fw:Thanks to George re cheap fixtures and Mercury Vapor lites

Here's another forwarded message.  Earle, you seem to be making the
mistake of sending email to aquatic-plants-owner rather than

Admin note: Some email from the 8th and 9th of November will not
appear in the archives - there was a software glitch.


Shaji Bhaskar, BNR, 35 Davis Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27713, USA
Email: bhaskar at bnr_ca                          Work Phone: (919) 991 7125

---forwarded message---->

Nov 09 09:39:00 1995

 To:         'Aquatic-Plants-Owner at actwin_com'
 From:       'ehami at sunny_ncmc.cc.mi.us'
 Subject:    Thanks to George re cheap fixtures and Mercury Vapor lites

George, your explanation of cheap fixtures makes sence.  My old physics 
professor used to say all the time that "there is no free lunch".  It 
applies to all sorts of things in real life as well as physics but I 
still try to challenge the basic law by DIY and alternate sources.  

Yes, they really are mercury vapor 175 watt (with bulb) for thirty 
dollars.  They are set up for mounting on a pole to light a building area 
at night.  Have a bluish cast.  For aquarium use we would have to deal 
with the fact that the balast is part of the fixture and somehow mount 
the rather heavy unit.  Don't understand why MV is so cheap and MH is so 

The cheapo meter I referred to is "Sub-Lux" and cost $40 from mail 
order.  Has a hi and low range.  Main value as I see it is to measure 
values and record them to know what light deterioration is.  Of course, 
this can be done by camera as described in Baensch Atlas but it  is 
critical to have the distance the same for successive measurements.  With 
the under water meter you simply put it just over the gravel at the 
center of the tank and get a reading.  
Playing with any meter like this tells a lot, even if the absolute values 
of the meter are not accurate.  It shows huge variation between shade and 
not shade from surface plants.  It shows light levels for low light 
plants are almost not readable (low) and that our plants are able to 
tollerate vast ranges and survive.  I think this is one of the best 
investments I have made.  Our eyes are poor at knowing light levels.

--Earle Hamilton from northern Michigan where coral once grew