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Re: Lighting/CO2 setups

Damian wrote:

> I'd like to know if I'm thinking along the right track, if I were to
> setup three tanks say (A), (B) and (C). (A) would have low lighting-
> 1wat per gallon?- no Co2 and certain plants such as crypts, anubia, java
> moss and fern and little to no fertilisation depending on fish loading
> and waste. (B) would have medium lighting -around 2 wats per gallon?-
> Co2 (or not?), be planted with species that tolerate medium amount of
> light (such as ludwigia, rotala swords? etc) and again fertiliser if
> needed. (C) would have 3 wats or more per gallon, Co2, substrate/water
> column fertiliser as needed any high light loving species (water
> wisteria, hair grass, riccia and others?). Could three tanks be set up
> like this which would demonstrate the differenences that the level of
> light/Co2 and fertilisers make and what kind of plants one could grow
> according to setup or is that just too darn simple and in fact it is
> much more complicated in real life?

I think those setups probably would show you what you want.  That
assumes that the tanks and lighting that you use are all similar.  If
you combine different sizes of tanks and/or different types of lighting
then you could get a tank lit at 2 watts/gallon that is brighter than
another tank lit at 3 watts/gallon.

Your lowest-light tank probably doesn't need to go all the way down to 1
watt/gallon.  I have tanks lit at 1.5 watts/gallon and at 2 watts per
gallon with CO2 and there's a world of difference between those tanks. 
I also have a 55-gallon tank and two 10-gallon tanks that are all lit at
3 watts per gallon, but the two smaller tanks look much brighter and do
much better growing high-light plants.  The lighting systems are similar
except that 55-gallon tank has the better ballast, so the difference is
probably due to water depth and shading.

>  Also do you think other variables
> must be taken into account such as substrate/heating or wouldn't it
> matter if all of the tanks had exactly the same subtrate/heating and
> lights (like all fluro as opposed to metal halide)?

If you want to see the difference that lighting makes, then all of the
other factors (including CO2) need to be constant across all of your
test setups.  If you want to see what difference CO2 makes, then all of
the other factors (including light) need to be constant.

If you just want to see how different setups work without being
particular about what causes the difference then you can set them up
with as many differences as you like.

Roger Miller