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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi im not new to fishkeeping but I am a novice at planted tanks.I've
got a co2 reactor I built myself which runs into my powerhead for
distribution.
My plants are:
1)Wysteria 4)Amazon Swords 7)Ammania A easy to grow red plant
2)Java moss 5)Bacopa mint 8)Baby tears
3Dwarf hair grass 6)Lud Repens

My plants arent lively, probably due to the substrate which is sand.
I plan to place my plants in clay pots with aquatic soil rather than
tear the whole tank down. That and the fact that I'm not sure what
direction to go with a substrate suitable for plants.
Have you got any advice for me on whic direction to go? I really want
the plants to flourish, but they aren't.Any and all advice you have
would be quite welcome.

Thank you very much, Jay
 

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What size is your tank and how much light do you have in there? Besides the substrate, those are two of the most important factors in aquascaping.




Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Specs

Its 55 gallons with 2/ 18 inch power glow high intensity aquarium lamps It says promotes coral, invertebrate and plant growth, 15 watt each 18,000k
 

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You have 2 major issues working against you:

1) 2x18 normal fluorescent bulbs HARDLY offer enough light for even very very low light plants.
2) 18,000K bulbs are not plant appropriate.

For this tank, you will want to shoot for atleast 2wpg. You can do this with a 2x55 Power Compact light setup. I always DIY it a little and go with www.ahsupply.com

For bulbs, get something between 5000K and 10000K. 5000 is more yellow, 6700 is more green, 10000K is more blue.

There are also GE 9325K's which look pinkish, but are wonderfull for plant growth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Masive lighting upgrade

EDIT: having a lighting problem. Planted tanks are way to expensive. I mean the lighting.
 

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Daddyo72 wrote:
having a lighting problem. Planted tanks are way to expensive. I mean the lighting.
Cheap, but adequate, lighting for a 55 gallon would be two 40 watt, cool white, T-12 fluorescents run by a single ballast that you can get cheap at hardware stores or places like Home Depot. Make your own hood out of scrap lumber. Specialized lights and ballasts are expensive, but lights and ballasts that are manufactured in very large quantities are much cheaper.
 

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If you are a handy with tools, you could make your own hood like HeyPK suggested and use shop lights.

OR you could do a search on ODNO (Over Driven Normal Output) lighting. It will probably be a bit more expensive than regular shoplights but it would be great for updating down the road should you want more light. I currently have two 55's set up this way and the lights work great and they are about half the price of AH Supply.
 

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Re: Masive lighting upgrade

daddyo72 said:
EDIT: having a lighting problem. Planted tanks are way to expensive. I mean the lighting.
That's what ODNO is for! Here's a link to learn more about ODNO, this article is IMO the best one I've read: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=175

For example, with Workhorse 5(the best ballast for this application, note only electronic ballasts can be used) you can run 4, 32w bulbs at 128w which would be ideal for the plants you have and therefore you can avoid expensive C02 setups. Note, the less you 'overdrive' the bulb the more effecient it is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you.

I thought I was doomed at first, but it looks like I'm going to go to home depot. I'm going to go with the shop light idea.(4/32 watt bulbs). I've got some plants coming in soon that I'd like to see prosper. I've done a lot of research on aquatic plants and I had no idea my tank was so ill prepared for plants. For now I will correct my horrid lighting problems and move on to other problems, but I feel the lighting is a "must do" for now. I look forward to your very valuable advice.
Jay
 

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daddyo72, I see you are in Chicago so you have Menards there. I got an awesome shoplight from there. They are about $30 but, they are worth it. ALL the light is directed down into the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Shop light

MissMinerva said:
daddyo72, I see you are in Chicago so you have Menards there. I got an awesome shoplight from there. They are about $30 but, they are worth it. ALL the light is directed down into the tank.
Is that light 2 bulb or 4? Thanks for the visual btw. Now I know what to look for. :D
 

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daddyo72 said:
Will this be enough WPG for a 55 gallon?
Two T8's using a magnetic(default) ballast will give you a mere 64w...which isn't enough.

Two T8's using a Workhorse 5 electronic ballast will give you a woping 128w...which is good enough.
 
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