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

Dave Spencer

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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.
My first tank was a 3.4WPG EI starting last December, certainly not light levels I would recommend to anyone starting out. I have since added two more tanks to my repertoire, one a high light tank with Aqua Soil and EI, and a 6 USG with medium lighting, yet it is the medium light tank I struggle with the most at the moment.

The 3.4WPG certainly focussed my mind and made me realise how disciplined I had to be with this tank, as there is no margin for any kind of error. This has made me better from day one regarding tank care, IMO. Not having high growth rates in my medium light tank has stumped me a little on how to beat algae in this scenario, as I have always used rapid plant growth as my first line of defence.

Of course, I now only use the full 3.4WPG in a midday burst, because I like the tank to keep a look for more than a week. :lol: I think lower light tanks are starting to put in more of an appearance on this forum, though.
 

George Farmer

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I think the "new" technique of using high-light works well with the midday burst, so you can grow demanding plants with low algae risk.

I think most ADA-heads use this now i.e 5 hours of metal halide with 1-2wpg T5 for a couple of hours either side.

I seem to remember Tom actually saying Amano's tanks were mostly low light anyway.

Personally I've been able to grow anything in 2wpg T8, with 20" deep water, including glosso.

 

nry

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I think that, as Tom mentions, low light can work very well but I think the need for stable CO2 and decent fertilising is often missed from those with low experience of low light tanks. I have a 'low light' 5-gallon tank - with no CO2 and poor fertiliser it did poorly, little or no plant growth and generally bad plant health. Stick in DIY CO2 and reduced EI and the tank has flourished. For the 'average' tank, 1.5 to 2wpg with CO2 and relevant fertilising should let you grow pretty much anything and many of us have discovered/proved/read about.
 
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plantbrain

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Yep,

You still need and gain a lot of benefits from less ferts/CO2 demand, but you still need to add them also.
Just because you have less and some can get away without dosing those, does not mean you will get the same results.

It becomes much harder to test and see such relationships when you are dealing with progressively lower and lower ppms etc, add som junk test kits, bad CO2 measure, longer time frames to see any growth differences ...you really are hard pressed to see what is going on.

That was why I used very high light years ago, it made testing much easier and faster.
Then taking that info, I could apply it back to the lower light CO2 enriched methods and produce an even more robust tank and method.

Regards,
TomBarr
 

ICEEGRL

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I wish I had gotten this information back when I first started. I have 5 tanks running and just learned recently that it doesn't have to be that hard. In the beginning all of the info given to me sounded like another language and I was convinced that you must be a rocket scientist to get a planted tank right.
The first person that showed me it could be easy was my 4 year old. Her tank has gone through many designs which all worked well for her. She can grow almost anything. It got my attention, and I started watching her. Now my tanks are doing better. I taught her the basics about keeping fish, and now she is teaching me. She just does it, and then I go back and figure out why it works for her so I can make it work for me. (All of our tanks have different set ups.) Once I get it figured out then I explain it so she will know some of the science behind what she is doing.
She has about 1 1/2 wpg lighting, and very few problems growing anything she wants. She doesn't do much to it either. It is the easiest tank in the house and the healthiest. It also has some of the harder to grow plants in it.
I am glad people are finally telling me and others in simple terms that nice tanks don't have to be expensive or hard. There were a few that tried to tell me in the beginning, but they put it in terms that were over my head so I still didn't understand. I love that now things are being put more on a level that a beginner can understand.
Maybe now I can start to sort out some of the things that still have me confused.
Sorry... a little off course...
This got my attention because I am currenty fighting the battle of finding lighting for my new 55g. It is so confusing trying to figure out what to get that will actually work to grow plants and not algae...

Now if someone would tell me I could have my plants and air bubbles too that would be great!
 
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