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Re: Rip Van Winkle wakes up and is blinded by the light

George Booth, from whom it is always good to hear, said:

> I've been reading all the recent lighting posts and began to
> wonder...
> When did the Rule of Thumb (Lighting) go from "2-3 watts/gallon" to
> "2-4
> watts/gallon"?  (Yes, yes, I know w/g sucks as a useful measure but,
> as
> others pointed out, it's about the only thing most people can use).
I don't recall ever reading the 2-3 wpg version in my short aquatic
plant history, so I can't say when that change happened.  But I think
the fact that folks are putting on 4 wpg with excellent reflectors,
etc. is due more or less to the poor utility of the wpg rule.  It's
rarely printed with a qualification as to type of fluorescent lamp set

Why are people going for 5 wpg?  How else can they get to 6 wpg?  Why
are people going for 5 wpg?  How else can they . . . It might not stop
until plants burn or evaporation exceeds the water supply. ;-)  Some
folks just like to keep pushing, whatever it is.  I suppose at some
point we hear the opposite, folks talking about how little light they
grew amazon swords with ("Hey, I got it down to 1/4 wpg and only have
to prune once every 8 years!").

Some of the discussion about overdriving isn't aimed towards getting 5
wpg or more, but towards getting enough light (even if it's 2-3 wpg)
from lesser or cheaper bulbs than can be done without overdriving.  I'm
sure you are aware of that, I just thought I'd point it out for others
on the list.  All these threads can be hard to follow.

So many things affect how our tanks are doing, it's sometimes hard to
tell what's helping and what's causing problems.  So, we look for any
sensible guidance, including from folks like you.  And when something
gets written down with numbers, the numbers impart an apparent accuracy
and correctness that the use of numbers rarely deserves, in a great
many situations  (Did you believe you take your portfolio manager

Personally, I find 4 wpg with PCs and AH reflectors to be rather
troublesome for my own tanks.  It's nice to hear that I'm falling back
to a better rule of 2-3 wpg.  In the last month, not only have I saved
money on CO2 (I might have more of it in my tanks than I thought thanks
to a revised CO2 calculation) but I can save on electricity now too. 
And have a better tank to boot.

Scott H.

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