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R. macrandra light levels

Steve Rader wrote:

>Fwiw, I recently had dark red R. macrandra crap out in 6-8 weeks
>in a newly setup 10 gal (office tank) with 4.5w/gal (3 * 15 watt):
>it's the only thing that hasn't grown.  Generic Rotala (R. indica,
>I think), Hygro, Jungle Val, two sp. Anubius, Crypt wendtii, narrow
>chain sword and some Melon-sword-like sword are all doing nicely.
>(Although the Val grows way too fast!) 
>Did my R. macrandra have *too* much light?  Other ideas?

No, if you didn't burn your other plants, I'm sure your R. macrandra didn't
get "too much" light per se.  OTOH, R. macrandra is a _VERY_ fast growing
plant under high light conditions, so needs more nutrition when you force
its growth with strong light.  I suspect that it would be the first of the
plants you mentioned to show a nutrient deficiency.  

There is really no reason for light levels that high.  I don't know of any
plants that really benefit from more than 3w/g.  It just cost more money to
run, and means you have to find a way to disipate more heat.  Most of the
plants you have chosen will quickly outgrow a 10G tank even with 3w/g if
they are receiving adequate nutrition as well.  As with everything else in
aquatic gardening, more is not necessarily better.

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Association