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ronv
08-17-2014, 08:18 AM
First of all. This (I think) is my first ever post in the "plant" forum. I can grow fish, but have never had much luck with plants. This question is kind of directed toward Roger but I thought I would put it here instead of a PM so maybe others could learn from him too. Others are welcome to jump in also. I got four really nice used light fixtures from Roger at the last meeting so I am ready to jump into the plant world (which I know nothing about). My plan is to set up a 55 and get an assortment of plants at the upcoming auction. The fixtures are 4' long and have four tubes of 65w each (total of 260w). Is that too much light without CO2. I am willing to dose ferts but I don't want to go with CO2 yet. I think I know the answer to that question so I could only turn on two of the tubes (130w). I can filter with anything from a magnum 350 to air driven sponge or box filters. I have some old fluorite for substrate. What ferts do I need to get and what plants should I start with? What else am I missing. I know I could go to the planted tank forum and get answers to all this, but its more fun this way. Thanks in advance...

Larry Bugg
08-17-2014, 10:04 AM
Yes, that is toooooo much light for no Co2 injection!!!!

My very first heavily planted tank was exactly what you have. I had a 55 with a compact florescent 4 x 65 fixture. I was told I had too much light but like most of us, I had to learn for myself. Welcome to algae world. It didn't take long to learn that I could only run two of the lights. If you remember back to some of the plant talks we have had it is all about balance of light, ferts and Co2. Increase one and you have to increase the others. With the compact florescent bulbs you can still go by the watts per gallon rule. With two bulbs running you will be at 130 watts or just a little over 2 watts per gallon. This would be considered a mid range of light. At 260 watts you are at 4.5 watts per gallon and definitely in the high light/Co2 injection range. I did eventually add Co2 injection to my first tank but even then I only ran the 2nd bank of light for half the photo period. Any longer and I was back in algae world.

caricell
08-17-2014, 10:11 AM
Agree with Larry on all his comments. Ron..when you do get your plants started, and since you started this thread, I figured I'd post some of the plants I have for sale (see below). I also can get on 2-3 weeks notice most of the plants on the attached lists.

Let me know if you're interested in any.

Thanks!
Larry

Currently in my tanks:

Ludwigia Cuba
Baby tears
Dwarf baby tears
Crypt Lutea
Crypt Undulata
Red wendtii
Hygro Angustifolia
Temple Narrow
Purple Waffle
Parrot's feather
Vallisneria
Ludwigia Peruensis
Anubias Nana petite
Limno Hippouride
Telanthera
Rotala Nanjenshan
Corkscrew Val
Glossostigma
Dwarf Hairgrass
Purple Waffle
Melon Pinwheel Sword
Various other swords
Riccia



Larry

Roger
08-17-2014, 11:24 AM
I setup my planted tanks with flourite/eco-complete substrate and an assortment of med -light plants. I filter with a canister filter that has a spraybar to get good even circular flow. Intake and sparybar on the same end of the tank. I use Seachem Excel, Flourish, Trace and Iron according to the directions. I started out with a medium fish load. I started with all 4 bulbs on, both banks for 10 hrs a day. If I saw algae growth, depending on type, I responding with water change, less light or algae eaters for that type of algae for a week or until the algae was under control then went back to 4 bulbs for 10 hrs. I did that routine for a little more than a year and have gone to LED with 3 watt diodes and started replacing some plants with higher light requiring plants. So far I have learned alot about different plants and their individual requirements and enjoyed my planted tanks. I might go to CO2 someday, but I am not ready to fork out the big bucks for a setup yet. If you want recommendations for plants PM me.