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Re: leggy, now old lights

> (Rachel was wondering why all her plants are leggy.
> Adam & Tom asked about macro & traces dosage, etc)
> Ok I've followed this entire thread with interest but
> am surprised nobody commented on this:

There's a good reason why I did not.
>> The tank is a standard 72, not unusually deep. The
>> tubes are about 18 months old. There is canister
>> CO2, which I forgot to mention - that's why the pH
>> is where it is.
> I thought regular tubes are good for 6 mths & PC for
> 12 mths.  So your 4x55W PC will have very little
> intensity left after 18 mths!

No, they have more than enough light(3w/gal there). I have PC's, they are
around 5 years old. Nothing's wrong with my plants.

Good reflectors, electronic ballast, more compact aquarium adaptable light,
etc all add a great deal more initial light to start with. Companies now
routinely sell folks PC's with lots light for many FW plant aquariums as
stock set ups. That seldom happened 10 years prior.

All the light advice seems to take about 10 years or so to
re-evaluate/reassess the reality of what's happening now, not problems
encountered ten years ago. But the same advice does not apply to different
bulbs, ballast, reflectors etc.
Folks simply could not get that much FL under the hoods unless customized
back then. LFS's tend not to do that type of work for customers. So most
folks had either to DIY or did not have lots of light.
PC's came along and many LFS's started selling these for Reef and SW tanks
which constitute a good chunk of their business. FW plant tanks got caught
up in there as well.

Years ago there was a trend to have 1.5 to 2 watts a gallon of lighting and
all that was around was standard T-12's mostly tar ballast, VHO tar ballast,
and MH's tar ballast.
Good reflectors were not common.

A drop off of a few %, when you have less light like this can really effect
things. But back then less was known about nutrients so many times the
finger was pointed at the lights when it was something else. Triton bulbs
last quite a long time and drop about 90% total over their life and go until
they burn out.

I've grown plants at pretty low watt lighting. Anything 2w/gal or above is
not going to cause any issue. Now the spread where the light falls might
cause some plants not to get enough light while others might, but this is
not the case with the 72 with 220w 4x55w.

The issue is more in the nutrient/CO2 area and routine maintenance.
It is seldom ever in the light area unless there's simply not enough.
That's not the case here or even remotely close. Good reflectors, electronic
ballast, young bulbs.

> Sounds like you're dosing a ton of nutrients & CO2 but
> giving them crappy lighting.  No?

Nothing wrong with this lighting set up.
Please send me your "old" 12 month bulbs.

I'll be happy to show you plants that are non leggy using them also.
My bulbs are 5+ years old. My plants are not the least bit leggy.

Tom Barr