Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V2

        Reply to:   RE>Aquatic Plants Digest V2 #276 Lighting for plants

>>From: Ronald Tsang <jtsang at asiaonline_net><<
>>Subject: Lighting for plants<<

>>I currently have a 30 inch aquarium, and I am about to start a new
aquarium. The three light bulbs that I am currently using are brands called
Triton that is about 15 watts each. Plants in my current aquarium aren't
growing well. Since I am starting a new aquarium that is 40 inches, can
someone please give me some advice about what lightings are best suited for
plants in general?<<

The debate on lighting is one of the most heated debates in the current
hobby, Ronald. I have also found that many of my green plants don't do as
well with Tritons, with the exception of red Crypts (which love them) and
Java Fern (which will grow under any light,including the dark <g>).  In fact,
if yu converted your tank to a Java Fern tank, you caould have a truly
beautiful dark green jungle, without having worry about substrate (it doesn't
root), or light duration and water changes much at all.

ALternatively, I think for someone just starting out like yourself, and using
good basic plants like, Java Fern, Watersprite, Vals, amazoncis or
parviflorus Amazon Swords, there is an easy way to go. For your 30 gallonn (a
20 long I assume), I would put two of the 15 watt strips side by side in the
back, and the remaining single strip in front of it. Try a couple of
Vitalights in the back strips, or alternatively, some inexpesnive "daylight"
tubes for a couple of bucks each at the home depot. For the front strip you
can imprive the aquarium's appearance by using a Plant/Aquarium bulb, or use
the tube that the strip came with (a Perfecto tube?) which is mostly light in
the red and blue spectrums which plants like. Plant heavy, 12 hours light a
day and 30% water changes a week. 4 otocinlcus cats will help with algae
control.I have a similar setup on a 30" 20 long with a 30watt Vitalight in
the back and a 15 watt Penn-Plax Aquari-lux  in the front.  All the plants
are growing very well. A 30" 20 long is great to start a plant tank since the
light to gravel depth is low, so even stimpy growth in plants fills the tank.

For the 40" thank, I would just but an inexpensive double tube shoplight -
one with the tubes close together so it fits over the glass canopy or
section, and use an inexpensive combo of Daylight and Plant/Aquarium bulbs.

BUT BE WARNED: These recommendations do take into account the interplay of
your tap water characteristics, substrate, and fish load. BE PREPARED FOR A