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Hey gang,

Scott Heiber writes:

> FWIW, I find on
> smaller tanks that the more light I use, the better
> the plants look without any other changes. Algae
> a concern either.... 

>>A rule of thumb -- the more light the better?  ;-)

Ha! Not neccesarily;)

> No one seems to notice that coverage is really the
> critical factor. As long as the tubes that best fit
> the tank footprint are used, and you use enough to
> create an even coverage of the top of the substrate,
> it's enough light. 

>>Now that's a new rule of thumb, I think. Not sure if
it works equally well for Halides, PCs, and NOs, etc.

Sure it does.

> Who cares how many watts they are
> or how many exact gallons your tank is unless it's? 

>>Okay, now I'm pretty sure I disagree. I find it hard
believe that wpg (or any other halfway decent measure
output) doesn't matter so long as you're getting
Halides, NOs, HOs, PCs, reflectors, no reflectors. I
it's not just a matter of coverage but coverage with
much. <<

This (my) "rule of thumb" takes for granted that
you're using CO2. Other than that, it doesn't matter
as long as you're using somem manner of flourescents.
I thought I said that I don't have any real experience
with HID's:) I made the initial statememt while
thinking about small tanks, but it works otherwise as
well. People who use lots of light AND have trouble
with algae are likely dosing too many macros or not
enough micros.... or some unbalanced fert schedule.

That's what this is really all about right? Algae
control. I guess some one will make the point of
growth rates...

>>Otoh, if the supposition is that if you use PCs
*and* get
even coverage, if that works out then I'll bet you're
the roughly 2-4 wpg range on most tanks and the rules
thumb are jsut as applicable as mere coverage.<<

Could be. Doesn't matter.


>>>However, I find that with my tanks, all of them
conentional in size in shape, I have the option of
adding more or fewer rows of bulbs, greatly altering
the WPG, plant growth.<<

So, you're overlapping coverage.

>> I can put one or two 55w PCs on my 29 gallon and
the coverage isn't much better with two (it's almost
all entirely overlap)<<

With AHS reflectors? That's not right. There are
severe dark spots when using 1x55w on a 29g tank.

>> but it's a lot brighter and the plants seem to
"know" it. I could add a third and it would be more of
same -- too much for my meager skills).<<

What does that mean? Meager skills? That tells me that
your current schedule for dosing ferts doesn't work.

>>I could put on a
pair of NOs and get equallly even coverage and the
growth would would be nearly the same as with the 2


>>This makes me think mere coverage isn't as useful
rule of thumb.<<

That's fine. What you're doing seems to be working for
you. I wouldn't switch. What wpg are you running on
your 150 and what plants aren't able to survive? 

>>As for Amano, heckm I wouldn't expect to do as well
as Amano at 7 wpg (or much of anything else he does
with aquatic gardening :-\  )<<

Why?! His main claim is arranging plants not growing

>>I'd agree about 2wpg -- I'd call 2 wpg *low* light.
George thinks it's plenty, but I'm pretty sure he's
referring to PCs with really good reflectors and not,
what did he call them, "sucky bulbs".<<

Agreed. Low light.

>>Generally, an important thing to remember is that
it's not a situation where there is some right or
wrong amount of
light (within a really broad range). And it's
certainly not a case of more is better, less is worse,
or vice versa.
Down at one end you tend to have slow growth and are
more limited in plant selection and have less
maintenance. At the other end, things are just the
opposite. If you want to know where you setup is
likely to come out in terms of plant growth and
maintnenance, wpg works pretty well (don't know about
the coverage rule yet) and it's much handier than
those other measures that would be better if they were
at hand.<<

Those are nice blanket statements. The bottom line is
that folks who are able to grow really nice plants at
a reasonable rate use bulbs that fit and cover the
tank footprint.

>>George and I seem to disagree about the maximum
approriate amount of light. Obviously, 7 wpg can be
made to work, if that's where you want to go -- so I
wouldn't call it inappropriate. But maybe George
doesn't want to hang a lot on that one word
"inapproriate." Maybe he just meant 3 wpg
is a whole lot. I'd still disagree; I don't think it's
a *whole* lot. But it's a smaller disagreement.<<

The initial jist to my post was that the WPG rule
needs to be adjusted for smaller tanks. I would never
suggest that you use 7wpg on a 4' tank (although it's
very possible). The bulbs that provide that wpg's on
smaller tanks don't get the job done like the longer,
more efficient bulbs.

>>But then you all have to keep in mind, George and
Karla grow some beautiful tanks.>>

They grow beautiful plants using HID lights and PC's
on larger tanks. Their idea of a beautiful tank is
different than mine although they are certainly
accomplished and in every right to disagree with
little ol' me.

Have you or George/Karla ever tried a smaller tank? 

John Wheeler

Scott H.

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