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Dave B 03-05-2004 06:14 AM

low light plants in high light areas?
Does any one have suggestions for putting low light plants in high light areas of a tank? I have a 29 gallon with (2) 55 watt PC bulbs so needless to say the light is blasting. I would like to place a piece of driftwood covered with Java moss and Java fern in a high light area but I think that will be too much for those plants and it may become an algae factory. The driftwood is somewhat elevated off the substrate so I don't know if I can get enough tall plants to shade the wood.
Photographers use neutral gels to reduce the amount of lights from strobes. Could this be used selectively to cut the light on the wood? Can these plants take that much light? I don't wants to use riccia. Any ideas or examples?

IUnknown 03-05-2004 06:57 AM

Good question. I would think that if your tank was established then you would have no problems. But I do tend to design the tank with the plants light levels in mind.

Steve Pituch 03-05-2004 07:50 AM

Neutral density
If you have a glass top you could put some fiberglass window screening on top of the glass. I did this for some metal halide pendants and it worked well. See:'...lights.html#mh
One layer cut about 1/2 f-stop of light, two layers about 1 f-stop or 50%.

Steve Pituch

Wheeler 03-05-2004 09:03 AM

I find that Java fern does very well in high light. Moss can be a little weird for people, or so I've heard, in high light, but I've never had an issue with that. Just go for it! Those plants are cheap and easy to find anyway.

gpodio 03-05-2004 12:54 PM

I have a similar piece of wood covered in anubias and java moss under 4WPG. No problem with the moss but because the leaves of the anubias stay around for a long time, they carry all the signs of past problems and tend to get some spot algae on them. In the same tank under 2WPG the anubias is spotless. So if you have yet to master your tank's nutrient balance, you may have some dirty anubias leaves to start with but eventually as you iron out any imbalances you should be able to maintain them relatively clean.

Hope that helps
Giancarlo Podio

dennis 03-06-2004 11:43 AM

I find that Java fern grows like a weed in highlight situations. It pearls like crazy, sends off a lot of adventagious plantlets and one nice thing I have hound is that the plant stays much lower but grows fuller. Under 3 wpg it only gets to be about 5" tall but puts out a new leaf every couple of days but under 1.5 to 2 wpg it will grow 8-10" tall and only grow one leaf at a time. I am unsure of the mosses having never had any. I would agree about the anubias. The leaves tend to get ratty but if you can shade them with taller plants or something they tend to be ok. If your tank is balanced algae should not be an issue. ALso trimming an old anubias leaf occasoinally tends to make them produce more a new one. Just remember that they are very slow growers so don't trim to many at once. I have also found hat the nana variety seems to grow faster.

Dave B 03-08-2004 08:21 AM

Thank you all for the advise. I will be using all of it. I have just ordered some Christmas moss and I am going to try using some Erect moss in the highest light areas. They should arrive in a couple of weeks. I have a funky twisted piece of driftwood that I will be attaching these mosses and some Java fern to. It will be a partial (1/2) overhaul of my aquascape.I'm thinking of taking and posting weekly photos of the progress.
Thanks again,

litesky 03-08-2004 08:37 AM

In my opinion, I don't really think a 110 watt is literally "blasting" on a 29 gallon. Sorry if that is too much of a different opinion, but my reasoning is this. I have a 20 gallon long. Lot less shorter than your 29 gallon (my assumption). I have 130 watts "BuRNING" on that tank and the tank is doing well. For me lowlight plants will grow much faster in a high light tank as long as a good level of co2 is involved. Don't be afraid...just go ahead and test things out. Constant water changes, good water flow and you should be fine. you might have to fight a war, but the outcome is always for the best. Good luck and let us know how things turn out.

My friend always says I'm crazy like amano for doing 6 watts or more per gallon.

Gomer 03-08-2004 09:44 AM

I have 2x55 AHSupply lights over my 29g. I'd say it is definately high light. low light species should grow just fine. I did have problems with spot algae on my anubias, but that was considerably slowed when I upped the phosphate in the 2ppm range.

budak 03-14-2004 11:59 PM

I find that so-called low light plants like Anubias, java ferns, Bolbitis, mosses will thrive under high light conditions, provided other parameters are good (temperature below 28C, regular fertilisation, good water circulation, ample CO2). I have a Anubias nana perched on a wood just below the surface and reciving the full force of about 150W, which quadrupled its bulk in 4-5 months, with no spot algae. The nearby java moss and bolbitis also spread wildly.

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