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RE:Gloss etc

>Have you considered the possibility that the bulbs you use have reached
>their "termination" point, meaning that they are not as effective as
>they once were?  The fact that your plants, when they seemed to attempt
>new growth, were "reaching" would seem to indicate that they wanted more
>light.  "Melting" in plants is also a leading indicator that the level
>of light is insufficient. 

This can happen but it typically does not. It sure does not sound like it in
this case.
Gloss and other carpet plants tend to hit a "wall" after a period of good
Since I cut a piece of sod after about this time anyway, I started thinking
about comparing it to other fast growing stem plants. What would happen say
if you did not prune some Rotala/hygro/watersprite etc and just let them go
to town for 2-4 months? Would it slow your tank down? Why? Would it be the
light being shaded only? Would all the nutrients be sucked out of your tank
leaving nothing left?

As plants grow and their mass increases often we don't add and account for
this increase. CO2 can be effected as can nutrients and light. Yellow/holey
growth occurs or stunted growth. These are signs of N and CO2 shortages
typically and there's were you hit the wall.
A careful eye and good pruning come into play to counter act this problem.
Many folks have this issue at some point during their keeping of plants so
this is nothing new. Many on this list have experienced it.
Perhaps this gives some answers for this problem.
Tom Barr