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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V3 #537


Check out www.thekrib.com/Plants/Tech/Lighting to see an interesting
discussion on lighting levels.  In my limited experience, it seems
pretty accurate.  I believe it is possible to have too much light.  I
currently have a 60 gallon (48x16x18, I think) with 260 watts of
flourescents (2 VHO full spectrum, 1 NO, all 48 inch, run by an Icecap
660, mounted in a DIY hood) and it is too much, even with added CO2
(15-20 ppm) and trace elements.  My plants, especially wisteria seem
to like to grow out, rather than up, leaving me with sections of tank
bare at the top.  Some of my crypts are doing wonderfully, but others
I am getting limited growth out of since I added the lights.  Also, I
am having a hard time finding plants that will stay green under my
lights.  Even my Giant Hygro and Madagascar Lace plants are turning
red at the tips.  My Rotala Rotundifolia is almost entirely red.  Part
of this may be that the NO tube I am using is a Coralife 50/50 bulb,
and the added blue and UV radiation may be causing some of the
problems I am having.  More than anything, I think you have to decide
your light levels based on the kinds of plants you want to grow.

As far as types of lighting, I have been very happy with my
fluorescents, both NO and VHO.  It doesn't cost much to run, is very
flexible, as far as size, wattage, and spectrum, and produces an
acceptable amount of heat.  My Icecap ballast is wonderful.  It runs
cool, doesn't make the bulbs blink 45 times before starting, and will
power basically any fluorescent I would ever want to use.  If I were
going to do things over, I would seriously look into power compacts
and T-8s.  Sylvania has come out with some 48" T-8 plant bulbs that
would be ideal for your setup.  I am currently looking into MH or
MH/PC mix for a 100 gal I am assembling equipment for but don't know
very much about them.

I also have a couple of questions.  On the 100 gallon I am setting up
(60x18x20), if I use 2 175 watt MH pendants, will I end up with dark
corners?  I will also be using them over an acrylic tank, so will I
have problems with the top sheet reflecting back too much light?  What
are people's experiences with this type of light?  Thanks in advance.

Justin Collins

> ------------------------------
> Date: Fri, 25 Sep 1998 08:31:47 -0500
> From: "Beard, Kelly" <KBeard at comdata_com>
> Subject: Next project


> What kind of lighting would you recommend for a tank this size?  I
guess the
> standard dimensions for a 74 gallon are 48 x 18 x 21.  Does the
gallon vs
> watt rule apply here or are there different considerations?  If the
> watts/gallons rule applies, I guess I would have to shoot for
225-300 watts
> of lighting.
> Some of you have tanks at least this large.  I'd like some
descriptions of
> your lighting, high-tech or not, if it is working well for you. 
Include as
> much trivial info that you can (bulb lengths, color, VHO or MH,
> hood, shop lights, pendant, etc, etc, etc).
> "Take me out tonight where there's music and there's people who are
> and alive".
> - -- Morrissey
> Kelly Beard, Cat IV, Team Allanti
> President, Allanti Cycling Club - http://www.allanti.com 
> Race in Tennessee - http://www.tbra.org/98-road.shtml 
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