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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V3 #189

Subject: Re: Nothing under the gravel

George wrote:

>I have no trouble believing a substrate free of additives will support

<very big snip>

>The high tech approach is [un]naturally better "balanced" since we
actively do 
>the balancing by throwing money at the problem.  WE control the pH, WE
>the nitrates, etc. 

_Excellent_ post, George, you've out done yourself both in diplomacy and


>Subject: Metal Halide
>    Good evening! I was curious; is there a vast difference between metal
>halide bulbs other than the wattage? I guess what I want to know is if there
>is a "wrong" metal halide to buy. And, most people say that to have a
>successful planted tank you need to have at least 2 watts/gallon. However,
>the lumens that a metal halide produces is at least 4 times the amount of
>any incandescent or fluorescent bulb. So, does the same 2 watts/gallon still
>have to be adhered to? Thanks.

Actually MH and fluorescents are nip and tuck when it comes to lumens per
watt.  Normal fluorescents are slightly lower, energy efficient T-8's are
slightly higher.  All are _far_ superior to incandescent.

And, yes, the 2w/g guideline does pertain to MH's too.


Subject: hard water / peat substrates

>I recently read that the addition of peat would render
>the chart many people use to determine CO2 concentration
>by measuring water hardness and pH to be inaccurate. This
>makes sense, because peat moss only lowers pH and not
>water hardness... doesn't it? 

It does both.  But it is the fact that it releases humic acids (thereby
lowering the pH) that interferes with the charts.


Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Association