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 Post subject: Short Val?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 1:24 pm 
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Location: Brockton, Mass.
About the time of the Nov. auction I planted 4 or 5 val plants in my 20 tall. It is daisy chained from my 125 to my sump, I am hoping that it will help clean up some of the excess nutrients floating around the 125. It has fronts and other tangs which have been unwelcoming to plants in the past. Well, the val seems to be multiplying OK, I've got probably 40 or 50 plants now. The problem is that they are only a little over 2 inches tall! How can I get them to grow taller?
I have an old double bulb incandescent strip light with 2 compact flourescents instead of regular bulbs about 12 hrs. on/12 hrs. off. Would cutting back some on the light stimulate taller growth? I'd love to use this tank for fry if I ever get any. Since it is daisy chained to the 125, it is easy to move fish back and forth. Right now I have some transcriptus that are almost big enough to move. ( Mouth safe for the fronts! )
Any thoughts?

Thanx!

-- Dave

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:11 pm 
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Are you sure about the type of plant you have? Perhaps they are a dwarf species.


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 Post subject: Pretty sure . . .
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:13 pm 
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Some of the original plants were in excess of 8 inches.

-- Dave

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 3:39 pm 
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Try changing the bulb spectra / color temp.

Are these the standard cheapo cool white bulbs, or the $7 "daylight" bulbs ?
Do they have a color temp listed on the bulb or the package ?
How many watts of light are you using ?

I use the Daylight bulbs (19w 6700k) from home depot, and get pretty good plant growth.

If I remember correctly, the amount of red and blue light affect whether you get short bushy plants or tall skinny plants (especially with swordplants, etc). Not sure how a val could be 'bushy' so maybe they just don't grow so tall ?

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Rich
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Part-time fishguy at Uncle Ned's Fish Factory (saturdays)
_______
Species I am currently keeping/breeding include :
Copadichromis borleyi "redfin"
Labidochromis caeruleus yellow labs
Aulonocara sp. "Lwanda"
Ancistrus cf. cirrhosus "Super Red Ancistris"
Xiphophorus montezumae Montezuma Swordtails
_______
(I'm in the middle of resetting and redesigning my fishroom - so things are kinda quiet)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 1:52 pm 
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Yeah, I think they're the standard cheapo bulbs. I thought I might still have the package to check color temp, etc. but it's gone. Last night I unscrewed one of them and it still seems like there's a lot of light in the tank. I'll let that go for a week or two to see how things go.
The only thing I can think of is that the plants aren't getting tall because they're getting plenty of light where they are. They certainly have enough nutrients because they're multiplying like crazy.

-- Dave

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 2:18 pm 
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Ah ok.... :)

well what about the other limiting factors... perhaps there IS more then enough light as you said, but not enough other nutrients, like CO2 or Iron?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 2:35 pm 
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I'm guessing the the intensity (lumens or lux) is fine, but the spectral quality (or color temp) is missing a peak in the right place (blue off the top of my head, but it could be red).

For about $15 you should be able to get a pair of 19w "daylight" screw-in compacts at Home Depot.

_________________
Rich
_______
Part-time fishguy at Uncle Ned's Fish Factory (saturdays)
_______
Species I am currently keeping/breeding include :
Copadichromis borleyi "redfin"
Labidochromis caeruleus yellow labs
Aulonocara sp. "Lwanda"
Ancistrus cf. cirrhosus "Super Red Ancistris"
Xiphophorus montezumae Montezuma Swordtails
_______
(I'm in the middle of resetting and redesigning my fishroom - so things are kinda quiet)


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 Post subject: I think you're right!
PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 9:48 am 
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I did some googling on the subject of the 'curly' compact fluorescents and found that some types are deficient in the red end of the spectrum. It seems that they're designed to light rooms and not grow plants - What's up with that? :wink:
I think I'll put one of those incandescent 'grow lux' type bulbs in one side of the fixture I'm using. Thanx for the help!

-- Dave

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