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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V2 #1078

Subject: Lights and List Questions
Ken Guin wrote:

>You are the second person who has told me to go to the archives before I ask
>questions on the list.  I DID go to the archives. While there were a lot of
>QUESTIONS on the list and the archives concerning VHO ballasts, there are
>very few NO ANSWERS.  I see that a lot on the list - QUESTIONS but NO
>ANSWERS. I guess the ones with the experience just get burned out after

Did it ever occur to you that PERHAPS no one on the list _has_ an answer?
I know that at least three of the most experienced people on the list who
post regularly (and have given freely of their time on a _long term basis)
do not use either VHO's or CF's.  What would you have us all do?  Everytime
someone posts on some new idea that we have no experience with, we should
each post that we are very sorry, but we haven't spent an extra $700-$800
to experiment with yet one more form of lighting?

I've been around here for a long time, and from what I've seen, these are
the most common reasons a message doesn't get answered:

1.  Nobody has anything useful to say.  NONE of us have experience with
every doodad that comes along.  This is not "Consumer Reports".

2.  It's been covered at least 50 times in the past. (although you'll
usually get someone pointing that fact out)

3.  The person has posted at a time when there are a _huge_ number of posts
coming through daily.

4.  The person has posted at the beginning of a long weekend or busy
holiday period.

>I know it looks like many things have been answered on the list, but if you
>look closely, I believe there are a lot more questions than answers.

Gee.  That's very profound.  Sounds like a statement on life to me!<joke>  

I've been doing this for an awfully long time, and the more I learn, the
more questions I have.  I don't _only_ hang around this list to give free
advise, I also continue to learn as we work through problems collectively.

The bottom line on lighting is (and I'm _sure_ this is in the archives):

If it's bright enough, it will work.  As far as whether it's cost effective
or not, that's something only the individual can decide.  In terms of
energy and relamping costs, VHO's aren't even in the running.  Energy
efficient T8's get the prize, followed by MH's, which are a very close
second and have some other very desireable atributes in certain circumstances.

If you _still_, knowing the above, want to use VHO's, go ahead and become
the list expert.  We'll happily turn new questions over to you!<g>

From another post from Ken to George:

>Please understand my disappointment when I ask for help and all of
>a sudden no one seems to have ever heard of Icecap VHO ballasts or Aquasuns.

You seem to confuse HEARING about something with having EXPERIENCE with
something.  I think most of us see that ads in the magazines.  Most of us
also know that a lot of what you read in ads is hype.  Most of the people I
know who use VHO's are reef people, and even there, at least among my
friends, most people prefer MH's.


Subject: small vall sp.

>Okay I check the archive, and could not dig anything up. I have gone
>through a few books, but so far the info I want is not present.
>What are some vallisneria sp. that areon the smaller size. I
>have a 30g tank, and would like something that only grows to about
>16 inchs, give or take a few inchs. I don't mind it laying on the surface
>some, but the last bunch I picked up ended up covering about 6 inchs
>on the surface and I was losing plants. Oh well, hope to get some info

The height of Vals is very much dependent on the conditions in the tank.
I've seen short-ish Vals, but they have tended to be in low light, non CO2
supplemented tanks.  The other problem is that it is _very_ difficult to
get a correct scientific name for commercially available Vals.  They
usually are sold with un-helpful names like "Italian Val." or "Crystal
River Val."  

Baensch lists V. gracilis as up to 16", but it's from Australia, so I doubt
it's available commercially here.  V. Americana is listed to 9 3/4", in
Baensch, and is specifically suggested for shorter tanks.  If you can find
it listed by species name, this might be worth a try.

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Association