Re: Flourescents for plants

>>From: Harold Wong <hgw at math_ucla.edu>
>>Date: Thu, 6 Jul 95 14:34:06 PDT
>>Subject: fluorescent tube for planted tank
>>Can someone recommend a good 4 ft. fluorescent tube for my 55 gal
>>planted freshwater tank? It's a two tube hood.  I've read the FAQ but 
>>choices are too large for me to pick from. Thanks.
Shaji's answer missed another "el cheapo" that has given me spectacular 
results in a 55G tank. I have a dual 40W shop light, with one 
"daylight" and one "Chroma 50" tube. Neither costs over $10. With CO2, 
the plant growth has been more than spectacular. In less than 6 months, 
I am having to tear down and start over, for the tank got so 
overcrowded there was no room for fish. A totally new layout will be 
required to keep similar plants that can grow this fast.

These lights were selected on the basis of the action spectrum of 
higher plants (as opposed to the studies done in algae solutions). The 
"Chroma 50" adds quite a bit of the essential red without appearing 
very peculiar (unlike most "plant" bulbs).

I just gave away two Amazon Swords I got earlier this year for $2.99 
each. The one a friend put in his 125G, overwhelmed it, he said. It had 
about 40-50 leaves up to 24" long and was a vigorous deep green. The 
other one was just as big. Until I let the riccia and duckweed 
overgrow, the swords put out streams of oxygen under these bulbs, so I 
guess they did the job. I sold 8 or 10 offshoot plants and still have 
at least three nice big offspring for the replanting.

The substrate is 30-mesh silica sandblasting sand over UGFs with some 
peat layered in and a top-finish of lime-free aquarium gravel 
(1/16-1/8"). Fiberglass cloth was used to keep the sand from falling 
thru the slots. One power head and three airlifts provided circulation, 
and you should have seen the root systems in that tank. The airlifts 
did not hurt the CO2, which was just injected low, with fine airstones 
at both ends (i.e., no reactor or other gas storage).

Neither of these lamps scores high in Lumens/Watt, for that really is 
only a measure of green intensity (which most plants reflect). The net 
effect is very eye-pleasing to me, and the extra red and blue obviously 
please the plants a lot.