Lighting, Java Ferns and BAS Workshop

Subject: Ligthing for 2ft deep tank

> I want to make sure I got it right and hope knowledgeable people
> on this list would help. I'm doing preparation for the 2ft deep
> 120gal tank I'll be getting in the next few months. I was readin
> the august issue of Fishkeeping Answer (a British mag) and they
> mentioned that only MH or MV lamps are recommended for 2ft or de
> tanks. Flo tubes are for depth of 18" or less. Is this true or c
> I get away with only flo bulbs? As the lighting would be costly,
> the lighting to be absolute and would not want to have to change
> later on. Thanks in advance for any help.

It depends more on the surface area in comparison to the depth 
than the depth itself.  "Show" style tanks are difficult to light 
with normal output fluorescents because they lack sufficient 
surface area.  I have friends with 120G and 150G tanks, both with 
24" depths, and they are able to light them well enough to be 
successful with light loving plants like Rotala macrandra without 
trouble.  The 6' 150 is a little more problematic than the tub 
shaped 4' 120G, but the one with the 150 staggers the bulbs and 
puts his moderate light plants on the ends and the hight light 
plants in the middle.

And, of course, if you choose VHO fluorescents, you can have all 
the light you could ever need.


Subject: [Q] Java Fern problems?

> Now, the problem is that I have a very large Java fern that has 
> about 8" long and 10" leaves.The specimen was gorgeous when I fi
> from a local auction and did well until my algae problems disapp
> the snail population got hungry and attacked my java fern (prett
> all my other plants alone, including hygro poly!). I quickly cau
> out loads of snails, and the damage seemed to be contained to a 
> But about 2 weeks later, all the leaves started developing brown
> and the stem of the leaf started yellowing and wilting. This hap
> to damaged leaves and to leaves that were unharmed. Now, the str
> is that it has spread to a small clump of Java fern var "windelo
> sitting on a piece of driftwood next to the large java. None of 
> plants seem affected and are doing fine. I have another clump of
> fern away from the two affected ferns and I just moved it to ano
> just to be safe, since it doesn't seem affected yet. Any idea wh
> be?

It is not uncommon for Java Ferns to be affected by changing 
conditions in a tank, just the way Crypts are.  The big difference 
is that Javas react much more slowly, so it is sometimes hard to 
attribute the decline to a change that happened weeks before.  The 
good news is that they almost always bounce back.  Clip off the 
decaying leaves, and just wait it out.  The plant should be fine 
in the long run.  I have also seen this happen where some Javas in 
a tank are affected, and others are not.  I'm not sure why this 
happens, but in the end, it all usually recovers.


Subject:  Planted Tank Workshop

The Boston Aquarium Society is holding a Planted Tank Workshop at 
the home of Karen Randall not far from the junction of Rtes 495 
and 95 (the Mass Pike). It will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, 
Jan. 28th. The subject of the workshop will be installing DIY 
substrate cables. (we will actually be installing a DIY system in 
a 70G tank)

We would like to extend an invitation to greater Boston area AGA 
members and APD subscribers to join us for a fun and informative 
afternoon!  E-mail me for more details.

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Assoc.
Boston, MA