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Results 1 to 10 of 24

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  1. Default Amazon Sword & Lighting


    0 Not allowed!
    Hi all!

    I've been reading mixed information on this topic over the web so I thought I'd post here. I have a 10 gallon tank that's been set up for quite some time. Today I put in some new substrate it's the Eco-Complete Plant Substrate. I also bought an Amazon sword and an Anubias Afezlii. I have a Zoomed 15 watt t8 bulb with 5500k lighting. It's a single bulb. Is this enough to make sure my plants are healthy? I did read the sticky that said 2-3 watts, the only problem is I haven't come across a 20 watt bulb for my size tank.. I recently had plants that got brown and seemed to died that is why I got this substrate. I also have some Seacharm Flourish Excel that I am planning on using. I just bought these so I am still able to return them. I like the look of the Amazon Sword but if It isn't going to grow nicely then there's no point.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    First, the single T8 tube will be quite sufficient light, no problem there. As for the tube, that should be fine too. I prefer the crisper white of a 6500K, like the ZooMed UltraSun, but that is just my preference. In the situation here either tube will be fine as far as the plants are concerned. The 5500K is a slightly "warmer" white, more red/yellow in the white, whereas the 6500K is a "cooler" white, with more blue in the mix. If you want to try the UltraSun at some point, you may or may not prefer it.

    On fertilizers, I would not use the Excel. This is a liquid carbon supplement, but it is a highly toxic chemical, glutaraldehyde, which may kill some plants (Vallisneria is particularly sensitive) even at the recommended dose, but if overdosed it can kill plants, fish and bacteria. You will have sufficient CO2 produced naturally by the breakdown of organics in the substrate. I have had planted tanks for over 20 years with swords and other plants and never added any form of artificial carbon.

    You should however get a bottle of Flourish Comprehensive Supplement. This contains all required nutrients (except carbon, hydrogen and oxygen) and in the proportion as plants need them. Some nutrients are only taken up via the leaves, and some by both leaves and roots, so this liquid ensures all nutrients get in the water. It takes very little, in a 10g I would dose about 1/2 teaspoon once a week.

    I'll just comment on the watts per gallon. This is an old "guide" that had some merit back in the days when we all had the same lighting, but today with the newer types, better tubes, etc the watts is rather meaningless. Watts is the measurement of energy a tube/bulb uses to produce the light; but the intensity of the light, and its colour spectrum, depends upon the phosphors and such.

    The sword, if it is the common Echinodorus bleherae, will eventually be the size of your tank, but that is fine. You can also get a larger tank, what we aquarists call MTS (multiple tank syndrome).

    Hope this helps.

    Byron.
    Last edited by Byron; 08-03-2013 at 12:02 AM.

  3. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    It does, a lot actually. I bought the Excel due to algae and a lot of places said it would help manage that while making my plants greener. I'll get the fertilizer.

    I'm glad my light will do fine, that was one thing I was worried about. I think I will try the 6500k once this one dies out. Do you know how long I should keep my light on? I do have a timer, I always hear 10 hours is good but what about algae growth?

    Again, thanks for the help!

  4. #4

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Tyler_S View Post
    It does, a lot actually. I bought the Excel due to algae and a lot of places said it would help manage that while making my plants greener. I'll get the fertilizer.

    I'm glad my light will do fine, that was one thing I was worried about. I think I will try the 6500k once this one dies out. Do you know how long I should keep my light on? I do have a timer, I always hear 10 hours is good but what about algae growth?

    Again, thanks for the help!
    You're very welcome. The duration is something you can experiment with. The balance is the key here, having sufficient light intensity to balance the nutrients, and provided this is being met, the duration can vary. When something is no longer available then plants can't photosynthesize to the max (which they always do if everything is present) and algae has an advantage. I would suggest starting with what works for you with respect to the duration, and use a timer which you can get for a couple dollars in a hardware or home improvement store. Providing a regular light/dark period every 24 hours does make a difference to both fish and plants. Eight to ten hours for the light is what most start with. I used to have my lights on for 15 hours, and it worked; I'm not sure how now, as 8 hours is max or I get outbreaks of brush algae. I was in a different residence then.

    These tubes I would replace every 12 months; they lose intensity quite fast, and will continue to light long after the light is too weak. I did an experiment once to see what would happen if I left the tubes, and I got to 18 months [this was with 2 tubes over a larger tank] when I saw algae appearing, so I changed the tubes and end of algae. In my single tube tanks, I change the tube at 12 months and this has worked.

    Byron.

  5. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    You have a lot of insight into all of this which is wonderful! I'm actually not 100% sure how long I've had this bulb in.. It did get dimmer though. I have a timer and i took it down from 10 hours to 8 I believe. Only because I had algae over all my old plants. Do you think I should change the bulb and keep it at 8 hours?

    Also, do you think it's worth it to keep the excel? I do have time to return it. It was rather expensive.

  6. #6

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Just from past experiance, I would trade that excel flourish in for some root tabs for the sword. Excel melted a few of my plants back when I used it so I never used it again. 8 hours of light and weekly water changes should assist in your algae problem.
    But as Kermit said," I did an experiment once to see what would happen if I left the tubes, and I got to 18 months [this was with 2 tubes over a larger tank] when I saw algae appearing, so I changed the tubes and end of algae. In my single tube tanks, I change the tube at 12 months and this has worked."
    Dont leave that tube too long as the light spectrum will change and usually not for the good for us.
    Warning; Bulldog Pleco guarding my Sons tank now..

    Please remember; every keystroke has a consequence.

  7. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Ok sounds good, do you use an eye dropper?

  8. #8

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    10g July 31-11.JPG10g Jan 4-12.jpgYou can use drops, but I've never bothered. In my 10g I add just under 1/2 teaspoon once a week. A quarter teaspoon would be close. For a time I did this twice weekly. The tank was very heavily planted then (see photos attached, first is July 2011, second January 2012).

    Byron.
    Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
    Vancouver, BC, Canada

    Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]

  9. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Wow that looks awesome.. They're so vibrant. My tank doesn't have that many plants at the moment, so half a teaspoon weekly will suffice?

  10. #10

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Tyler_S View Post
    Wow that looks awesome.. They're so vibrant. My tank doesn't have that many plants at the moment, so half a teaspoon weekly will suffice?
    Yes. With the right plants, like the pygmy chain swords in there, and Java Moss on wood, once established they will rapidly spread. When those photos were taken, I had not done any pruning at all, but just let the plants do what they wanted. Eventually you do have to thin them to keep some open space and the plants are best when not crowded. But that tank has always been just a grow-out for plants, fry or a temporary home for something. Anyway, the point of the photos is to illustrate what can be achieved with the most simple approach: plain sand, moderate light, once a week liquid Flourish Comprehensive. That's it.

    Byron.
    Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
    Vancouver, BC, Canada

    Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]

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