[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V4 #696

> From: Thomas Barr <tcbiii at earthlink_net>
>> Guess what happens when you lower your lighting amount? This is often what
>> happens when you add incandescent lighting since, it is as Ivo said, far
>> less efficient than FL's etc. Now you have a slower running rate of energy
>> going into your tank, often much lower. Lower lighting tanks have easier
>> times dealing with algae typically. Imbalances appear much slower.
>> Corrections are done much easier as well. Relating color to intensity is a
>> problem here. A correction in the CO2 / nutrients balance will solve your
>> algae problem. You can keep your lights that you have.
> So your saying going from a 30 watt light to a 15watt light on a 10g?

A 15 watt FL bulb will put out about 4 times minimum (about, with something
like PC or T-8's about 5 or so) the equal amount of incad light. So 15 watt
bulb will be like a 60 watt incad bulb or 75. Then there's issue of adding
more heat and a good even spread over your tank which FL's are very good
for. A series of quartz lights on tracks was a solution for my experience
with incad's. They tend to be more efficient than regular incad's as well.
You can add or replace fixtures very simply, quickly and easily. I had a 3
x50 MR-16 bulb set up over a 20 gallon for about 5 years. 150 watts but got
about 2550 lumens and got 2800 lumens out of a 2 x 20(40 total) watt FL
fixture. So I got lots more light for less electricity. The quartz looks
nice and was mounted to the wall (or ceiling etc) or U shaped over hang
bracket for a cheap open topped tank.

For ten gallon tanks, which I've lost count of how many I've set up, I add
2x15 watt cheapy hardware store 6-7$ea fixtures (add one triton bulb, use
the other cheapy bulb for the other fixture) into a simple wood hood that I
make, add 30 lbs of flourite (well rinsed), add a hagen mini filter set on
lowest flow, feed a DIY yeast CO2(1 cup of sugar to 1/2 teaspoon yeast
changed every 2 weeks in a 2 liter apple juice bottle) into the filter
intake, lots of plants. KH at about 5 or so. Feed fish well, have snails,
SAE's shrimps etc in there as well. Trim and clean it when needed. I've left
tanks like this alone for many months. My better half has a tank in her
apartment with a nice field of hairgrass, Background of: Rotala wallichii,
red Cabomba, Hemianthus, a few Crypts, Egeria, some snails, Neons, Killi's
and a few shrimps. This set up will grow about anything. 3 watts a gallon is
plenty for most plants. She abuses the tank to no end. Overfeeds, does not
top it off ever(unless I nag and nag). Now she wants another:) She did do a
water change (2 x in 3 months!) so she's coming along.
Many folks would love to grow some of those plants well. She thinks it's

>  I know
> I've made some mistakes with plant growing, I just bought the Aquarium Plant
> Manual by Scheurmann. I found out my I have coarse gravel which allows
> debris to fall through the cracks, didn't buy enough plants,I think I'm
> finally dosing nutrients right, but it doesn't seem to matter because the
> Black Algae is EVERYWHERE, including every leaf and all over the driftwood,
> so it doesn't seem like any of the plants will recover, I've done several
> water 50% and 1 75% water change and it seems the Black Algae is still
> growing, so my next step's probably just going to let it run and just remove
> the dead plants over time, and not bother removing the algae. I'm just
> totally worn out from watching that tank:) But first i'm gonna try covering
> the tank for 10 days and see if that'll kill everything.

Does it look like little Brushes? If you think it's BBA(black brush algae)
this will not take care of it. It is a nasty algae for those who have
battled with it. I would suggest raising the CO2 and keeping an eye on that
for awhile. Water changes won't help BTW. You can try to remove it from the
plants but it often causes lots of damage. Bleach dip treatments work(read
APD archives) but offer only a temporary relief not a cure. Cure is done by
keeping your CO2 levels up and having a few fast growers in there, keeping
up on getting a good range of nutrients for the plants, good
lighting(incad's or FL's MH's etc. More light seemed to help get rid of BBA
in some tanks but a new type of algae would appear in it's place if
something is/was out of whack. SAE's will naw on BBA as well and 2 would
take care of your tank's BBA as well. See if you can find the real ones.
Main thing is to focus on CO2, having enough light and testing/getting a
feel for the nutrients and amounts. Plants need just three things but they
need balanced(light , CO2 and nutrients and water but our plants are not
lacking that). Focus on those. Kh at 4-5 and a pH at about 6.8 or so. Get
some good gravel, flourite, sand(2-3mm) + laterite and a number of other
methods but flourite is the easiest for new folks I think.
Adding lots of plants will help. Get cheap fast growers and replace later
with those you really want. your plant taste will change as you progress
into this as well.
Look under BBA for archive on the APD and Krib. Get some test kits as well.
It will save you lots of grief by buying them. By replacing all that water
now the plants don't have much N or K or P (perhaps not depending on your
tap water) and are being deprived. NO3 testing will help. KH and pH will
help you as well for CO2.
Don't give up. Read up. There's lots of info here and on the Krib for you.
Tom Barr