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Re: Mission Impossible Planted Tank--HELP!

On Thu, 17 Dec 1998 ternay at dimensional_com wrote:

> My boss at the LFS has chosen me to set up and maintain our planted display
> tank.  I am to do so only within the following constraints.
[75 gallon, 2x40W, Ceomat (ptui!) CO2]

nope  > Lilaeopsis (lawn)
maybe > Hygrophila polysperma
yes   > Vesicularia dubyana
maybe > Shinnersia rivularis
nope  > Cabomba carolinia
maybe?> Eleocharis acicularis

> The lighting issue has been brought to his attention and he replied
> that when he was a kid, he kept aquatic plants with no water
> circulation, a striplight and no fertilization and they did
> great--plus, lights cost money and you can't sell disply lights for
> the full markup.  I am still going to suggest that we use the 110w 48"
> Perfecto SHO light strip rather than NO flourescents, but expect
> rejection.

That's really too bad.  He's going to end up with a setup that grows some,
but not all, of the plants you want to grow.  I will relate that I did
have a 45-gallon planted tank with CO2 and a 2-bulb shoplight (running
T-8's of course), and it did OK -- I grew Valisneria spiralis, lots of
Anubias, some Echinodorus (which didn't do too well), and lots of Java
moss and Java fern, which thrived.
Part of the reason (IMHO) for the thriving was that this tank was in a
window that got a few hours of morning sun.

I think that there will be less results over a 75.  I'll bet the
lowest-light plants will grow, but not that well.  I have several
retor---eh, possible solutions: If this guy was able to do this stuff as a
kid, why don't you ask HIM to set it up and run it then?  Alternatively,
gut two shoplights and use T-8's at a cost of approximately $55 ($8x2 for
the shoplights, $4x4 for the 6500K bulbs, $23 for the ballast).  Am I
right in the assumption that this is less cost than the two overpriced
bulbs you are allocated to begin with?  Yeah I know it looks bad for the
customers not being able to buy what you're using in the shop -- hey, _The
Fish Store_ did that here in Seattle (hi Andrew, we miss you!).
Finally, you could supplement the hood with a simple shoplight and double
the lighting: cost about $18 ($8 for the shoplight, 2x$5 for Chroma-50

Otherwise, I'd remove some of the plants I noted and replace them with
ones that tolerate lower light... like Java fern or Anubias.

   - Erik

Erik Olson
erik at thekrib dot com