Grow\'Em Plant Propagation Database
Custom Search
main index
plants index

propagation techniques

growth media

growth enviroment

Seed - General
Chipping Seed
Soaking and Pricking
Pre-sprouting Seed
Stratifying Seed
Cuttings - General
Stem Cuttings
Heel Cuttings
Root Cuttings
Leaf Cuttings
Rooting Hormone
Rooting with Vitamin B1
Rooting with Willow Extract
Dividing Plants
Dividing Orchid Pseudobulbs
Simple Layering
Air Layering
Tip or Trench Layering
Serpentine Layering
Bulbs - General
Bulb Chipping
Bulb Scaling
Twin Scaling
Grafting - General
Cleft or Wedge Grafting
Bud Grafting
Whip Grafting
Side-veneer Grafting
Plants of Home and Garden
Trees and Shrubs
Fruits and Vegetables
Grains and Grasses
Cacti and Succulents
Water Plants
Growth Media
Sphagnum and Peat Moss
Manure, Nitrogen, Potassium
Making Compost
Constructing a Compost Bin
Indoor & Vermicomposting
Compost Tea
Composting Problems
Foliar Feeding
Green Manures
Bone Meal & Other Additives
Manure, Nitrogen, Potassium
Containers and Enclosures
Pots & Potted Plants
Biodegradable Pots
Raised Beds
Cold Frames
Water and Irrigation
Artificial Light
HID Lighting
Aquarium Lighting
On Photosynthesis
Synthetic Mulch
Floating Row Covers
Favorite Gardening Sites
General Information
Specific Interests
Seeds and Seed Catalogs
Gardening Tools
Garden Design
header, pests and organic pest control

image gallery

header, plant of the week

Organic Pest Control
plant hardiness zone maps

plant of the week
image gallery


Aquarium Lighting

Plant and aquarium fluorescent lighting There is little role for incandescent lighting in growing plants, and least when dealing with aquaria. Some may even come with incandescent lights, though these do little: to provide enough light to grow plants, you'd produce enough heat to seriously harm, often kill the fish. Light quality is poor, and operating costs are high. Avoid them.

Fluorescent lights again may be used to good effect, and again, should be changed every six months as their output drops. Cool white tubes, or better, using both a cool white and a warm white bulb provides reasonable light; using plant growth lights in combination with daylight bulbs gives very good light quality for the price. As the depth of the aquarium increases beyond 18", increase the number of tubes used to provide light.

Keep in mind the light needs of fish as well as those of the plants to be grown in the aquarium: some require high light levels, best provided by two or more wide-spectrum daylight tubes, in the 7500K range; a plant growth fluorescent may be mixed in though the daylight tubes themselves often suffice for good plant growth. For fish with low light needs, one or two plant fluorescents should suffice.

Tri-phosphor tubes, with sharp spikes in red, green and blue wavelengths, can be effectively combined with plant growth lights. Typically, a very bright, white light is produced; those with greater amounts of red, i.e. in the 3000 to 4000K colour temperature range, are best for aquarium settings. The Triton variant on these tubes is useful especially in growing anemones and corals, and are interesting in that their light output does not significantly degrade over time, unlike other fluorescents. Generic triphosphor tubes are relatively inexpensive; Triton tubes, however, are not.

Some tubes are used in very limited roles, i.e. the actinic tubes that emit light especially in the blue wavelengths, to enhance growth of anemones, corals, and algae; these are useless in growing freshwater aquarium plants. Their price, also, is substantial.

Finally, in some aquarium applications, intense light levels are required. High output fluorescents may sometimes be used, as may High Intensity Discharge lamps. Since this takes us well beyond the scope of the average home aquarium, no more is said on this subject, here.

Topics Referenced

High Intensity Discharge Lighting
On photosynthesis

Don't see what you're looking for? Try our Search function.