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Re: 2x55W PC Cooking Plant Leaves

>My swords are throwing new shoots much faster, but
>instead of going half way like the old leaves, they go
>straight up to the top of the tank, and gets burned by
>the PC heat in no time.

I too have this problem with my big sword. The leaves tend to grow parallel 
with the light hood when they get high enough to touch it. I have little 
fans in the hood that blow air in one end, and out through the top vent on 
the other (AGA hood, with fan mounted on the back on the right side as you 
look at it from the front of the tank). This arrangement was needed by me 
to prevent a "plastic smell" that was annoying, and since I had tried 
putting a pair of 10w halogen bulbs in the hood in addition to a florescent 
to get some wave-ripple effects. The halogens would melt the plastic until 
there was a hole through to the tank compartment, and I had to replace one 
tank's hood due to this. I don't think the fans are necessary for the safe 
operation of the PCF lights themselves, but the fans DO help to keep the 
glass in the light hood cool to the touch. I haven't had plant-burn 
problems with the fans in place.

>Tank height is 22", so with about 3" of gravel & 1"
>space between water surface & PC, it means the sword
>leaves grew 18" tall (well mostly the stem).  What do
>people do to avoid this?  It'll be kind of silly to
>put weights down to force the leaves to shoot
>sideways, wouldn't it? :P

Yeah, weights would look a bit strange ;-)

I think you have several possibilities:

1 - Switch to an open-top tank and a suspended hood. This is really neat, 
my personal favorite, and what I'm slowing building toward with a future 
big tank setup. Your plants can grow out of the water as the naturally 
would, and you have the nifty ability to "look down" into your tank.

2 - Put fans in/on your hood. This will keep the surfaces of the hood cool, 
but will add noise to the system (noticeable in my case), and I've found 
the need to wipe the dust of the bulb and the reflector inside the hood 
every month or two. This is a cheap and easy modification you can make 
though, and it has a minimal impact on the look and configuration of your tank.

3 - Put a sheet of acrylic under the hood suspended maybe 1" or so below 
the hood. This should provide a convection-cooling zone and will stop the 
plants before they get to the hot parts in the tank. You'd probably need to 
lower the water level in your tank slightly to make use of this.

I think you'd be best off with 1 or 2, depending on your particular needs 
for the room you have your tank in. If you want to use fans email me and I 
can provide some parts sources and info as to how I installed the fans in 
my hoods.


>BTW pardon me for the non technical/scientific terms.

Waveform Technology
UNIX Systems Administrator