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Old 04-10-2012, 02:22 AM   #1 
Twilight Storm
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Java fern + Mopani wood + LED strip/other questions

I have a couple questions maybe someone can answer.

I have some java moss (or some such similar moss) that is doing well in all of them. I have a few bits of some sort of plant that I didn't kill growing it in the 5 gallon with no light. (I took low light to the extreme unintentionally- but it did get a little indirect natural light. I moved the bits since then into the other aquariums. I have not tried the moss either with this new light yet.)

I went to Petsmart and found the Marineland LED Aquarium Light. I bought it because my 5 gallon tank had no light and this model even has moonlight which I am sure my Betta probably doesn't need but looks nice IMO.

I also went on a shopping spree and got a piece of Zoo Med mopani wood and two java ferns labeled as "4" tropical fern plants" Microsorium pteropus in the little Top Fin tubes.

I used the search function in the forums and can't find the info to answer my questions.

1) What is the best way to prepare Mopani wood for the aquarium?

2) Has anyone tried breaking up a large piece? If so how? (If you have actually done it.)

3) Will Java fern do O.K. in a cycled 5 gallon running a sponge filter under that LED light I listed above even though Marineland does not recommend using this LED strip for live plants? (considering its low light requirements?)

Here are the specs of the light: (PDF file on Marineland's web site)
http://www.marineland.com/uploadedFi...um%20Light.pdf

Main link to light off of Marineland web site:
http://www.marineland.com/sites/Mari...l.aspx?id=3416

My master plan was going to be to bust up the Mopani wood and attach either the full plant I got with cotton string, (unraveled cotton butcher string) or cut it into a couple different plants and attach them to the wood and put a piece in my aquariums. (If I won't kill the fern doing so)

My Aqueon 2.5 gallon bow tank has a 10 watt 50/50 Daylight/Bluelight bulb. (I just got this bulb and am trying it out. It makes a strange smell when I ran the tank light for an hour. The tank says it can take up to 15 watts max and the bulb is 10 watts. Does anyone know if the smell will go away? Does this happen with new fluorescent bulbs? I am thinking I should call Aqueon tomorrow just to be sure no matter what lol, I don't want to start a fire or kill my birds with weird fumes.)

The rest are just running regular 10-15 watt incandescent bulbs.
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Old 04-10-2012, 02:39 AM   #2 
Captain Jim Dandy
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Be careful with that light fixture

Sure should'nt be a smell from any light bulb/fixture... You may have a short or the bulb may be out of line and burning the plastic lid? Be careful with that. Or is it some new-fangled " scented" bulb? Never seen one of those.
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:23 AM   #3 
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As for the smell on the new fluorescent aquarium light it's not scented lol! That would be funny though. :D

It doesn't smell like a burning smell, its more like bad fumes.


If this bulb doesn't work out if anyone can recommend a good fluorescent replacement for those 10-15 watt incandescent hood lights? (10 gallon type, aka E26 standard medium sockets.)

(I better sleep, thought I sent this reply a while ago!)
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Old 04-10-2012, 01:23 PM   #4 
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Unhappy No one has experience with java fern and mopani wood? :(

I would think someone would have known the answers to at least some more then the bulb smelling? :(

I took the wood out on the driveway and smashed it with a sledge hammer there are places on it that look like I have black stuff from the driveway on it now. I am guessing I will need to scrape those parts off before going further.

Then do I just boil it for a few hours then bake it at 350oF until its dry? Or do I need to soak it in a bucket for 6 months like another site said?
(If that's the case my plants will be dead long before the wood is ready) :(
Someone said soaking in a bucket created mold. Someone else poured boiling water over it. What's the right way for this wood?

Can anyone answer anything else before I end up killing 6 fish by doing things wrong? I really like my fish. They've been with me now a long time and I don't want to hurt them or the plants. :(

I looked around on the internet and really cant find the answers to what I asked.
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Old 04-10-2012, 02:19 PM   #5 
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From my understanding, the best way to prepare Mopani wood for an aquarium is either boiling it or soaking it in hot water (works better than cold) for a while. Some people have had real problems with the wood, and others not so much, but it seems to be a result of sap leeching out of the wood. Scrubbing it with a firm brush may also help.

I don't believe 6-months is necessary, but the actual time you'll need to soak or boil will depend on a number of factors. Just keep an eye on how much tannin is being released and for any sap leeching out of the wood.

There's a few threads about this on the sister site, tropicalfishkeeping.com, if you're more interested in this (for example: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...ni-wood-40193/). I have several pieces of this that I plan to use later on in my larger tanks and I plan to soak, scrub, and then soak some more. Then keep an eye on it just in case.

I suppose your second question is now irrelevant since you took a sledge hammer to the wood piece, haha, but I was going to suggest perhaps a saw myself. Sounds as though the hammer worked well enough though?

As for the Java Fern, my guess is that it would do all right in that set up; according to the care guide in this section they don't like a lot of light, so I imagine they would do fine with LED lights. Odd though, I could have sworn that I had read that Marineland LED lights were fine for planted tanks...

As for the bulb, I'd see if replacing it helps anything -- if it smells like fumes, better safe than sorry.
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:04 PM   #6 
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Ty ty ty and ty some more on the link, i'm off to read that in a minute.

Got off the phone a few min ago with Aqueon and two departments there didn't have any similar reports of this happening. The box in the store was ripped when I got the light, I just figured some idiot came in and damaged the box to look at it which happens A LOT. The bulb looked fine.

And the LED hood:
I wasn't sure if they were just pointing people to a more expensive product of theirs so everyone wouldn't go buying their affordable LED hood or if in fact it's only good just for light. I am not sure what those specs mean.

ty again
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Old 04-10-2012, 04:38 PM   #7 
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No problem, I'm glad to help.

I would try a different bulb all the same, just to see -- if it does the same thing then it's likely something else and we can try and help you figure it out from there.

From what I've seen of Marineland they're a pretty good company and fairly on about what they tell customers -- not to say they're not there to make company, every business is, but perhaps they're referring more to higher-demand plants? With the Jave Fern I think it would be worth a shot to see how it does. I was looking for the Kelvin rating on their specs, because that's one of the most important things with lights and plants, but didn't see it. If you'd like I could take a look around in between water changes and homework today: I may have something about it in my bookmarks.
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Old 04-10-2012, 05:22 PM   #8 
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I have the LED light on my 5 Gal tanks, I have Java Moss in them and they are doing fine. I don't know about Java Fern though.
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Old 04-10-2012, 08:39 PM   #9 
Badjer
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I have Mopani wood in one of my tanks. I boiled all four pieces repeatedly to get all the tannins out (I don't care for dark water) and then soaked it for another day, then just put it into my tank. One piece has some anubias on it that I originally tied on, but they have now taken root. It looks great! (:
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Old 04-11-2012, 04:50 AM   #10 
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Java fern is a low light plant, it should be fine with that light.

I also have that light, and I've had to keep it off for a few days, I've gotten a horrible out break of green hair algae. My plants are all doing well, anubis, amazon swords, java ferns, moss, some crypts, and two different types of stemmed plants.

Not to mention the explosion in frogbit.
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