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More lights? More lights!
Regarding the question of why people are using more lights: Over the
past years I have slowly increased the light over my main aquarium from
a little less than 2 watts per gallon to a bit over 4 watts per gallon.
With every increase I have liked the way the aquarium looks better than
before the increase. Maybe this is due to failing eyesight as my dotage
approaches, but it just looks better to me. (I have cut the lights-on
time by an hour a day.) I don't find the aquarium any more trouble to
take care of than before.
So for me it has almost nothing to do with plant growth, algae growth,
ability to grow difficult plants--I just like the way a brightly lit
tank looks. I like the sparkle of lights on the pearling plants.