So as I'm looking at plant profiles trying to see what I like and what I can get I notice for lighting they say things like high low any etc. I'm told PAR means a lot more to the health of plants than the old watts per gallon rules. So with this said my tank will have between 30-40 PAR I'm told this is as good as it gets for lighting a tank in regards to PAR. so with the right ferts can I keep any plant? Or do the ones that say "high light" still need lots of watts to grow. Cuz I don't know what I am or am not limited to...
I don't think there's really a consensus on what constitutes high, medium, low light regarding PAR yet. It's still a learning process. Right now I go by Hoppy's definition which is:
Low light - 15-30 micromols of PAR - CO2 is not needed, but is helpful to the plants
Medium light - 35-50 micromols of PAR - CO2 may be needed to avoid too many nuisance algae problems
High light - more than 50 micromols of PAR - pressurized CO2 is essential to avoid major algae problems
So according to this definition at 30-40 micromols of PAR you will have around low-medium to medium light. Just curious how you know your tank will have 30-40 PAR? What light fixture are you using?
Not sure what you mean by "I'm told this is as good as it gets for lighting a tank in regards to PAR"
because you can definitely have higher PAR than 30-40. Maybe that's as much as your light fixture is capable of on your tank???
As to which plants you can grow .. sorry I'm not much help so I'll defer to someone more knowledgeable than myself. I went through the same thing & had same problems. I assumed my light output was low so mostly looked at low light plants but most didn't fit my other needs so did buy a couple medium & 1 high light plant. That was before I found this forum and found how how low my light really was. Actually the high light plant was among my fastest growers but realize now that's because it was reaching for the light. It was spindly looking but did retain some of the red color and looked fine to me. Looks healthier now with a bit more light though it doesn't grow nearly as fast. Using it for ground cover plant. LOL But then I've got a cold water tank so nothing is growing much right now.
I'm now around 30 par and I've got plants that are considered good for low light but haven't grown that well for me. Whereas the medium & high light plants do fairly decent. Not as good as they would with higher light but good enough for my low maintenance tank. So that's why I don't really know what to say. If you find some you really like that you're not sure about, you can post here and people will tell you how it does in their tank, under their lighting & other conditions (such as if they use pressurized CO2). I've found user comments far more helpful than what light requirement the retailer recommends.