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[APD] The lighter side of Light.
All this talk of par and micromoles and lumens and etc etc etc. What does
the hobbyist who doesn't know/care about all the scientific analysis do?
Here's my experience. I want enough light to grow the plants I want to grow.
Any more is a waste. My tanks are about average in depth: your typical
rectangular 75 or 120 gallon. I have CO2 injection and prefer light loving
plants. My best barometer for "enough light" in my system is glossostigma
elantoides. Enough light for me is when the glosso grows steadily and stays
low to the substrate. If I get this type growth, then there is no high light
plant I cannot grow.
This translates into about 3 watts per gallon of net tank volume of either
compact flourescent or metal halide light. Net tank volume for me means the
actual water column in the tank, not including the substrate. I have an
Oceanic 30 gallon cube that has a net volume of about 25 gallons. It is lit
by a 2 x 36 watt 6700K AH Supply CF retro kit with their reflector, or about
3 watts per gallon. Glossostigma, Downoi, and Taiwan Moss grow like crazy in
I just set up a 120 gallon with 2 x 175 watt 6500K Halide bulbs with
reflector, or with a net volume of about 100 gallons, about 3.5 watts per
gallon. this is the closest I could get given my equipment, but I have the
fixture much higher than the CF fixture on the 30 gallon. The glosso is
spreading like wildfire in this tank as well.
I have never had success with glosso at less than 3 WPG. If I only wanted
swords or anubias or crypts, then I would use 2 WPG.
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