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Old 23-06-2004, 01:18 PM
sophie
 
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Default idiot query re. plants and lighting...


I wonder if anyone can help me with a (very stupid, I think) query
regarding artificial lighting and plants. Everything I read on the net
tells me that planted tanks need artificial light. What I would like to
know is why? If I have a tank in a position with bright natural light -
a position where houseplants would do well - and some direct sunlight
though not too much - why isn't this suitable for low light aquatic
plants? (I have a couple of rosette-y things growing in a tank at the
moment with no artificial light and they seem fine. they're not growing
fast but they are growing - nice new leaves (coming out red when they
appear) - and I can't see any real problems with them. I can see that
high-light plants would require something close to the brightness of
unfiltered sunlight, but for my situation, I'm puzzled as to the reasons
for the additional lighting - and why isn't this actually
counterproductive for plants which like low light which are already in a
brightish position?

does the requirement for artificial light assume that the tank is kept
in a low-light area?

I would be very grateful for any clarification at all...
--
sophie
puzzled idiot.

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Old 23-06-2004, 04:22 PM
RedForeman
 
Posts: n/a
Default idiot query re. plants and lighting...

|| I wonder if anyone can help me with a (very stupid, I think) query
|| regarding artificial lighting and plants. Everything I read on the
|| net tells me that planted tanks need artificial light. What I would
|| like to know is why? If I have a tank in a position with bright
|| natural light - a position where houseplants would do well - and
|| some direct sunlight though not too much - why isn't this suitable
|| for low light aquatic plants? (I have a couple of rosette-y things
|| growing in a tank at the moment with no artificial light and they
|| seem fine. they're not growing fast but they are growing - nice new
|| leaves (coming out red when they appear) - and I can't see any real
|| problems with them. I can see that high-light plants would require
|| something close to the brightness of unfiltered sunlight, but for my
|| situation, I'm puzzled as to the reasons for the additional lighting
|| - and why isn't this actually counterproductive for plants which
|| like low light which are already in a brightish position?
||
|| does the requirement for artificial light assume that the tank is
|| kept in a low-light area?
||
|| I would be very grateful for any clarification at all...
|| --
|| sophie
|| puzzled idiot.

IIRC, Sunlight is nearly 20,000k, or kelvins, a rating for light's 'power'
or 'strength' Most freshwater tanks/plants, grow great with that much
light.. but what also grows wonderfully with that much light is algae....
You would need to outcompete the algae just to be able to see your plants,
in your setup. To do that, you'd need high outputs of CO2, and
fertilizers.... and it's a risky thing, because the sun can be here today,
and cloud covered for a week.... So the need for lights in the tank are two
fold. To give the plant adequate exposure to light, and the control-ability
to keep it from getting too out of hand.

Since you are so 'new' to the hobby... Consider this. Start out with the
smallest, most basic setup. Regular light strip with whatever sized tank
you have... Use that, with some low light plants, and they'll grow slow, but
will do fine... Add more light, you'll need to start adding more something
else, like CO2, or ferts... Eventually, when you get to a WattsPerGallon
nearing 2WPG, you'll see more algae, because there's enough light that algae
will outcompete your plants...

It gets less and more confusing as you go.... just don't expect to rule the
hobby anytime soon... even the experts, are learning on a daily basis... and
I'm so far from an expert, I feel bad posting to some questions, cuz I'm
never 100% sure about my accuracy.... I'm just glad this is a great bunch
of ppl and someone will correct me where and when I'm wrong...

--
| RedForeman fabricator and creator of the ratbike streetfighter!!!
| ==========================
| 2003 TRX450ES
| 1992 TRX-350 XX (For Sale)
| '98 Tacoma Ext Cab 4X4 Lifted....
| ==========================
| `,,`,,`,,`,, `,,`
|| ((((`..`..`.. (((( `. , .`.. ((((

is that better??


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Old 23-06-2004, 05:13 PM
sophie
 
Posts: n/a
Default idiot query re. plants and lighting...

In message , RedForeman
writes
|| I wonder if anyone can help me with a (very stupid, I think) query
|| regarding artificial lighting and plants. Everything I read on the
|| net tells me that planted tanks need artificial light. What I would
|| like to know is why? If I have a tank in a position with bright
|| natural light - a position where houseplants would do well - and
|| some direct sunlight though not too much - why isn't this suitable
|| for low light aquatic plants? (I have a couple of rosette-y things
|| growing in a tank at the moment with no artificial light and they
|| seem fine. they're not growing fast but they are growing - nice new
|| leaves (coming out red when they appear) - and I can't see any real
|| problems with them. I can see that high-light plants would require
|| something close to the brightness of unfiltered sunlight, but for my
|| situation, I'm puzzled as to the reasons for the additional lighting
|| - and why isn't this actually counterproductive for plants which
|| like low light which are already in a brightish position?
||
|| does the requirement for artificial light assume that the tank is
|| kept in a low-light area?
||
|| I would be very grateful for any clarification at all...
|| --
|| sophie
|| puzzled idiot.

IIRC, Sunlight is nearly 20,000k, or kelvins, a rating for light's 'power'
or 'strength' Most freshwater tanks/plants, grow great with that much
light.. but what also grows wonderfully with that much light is algae....
You would need to outcompete the algae just to be able to see your plants,
in your setup. To do that, you'd need high outputs of CO2, and
fertilizers.... and it's a risky thing, because the sun can be here today,
and cloud covered for a week.... So the need for lights in the tank are two
fold. To give the plant adequate exposure to light, and the control-ability
to keep it from getting too out of hand.

Since you are so 'new' to the hobby... Consider this. Start out with the
smallest, most basic setup.


that's kind of what I'm hoping for; the least technical set-up possible!
I wanted to understand the necessity for artificial light and whether it
is still necessary when the tank has good natural light. I am very new,
as you say and I want to make sure that anything I set up is viable.
What I want to avoid is a set-up where I need to add CO2 and fertiliser
(I'm hoping the fish will do the second bit at the least!) So far I have
plants but no algae - but this has been over four months in spring/early
summer, which is hardly a definitive result. I think if I want to do it
this way it will be the winter that is the real test - that will be when
the lack of light becomes a problem, if I understand you correctly?
--
sophie
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Old 23-06-2004, 07:10 PM
RedForeman
 
Posts: n/a
Default idiot query re. plants and lighting...

|| In message , RedForeman
||||| I wonder if anyone can help me with a (very stupid, I think) query
||||| regarding artificial lighting and plants. Everything I read on the
||||| net tells me that planted tanks need artificial light. What I
||||| would like to know is why? If I have a tank in a position with
||||| bright natural light - a position where houseplants would do well
||||| - and some direct sunlight though not too much - why isn't this
||||| suitable for low light aquatic plants? (I have a couple of
||||| rosette-y things growing in a tank at the moment with no
||||| artificial light and they seem fine. they're not growing fast but
||||| they are growing - nice new leaves (coming out red when they
||||| appear) - and I can't see any real problems with them. I can see
||||| that high-light plants would require something close to the
||||| brightness of unfiltered sunlight, but for my situation, I'm
||||| puzzled as to the reasons for the additional lighting - and why
||||| isn't this actually counterproductive for plants which like low
||||| light which are already in a brightish position?
|||||
||||| does the requirement for artificial light assume that the tank is
||||| kept in a low-light area?
|||||
||||| I would be very grateful for any clarification at all...
||||| --
||||| sophie
||||| puzzled idiot.
|||
||| IIRC, Sunlight is nearly 20,000k, or kelvins, a rating for light's
||| 'power' or 'strength' Most freshwater tanks/plants, grow great
||| with that much light.. but what also grows wonderfully with that
||| much light is algae.... You would need to outcompete the algae just
||| to be able to see your plants, in your setup. To do that, you'd
||| need high outputs of CO2, and fertilizers.... and it's a risky
||| thing, because the sun can be here today, and cloud covered for a
||| week.... So the need for lights in the tank are two fold. To give
||| the plant adequate exposure to light, and the control-ability to
||| keep it from getting too out of hand.
|||
||| Since you are so 'new' to the hobby... Consider this. Start out
||| with the smallest, most basic setup.
||
|| that's kind of what I'm hoping for; the least technical set-up
|| possible! I wanted to understand the necessity for artificial light
|| and whether it is still necessary when the tank has good natural
|| light. I am very new, as you say and I want to make sure that
|| anything I set up is viable. What I want to avoid is a set-up where
|| I need to add CO2 and fertiliser (I'm hoping the fish will do the
|| second bit at the least!) So far I have plants but no algae - but
|| this has been over four months in spring/early summer, which is
|| hardly a definitive result. I think if I want to do it this way it
|| will be the winter that is the real test - that will be when the
|| lack of light becomes a problem, if I understand you correctly? --
|| sophie

From what I gather so far, you've got the tank setup, with a couple plants,
but no artificial light. The only light being supplied is from a direct
sunlight, tank facing a window type setup, correct?

If this is true, you'll probably not have 'too many' problems... what algae
you 'will' get can be scraped off the glass, or vacuumed out... The only
real problem lies when the fish get bigger, or more plentiful, and waste
more, which will in turn, raise your nitrAte and then you'll get more/some
algae.... water changes may be your best defense against algae... in your
current setup...

and I should say, 'least technical' is relative to what you think least and
technical actually mean... IMO, technical is sal****er... freshwater is so
forgiving versus sal****er setups...

I can't go too far out on a limb and say your setup will work in the long
run.. eventually, you'll hit that equilibrium of balance, and something will
shift it into a problem.... then considering your setup, you may have to
move it away from the direct light because of algae, and with that kind of
intense light source, it won't take but 24hrs to send it spiraling toward
unpleasant....

I'd opt for a strip light, bare minimum to your tank and experiment with low
light plants.... until you research and learn more about the details.. after
that, it's easier to understand that balance you're looking for...

--
| RedForeman fabricator and creator of the ratbike streetfighter!!!
| ==========================
| 2003 TRX450ES
| 1992 TRX-350 XX (For Sale)
| '98 Tacoma Ext Cab 4X4 Lifted....
| ==========================
| `,,`,,`,,`,, `,,`
|| ((((`..`..`.. (((( `. , .`.. ((((

is that better??


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Old 24-06-2004, 06:07 AM
The Outcaste
 
Posts: n/a
Default idiot query re. plants and lighting...

On Wed, 23 Jun 2004 10:09:17 -0400, "RedForeman "
bubbled forth the following:

IIRC, Sunlight is nearly 20,000k, or kelvins, a rating for light's 'power'
or 'strength'

Kelvins, or color temperature, refers to the color of light, not the
power or strength.

morning and evening sun averages 2500-3000 kelvins, noon sun
5400-6000K

Strangely enough, the color temperature of average summer shade is
rather blue, about 8,000K. Midday skylight (no direct sun) can range
from 9,500K to 30,000K.

Google on color temperature of sunlight for more info than you ever
wanted.

Otherwise great points Red. IME, direct sunlight, even just an hour in
the early morning *always* led to opaque green glass in just a few
days (at least with unplanted tanks, haven't tried with a fully
planted tank). Direct sunlight can also heat up a smaller tank more
than you may want.

HTH

Jerry


  #6   Report Post  
Old 24-06-2004, 01:06 PM
sophie
 
Posts: n/a
Default idiot query re. plants and lighting...

In message , RedForeman
writes
|| In message , RedForeman
||||| I wonder if anyone can help me with a (very stupid, I think) query
||||| regarding artificial lighting and plants. Everything I read on the
||||| net tells me that planted tanks need artificial light. What I
||||| would like to know is why? If I have a tank in a position with
||||| bright natural light - a position where houseplants would do well
||||| - and some direct sunlight though not too much - why isn't this
||||| suitable for low light aquatic plants? (I have a couple of
||||| rosette-y things growing in a tank at the moment with no
||||| artificial light and they seem fine. they're not growing fast but
||||| they are growing - nice new leaves (coming out red when they
||||| appear) - and I can't see any real problems with them. I can see
||||| that high-light plants would require something close to the
||||| brightness of unfiltered sunlight, but for my situation, I'm
||||| puzzled as to the reasons for the additional lighting - and why
||||| isn't this actually counterproductive for plants which like low
||||| light which are already in a brightish position?
|||||
||||| does the requirement for artificial light assume that the tank is
||||| kept in a low-light area?
|||||
||||| I would be very grateful for any clarification at all...
||||| --
||||| sophie
||||| puzzled idiot.
|||
||| IIRC, Sunlight is nearly 20,000k, or kelvins, a rating for light's
||| 'power' or 'strength' Most freshwater tanks/plants, grow great
||| with that much light.. but what also grows wonderfully with that
||| much light is algae.... You would need to outcompete the algae just
||| to be able to see your plants, in your setup. To do that, you'd
||| need high outputs of CO2, and fertilizers.... and it's a risky
||| thing, because the sun can be here today, and cloud covered for a
||| week.... So the need for lights in the tank are two fold. To give
||| the plant adequate exposure to light, and the control-ability to
||| keep it from getting too out of hand.
|||
||| Since you are so 'new' to the hobby... Consider this. Start out
||| with the smallest, most basic setup.
||
|| that's kind of what I'm hoping for; the least technical set-up
|| possible! I wanted to understand the necessity for artificial light
|| and whether it is still necessary when the tank has good natural
|| light. I am very new, as you say and I want to make sure that
|| anything I set up is viable. What I want to avoid is a set-up where
|| I need to add CO2 and fertiliser (I'm hoping the fish will do the
|| second bit at the least!) So far I have plants but no algae - but
|| this has been over four months in spring/early summer, which is
|| hardly a definitive result. I think if I want to do it this way it
|| will be the winter that is the real test - that will be when the
|| lack of light becomes a problem, if I understand you correctly? --
|| sophie

From what I gather so far, you've got the tank setup, with a couple plants,
but no artificial light. The only light being supplied is from a direct
sunlight, tank facing a window type setup, correct?


Not quite, I didn't want to put it in or facing the window as I thought
that (a) the tank would heat up horribly (and horribly quickly) on hot
and sunny days, and (b) because I thought it would probably go green
very quickly. If you think of an L shape, the window is in the long side
and the tank is in the shorter side, the corner being empty. What
happens is that for a few hours in the morning the sun shines in at an
angle, lighting up the tank - it's never entirely lit; what happens is
that three or four rays move slowly across the tank. It's actually a
very nice effect and one of the reasons I don't want to put lights in; I
like the tank being as "natural" as possible, and the shifting light is
part of that...

thanks very much for your help, though; I'm starting to understand the
whole thing a little better. I'm going to persist without the light for
a while - I think in the end I would rather have the kind of light
quality I have now and no plants, if that's what it boils down to, than
a strip light and plants. I can satisfy my gardening urges on
terrestrial plants if necessary - I also want to add weather loaches,
and I think getting to attached to aquatic gardening would be a big
mistake under those circumstances! g.

many thanks again, I appreciate your help,
--
sophie
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Old 24-06-2004, 01:07 PM
sophie
 
Posts: n/a
Default idiot query re. plants and lighting...

In message , The Outcaste
writes
On Wed, 23 Jun 2004 10:09:17 -0400, "RedForeman "
bubbled forth the following:

IIRC, Sunlight is nearly 20,000k, or kelvins, a rating for light's 'power'
or 'strength'

Kelvins, or color temperature, refers to the color of light, not the
power or strength.

morning and evening sun averages 2500-3000 kelvins, noon sun
5400-6000K

Strangely enough, the color temperature of average summer shade is
rather blue, about 8,000K. Midday skylight (no direct sun) can range
from 9,500K to 30,000K.

Google on color temperature of sunlight for more info than you ever
wanted.


aaargh, physics! how can one unit (kelvin) refer to a temperature scale
AND the colour temperature of light?

Otherwise great points Red. IME, direct sunlight, even just an hour in
the early morning *always* led to opaque green glass in just a few
days (at least with unplanted tanks, haven't tried with a fully
planted tank). Direct sunlight can also heat up a smaller tank more
than you may want.


I think I bodged my initial explanation of the tank's position (see my
post to Red), for which I apologise. but so far I have no algae at all.

thanks for your (incredibly erudite!) advice, I think I'm starting to
get the picture...
--
sophie
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Old 25-06-2004, 12:07 AM
kev
 
Posts: n/a
Default idiot query re. plants and lighting...

On 24 Jun 2004, the world was enlightened by sophie's opinion about...

In message , The Outcaste
writes
On Wed, 23 Jun 2004 10:09:17 -0400, "RedForeman "
bubbled forth the following:

IIRC, Sunlight is nearly 20,000k, or kelvins, a rating for light's
'power' or 'strength'

Kelvins, or color temperature, refers to the color of light, not the
power or strength.

morning and evening sun averages 2500-3000 kelvins, noon sun
5400-6000K

Strangely enough, the color temperature of average summer shade is
rather blue, about 8,000K. Midday skylight (no direct sun) can range
from 9,500K to 30,000K.

Google on color temperature of sunlight for more info than you ever
wanted.


aaargh, physics! how can one unit (kelvin) refer to a temperature
scale AND the colour temperature of light?

snip

Here's a quick explanation:

http://www.csun.edu/~hchum001/bookca...96/kelvin.html


kev

--
Civilization.

An organized system of alternatives to the stone age - CJCherryh
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Old 25-06-2004, 01:05 AM
The Outcaste
 
Posts: n/a
Default idiot query re. plants and lighting...

On Thu, 24 Jun 2004 11:40:23 +0100, sophie
bubbled forth the
following:

aaargh, physics! how can one unit (kelvin) refer to a temperature scale
AND the colour temperature of light?

The color temperature of light is derived from the temperature to
which you would have to heat a blackbody radiator to make it glow the
same color.

The output from a blackbody radiator is continuous across the visible
spectrum. On the other hand, most (if not all) fluorescent tubes emit
an interrupted spectrum, so this means you can't accurately define a
fluorescent light as having a Kelvin color, it only approximates it.
This is where the Color Rendition Index comes in.

As long as your setup is working just fine, no need to add any
lights, just sit back and enjoy.

Jerry




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