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Q for plant/lighting experts

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  • rchevere13
    I have a regular twin-bulb reflector sitting on my 50-gallon tank, and it s running the (presumably inexpensive and sub-optimal) lights that it came with.
    Message 1 of 10 , Mar 28, 2002
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      I have a regular twin-bulb reflector sitting on my 50-gallon tank,
      and it's running the (presumably inexpensive and sub-optimal) lights
      that it came with. What's the best I can do for my 15 baby Amazon
      sword plants, bulb-wise, without getting a whole new lighting
      fixture? These things are growing more slowly than I think they
      should. I'm also considering setting up a 2L bottle yeast
      CO2 "reactor" to bubble into the tank, but I have to do more research
      into how that will affect water chemistry. (I see there's a thread
      on CO2 injection further up, so I'll read all those posts.)

      .Ruben
    • Tom Bates
      Ruben; The best inexpensive tubes are the GE Sunshine 50. These can be found at Home Depot or Lowes. Look for the tubes in the orange sleeve. Beyond lighting,
      Message 2 of 10 , Mar 28, 2002
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        Ruben;

        The best inexpensive tubes are the GE Sunshine 50. These can be found at
        Home Depot or Lowes. Look for the tubes in the orange sleeve.

        Beyond lighting, consider substrate fertilization for these Swords since
        they are heavy root feeders.

        What is your waters KH and pH? I should be able to guess how much of a
        change you will see should you decide to supplement CO2.

        Tom Bates - Senior LMD
        Allentown, PA USA
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/UniQuaria
        http://www.UniQuaria.com

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "rchevere13" <rchevere13@...>
        To: <UniQuaria@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Thursday, March 28, 2002 12:30 PM
        Subject: [UniQuaria] Q for plant/lighting experts


        > I have a regular twin-bulb reflector sitting on my 50-gallon tank,
        > and it's running the (presumably inexpensive and sub-optimal) lights
        > that it came with. What's the best I can do for my 15 baby Amazon
        > sword plants, bulb-wise, without getting a whole new lighting
        > fixture? These things are growing more slowly than I think they
        > should. I'm also considering setting up a 2L bottle yeast
        > CO2 "reactor" to bubble into the tank, but I have to do more research
        > into how that will affect water chemistry. (I see there's a thread
        > on CO2 injection further up, so I'll read all those posts.)
        >
        > .Ruben
      • ardoucette
        Hi Ruben, With 2 40 watt bulbs you will have about 1 1/2 watts per gallon. This is on the low end of lighting even using plant lights but you can grow quite a
        Message 3 of 10 , Mar 28, 2002
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          Hi Ruben,
          With 2 40 watt bulbs you will have about 1 1/2 watts per gallon.
          This is on the low end of lighting even using plant lights but you
          can grow quite a few plants at this level (anubias, java fern, crypts
          etc), however most swords like more then this, some a lot more.
          I don't believe CO2 will have a big impact at this light level. I'd
          focus on getting more light first, CO2 then becomes a limiting factor
          and its addition then makes sense.
          Arthur


          --- In UniQuaria@y..., "Tom Bates" <fish2r@p...> wrote:
          > Ruben;
          >
          > The best inexpensive tubes are the GE Sunshine 50. These can be
          found at
          > Home Depot or Lowes. Look for the tubes in the orange sleeve.
          >
          > Beyond lighting, consider substrate fertilization for these Swords
          since
          > they are heavy root feeders.
          >
          > What is your waters KH and pH? I should be able to guess how much
          of a
          > change you will see should you decide to supplement CO2.
          >
          > Tom Bates - Senior LMD
          > Allentown, PA USA
          > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/UniQuaria
          > http://www.UniQuaria.com
          >
          > ----- Original Message -----
          > From: "rchevere13" <rchevere13@y...>
          > To: <UniQuaria@y...>
          > Sent: Thursday, March 28, 2002 12:30 PM
          > Subject: [UniQuaria] Q for plant/lighting experts
          >
          >
          > > I have a regular twin-bulb reflector sitting on my 50-gallon tank,
          > > and it's running the (presumably inexpensive and sub-optimal)
          lights
          > > that it came with. What's the best I can do for my 15 baby Amazon
          > > sword plants, bulb-wise, without getting a whole new lighting
          > > fixture? These things are growing more slowly than I think they
          > > should. I'm also considering setting up a 2L bottle yeast
          > > CO2 "reactor" to bubble into the tank, but I have to do more
          research
          > > into how that will affect water chemistry. (I see there's a
          thread
          > > on CO2 injection further up, so I'll read all those posts.)
          > >
          > > .Ruben
        • rchevere13
          ... found at ... since ... Thanks to Tom and to all who sent responses. These have been very helpful tips. :) I wouldn t mind buying more expensive bulbs
          Message 4 of 10 , Mar 29, 2002
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            --- In UniQuaria@y..., "Tom Bates" <fish2r@p...> wrote:
            > Ruben;
            >
            > The best inexpensive tubes are the GE Sunshine 50. These can be
            found at
            > Home Depot or Lowes. Look for the tubes in the orange sleeve.
            >
            > Beyond lighting, consider substrate fertilization for these Swords
            since
            > they are heavy root feeders.

            Thanks to Tom and to all who sent responses. These have been very
            helpful tips. :)

            I wouldn't mind buying more expensive bulbs (though I'll save money
            wherever I can); I just don't want to buy a several-hundred-dollar
            compact fluorescent setup or anything like that. Given this fixture

            http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_Display.cfm?
            siteid=6&pCatId=3800

            What are some of the beter/best bulbs I can put in there? (It may
            very well be that GE Sunshines are the best I can do.)

            My substrate is only 25% Flourite, so I will add substrate
            fertilizers.

            > What is your waters KH and pH? I should be able to guess how much
            of a
            > change you will see should you decide to supplement CO2.

            Great! I found a chart on the net and printed it out. I haven't
            checked GH in a while, but it used to be very low (1 DH). I have
            never checked KH (carbonate hardness?), but I'll do that this
            weekend. pH from the tap is 8.0 (yech), but the tank goes from about
            7 to about 6.8 from over the course of the week, with the "spike" to
            7 occurring right at the water change (hasn't killed any fish yet,
            and it's been many months...*knock knock knock*).

            Given the low GH, I was assuming that CO2 would destabilize the pH a
            lot. I might add baking soda or something to come up with 3 or 4 DH.
            (I don't know yet. This is still hypothetical.)

            .Ruben
          • Tom Bates
            Ruben; I agree with the others that said your lighting levels would not make CO2 supplementation a necessity. If you want to do this for the pH lowering
            Message 5 of 10 , Mar 29, 2002
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              Ruben;

              I agree with the others that said your lighting levels would not make CO2
              supplementation a necessity. If you want to do this for the pH lowering
              capabilities only though, go right ahead.

              Your GH has no bearing on the effects of CO2, the KH is the determining
              factor on how your pH will respond.

              Tom Bates - Senior LMD
              Allentown, PA USA
              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/UniQuaria
              http://www.UniQuaria.com

              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "rchevere13" <rchevere13@...>
              To: <UniQuaria@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Friday, March 29, 2002 1:24 PM
              Subject: [UniQuaria] Re: Q for plant/lighting experts


              > --- In UniQuaria@y..., "Tom Bates" <fish2r@p...> wrote:
              > > Ruben;
              > >
              > > The best inexpensive tubes are the GE Sunshine 50. These can be
              > found at
              > > Home Depot or Lowes. Look for the tubes in the orange sleeve.
              > >
              > > Beyond lighting, consider substrate fertilization for these Swords
              > since
              > > they are heavy root feeders.
              >
              > Thanks to Tom and to all who sent responses. These have been very
              > helpful tips. :)
              >
              > I wouldn't mind buying more expensive bulbs (though I'll save money
              > wherever I can); I just don't want to buy a several-hundred-dollar
              > compact fluorescent setup or anything like that. Given this fixture
              >
              > http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_Display.cfm?
              > siteid=6&pCatId=3800
              >
              > What are some of the beter/best bulbs I can put in there? (It may
              > very well be that GE Sunshines are the best I can do.)
              >
              > My substrate is only 25% Flourite, so I will add substrate
              > fertilizers.
              >
              > > What is your waters KH and pH? I should be able to guess how much
              > of a
              > > change you will see should you decide to supplement CO2.
              >
              > Great! I found a chart on the net and printed it out. I haven't
              > checked GH in a while, but it used to be very low (1 DH). I have
              > never checked KH (carbonate hardness?), but I'll do that this
              > weekend. pH from the tap is 8.0 (yech), but the tank goes from about
              > 7 to about 6.8 from over the course of the week, with the "spike" to
              > 7 occurring right at the water change (hasn't killed any fish yet,
              > and it's been many months...*knock knock knock*).
              >
              > Given the low GH, I was assuming that CO2 would destabilize the pH a
              > lot. I might add baking soda or something to come up with 3 or 4 DH.
              > (I don't know yet. This is still hypothetical.)
              >
              > .Ruben
            • Creative Solutions New Media
              Am I to understand then that if you have a high KH then the introduction of CO2 into the tank would be less likely to affect the ph? Tim Winters Creative
              Message 6 of 10 , Apr 1, 2002
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                Am I to understand then that if you have a high KH then the introduction of
                CO2 into the tank would be less likely to affect the ph?

                Tim Winters
                Creative Solutions New Media
                7020 Chebucto Road
                Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
                B3L 1M8
                (902) 429 0827
              • Tom Bates
                Tim; In a sense what you are saying is true but you must also understand that a high KH water will require more CO2 to get you where you want to be. Where
                Message 7 of 10 , Apr 1, 2002
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                  Tim;

                  In a sense what you are saying is true but you must also understand that a
                  high KH water will require more CO2 to get you where you want to be. Where
                  someone with a KH of 10 will go through a 10 lb. CO2 cylinder in six months,
                  another with a KH of 3 will get closer to a year with the same cylinder.
                  With DIY CO2, multiple DIY batches may be needed on high KH water to get the
                  same result another with low KH can get with a single DIY unit.

                  When using CO2 supplementation, you want to provide enough CO2 to create 15
                  to 20 ppm of CO2. In high KH water, you would need to add more CO2 to reach
                  this desired level than you would had this water carried a lower KH.

                  When CO2 is added to water, carbonic acid (H2CO3) is created. This acid is
                  acted upon by the KH, or buffering capability. Only when the amount of
                  carbonic acid exceeds the buffering capability will the pH become lowered.
                  It is this lowering of the pH along with the KH level that allows us to
                  measure CO2 ppm using the pH - KH - CO2 charts. The higher the buffering
                  capability, the more stable the pH. The lower the buffering, the quicker pH
                  will change.

                  Does this make sense???

                  Tom Bates - Senior LMD
                  Allentown, PA USA
                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/UniQuaria
                  http://www.UniQuaria.com

                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: "Creative Solutions New Media" <csnm@...>
                  To: <UniQuaria@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Monday, April 01, 2002 6:44 PM
                  Subject: RE: [UniQuaria] Re: Q for plant/lighting experts


                  > Am I to understand then that if you have a high KH then the introduction
                  of
                  > CO2 into the tank would be less likely to affect the ph?
                  >
                  > Tim Winters
                  > Creative Solutions New Media
                  > 7020 Chebucto Road
                  > Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
                  > B3L 1M8
                  > (902) 429 0827
                • Paul Cezanne
                  ... Tom, I may have posted, a few minutes ago, prematurely. I had not read this yet. On the other hand, I m still confused. This implies that various pH/KH
                  Message 8 of 10 , Apr 2, 2002
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                    >When CO2 is added to water, carbonic acid (H2CO3) is created. This acid is
                    >acted upon by the KH, or buffering capability. Only when the amount of
                    >carbonic acid exceeds the buffering capability will the pH become lowered.

                    Tom, I may have posted, a few minutes ago, prematurely. I had not read this yet.

                    On the other hand, I'm still confused.

                    This implies that various pH/KH combinations are possible with the CO2 level being unknown and that _only_ when you see the pH drop can you then use the charts. Before that time, the best you can say about the charts is that they are a "guaranteed not to exceed" figure.
                    --
                    pZ -- Paul Cezanne
                    Please visit http://www.customline.com/peace/ and think about what is there.
                  • Tom Bates
                    Paul; And likewise I replied to your earlier post and explained exactly as you surmise here. Your last paragraph is exactly what is happening. I think you have
                    Message 9 of 10 , Apr 2, 2002
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                      Paul;

                      And likewise I replied to your earlier post and explained exactly as you
                      surmise here. Your last paragraph is exactly what is happening. I think you
                      have a handle on it now. I can see how this can be very confusing and it can
                      be equally hard to explain.

                      Tom Bates - Senior LMD
                      Allentown, PA USA
                      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/UniQuaria
                      http://www.UniQuaria.com

                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: "Paul Cezanne" <oblique@...>
                      To: <UniQuaria@yahoogroups.com>
                      Sent: Tuesday, April 02, 2002 7:20 PM
                      Subject: Re: [UniQuaria] Re: Q for plant/lighting experts


                      > >When CO2 is added to water, carbonic acid (H2CO3) is created. This acid
                      is
                      > >acted upon by the KH, or buffering capability. Only when the amount of
                      > >carbonic acid exceeds the buffering capability will the pH become
                      lowered.
                      >
                      > Tom, I may have posted, a few minutes ago, prematurely. I had not read
                      this yet.
                      >
                      > On the other hand, I'm still confused.
                      >
                      > This implies that various pH/KH combinations are possible with the CO2
                      level being unknown and that _only_ when you see the pH drop can you then
                      use the charts. Before that time, the best you can say about the charts is
                      that they are a "guaranteed not to exceed" figure.
                      > --
                      > pZ -- Paul Cezanne
                    • robertpaulh
                      ... as you ... think you ... and it can ... This acid ... amount of ... read ... the CO2 ... you then ... charts is ... I would refer you to this KH-pH chart
                      Message 10 of 10 , Apr 3, 2002
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                        --- In UniQuaria@y..., "Tom Bates" <fish2r@p...> wrote:
                        > Paul;
                        >
                        > And likewise I replied to your earlier post and explained exactly
                        as you
                        > surmise here. Your last paragraph is exactly what is happening. I
                        think you
                        > have a handle on it now. I can see how this can be very confusing
                        and it can
                        > be equally hard to explain.
                        >
                        > Tom Bates - Senior LMD
                        > Allentown, PA USA
                        > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/UniQuaria
                        > http://www.UniQuaria.com
                        >
                        > ----- Original Message -----
                        > From: "Paul Cezanne" <oblique@a...>
                        > To: <UniQuaria@y...>
                        > Sent: Tuesday, April 02, 2002 7:20 PM
                        > Subject: Re: [UniQuaria] Re: Q for plant/lighting experts
                        >
                        >
                        > > >When CO2 is added to water, carbonic acid (H2CO3) is created.
                        This acid
                        > is
                        > > >acted upon by the KH, or buffering capability. Only when the
                        amount of
                        > > >carbonic acid exceeds the buffering capability will the pH become
                        > lowered.
                        > >
                        > > Tom, I may have posted, a few minutes ago, prematurely. I had not
                        read
                        > this yet.
                        > >
                        > > On the other hand, I'm still confused.
                        > >
                        > > This implies that various pH/KH combinations are possible with
                        the CO2
                        > level being unknown and that _only_ when you see the pH drop can
                        you then
                        > use the charts. Before that time, the best you can say about the
                        charts is
                        > that they are a "guaranteed not to exceed" figure.
                        > > --
                        > > pZ -- Paul Cezanne

                        I would refer you to this KH-pH chart and the article on CO2:

                        http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_co2chart.htm

                        Robert Hudson
                        http://www.aquabotanic.com
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