Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Aquascaping Answers

Judging by the number of emails I get with questions about aquascaping or keeping plants, you have questions. Instead of answering them directly, I've decided to open it up and allow others to benefit from the questions and answers. So here's how this will work:

Ask a question about aquascaping, keeping aquatic plants, plant-friendly fish, lighting, CO2, fertilizing, or any other aquarium plant related question in the comments to this post, and I'll answer them in next week's edition.

Also, if you know an answer to a question posted, feel free to answer it! That way we can share information and experiences.
Finally, I'm looking for a name for the series. I've tentatively picked Aquascaping Answers, but if you have any better ideas, leave a comment!


  1. I was doing some research on the compact florescent bulb lighting system on my freshwater planted aquarium. (20 gal). I found out that I have this bulb.

    SmartPaq Daylight 10000ºK
    Actinic 460nm 40W

    I read online that this bulb is likely structured for a salt water reef tanks. Apparently actinic light is supposed to benefit corals.

    Other sources seem to suggest a K rating closer to 6700 for fresh water plants.

    Is this salt water bulb harming my plants? Would I get more results out of a 6700 bulb

    The best bulb available that I cant find is a 10000k/ 6700k 40 watt bulb. Will this make any difference?


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  2. Sorry about that... i also read that actinic lighting is primarily for reef tanks

  3. My tank is relatively clean, free from algae, but I do get green dust algae on the glass. It stays off the plants, but I can't seem to keep it off the glass. Any recommendations? I don't believe I'm over feeding and I've cut my lights back a few hours. Is it just a matter of more regular water changes?

  4. The Kelvin measure does not tell anything about the light really. One kelvin measure, for example 10000K can be of almost any color or spectral distribution. See the wikipedia article on color temperature:

    This means that a 10000K bulb can be much more efficient growing plants than a 6700K - and vice versa.

    The Aquarium hobby does not need the kelvin measure.

    A much better way of classifying light for photosynthesis is using PUR, Photosynthetically Usable Radiation. See the article by Ivo Dusko:

  5. Possible title: All about Aquascape? (Maybe it's a little too cheesy.)

  6. I really enjoy this blog but this is not the medium for this type of post/topic/discussion/etc. There are lots of resources out there already devoted the the Q's & A's we all have. The focus should really be on aquarium topics, reviews, etc. Just my two cents. Thanks!


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