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Red light, green light
Pardon the long winded rambling, but I am feeling expressive today.
I was responding to a rec.aq.fw.plants posting yesterday when a stray
neutron entered my head, rattled around for awhile and sparked an
The poster was complaining about the supposed marketing hype regarding
Amano's "NA" [Nature Aquarium] bulbs, to whit, that green wavelengths
are beneficial to plant growth.
We all "know" that only red and blue wavelengths are of any real use,
based on ancient studies of photosynthetic algae, which naturally
apply to anything even remotely plant-like. [note my sarcasm, here]
It was also pointed out, and perhaps mentioned in this forum once or
twice, that the reason plant leaves appear green is because they
reflect green light and absorb red and blue light. I would assume the
implication here is that ALL wavelenths of green-ish light are
reflected, no matter the actual shade of green involved in the leaf
color. And, by logical inference, therefore, green light is useless
for any plant growing endeavor and fools like myself are simply
wasting our money when we pay $25 for tri-phosphor bulbs rich in green
wavelengths like PennPlax Ultra Tri-Lux. "Yes, they have more lumens,
but the extra lumens are in the green band. They may look extra bright
to your eyes and to your highly touted luxmeter but the plants could
It was further pointed out that bulbs emitting strong green
wavelengths would actually make sick plants look healthy, thus
deceiving the tri-phosphor cognoscente into thinking our plants are
healthy and vibrant when in actuality they are rotting before our
"Uh-huh", thought I, "well, well, what about plants with RED leaves?
I guess they aren't reflecting green light, are they? They might
actually be refecting God's Own red light! They might even THRIVE
with strong green light!". You know, plants like Rotala spp..
Alternanthera spp., Ammania spp., Ludwigia spp., etc.
So, any comments? I mean about green wavelengths being useful to
plants with red leaves, not about my ponderous prose.
George, on the verge of a new marketing campaign