nutrients that you are providing.

AdrienDeLaChicago
09-16-2010, 11:42 PM
That much light is like asking a staving person to run a marathon. The plant is photosynthesizing without any carbon (food). Back your lighting down to the appropriate amount for the carbon and nutrients that you are providing.


So even with the DIY carbon injection I created and the carbon from Flourish Excel is not working?

What do you recommend? I am all ears. :11: