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Old 12-12-2010, 02:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Lighting question

How much light would I need for Java Ferns to grow well? I think I have too much. I attached them to some driftwood last night after learning their roots aren't supposed to be covered in sand... they just keep looking worse and worse and I'm wondering if it's the light... I don't have test kits right now.
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Old 12-12-2010, 03:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Lighting question

Here is a pic of the tank
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Old 12-13-2010, 06:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Lighting question

Frankly, I don't see a problem. Javas do not need much lighting typically, but too much lighting will probably show up as algae throughout the tank before showing any issues with the Javas. Sometimes it just takes them a little time to acclimate to their new tank.

On the far left leaf, you can see the roots forming where babies will soon start to grow.

Your tank seems fairly barren of plants. How much lighting do you have over it? What kind of dosing/maintenance are you giving it?
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Old 12-14-2010, 03:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Lighting question

Not totally sure of the wattage, but my brother made me put 2 hoods over this tank, each with a light. I think he said it's more than 30 watts of light and it's a 10g. I felt like that was too much, so I took one off. I am just beginning and all I have is this little tank with a few java ferns. I haven't added or dosed anything else yet. The only change I made was that I stopped using aquarium salt for the fish when I added the plants. I just want to get them to cover the mopani wood and if that works, I will add better plants and maybe pick up a co2 kit or something. Thanks for the reply.
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Lighting question

If I remember correctly, a typical 10 gal comes with an 18" hood (those bulbs are normally 15 watts). So, I'd guess you have 15 watts, or 30 with both hoods. Normally, I'd say that you need the 30 watts, but since you only have Java Fern and the tank is sparsely planted, 15 watts will be fine...the Java Fern will grow VERY slow however.

With 30 watts, you'd really need to add more plants to avoid some serious algae outbreaks.

Something about Java Fern is that sometimes all the leaves will die off when conditions change drastically, but the rhizome will stay alive and will send up new leaves in time. Also, as young plantlets form on older leaves, those older leaves will start to turn brown/black and can be trimmed off (and then re-attach the young plants to the wood or whatever).
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Old 12-15-2010, 04:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Lighting question

Thanks for replying. I don't want them to grow slow but also don't want algae. I would love to add more plants, but I'm just scared they will be a waste of money... my plants always died in the past. Is there something on the hardy side you would recommend that could do without co2? I wasn't aware adding more plants helps control algae...

Edit: I just looked at the lights. One hood has 2 of those mini spiral bulbs in it. One says 13w and one says 10w. The other hood has a regular bulb.

Last edited by Sweets; 12-15-2010 at 04:34 AM..
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Old 12-19-2010, 09:44 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Lighting question

So that's 38 watts over a 10 gal then. You should be able to grow several species with that light. Rotala rotundifolia (sometimes sold as R. indica), any of the Cryptocoryne sp., Anubias (like Java fern, you don't want to bury the rhizome of Anubias...only the roots...and these do well attached to rock or wood), sword plants (which will eventually outgrow a 10 gal), several mosses, Hygrophila sp.

Check out the Plant Finder and search for moderate light plants.
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Old 12-21-2010, 11:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Lighting question

Sweets I have a nice Java mat in my 75 gal and it is buried in the substrate! I used to have it on my DW but the bigger leaves would die off and I was left with a bunch of little ones. So what I did was took all the small ones and stitched them onto a plastic needle point pad. Placed it in the substrate and left it alone. A few months later I had the best Java fern mat that I have ever had! It is huge, green, and healthy. The big leaves are perfect and little ones now produce off the sides as opposed to the underside of the bigger leaves.
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