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Re: low light

With all the piping up of newbies (to which I belong) with their success
stories of low lighting, I thought I would throw in my 2 cents.
I run a 40 long with 40 watts.  I too must trim weekly or the tank gets a
bushy, overgrown appearance.  Admittedly, I do not grow the most challenging
of specimens but they include rotala, ludwigia, heteranthera, java moss,
banana plant, riccia, hydrocotyl, 2 apo's, and a sword.  Hygrophila used to
be present but I could not keep it trimmed back so I just removed it.  I use
kitty litter topped with sand and water change with straight RO.  My pH runs
6.5 and the water has little hardness to it.  I spike the substrate with
Hoagland's  nutrient solution (mainly for hydroponics use) and never put any
nutrients (except fish food) in the water column.  I do have many fish
(mostly Corydoras--any cory enthusiasts write me!!!) which probably aids in
N and CO2.  I used to use DIY CO2 and got a growth increase but it caused me
to have to prune more so I discontinued.
I believe one critical factor is the short stature of my long tank.  A
friend has duplicated my methods exactly but with a 30 tall and he has
trouble just keeping his plants alive.

I would like to construct a full wooden hood and mount up to 160 watts of
lights with remote ballasts and end caps (all of which I have already) but I
am afraid to mess with something that works.  I am glad to read on this
forum stories of other newbies who appear to have low light success.  In
closing, this is a wonderful list and I have learned massive amounts of
info.  Thanks to everyone who puts in hard work, thought, and energy.

Dennis J. Harney
Miami University Botany Dept.