re: newbie and confused
Thanks for the replies. I think I understand the basic concept of par ratings. But not the exactpractical application. My tank is 18" deep. My lights are directly on top of the glass top so I think it is safe to assume that they are. About 19.5" from the bottom of the tank. That being said my substrate is about 2-4 inches thick front to back so I guess the distance is about 17" in front sloping to 15" towards the back. Most of my plants are small and planted in front half of the tank so well say an average of about 16" from the substrate. I could not find the par rating for any of my lights online or on the box. I found several forum discussions with links saying they had a list of the info but none of them went to the actual info.
Specifically I have a 17 w aqueon floramax t8 and an aqueon t5 ballast running a t5 daylight 6700 bulb and a t5 colormax bulb. Both are supposed to be 18 watts. I will tryto call the manufacturer tomorrow but I'm going out on a limb to suggest that the info night be hard to find? Based on what I've got (I assume these are common bulbs since I got them at pet smart and see them at all the specialty shops) does it sound like I might have some over kill? The light seems very bright to me in the tank and the fishies kinda wigged out for I put the lights on. Or for great plant growth is very bright light needed?
As far as the unknown leafy plant goes maybe stem plant was a wrong choice of words. I don't know if that's what it qualifies as or not. They do have roots. I do give the them liquid plant food as well as I put the flourish tablets in the substrate. The co2 intimidates me, i admit it. It seems that it can be very pricy to do it right and I have kids. That I can see getting into a diy one.