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Re: Plants and Light.

> Date: Thu, 29 Jan 1998 15:01:33 -0330
> From: lsp at nf_sympatico.ca
> I have mostly 20 gallon tanks with a single 15 watt fluorescent tube in
> each hoods, separated from the water surface by a pane of glass. Now I
> KNOW that's not nearly enough to grow even the most hardy of water
> weeds, let alone some of the really nice ones. Or is it?.....
> A couple of questions, I don't have answers to, but I'd like to know...
> 1. What can I grow in a tank with a 15 watt Aqua-glo tube? Beside
> scraggly water sprite?

Java moss, Java fern, hornwort, duckweed maybe Vallisneria, Aponogeton, 
crypts, Echinodorus (sword plants), Limnobium laevigata (frogbit), several
Hygrophilas... The stuff before the "maybe" grows for me in a 15 gallon
tank with a 7w compact fluorescent, and the stuff after the "maybe" I
grow in 15 gallons with 20 watts of light.

If you have a lot of tanks, you might consider setting up 4' shoplights
to serve two tanks at once.  Btw, you can get used 4' fixtures for a buck
or two from wreckers, if expense is an issue.

Write to me in the spring and I'll send you at least some Java moss, Java
fern, frogbit and hornwort, ok?

> 2. Does the pane of glass interfere with the transmission of vital
> components of the light source. I know that glass windows absorb, or
> deflect UV rays. Is there another, more useful material, such as
> plexiglas?

Glass absorbs some of all wavelengths, but you mostly lose light transmission
from dust on top and algae and hard water deposits on the underside, so it's
a good idea to wash the glass periodically.  Plexi transmits less light
than glass, and tends to absorb more blue frequencies, especially as it
ages (it yellows).  It also scratches so easily that you lose transparency
that way too.  Unless it's pretty thick, it sags.  Plants grow quite well
under artificial light and under glass.