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Onis wrote:

I have four 40W fluorescent bulbs in two fixtures for lighting.  I found
that running all four for 10 hours produced to much algae growth.  I 
installed a second timer so that I could independently control each
and now I run 4 hours of 80W of light followed by 4 hours of 160W
by another 4 hours of 80W of light.  This seems to be about what my tank

Onis, I've made the same adjustment to my 125 gal. with good success.  I
have three sets of lights, all on separate timers.  So I run 11 hrs/day
with 160 watts flourescent.  For 8 hours in the middle of the day, I add
another 55 watts of CF lighting (6700 K bulbs) over the center of the
tank.  And for about 6 hours I add yet another 110 watts of CF along the
front edge of the hood.  

I used to do amateur design of solar collectors for houses and I knew
that the intensity of sunlight varies greatly with the angle of the sun
during the day.  There is much less light available in the mornings and
late afternoons, even on cloudless days.  The effect will be less in the
tropics than the middle lattitudes, but it's still there.  So I imagine
I'm giving my aquarium a bit of the real thing!  The main result is less
algae on the front glass with continued excellent plant growth.  

I've also switched to Tropica MasterGrow rather than PMDD.  I strongly
suspect (but haven't scientifically proven) that there is just too much
iron in PMDD.  I supplement Tropica with epsom salts and K2SO4 and get
really bright good looking growth without much algae.  If I ever get to
thinking a little extra iron might perk things up, I add a dollop of
Kent plant supplement, which is mostly iron.  Never could get quite the
same good results with PMDD (though I only worked at it for about a

Regards, Steve Dixon