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Old 01-18-2013, 06:05 AM   #50
plantbrain
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The lighting you have planned is way too much for these plants really, maybe a single 250W MH but it will need to be 20-24" away from those poor plants on the top. The other possible approach is to add Maiden hair ferms and other house plants around the tank to mop up some of the overspray from the lighting. The humidity from 4x4ft of warm water will lead to mold during the winter.

You can use Xmas moss, a weedy moss on the water/air interface, this will provide water and a substrate for the roots growing well above the water line.
It will attach and creep up above and down into the water.

I would create a more bowl shaped planting base, this will prevent the tips from being burnt by the light. T8's work fine for most of these type tanks or T5 at lower ranges, more light is not better, it tends to toast the house plants, that are commonly used, they are mostly all shade plants.

Obviously there's a min threshold, but you are a long way from that.

I would focus more on using natural materials or get real good at covering up anything that looks fake or tacky.
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Tom Barr
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