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full spectum aquarium lights ok for growing?

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full spectum aquarium lights ok for growing?

Post  hruten on 4/27/2012, 11:31 am

My tomato and pepper seedlings are behind, so I thought I would put them in an old 10 gal fish tank and put a couple of lights on top. Does anyone know if full spectrum fish lamps are ok for the plants or do I need to purchase other bulbs? :scratch:

Also, a website I looked at said if you are playing catch up that a full 24 hours of light is ok until the plants get bigger... True? or False? My plants are all healthy, but only now getting true leaves. They are all in MM and 4" pots.

Thanks for all the help everyone!

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Re: full spectum aquarium lights ok for growing?

Post  UnderTheBlackWalnut on 4/27/2012, 11:52 am

I believe the bulbs should be fine. The bulbs I purchased were actually labeled aquarium and plant bulbs. But I'm not a lighting expert and maybe someone else can come along that knows more than I do.

As for the lighting - everything I've read on the forum says plants need those hours of darkness to properly grow. If it was me personally, I'd probably go with the 14-16 on and 8-10 off because I'd be afraid to stress them with too much light. However, I'm still a relative newbie to the seed starting universe, so I'm thinking someone with more experience than I will come along shortly. Smile


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Re: full spectum aquarium lights ok for growing?

Post  chjbr63 on 4/27/2012, 12:38 pm

The wattage of the bulb may be to low. I would try it for a week and see how they grow. Just make sure the plants are almost touching the light. I bought a 17w grow light from Wally world for $10. It wasn't strong enough and only lasted 2 weeks. I'm returning it today and getting cheap shop light with daylight bulbs. I hear thats works just as good as grow lights for seed starting.

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Re: full spectum aquarium lights ok for growing?

Post  camprn on 4/27/2012, 12:53 pm

@hruten wrote:

Also, a website I looked at said if you are playing catch up that a full 24 hours of light is ok until the plants get bigger... True? or False?
False, all plants require a little bit of down time. Give it 14-16 hours of light, should be plenty.

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Thank you!

Post  hruten on 4/27/2012, 1:36 pm

Thanks for the great replies!

16 hours a day it is (on a timer so I don't have to think), and I also put boxes under the plants to get them closer to the two lamps.

Thanks for everyone's input. Hopefully this will give my little guys a steroid shot.

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Re: full spectum aquarium lights ok for growing?

Post  plantoid on 4/27/2012, 5:12 pm

@camprn wrote:
@hruten wrote:

Also, a website I looked at said if you are playing catch up that a full 24 hours of light is ok until the plants get bigger... True? or False?
False, all plants require a little bit of down time. Give it 14-16 hours of light, should be plenty.




Camp I'm not too sure that is correct for in the arctic you get the night sun for several weeks continuous and plants do grow satisfactorily.

It might be that the night sun has a natural spectrum of light that waxes and wanes as time passes over the period of what we call a day.

Whereas the artificual growth lights do not have the daily cyclic variations but are concentrated & maintained as one fairly large artificial precise wavelength band of the spectrum instead.

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Re: full spectum aquarium lights ok for growing?

Post  camprn on 4/28/2012, 8:08 am

@plantoid wrote:
@camprn wrote:
@hruten wrote:

Also, a website I looked at said if you are playing catch up that a full 24 hours of light is ok until the plants get bigger... True? or False?
False, all plants require a little bit of down time. Give it 14-16 hours of light, should be plenty.




Camp I'm not too sure that is correct for in the arctic you get the night sun for several weeks continuous and plants do grow satisfactorily.

It might be that the night sun has a natural spectrum of light that waxes and wanes as time passes over the period of what we call a day.

Whereas the artificual growth lights do not have the daily cyclic variations but are concentrated & maintained as one fairly large artificial precise wavelength band of the spectrum instead.
Plantoid you are correct, my answer was overly simple.
I think she is talking about plants like tomatoes and peppers that are
not native to polar regions of the Earth. I know that tomatoes and
strawberry in particular do a lot of cell growth, regeneration and
nutrient transport in the absence of light. Darkness is also required to trigger flowering in many species.

So I will amend my previous answer. Each plant species has different growth requirements involving light and it's wave length, time length & intensity.

The links below offer some good info about this question.

http://www.cmg.colostate.edu/gardennotes/142.pdf

http://www.usna.usda.gov/Gardens/requirements.html

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/greenhouse/nursery/guides/ornamentals/light.html

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books




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Re: full spectum aquarium lights ok for growing?

Post  mrwes40 on 4/28/2012, 8:13 am

@hruten wrote:Thanks for the great replies!

16 hours a day it is (on a timer so I don't have to think), and I also put boxes under the plants to get them closer to the two lamps.

Thanks for everyone's input. Hopefully this will give my little guys a steroid shot.

I hung my shop light (one plant/aquarium and one day light tube) from hooks screwed in above. Purchased 4 feet of chain link so I can adjust the light height. I put all my taller plants to the right and the shorter ones towards the left, and then adjusted the chain length on each end. Seems to be doing well.

Bill

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Re: full spectum aquarium lights ok for growing?

Post  plantoid on 4/28/2012, 9:07 am

[quote="camprn"]
@plantoid wrote:
@camprn wrote:
@hruten wrote:

Also, a website I looked at said if you are playing catch up that a full 24 hours of light is ok until the plants get bigger... True? or False?
False, all plants require a little bit of down time. Give it 14-16 hours of light, should be plenty.




Camp I'm not too sure that is correct for in the arctic you get the night sun for several weeks continuous and plants do grow satisfactorily.

It might be that the night sun has a natural spectrum of light that waxes and wanes as time passes over the period of what we call a day.

Whereas the artificual growth lights do not have the daily cyclic variations but are concentrated & maintained as one fairly large artificial precise wavelength band of the spectrum instead.
Plantoid you are correct, my answer was overly simple.
I think she is talking about plants like tomatoes and peppers that are
not native to polar regions of the Earth. I know that tomatoes and
strawberry in particular do a lot of cell growth, regeneration and
nutrient transport in the absence of light. Darkness is also required to trigger flowering in many species.

So I will amend my previous answer. Each plant species has different growth requirements involving light and it's wave length, time length & intensity.

The links below offer some good info about this question.

http://www.cmg.colostate.edu/gardennotes/142.pdf

http://www.usna.usda.gov/Gardens/requirements.html

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/greenhouse/nursery/guides/ornamentals/light.html[/quote]





Camp many thanks for the links ,

They are ideal refreshers and also I've found a few new things in them .

Back in 1966 when I was undegoing my 3 yrs electronic engineer apprenticership I had to do a big slice of studies in the sciences of electricity & magnetism and also heat and light .

During those heady days I was enthralled at the prospects of playing with light for communications .. I never really gave it much of a thought wrt my gardens & seedlings till I read your posted links.

On eBay Uk I've found some high intensity LED full spectrum lights along with high blues & reds used mainly by the hydroponic growers of " strange weeds " .Wink They should be miserly on the electricity bill , so I might invest in several and make a combination of lights in a large hood to hang over the glasshouse seed propagation bed as I've got over 130 packs of seeds to play with and not a snowball in hells chance of having enough space this year to do all the sowing and growing I want to do in a short time.

I think I'll be doing a bit more reading on the internet not for weed propagation but for food crops & emerging seeds .. it sounds like it's not as expensive as I first thought .

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Re: full spectum aquarium lights ok for growing?

Post  UnderTheBlackWalnut on 4/29/2012, 1:58 am

hruten -

One thing I thought of today was your comment about putting the seedlings IN the aquarium. I would be concerned about low airflow and high humidity in the aquarium... My understanding is that seedlings do need some airflow. This is why they tell us to remove the domes after the seeds germinate. I've had aquariums in the past both for fish and for small animals, and they can tend to obstruct airflow to whatever is inside them. You may want to "rig" your aquarium light over your plants in some other way, or try to set up some airflow that will keep the air in the aquarium from getting too moist and promoting fungal growth... Smile

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Re: full spectum aquarium lights ok for growing?

Post  ericam on 4/29/2012, 2:34 am

Plantoid, let us know what LED's you use and how it goes please.

Hubby built a light for the fish tank with LED light strips so if he can lay his hands on the right types I can get him to build me a custom grow light!

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Re: full spectum aquarium lights ok for growing?

Post  plantoid on 4/29/2012, 8:59 am

@ericam wrote:Plantoid, let us know what LED's you use and how it goes please.

Hubby built a light for the fish tank with LED light strips so if he can lay his hands on the right types I can get him to build me a custom grow light!

Go to " eBay UK " and have a search , there are all sorts direct from China / Hongkong etc. at darn good prices and most of the time they are honest & reliable enough to send them out.

It changes daily but the better sellers have loads of technical info on the sale items and on their ebay webshop pages.

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Re: full spectum aquarium lights ok for growing?

Post  No_Such_Reality on 4/29/2012, 3:26 pm

@hruten wrote:My tomato and pepper seedlings are behind, so I thought I would put them in an old 10 gal fish tank and put a couple of lights on top. Does anyone know if full spectrum fish lamps are ok for the plants or do I need to purchase other bulbs? :scratch:

Also, a website I looked at said if you are playing catch up that a full 24 hours of light is ok until the plants get bigger... True? or False? My plants are all healthy, but only now getting true leaves. They are all in MM and 4" pots.

Thanks for all the help everyone!

They'll be fine. They grow plants in the water that are expecting 'daylight' filtered through shallow water. So the bulbs imitate daylight.

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update on plants in aquarium

Post  hruten on 5/4/2012, 10:42 am

I have been watching my plants like a hungry bug and am pleased to report that they are ALL doing GREAT! The tomatoes and peppers which all began with only seed leaves all have multiple sets of true leaves and it looks like I am going to have to whittle down my risers soon for more growing room. I have been watching the moisture and there are nice air gaps between the lamp fixtures.



I am encouraged enough by their progress that I got a couple of pallets from the transfer station to make a new bed with. I may just be a gardener yet!

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Re: full spectum aquarium lights ok for growing?

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