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Photo periods

PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 9:06 pm
by Lou
I was wondering how long each of you run your lights on your planted tanks. It would be interesting to see what many of you have found as optimal photo periods for your given tank parameters. I'll list some for my planted tank. If you have any other factors you think are key, please feel free to list them also.

Tank size: 15 g

CO2/no CO2: no CO2 but I do use SeaChem's Flourish Excel

type of lighting: normal fluorescent

wpg: 2

photo period: 10 hours

I'll throw in a recent photo too!

PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 9:20 pm
by Steve Hampton
Wow, beautiful tank Lou!

Most of my tanks are on 11 or 10 hour photoperiods...most using some form of a simulated sunrise/sunset by staggering the on and off sequences of multiple lamps. I'm in the planning stages of setting up one of my empty 75G tanks and plan of using an even greater stagger with intense lighting only for 4 hours per day. I want to grow high light plants but limit the speed at which they grow.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 9:52 pm
by J.B.
Ok, for starters...

Lou - I'm expecting a 200-word essay on my desk in the morning, explaining why you haven't shared that pic with us up until now. That is such a natural, nice looking, well thought out scape!

Now then, as most everyone here knows, (because I'm such a picture w h o r e) I have five tanks, four of which are planted.

BLUF - (Bottom Line Up Front) - I provide light and clean water

• 75gal - approx. 2wpg for 10-hrs (on timer); flourite mixed with natural colored gravel and Tahitian Moon Sand mixed with natural colored very fine gravel; no dosing, I mix up a bottle of DIY CO2 once every 3 - 4 months and let it run it's course. I wouldn't say it's optimal, but my plants grow pretty well.
• Flora - E. bleheri; C. wendtii (green); S. subulata; E. cordifolius; V. americana (natans); H. corymbosa "compacta" and R. rotudifolia

• 55gal - approx. 1.5wpg for 10-hrs (on timer); pool filter sand; no dosing; no CO2
• Flora - V. americana (natans)

• 29gal - approx. 1.5wpg for 10-hrs (on timer); Eco-Complete mixed with natural colored very fine gravel; no dosing, I mix up a bottle of DIY CO2 once every 3 - 4 months and let it run it's course
• Flora - A. reineckii (roseafolia); L. cardinalis; V. americana (natans); E. barthii; E. bleheri; E. "Kleiner bar"; S. subulata; R. rotundifolia; H. corymbosa "compacta"

• 20gal - approx. 1.5wpg for 10-hrs (on timer); Tahitian Moon Sand mixed with natural colored very fine gravel; no dosing; no CO2
• Flora - E. bleheri and R. rotundifolia

PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 10:24 pm
by Lou
Thanks Steve and JB.

I've been tinkering with this tank for CO2, DIY CO2, pressurized CO2, back to no CO2....1.5 wpg, 2 wpg, 2.5 wpg, 4 wpg, back to 1.5 wpg. I've tried tons of plants, too, but I've finally seemed to get it where I like it. I haven't really been happy with any incarnations of this tank until recently.

So to answer your question JB, it wasn't photo worthy until now and I was waiting for the sword grow in enough where there weren't many emersed leaves left.

I still want the java fern to get bigger and I wish the bolbitis grew more upright, but I am happy with the rest of the tank....finally. LOL

PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 10:30 pm
by J.B.
It is very nice looking Lou, you should be proud! I like how you've used the "golden rule" of 1:1,618. Was that intentional, or did it just end up that way?

PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 11:26 pm
by Lou
Unintentional of course. I'm not smart enough to use it intentionally. LOL

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:30 am
by Crazygar
70GAL - Peat/Flourite (75%) of the tank. Peat/Onyx Sand/GeoSystems Gravel for the front 25% of the tank. 2 X 65W - 12hrs, 2 X 40W - 10hrs. Weekly Flourish, Comprehensive for Plants, Monthly Iron, Iodine (2 drops) and powdered, Lab Grade, Monobasic Potassium phosphate.


PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 9:52 pm
by Freshwater Guy
Wow! you have a terrific looking tank. Congratulations.
I light mine in the same manner as Steve Hampton.
From the look of your tank I would think lighting adjustments are not necessary. You must be lighting it perfectly for your existing plants.

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:21 pm
by Hurriken

That tank kicks. I bet it stops people in their tracks. great job.

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 12:09 am
by William

Nice looking tank - years of dedication and patience are paying dividends for you.

Currently, I only have one tank.

215 gallon – 4 wpg capacity – actually use 2.5 wpg at any given time during a 10.5 hour photo period with canned CO2.

I say capacity because 4 wpg on a tank of this size is too much IMHE. I have run similar setups (3-to-5 wpg with canned CO2) – i.e. 40, 55, 58 and 75 gallons no problem. I haven’t figured out what the breaking point is yet, but am convinced there is a breaking point where higher wpg ceases to benefit the hobbyist and becomes a hindrance in larger tanks. My battle with to much lighting has run the gamut of algae infestations – an issue I was ill equipped for, as I never experienced it on this scale before. Currently, I have almost everything in check (minus some lingering hair algae) with biweekly water changes reduced wpg and photoperiod.

Best regards,


PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 12:14 am
by J.B.
Bill - it's about time you show your face! Good to see you around again my friend. How bout an updated pic of that behemoth of a tank. Last I saw it, it was empty sitting in your living room during my visit.

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 7:18 am
by Crazygar
Yeah. Fess up.


PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 11:42 pm
by William

Journal on the tank is on APR: ... hp?t=18963

I need to update the journal - have notes just need to put keystroke to screen - will update when I get back from my field trip next Saturday. Given the APR's transfer here, any chance one of you fine gentlemen can transfer the journal to TR? While you at it please remove the pulsating banana - it's slowly driving me mad..... ;-)

Best regards,


PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:11 am
by J.B.
I got rid of the pulsating banana :rofl: for you. I'm not sure if there is a way to pick up your journal over on APR and move it over here. If there is, I don't have access to the Mod control panel over there. You may have to cut/paste from APR over to here yourself to transfer your journal.

If I'm incorrect Gary, please let us know.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 8:05 am
by Crazygar
What I can do William is email the entire thing to you and you are welcome to repost it here under the Journalling section. I'd hate to lose such an amazing journal...