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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As the title says, i have 3 shoplights with 2 40w veri-lux 6500k plant bulbs in teach over a 55g. But, they are hanging about a foot and a half above the tank. Also, only one of them is directly above, as the center of the two others sit perpendicular to the trim. Well, long story short, my plants arent looking to well, especially the angustifolious(i will be taking it out). But even my anubias petites arent looking so hot. So do you think it is because lack of light, or because i had to raise the temp to 85 and use 2 teaspoons per gallon of aquarium salt to treat a bout of ich on my datnoid and barbs? The only fert i use is flourish excel and also have DIY CO2. Substrate is pool filter sand, and alot of waste from alot of fish. But i do weekly 50% water changes also. Other plants in the tank include java fern, dwarf sag, crypts and tiger lotus(the lotus is doing great). Thanks.
 

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you have a lot of issues here man. Problem number one is you can not run that light and diy co2 and not fertilize. Thats your biggest problem right there. #2, from what your saying its really tough to judge how much light your getting to the tank because it hard to visualize how your lights are. Why dont you get your lights centered over the tank and lower. This is another big problem,your not getting enough light. Without these 2 things your at a dead end.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
you have a lot of issues here man. Problem number one is you can not run that light and diy co2 and not fertilize. Thats your biggest problem right there. #2, from what your saying its really tough to judge how much light your getting to the tank because it hard to visualize how your lights are. Why dont you get your lights centered over the tank and lower. This is another big problem,your not getting enough light. Without these 2 things your at a dead end.
thanks for the input. i have not researched fertilizers enough. what should i be doing besides secheam flourish, i thought that flourish had most the ferts needed?

As far lights, they are "centered" over the tank as much as they can be(as they are all side by side), but one light takes up 3/4 the width of the tank, so the others are kinda off. Ill try to get some pics up.

And i cant really lower them because there are tillandsia at the top of the tank, and i want to grow a reed like tank theat protrudes a couple feet out of the water:

 

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The light intensity drops approximately as the square of the distance from the bulbs, so you just don't get enough light into the tank to grow the plants. If you use MH pendant lights instead of the fluorescent lights you might be able to make this work.

Also, aquarium salt is not good for plants. You need to do some water changes to get rid of it.

Since you don't have a fertile substrate you can't do a Walstad type tank, so you need to be fertilizing more. Given the unusual setup you have I think using the EI method would work best, perhaps with somewhat lower doses. So, you need to get some KNO3, KH2PO4, Seachem Flourish or other trace element mix, and start dosing those. Read up on fertilizing methods in the fertilizing forum stickies here.
 

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Flourish excel is not a fertilizer. It is for building carbon in the tank to supplement c02. From what I see from your post you are doing no ferts at all. Do not bury your Anubias in the gravel as they need their rhizome above the gravel. Best tied to rocks or driftwood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
sorry, i dont use flourish excel, i had a brain fart, i use Seachem Flourish . . . the green bottle. Is that decent to use as ferts? Non of my anubias or java are buried in substrate.

hoppy, how much of the 4.4wpg do you think is making it in the tank? Also, at menards they have some new metal halide shop lights, but dont give you the color temperature. Do you think it would be easy to find different bulbs for them to grow plants with online?
 

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You are getting the equivalent of about 1 watt per gallon with the light suspended 24 inches above the water. Remember, you lose light in proportion to about the inverse square of the distance. So, assuming you would have a good 4.4 watts per gallon at 20 inches above the substrate, the lights are now at about 42 inches above the substrate, so you have the equivalent of about (20/42) squared, times 4.4, or 1 watt per gallon. That is about what it looks like in those photos too.

And, this isn't even taking into consideration that the third light fixture isn't really over the tank. So, make that less than one watt per gallon. Then, consider that when we discuss watts per gallon we generally are referring to lights comparable to AH Supply bright light kits, and those shop lights are not that good. You just don't have much light.
 
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