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Urgh!

Discussion in 'Aquatic Plants' started by achase, Mar 20, 2011.

  1. achase

    achase Large Fish

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    I'm setting up my new 36 gallon tank soon (within a couple days) and I'm researching planted aquariums. I have plants (low light - Java Ferns and Anubias) in my other tanks and they seem to be doing well. Lots of new growth, so much so that I have plants living in my bathroom (my tanks are located in my room). My goal for my new tank is to take my planted aquarium experience to another level.

    My dilemma is that I want some more variety in terms of plants and I want my plant growth to be better. My lighting in my 36 gallon works out to be about .47WPG (17watts/36gallons - doesn't include the natural light my tank gets) so I'm thinking I need a different bulb. But I think the max wattage my hood allows is 120 volts/20 watts/60 Hz. Then there's the issue of CO2 which I have never used (it scares me a little). Although I do use Flourish Excel, which I read somewhere can be used as a substitute for a CO2 system. Is that true? I don't want a DIY system because I'm just not that type of person (not gifted in the DIY department) so brands of already built CO2 systems would be helpful as well. The only thing that I seem to be good on is the substrate, I use a plant friendly substrate (eco-complete). But then through my reading I noticed people taking about other additives...which is where I see the dark hole! Oh and lets not forget algae.....urgh! Although I basically have my algae under control now.

    I must admit I'm really confused about the whole planted aquarium thing (although I must know something considering my plants do survive and reproduce) and I have done a lot of reading.....which kinda made me stressed and more confused. Lol! I'm not really sure what I'm looking for in terms of help but any advice or suggestions would be appreciated!!
     


  2. OrangeCones

    OrangeCones Elite Fish

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    Unless you plan to upgrade the amount of light, you shouldn't bother with CO2 or other ferts for plants. Adding CO2 and ferts without increasing the light will only cause algae outbreaks.
     
  3. skjl47

    skjl47 Large Fish

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    Hello; I have posted this information before, here it is again. I have also grown a lot of nice plants without CO2 injection. I have been thinking of trying CO2, but have not as yet.

    Repost - I have been doing some searches about CO2 injection. Here are some addresses (links?) for a few sites that seem to have good information. I am not sure off the proper way to post this information so I will simply post the addresses. The last one is a particularly good read.

    Aquatic Chemistry

    DIY CO2 Reactor for a Planted Aquarium

    CO2 Diffuser

    CO2 in planted aquariums

    http://www.hallman.org/plant/huebert.html
     
  4. Dylandrewsdad

    Dylandrewsdad Large Fish

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    In my limited experience, light is the most important thing when trying to grow a more variety of plants. The bulb will not greatly increase your watt output. You will either need to just add more light fixtures, buy a better on or overdrive your current light.
     
  5. lauraf

    lauraf Superstar Fish

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    Hey achase, does your hood only take one bulb, or two?
     
  6. achase

    achase Large Fish

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    One bulb (24inch, T8)
     
  7. pateceramics

    pateceramics Large Fish

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    Can you ditch the hood and hang additional lights over the tank from a different type of fixture? (Shop light or photographer's clamp light fixture)?
     
  8. achase

    achase Large Fish

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    I thought about keeping the hood and just adding some additional lighting. There are pieces of the hood that can be taken off, usually for filters and such but it might work. There are some submersible spot lights (7 watts each) that I saw at Petsmart which might be something to consider.

    Thanks everyone for the feedback!
     
    #8 achase, Mar 26, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2011
  9. achase

    achase Large Fish

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    If I get 6 of these lights plus upgrade my current bulb to a 20 watt (which is maximum for my hood) I will have 56/36 = 1.55 wpg
     
  10. lauraf

    lauraf Superstar Fish

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    Hmmm, Chase, you've got me thinking . . . . I have to go look at these spot lights!!!!
     
  11. achase

    achase Large Fish

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    I posted about these lights on another forum and someone said that they are not good because LED's aren't really for aquariums....so I'm confused now.
     
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