12-20-2006, 10:24 PM
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In my 35+ years in the hobby I have found that quality of lighting has a resounding effect on plant growth not necessarily the number of watts or the brightness of the bulb. You obviously have found the balance. However, as you add plants that tend to grow lower(pygmy chain swords, ect) you may want to increase the intensity. Keep in mind, however, that the spectrum of light must NOT be compromised for the sake of intensity. By using glass canopies in lieu of traditional black plastic hoods, one can easily add an extra light thereby increasing the lumens used. Lumens is a number used to inform one of the intensity or brightness of a light bulb. The higher the number, the brighter the light.
I'm glad to see more aquarists using live plants again. It is not much different in theory than keeping fish. All you need to do is meet the requirements needed to keep'em healthy.