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Re: HPS Light

> Color spectrum question
> Hi guys.  Well, I think I'm getting closer to taking the plunge ;)
> My current vision is to have an open top tank full of aquatic plants.  I also
> want to incorporate my other hobby--orchids.  I would want to place orchids
> either at the base of the tank or along the top perimeter, depending on light
> requirements.  I have a bunch of orchids now and they really thrive outdoors
> in
> NY during the Summer, but they are starting to fade since I've brought them
> indoors.  So I would like to buy a light fixture soon to give them some life.

I had a few orchids and attached it to the cork backing that I have on my
tank. They do well.

> I originally wanted to go with Metal Halide as I love the color and wave
> effect.  I proposed my idea to the orchid folks on the newsgroups and have
> been
> told that a combination of Metal Halide and High Pressure Sodium would be
> ideal
> for the growth and flowering of plants.  Apparently the increased light output
> in the red spectrum is essential.

I have found this to be so.
> My question is if this is counterproductive to aquatic plants.  Will I promote
> growth of algae or some other negative effect associated with HPS?

A resounding NO. Your plants will do even better if you add these two. It
will look somewhat yellow to the eye but the plants will be quite happy.
HSP's are great for plants and they do not add/help algae like some might
say. I found the reverse to be true. I flowered Crypt parva under water
using them. The **heat** from the lights will be the big issue. 500 watts is
a lot of heat in a small room etc. If you have a cool big room or lots of
ventilation ....okay. Think about the warm summer as well.
> I was doing research into buying an affordable light fixture since it seems
> that the aquarium specific ones are priced on the high side.  I was thinking
> of
> a "combo" system that incorporates one 250W MH bulb and one 250W HPS bulb:
> http://www.discountgrowlights.com/systemsh.htm
> I would also have to hang the fixture a little higher than most people with a
> fishtank only setup.  I was thinking 3 feet or so.  I know some might say that
> I will lose a lot of light, but I was only planning on getting a 20 gal or so
> to get my feet wet.  I would also probably do the DIY CO2 for now as well so I
> don't blow my budget.
> What do you think?

At that height your fine for that size of tank. I would add a bunch of
plants that I like as well around the tank light to catch the over spray
since at 3 feet there will be lots. Why lose anything then? Could look quite
nice if you plan it well. Lots of orchids surrounding a nice planted open
top tank in the middle. Sounds cool to me. DIY yeast would be fine on a
small tank like a 20 gallon.
If later you want to add canned CO2 and a bigger tank and lower the light I
think you could drop it down a fair amount without burning the leaves by
placing the orchids out of the direct part of the light and place them on
the edge. This is what I did with mine since they were an after thought.
FWIW, Regards, 
Tom Barr
> Thanks,
> Chester
> =====
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> ------------------------------
> Date: Sat, 11 Nov 2000 15:13:53 -0800
> From: "Matt" <Crimson2 at home_com>
> Subject: Yeast Co2
> Steps
> 1-Fill the carboy with warm water 1/2 full.
> 2- Add 10lbs of sugar
> 3- Add Yeast Energizer and mix well
> 4- Top up carboy with water to 3/4 full
> 5- Dissolve the yeast in a cup of warm water, let it sit for 1/2 hour
> 6- Pour yeast into carboy, DO NOT STIR.