t8 Light question

matta89January 28, 2014

Hey everyone!

First off I want to thank everyone for the help with my questions about starting leaves up again. Most of the leaves took of the 25 I bought and I have a bounty of babies coming up. I included a picture of half of them :)

I'm in the process of setting up a proper grow stand. Right now the leaves are under a makeshift set up with some old t12 fixtures, older bulbs. I'm planning on buying t-8 fixtures when I set up my stand for the babies. Anyways, I know its going to be a big change for the little ones.

My questions are; how should I transition them? Should I run the bulbs for a week or two before I move anything over? Should I move them over before separation or just make the change after I separate them and maybe lower the light time for a few weeks?

Thank you for any suggestions!


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The light is most intense when the bulbs are new so usually when you change bulbs, you do one at a time. Since you are getting new fixtures, you can't do this so I would run your lights for fewer hours and watch for tight centers, washed out color or anything else that could be from too much light. Moving them farther away from the bulbs is also helpful.

If it were me, I would not separate until after they have had a while under the new lights. There is no need to hurry to separate babies and I would let them get acclimated to their new conditions first.

Your babies look great!


    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 2:04AM
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i'd err on the safe side and keep the lights a bit farther away to begin with. i believe the rule is twice the distance is 1/4 of the light intensity, so you don't actually have to move them THAT far away.
when i moved, i decided to throw out the old fluorescent tubes rather than risk breaking them, and bought new ones for the new place. then i put them at about 1.5 the distance i had the old ones at. a week later, i moved the lights down a little, and a week after that a bit more. seems to have worked fine so far. (i have the fixture on chains, so i can just move it as needed.)
if you have a fixed setup meant for grown plants, the 'shorter' babies would probably end up at about the right distance, if sitting on the shelf itself.
but when in doubt, go with Linda's advice ;-)


    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 11:15AM
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paul_(z5 MI)

Something to be aware of is that the light quality across the tube is not "created equal". The light generated at by the 6 inches of tube bulb at either end is inferior to that produced by the rest of the bulb from a plant's point of view. (Our eyes can't tell the difference.) So it is best not confine plants to those areas and those that are generally will do better if raised up much closer to the light source.

For your babies, I doubt the transition will be a problem. But as Linda mentioned, I wouldn't separate the babies at this time. Let them acclimate first.

Karin's suggestion for placing the babies a tad farther from the light to start is probably unnecessary but shouldn't hurt either. It is simply a more cautious approach and there is nothing wrong with that.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 12:19PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

I am thinking that you are still a month from the separating and repotting the babies. They will grow faster under good lights. What you can do for transition - put something like a paper towel or wax paper on a top for a week = or gauze... something to take the edge off. And then open them. Otherwise - if you just move them under the light - you probably get some pale spots on the leaves from too much exposure - so what- -they are baby leaves - you will be removing them soon anyway when plant starts growing large leaves.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 7:12PM
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Thanks everyone!! I like the idea of the paper/towel wax paper Irina, I might give that a try. I'm thinking I have a month or so left too. I'll go ahead and jump in.

Now to just figure out which light fixture to use and watering method. I'm thinking of going with capillary mats (with wicks) for these ones since they are all coming from the same source. Any plants I get from the violet show will be isolated and if I can on wicks. I'm hoping to mostly get leaves

Paul, I'm aware of the end of the bulbs. I remember that from when I grew in the past; my violet club suggested I grow the darker green plants towards the end of the stands, with lighter green/variegated towards the middle

btw Linda, the shelving units you mentioned to me are lower cost on amazon/walmart right now for 59. I'm gonna order mine here within a day or two.


    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 3:09AM
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Thanks, Matt! I am about ready for another set of shelves!


    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 1:26AM
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