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Low Light Planted Tank, Yes, You Can Have An Ada Tank With 1.5 W/gal

Discussion in 'Lighting, CO2, Ferts & Flow' started by plantbrain, Jul 24, 2007.

  1. plantbrain

    plantbrain Member

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    Java fern, Hairgrass, Rotala var "Green" mostly.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  2. George Farmer

    George Farmer ad aqua

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    Have I missed something? What light and what size tank?
     
  3. ShoC

    ShoC Member

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    Actually I can see the Dwarf hair grass growing,
    as I have just over 1 wpg atm and I thought my grass was dying,
    I pulled it up during a gravel vac accidentally and a small part broke off, (2 strands lol)
    I put them back in now 3 pieces are emerging,
    I have no Co2 or ferts either :D
     
  4. lljdma06

    lljdma06 Retired moderator :)
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    Tank looks great Tom! It's always nice to see a lower light tank use ADA principles in aquascaping It's totally possible, just probably takes a little more time. I had a nano aquarium that was a low-light Dutch, which is also possible. You just have to know what plants to use that creates the same effect in a low-light situation vs a high light situation. A lot of plants are much tougher than the literature says they are and can thrive and produce beautiful colors without the fancy equipment and gadgetry.

    Again, nice to see, though some tank details would be great (light wattage, filtration, maintenance, ect). :good: Just a thought, why don't you post this over at the member's tank section? People would benefit from knowing the specs, and you wouldn't have to keep answering questions about it. It would certainly be a great tank to have up there.

    llj
     
  5. nukeonekitty

    nukeonekitty Knowledge talks while wisdom listens.

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    Yeah, I don't think I ever saw tank size.
     
  6. plantbrain

    plantbrain Member

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    The entire point of the tank had nothing to do with the other specs other than lighting.
    That's why they where not listed.

    The point is that you do not need high light to have a nice ADA like, nicely scaped planted tank.

    Tank is a 70 gallon, 4ft long, canister filter etc.
    Weekly water changes, tending etc, daily ferts, fish feedings etc.
    Nothing extra ordinary. The tank, stand etc are nice an all, but folks can easily make do without the most pricy $ ADA brand also.

    The point, and the only point I'm making here is that this proves, yet once more, that you do not need to high light and it is bad advice to bull dog newbies into getting high light only to watch them struggle whereas lower lighting tanks makes it a lot more easy.

    You learn to go slower first, then when you are comfy there, then you try higher lighting if you are curious etc.
    CO2 is another issue many tell folks they do not need, while true, adding CO2 to lower light tanks results in awesome results also. It's smarter than adding higher light+CO2.

    Take one step at a time, start lower light, then add the CO2, and the last thing you add will be higher lighting.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  7. RadaR

    RadaR The things we do for our fish..

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    Cheers for the further enlightenment Tom. I'm keen to give this a go.
    Just out of interest, over your years of experience, what kelvin rating do you choose for your lights?
     
  8. ShoC

    ShoC Member

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    Im happy you said that, But also now going crazy in my mind,

    I was going to take my plant to 2.2 or so, from currently the 1.1/1.2 for growing my plants nicely.
    I am trying to go for something similar to what you have currently.
    Now do I buy better lights or but the same lights again ( as I was going to upgrade and deligate my old lights to my 2nd tank. Same size)

    Arghhh :p
     
  9. nukeonekitty

    nukeonekitty Knowledge talks while wisdom listens.

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    You have put a big smile on my face Tom because I am just starting out in planted tanks and was petrified when I saw the price tag of high output lighting. I want to get Co2 considering it is affordable.This might be a newbie question, but what is ADA?
     
  10. ShoC

    ShoC Member

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    I think this thread should be Sticky,
    and tom should state what he has just said.
    I think ALOT of people will appreciate it,
    because I was put into the position of feeling i HAD to have high light,
    I understand it will be slower growth etc.. but surely it will produce a lower chance for nasty algae.
     
  11. lljdma06

    lljdma06 Retired moderator :)
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    Thank you for the stats, Tom. I understood the point you wanted to make, but some of us like to know the specs behind a tank, whether it's relevant to the point of the post, or not. It gives a sense of completness to the picture of the tank presented, and many of us are just used to seeing this information there. Besides, the tank is super nice, I really wanted to know about it for purely selfish reasons. Like, where you got it, because I like it! :drool: What you have said is nothing new to me, as I have 4 low-light planted tanks. :lol: I still think, however, that this tank should be placed in the Member's section, which is a sticky thread, and an excellent reference for Newbies, as detailed specs are given on each setup. Is there a particular reason why you haven't placed it there? Or do you just not want to? It is a lovely tank, and should be there.

    Maybe I'm confused, old, tired, my corset was too tight in Rigoletto, or haven't been around a lot in a while, but why are people still under this impression that they abosolutely must have high light to have a scaped planted aquarium? We seem to fall into this rut sometimes, and I definitely remember discussing this before. Information on lower light planted tanks are readily available in this forum. I can think of quite a few tanks in this forum, off the top of my head, that do not/did not run on high light at all, including all of mine, George's new one for a client, his daughter's, Jimbooo's cube, Sam's 20g, etc..., not to mention the one Tom just posted. Some of these aquariums are over a year old, run at a much lower cost than their high-light/high-tech counterparts, and there are more out there that I haven't mentioned. This is not a new thing and most of these tanks have detailed journals that are easily accessible in the Journal subforum. I'm sorry that you and others have been put into the position that there was only one way of doing things. It is the biggest problem with information obtained from forums. The information is excellent, but often one-sided.

    I agree wholeheartedly with Tom. Newbies shouldn't be steered towards all the bells and whistles unless they indicate that this is, infact, what they want, and they know exactly what to expect from it. They also shouldn't be led to believe that one method is the best and the others not. There are several top-notch ways to keep beautiful planted tanks, depending on what you want to accomplish and what your budget dictates. In the past, we've discussed having a pinned topic that explains the different methodologies, so Newbies can have a reference point to make their own decisions, and nothing came of it. Perhaps it is time to consider this option again.

    Finally, growth doesn't have to be slow, poor, or second-rate in a low-light tank, period. I do see this line come up time and again in threads where higher light is encouraged, where it is often used as an arguement against lower light. If you know the species of plants that do well in a lower-light environment, you can also enjoy lush, healthy, well-colored growth, with no deficiencies. And pretty fast as well, I may add. There are plants for every level of the aquarium, in nearly every color, in nearly every leaf shape, that thrive in lower-light conditions. I think some people here are making this hobby way too hard. It isn't. It really, really isn't. :) Have fun with it! :fun:

    llj :)
     
  12. plantbrain

    plantbrain Member

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    I tend to prefer warmer colors, 5000K-6500K in general.Triton bulns are nice for normal output FL's.It's much more a personal preference to your own aesthetics really.Others that claim otherwise are well, full of piggy pudding.Regards, Tom Barr
    Yes, you got the precise message here.You actually get quite a bit of growth, it's just you get even more with more light, because you are not CO2 limited at that point etc. But then you have to dose ferts more and they become more critical.ADA= aqua design Amano. Amano's company, search aquascapes and his name, you'll get plenty of hits.Regards, Tom Barr
     
  13. plantbrain

    plantbrain Member

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    The entire point is that I'm not going to detail out an entire tank, the methods etc, just detail out that you do not need nor require high light.
    Also to high light the fficacy of CO2 in lower light applications.

    It's also not my personal tank.
    So member's tank's would not be appropriate.

    I'm glad you find the tank interesting etc, but the other issues are not what I wanted to explain and show to folks, we can see nice tanks till the cow's come home. :good:

    What is interesting is that this tank is easy to care for and easy to maintain and has low light by many folk's standards.
    Yes, growing plants is more than just light alone certainly, however, I'm trying not to get into all that :sick:

    Such threads are never ending and encompass every subforum topic imaginable. :sick:

    For the same reason folks think they need CO2.
    Lack of awareness, experience and examples to show that it can be done and achieve a number of suitable goals.
    I think the main thing is looking at your goals, then seeing what trade offs you have with them and what set of trade offs will get you those goals with the least amount of pain.

    I'm known namely for EI, but I've developed and promote about 5 different methods at any one time.

    One method I suggest: have both, none of this "either... or" business. So try a non CO2, try and high and low light tank, Try Excel, try richer and leaner nutrients, or sediment rich/water column lean and other combos.

    That runs the gambits of methods, as plants grow based on Light, CO2 and nutrients, not just one, but all 3.

    A better question is "why is it one sided?".
    Folks use only one method that perhaps they had success with and never bother to learn the others.
    They can only give advice about what they know and what works for them.

    Understanding "why" something works is a critical part of all this, yet many do not care or think it's trite and trival, it gets complex and takes a lot more thinking than the "How".

    Very few folks do both non CO2 and CO2 methods well for both, they tend to do one or the other.
    Same thing with light. Same thing with nutrients.

    One reason I do every method is to get a better understanding, but it also allows e to give advice to anyone for any goal and be able to explain the trade offs in real practical experience as well as theory.

    I have never met anyone else that can do this with the various methods. I'd hope that others try out other methods and see for themselves, set some goals and see if they can work out a method that achieves it.

    I think the problem is that the goals and the methods used are not in snych.
    Most want slower growth, more wiggle room for the nutrients/CO2.

    So light is the obvious thing, yet folks keep telling new folks they need high light.
    Someone told them that they "needed" it, so they got it andf it's really all they know.

    If it works, why change?

    I can tear that argument up with rabid candor.
    Because less labor, less cost, more stability, easier, more likelyhood of success, less algae?
    Humans would have never left their caves, came down from the trees, left Eden if folks bought into the "it works, why change?" mentality. That's conformity at it's strongest.

    Oh, I know at least a couple of folks that claim that their's is. They cannot acknowledge that other methods are possible, or good for fish, claim to cause algae, poor plant growth etc. We all have seen examples that are counter to such claims.

    I'm not one dimensional however, I keep several tools in my bag. I'm not a one trick pony.
    The other clowns that claim their's is best do not however, they have one method.
    That's it.

    No one method will meet everyone's goal.
    It's impossible.

    Well, there are different sub catagories here.

    This topic is about one part, light.

    Another might be CO2 or not.

    Another might be nutrients/dosing etc.

    Another and important step: intergration of all 3.

    You can add fish and critters to yet another sub topic etc.

    You can add Marine and brackish systems.

    They need to first define their goal, then go lookign for various methods that address light, CO2, nutrients and their various sources and trade offs.

    I ask the question: what species of plants cannot be grown at 2 w/gal or more of light?
    Or 1.5 w/gal of T5's?

    Name one.
    I'm waiting to prove you wrong.

    I can test such a hypothesis, (species A cannot be grown at 2w/gal).
    All I have to do is to grow it well at 2w/gal to falsify that hypothesis.
    My tank, the nutrients/CO2 etc are all independent of the light if I can grow it well.

    So while it does not say why many other folks failed at low light, it does prove that the original hypothesis cannot be correct.

    Still, simply because Bob cannot grow the plant without high light, he assumes that what Igor says about low light is wrong and incorrect.

    It's not the methods fault, it's Bob's. He's not mastered it yet.

    This leads to belief and bad advice.

    If you see a tank that has low light and they have nice plants but you cannot do it, either they are simply lying or you better go back and figure out what you did wrong!

    Same deal with folks that are successful with low light/CO2, then fail repeatedly with high light. We see that a lot.
    They cannot get it right for whatever reason, but we know that it can be done and that many of us can do it.

    We do not need to know all the possible reasons why they messed up to prove that it can be done.
    Same thing here.

    You test your claims and hypothesis to see if they are really true or not.
    Take your own advice basically.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  14. lljdma06

    lljdma06 Retired moderator :)
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    I'm sorry Tom, but why do you want to prove me wrong? Maybe I'm not getting it. :dunno: Where did I indicate that there were plant species that couldn't be grown with over 2WPG? I didn't say that, and if you got that impression, I apologize for perhaps not being totally clear. All I said was that you could also have lush growth with less light, and that there was a plant for every level of the lower-light aquarium, with all kinds of leaf shapes and colors. There is nothing in what I said that implied that you couldn't grow the exact same plants with 2WPG or more. Heck, I've had successful high-light tanks too, and some of my plants that I have now are from those very same tanks! Stop looking for a battle where there isn't any. For Heaven's sake, I was agreeing with you! :rolleyes:

    :flowers:
     
  15. plantbrain

    plantbrain Member

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    Oh heavens no.

    Not you personally, the idea that was proposed.
    I'm not out to prove anyone personally wrong :good:

    You are not suggesting that a species cannot be grown at 2w/gal, other folks often say this on the forums though.
    I'm talking in general terms here, no you specifically, rather a rhetorical question for any/all.

    If someone makes the claim that we cannot grow say Glossostigma except under 3-4w/gal, I can disprove that. I'm not out to disprove that person, just the idea that we cannot grow this plant except under high light.

    I'm suggesting that as group, folks think about it, discuss a better way perhaps to test it and see. If we can grow say dwarf hairgrass at 1.5 w/gal of T5 lighting, then when folks make the claim that it "needs" 3-4w/gal to grow etc, we know such statements are not true.

    We are not out ot disprove that person or embarass them etc
    Just show what they claim is not true. If they chose to argue about that's fine, some do take it personally. But they need to show why we can grow it at so much less light to support their contention, which is an impossibility since we have examples at low light, it falsifies their hypothesis.

    Some get rather plum flustered when you do this and try to make this point, but it's not my fault they did not test their own hypothesis :blush:

    The goal here is not to take things personally ever.
    The goal is to learn more and we make mistakes and need to think about things to avoid making them repeatedly.

    When folks raise such questions such as how much light is "needed" to grow a plant, this is a neat interesting question and one we can test ourselves! Do we really need that much light or not?

    How low can we go before no growth occurs?
    How high can we go before no more added growth occurs?
    What are the other impacts at either end of the spectra(algae, no algae, slow growth, high growth etc)?

    You test the range of the parameter of interest, in this case, light.
    Note: this is still not minimal lighting(1.54w/gal of T5).
    But it's less than most suggest still.

    As you approach the lower end, then things are much more like walking a knife's edge, better to have a little buffer room and go the next step up.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     

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