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Karen's 100 gal tank
I can't answer all the questions but I'll take a stab at this one:
How high do the lights have to be to avoid burning the emergent plants?
It depends upon the plants but I think you will be fine if you have the
fixture above 12" from the water surface. Generally they go 12-18"
above. The easiest plant to grow emergent is Bacopa which doesn't dry
out at all. Ludwigia also easily grows emersed with only minor drying
out of the first emergent leaves. Java fern grows emersed but if the
water level fluctuates (as it inevitably does) the tips of the leaves
tend to get a bit dried out. Hygrophila stricta was difficult to grow
emerged because the leaves are quite thin and prone to drying. This had
nothing to do with being close to the light. The only time I have seen
plant leaves "burn" was with Ceratopteris growing in 2 gal tanks under
glass where the leaves were only an inch or so below 20 watt compact
fluorescent bulbs. Even with the high humidity under the glass, the
emergent plant leaves could get hot enough from the fluorescent to brown
Steve in Vancouver where its HOT!