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more thoughts on light vs volume

Its been a little while now since our discussion spurred by Erik's study
of light use and tank size.  I've cogitated a bit more, and have found two
reasons why smaller tanks might need higher intensity light (on a volume 
basis) than larger tanks. 

	1.  A small tank needs brighter light than a large tank so that 
it will be more eye-catching.  This is a purely aesthetic consideration.  
Small tanks tend to get overlooked unless the light in them grabs the 
viewer's eye.  A large tank is inherently more visible than a small tank, 
so doesn't need the brighter light.

	2.  Small tanks seem to a larger part of their light out their glass
sides.  So in bigger tanks a larger proportion of the available light gets
used by plants and you need to provide relatively less light to get the
same effect on growth.  The effect would be particularly pronounced with
tall tanks.  When you get to really small tanks (less than 10 gallons) the
tanks have to be tall compared to their surface area or there's no room
for plants, and that would exaggerate the effect.

Roger Miller
In Albuquerque, where sultry summer's searing sands seem soon.