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Author Topic: Plant Growth And Lighting  (Read 761 times)

Offline MightyGem

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Plant Growth And Lighting
« on: May 14, 2020, 09:33:07 pm »
A bit of a long saga here, but bear with me.

For nearly 20 years, I had a 60x30x30cm tank, gravel substrate, lit by a 15w tube. Plant growth was good to the extent that I was pruning Water Wistera and Amazon Sword on a weekly basis at times. No fertiliser or anything.

A year or so ago, I changed to a Homefish 80(60x30x45cm). Same gravel substrate, same(initially) plants. Plant growth virtually stopped, with any stem plants just falling apart. I got some Anubias and they seemed to do ok.

The tank has a built in light, consisting of 60 LEDs and the manual rates it at 12w. It always did seem a bit dim, so I eventually added an Interpet Single 47cm Bright White light. This has 12x0.2w LEDs totalling 2.4w. It is considerably brighter than the tank light. With all the lights on, if I turn the tank light off there’s not a lot of difference. If I turn the Interpet off, there is a noticeable difference.

Even with the extra light, plant growth has not really improved, apart from the Anubias, but they are now getting a coating of black algae. The lights are on for 8 hours a day.

In January I started adding liquid carbon, but to no real effect. A bunch of Vallisnaria fell apart in about two weeks. A month ago I started using Tropica’s Premium Nutrition fertiliser, but again, there’s no real difference. Some Water Wisteria, which used to be rampant in the old tank, is growing slowly at the tops, but the lower leaves are gradually coming off.

It appears that I have 14.4 watts of light, but do I? The 2.4w of the Interpret is so much brighter than the 12w tank light. The plant specialist, Tropica, states that for “Easy” plants, which I have, there should be 0.5w per litre which would make 40w for my 80l tank.

George Farmer planted up a 75l tank with “Easy” plants and the tank had two 8w LED tubes, making 16w. He was quite happy with the light but it’s nowhere near the 0.5w per litre.

So, do I need even more light? Any advice on how I can back to what I had with the other tank would be great.

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