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Re: Light -red plants

> The Question:  I just got an AGA 50 gal which measures 36"x18"x18".  I have
> an AGA fixture consisting of 2 55W compact flourescents for 2.2 W/gal.  I am
> contemplating adding another strip light.  I could add: (i) another 60W in
> the form of 2 30W T-8s, to give me a total of 3.4W/gal; or (ii) one 30W t-8
> (2.8 w/gal); or (iii) one 20W T-12 (2.6W/gal).  I will be using CO2.  The
> folks at the lfs think it would be crazy to add another strip light beyond
> my 2 55W compacts.  What do you folks think, simply from the standpoint of
> whather I'll need more watts?  Which option would you choose?  And yes, I am
> hoping to grow red plants along the line of rotala indica etc.

You can go either way and still grow the plants you want. That's not the
issue so much. How fast might be and also how thick but that's partly a
pruning plant choice issue. If you have say the 6700K PC bulbs or 5000K try
a mix to get a broad range of color temps. I use 2x5000K PC 55 watt with a
Triton 40 watt for a 55 gallon. That's plenty but if you want you can have
more. You could add 2x the light if you wish. You'll have some getting use
to though. It is quite the MYTH that red plants somehow ""need"" more light
than a green plant.

Don't be fooled by this baloney. Many Crypts are red after all. If you keep
your tank "pruned" and too over grown you can grow many/most plants quite
well at 2 watts a gallon. I had many red plants and still do at low levels
beside just Crypts. More light helps the green plants grow better too but
only if you can keep up with the extra CO2, nutrients, pruning etc. Then
there's cost of running more lighting. Does it really help that much? Would
it be better to get another/larger tank instead?
I would add a 30 watt triton myself. That would give nice color and spectrum
balance, not that much extra electric, won't cost too much, good bulb for
plants etc. That's almost 3 watts a gallon which is enough for most any
project and there are PC's on it as well which are a bit more intense and
penetrate deeper. Mainly a color balance, less change in dosing/pruning and
a more even spread of light. One extra bulb won't toss your set up out of
whack much also.
Tom Barr