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gm72
03-27-2011, 03:51 PM
Okay, so I have a power compact fixture on the upstairs planted betta tank, 5.5 gallon. 18 watts and the plants grow very slowly. I have a spiral CF fixture on an almost identical 5.5 gallon downstairs (again betta) and can't get anything to grow. Should I be looking at higher light? I don't have algae problems in either tank. I have spent I don't know how much money trying to get the right light setup for these tanks and just can't figure it out!

Help please?

Red
03-27-2011, 04:07 PM
I got one of desk lights from home depot. I spent around 25 bucks for a good one with a lot of light, and had great luck growing plants.

MCHRKiller
03-27-2011, 04:14 PM
Both forms of lighting are considered very low, small tanks actually need more wattage than the standard idea of WPG. Anything under around 25 watts is considered quite low due to the intensity of the lighting. The spiral CFLs main issue is that it suffers from restrike and a poor reflector. I was able to grow anubias and fern in a 5.5G with a 15watt CFL and a slightly modified reflector for quite a few years...growth was of course slow. The 18watt PC would be a great fixture for these very low light tollerant plants and you may see a little better growth. Another factor could be nutrients and CO2...which are equally important to lighting.

gm72
03-27-2011, 04:32 PM
Anyone have any specific fixtures to recommend? I'd like to stay away from the spiral CFs only because I haven't had all that great experience with them.

EDIT: Maybe the same fixture I proposed for a 10 gallon here?
http://cgi.ebay.com/14-18-Aquarium-Light-Hood-Nano-Reef-Refugium-24-W_W0QQitemZ300502095536QQcategoryZ46314QQcmdZViewI temQQ_trksidZp5197.m7QQ_trkparmsZalgo%3DLVI%26itu% 3DUCI%26otn%3D5%26po%3DLVI%26ps%3D63%26clkid%3D803 5156980891838515

MCHRKiller
03-27-2011, 04:37 PM
That would work very well, naturally youd have to ditch that bulb.

gm72
03-27-2011, 04:39 PM
Yes about the bulb, I should have specified that without question I need one in the 6500K range. Lord I hate to spend more money on this project. I probably have gone through...well, quite a bit of cost trying to find something that will do what I want it to!

EDIT:
Or I think perhaps this one would do more for me? Again with different bulbs of course:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=150580332239&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

MCHRKiller
03-27-2011, 05:25 PM
The intensity of the T5 fixture would be high lighting for a 5.5G...if you wanted a nano reef project it would perfect or even a higher tech planted. T5s are much more efficient than PCs, their intensity of lighting means that standard WPG rule is useless. I dropped my 150Gs lighting by 100watts and went with a T5 fixture...it is twice as bright as the old PC fixture despite being 100watts higher. PCs are excellent lighting choices for medium-low light planted tanks as they just dont have the same intense lighting as more efficent T5 fixtures do.

dbosman
03-27-2011, 06:49 PM
Okay, so I have a power compact fixture on the upstairs planted betta tank, 5.5 gallon. 18 watts and the plants grow very slowly. I have a spiral CF fixture on an almost identical 5.5 gallon downstairs (again betta) and can't get anything to grow.
Help please?

In my experience, a 5.5 gallon tank with an incandescent hood and a daylight (now smaller than ever) 23 watt spiral compact fluorescent bulb is perfect.

I'm surprised you have no algae issues with a power compact over the other one.

How about adding a couple of root tabs?

gm72
03-27-2011, 08:23 PM
I should have specified, the substrate is fluorite and I do use root tabs. I don't get it why these darn plants don't get moving!

ILuvMyGoldBarb
03-27-2011, 08:34 PM
What kind of plants are in the tank?

gm72
03-27-2011, 11:02 PM
Anubias, java ferns both regular and Windelov. I used to have some dwarf sag in there too but they didn't do anything, just survived but didn't grow at all. The plants just act like they aren't getting enough light but I don't understand. I do regular maintenance on these tanks just like I do my others, 40-50% weekly. On occasion they go 2 weeks without a change because of my work schedule but nitrAtes never ever go above 20ppm. Fish are happy and very healthy.

Thanks a lot for the ongoing help!

ILuvMyGoldBarb
03-28-2011, 02:18 AM
Do you have the Java Ferns and the Anubias planted?

MCHRKiller
03-28-2011, 05:11 AM
I doubt lighting is an issue with those plants, I have grown both under 13 and 15watt CFLs in 5.5G tanks without issues. Root tabs and flourite wont do much for ferns or anubias as they do most of their nutrient uptake from the water column :22:

gm72
03-28-2011, 10:34 AM
Do you have the Java Ferns and the Anubias planted?

Some are, others are mounted to driftwood.

MCHRKiller
03-28-2011, 05:02 PM
Are the rhizomes pushed into the substrate? You can plant anubias but only the roots need to be in the substrate. Plushing either too far into the substrate can lead to their death.

dragoonwoman
03-28-2011, 05:30 PM
Adding some ferts to the water column. Try Flourish Complete ("plain" Flourish) and Excel and see if that helps. Light alone isn't enough, and while you have plant substrate, the plants you have aren't root feeders so it's kind of wasted on them.

My 5g and 6g tanks have 13 watt CFLs each and my plants are growing very well. I add ferts 3 - 5 times a week to both, and Excel every day in the 6g; the 5g has DIY CO2 because of the shrimp. I usually have to trim the plants every week; the 6g tends to get very overgrown.

gm72
03-29-2011, 11:36 PM
Are the rhizomes pushed into the substrate? You can plant anubias but only the roots need to be in the substrate. Plushing either too far into the substrate can lead to their death.

Yes I knoiw. The rhizomes are above the surface of the substrate.