Reflectors, glass & clowns

I am concerned however, by the recent comment of Wright Huntley. He said
>that polished aluminum absorbs 20 % of the far red light. THis is something
>that our eyes or a normal light meter will pick up. He suggests a painted
>white surface, but I suspect that any white material would be roughly

I have metal reflectors with a brilliant silver surface. They are not
aluminum but a thin steel, I believe. The surface is a coating and not
polished. Anyone else have these? They seem very efficient.

I have four florescent bulbs, 3 ultra lume, 1 chroma 50 about 2.5 - 3
inches from the water surface. However, I have glass between. Do I need the
glass there and does it keep light away from the plants to a significant
degree? The back of the hood is open so moisture should not accumulate --
should it? What's the concensus of having glass between the lights and the

Thanks, Olga

P.S. Do many of you have Clown Loaches? I bought two to take care of pond
snails and because I like them. The first day they played a lot out in the
open but since then they hide all the time -- haven't seen them for days.
Will they come out eventually? They are about 2.5 inches long. Is it better
to get them younger so they adapt easier?