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Re: : Light intensity

2) Why do many of you think "more is better"?  IMHO, more is never better.
> More is trouble. Just enough is better.

What exactly is "just enough"? I do not believe that more is better as far
as light is concerned, but how does one go about figuring out what is "Just

Well this is something that certainly has been argued to death in most every
forum. Personaly I like the watts per gallon rule because its simple, and
easy to go by, particularly for beginners.My biggest challenge is people who
email me every day saying "I have been growing plants for thirty years with
only the single light bulb that came with my tank and nothing but regular
aquarium gravel, and they grow great," and then in the same breath ask why
their stem plants are rotting at the base of the stem and never growing
roots. Now assuming everyone in this forum is beyond that point, my own
"anecdotal" observations for the last few years have shown me that although
highly subjective, the watts per gallon rule, (depending on whos rule you
are following) is a good place to start. I have tanks now that have what I
would call intense lighting, (4w/gallon), moderate, (2 to 3/gallon) and
,.low, (1 to 1.5w/gallon) What I have observed is that each has its
limitations and various problems.

My brightly lit tank has overall a fast growth rate, but puts heavy demands
on CO2, and nutrients, and seems to go out of wack very quickly if something
is wrong. The biggest struggle is controlling green algae, but it has never
had hair or brush algae. My moderate and low light tanks have greater algae
problems, (brush, hair, filament) but if a serious problem happens it doesnt
seem to happen as quickly. So I would agree with Tom, find a moderate level
to start with that should insure that you could grow most any plant you
wish, and then build from there based on your own observations. It also
helps if you have several tanks with different light levels that can give
you something to base a comparison on. I like how my plants look under
strong light. My Alternanthera is deeper red and healthier looking, and my
dwarf sag to give another example, is much more vibrant looking under the
strong light, (and this is one of the easiest plants to grow). Of course
this is all very subjective and doesnt take into account the endless
combination of factors that is unique to each tank, other than lighting.

Robert Paul H
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