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Re: 220 watts of light on a 120 gallon?

My off the cuff answer to this was going to be "no way", and
I was very surprized by the post from Chuck Gadd, who said
that George Booth's 120 tanks do fine with 4 x 40 flourescent

I have a 55 gallon with 4 x 40 flourescent tubes, and it is not
enough light.  I hope to convert it to 2 x 110 later this year
if I find the time.  My 120 has 4 x 110, which IS enough light.

I use yeast method co2 and fertilize heavily.  I have some
algae problems but I am not inundated (although I have yet
to find a fish that really eats enough algae to keep the tank
clean).  I clean the algae clumps out by hand every couple
of days.

This brought back some interesting memories.  20 years ago
I had a 55 gallon tank with 2 x 40 flourescent tubes, one warm
white and one cool white, and a home-built plywood 120
gallon tank with 4 x 40 flourescent tubes 2 warm white and
2 cool white.  I grew every kind plant successfully.  My
substrate was "TexBlast" blasting sand with no additives.
I did not use co2 fertilization, I did not fertilize at all.  I did
not have algae problems (at least not comparable to those
I experience today).  I didn't even look at the tanks
except every week or so.  Maintenance was a breeze.

What I did have was wonderful water coming out of the tap.
It was kind of annoying if I wanted to grow Africans (which
I did) because it was soft, and slightly acid.

Now the water where I live is hard and alkaline (4d GH and
8d KH, pH  8.3).  It is PERFECT for Africans (which I am
no longer interested in).  When I first came here I tried to
reproduce my early plant success with RO water, but the
struggle of coming up with so much RO water every week
finally drove me from the hobby.

Now I'm back, and somewhat successful again.  But I use
almost 3 times as much light, fertilize heavily with about
4 different substances, including co2, (everything but
phosporus) and I have to fight algae fairly constantly.

I think the water characteristics may impact plant and algae
responses in ways we don't yet understand, and that this
explains why I need more light, more fertilizer and a lot more
care to get the same results I used to get effortlessly.  This
may explain why you cannot buy a book which is much help
on growing plants.  Each person's methods work well for
that person, but may not be transportable to other regions of
the world with different water parameters.