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New Plant rebound - When has it been too long?
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jsuereth
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Joined: 22 Aug 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA USA

PostPosted: 2010.11.25(Thu)11:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

unissuh -

As for the lights, it's still these: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002L2AIIE/ref=oss_product

They're rated at 160 Lumens and 2.1 W. I have two of them set up in ~ 5 gallons of water (at least that's how much it takes to fill the tank with the substrate in place).

I'm not the best expert at LEDs either, I just picked up what was recommended by other Edge owners on other threads where they appeared not to have issues growing plants.

I have a desktop lamp I might be able to put on the tank.. I've also seen a mod that adds a new LED strip in the top of the EDGE I can try. In any case, I'm going to see if the plant starts showing signs of rebound this week. If not, I'll start upgrading the lighting first and see what happens.
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unissuh
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Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: 2010.11.25(Thu)18:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah yeah the Edge, sorry, I have such a bad memory.

I think I said it before but those LEDs weren't exactly what I would have picked, also as far as I know, wpg is calculated on nominal volume so you're probably at about 0.8 wpg - not that wpg means much anyway.

The problem with the lighting in the Edge is the sides of the tank aren't lit up much at all, it's all focused in the center of the tank so makes it very hard for placement. Where are the Helanthiums sitting in the tank? Is the one doing poorly on the edge while the ones doing OK are in the center?

Rex Grigg has a page on his site talking about minimum light threshold, makes a good point in that a 1w bulb over a 1g tank is not the same as a 11w bulb over an 11g tank. Light generated per watt is dependent on the power of the bulb, so multiple 1w bulbs are not the same as, for example, a 11w bulb. I'm not saying to go through calculating lux/inch^2, but just saying that I find this barrier somewhere around 7-9w of flourescent lighting which equates to about 500 lumens. If I go under that, I just don't get good results, keeping in mind that is with flourescents, not LEDs.

Basically, while I still disagree that you need a lot of lighting to grow carpet plants, you may just not have enough light with those bulbs. Can't remember if I commented on that before - I vaguely recall you had a topic about those bulbs a while ago.
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jsuereth
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Joined: 22 Aug 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA USA

PostPosted: 2010.11.26(Fri)6:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes, you did mention it on the other thread. I tried adding my office lamp over the tank, but unfortunately that lamp gets way to hot if left on for 8-10 hours.

That was a great link BTW. I calculate I need ~3200 lux (~300 lumens) to be a 'medium light' tank. So, again I know this is a rule of thumb, but I have two 140 lumen LEDs, so I'm 'just short'?

I found the following upgrade options:
A new LED socket and a brighter LED. What do you think?

As for placement, the plants in the corners are both the good and bad plant. I think one might get less light though, it still seems odd that one is still vibrant and green and the other melted. I tried to give each plant a clear path to light, which makes for open spaces in the corners of the tank, so when I say the plants are in the corners, I mean they look like they're in the corners, but offset enough to receive light.
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unissuh
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Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: 2010.11.27(Sat)6:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't know about just short. Not using any calculation, I would be trying for 500+ lumen as I just don't get anywhere without at least that on tanks the size of the Edge.

I'd be careful about doing any wiring yourself, have done a bit before but don't recommend it. The brighter LEDs might work, though I'd see if you can find anything better than that if possible, I'm sure there are MR16 bulbs that are 300+ lumen out there.
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jsuereth
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Joined: 22 Aug 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA USA

PostPosted: 2010.11.27(Sat)7:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've actually done a bit of low voltage wiring in a past job, so Leds don't seem scary, it's the waterproofing I'm worried about.

I'll look for stronger mr-11 leds, but so far I haven't found better in the us.

I did find an led strip designed for cars I think I could wrap around the edge lighting bar and get an extra 200 lumens or more. I'll post an update when I find something that works.

For now I have my desk lamp also on the edge, which should hopefully provide enough light for the h. Tenellus to recover.

Thanks for the help!
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jsuereth
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Joined: 22 Aug 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA USA

PostPosted: 2010.11.27(Sat)10:43    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, so I found something that I think should provide enough lumens for the tank. Would two of the warm-white or cool-white leds on this site work?

At 55 lumens x 6 LEDS x 2 bulbs = 660 lumens. (at 3100K dominant wavelength)
At 77 lumens x 6 LEDS x 2 bulbs = 924 lumens (at 7200K dominant wavelength)

I'm a bit disappointed that they don't have a frequency range chart for the bulbs, but from what I can tell, these should provide sufficient lighting (minus the dark spots inherent in an edge...)
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unissuh
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Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: 2010.11.27(Sat)18:43    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think those are total lumen measures, not individual LED measures.

Watts/volts = amps so 0.162A*12V = 1.9w. Theres no way a 1.9w LED puts out 660-900 lumens, the ones that are 3-5w put out 300+ lumen only.
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jsuereth
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Joined: 22 Aug 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA USA

PostPosted: 2010.11.27(Sat)19:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well... I think I give up for LEDs. I'll look into those LED strips and see what I can make happen.
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unissuh
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Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: 2010.11.28(Sun)1:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

After all this light discussion, lets go back to the beginning.

How long has the plant been in the tank? Offhand it will take 2-3 weeks for a healthy Helanthium to start growing for me and it will speed up exponentially once it starts growing runners. If it is a damaged plant, it very well may never recover depending on how badly the middle section is damaged, may have a lot of old leaf loss (common in my experience) and can take up to 2 months to recover from bad damage. One thing you can't see are the roots and the plant will always grow these before any visible leaf growth. You said the other two Helanthium plantlets are doing fine - is there any visible growth on them?

One thing that is probably a lot less trouble is just to toss anything that doesn't grow for you and stick with what does. Is it essential to have Helanthiums? I know the main reasons I like 'em is cause they're fast growing and bloody hardy, if they were a wussy plant that needed pampering I'd be more inclined to just forget about them or move them rather than change the tank.
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jsuereth
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Joined: 22 Aug 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA USA

PostPosted: 2010.11.28(Sun)7:44    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's been about three weeks. I choose Helanthium based on your recommendations for being a hardy plant, and the fact that it grows to the perfect height for a background plant in the aquarium. I'm suspecting other issues in the edge as of the few shrimp that were in there, I've found one dead the past two days. I'm going to recover the rest and put them back in my other aquarium until I figure out what's going on. I tested water parameters after 2 weeks with no water-change and I had 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and 10 ppm nitrates.

In any case, the marsilea is growing great and the C. Wendtii just shot out a second leaf, so I think most things in the tank are recvoering. I think perhaps I should have started the H. Tenellus closer to the lighting and encouraged its growth outward.

All-in-all, I'm in the regret phase for buying the edge. I think that 5 gallon open-hood tank may have been a better choice for a low-maintenance planted work tank. However, I'm not one to give up! If all else fails, I might revert to buying some larger rocks and growing some christmass moss in the background. As it stands, the hard scape is rather low in height to allow the light to spread through the aquarium. I'm actually using the rocks to prevent plants from growing into each others light sources....

Anyway, thanks for the help! I'll see if the H. tennellus recovers in the next month from its damage and if not, we'll go to plan B.
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