We've been running a trial for about 6 weeks now on the TMC LED lighting as we believe this is the way forward for our hydroponics lighting - TMC do but were kind enough to let us test their products. Our aquatic plants are really loving the lights and we're even running them 24/7 because they are so economical. We're using the MiniLED 400 and the Grobeam tile and they are elevated about 15" above the plants.
We initially were growing rotala rotundifolia and they did very well in a short period of time. In fact they threw out loads of runners over the space of about 3-4 weeks and became very bushy. So they enjoyed the light (a lot!). We have just tried 3 new plants to see how they fair up:
It's only been a few days so far, but remember the lighting is on 24/7. The red variety has responded very quickly - these are new shoots and the reds are already showing good signs. The green variety is grown a little but they are under the MiniLED 400 tile so I guess the growth rate shouldn't be as fast due to the lesser power.
The Bacopa monnieri hasn't done anything yet so nothing to report there.
I'll be updating this post every week to tell you about progress.
If you have any questions about this experiment - let me know!!
OK so I've taken a few snaps for you just to see what they are like at the moment.
One thing I will mention is the Ludwigia palustris red was planted a week before the others so it's growth is expected to be bigger, but I wasn't expecting it to have grown quite that much - impressive heh :) I wonder what it will be like in another weeks time?
UPDATE 20th March
Ludwigia palustris green has grown at least 2 cm in 4 days and looks excellent with great colours.
Ludwigia palustris red is turning into a bit of a beast and is growing rapidly! Difficult to measure now as it doesn't stand upright very easily. Not sure if this is going to be a problem as it gets bigger but health wise it's A1.
Rotala rotundifolia has grown 1 cm in 4 days and looks rather nice as I am sure you will agree. Very perky and healthy - notice a couple of shoots appear much larger than the others. It will be interesting to see if the others catch up or if that size becomes more apparent.
I also had a question from Andre on Twitter (follow me @AquaEssentials) asking me for some more details about the growing conditions. I have tried to replicate what the growers do but tweaking a few things just to see what happens:
Lighting: 24 hours per day
Ferts: AE Nourish and Nourish+
Air Temp: this swings from 14C-20C
Air movement: Controlled by computer
Humidity: Also controlled by computer but sits at 90% humidity
Plants sit in their pots about 3/4 deep of nutrient rich flowing water.
Any questions, please ask :)
UPDATE 12th April
It's been a long time since our last update. We've moved premises so updating this has gone on the back burner. However, we're back up to speed now and I have some new photos to share with you. The plants did stay in boxes for 3 days whilst we moved. I don't think the young plants particularly enjoyed that but it's just a gut feeling.
I welcome any comments/thoughts you have on this experiment so far.
Bacopa monnieri is nearly at 9cm now. Seems an easy plant to grow at the moment.
Ludwigia palustris green is still doing well. Health is excellent but the stems are floppy (not sure why...) and ideas anyone?
Ludwigia palustris red. Well what can I say about this one as it's grown a lot but again cannot support itself. It really is very very big ...
Rotala rotundifolia. This is my favourite of all the plants as it grows well and supports itself pretty much. It's attractive and nearly 9cm in height. Colours still look good.
Would love some comments on this to hear what you think.