| | South Florida Aquatic Plant Club
Been away for a while due to house guests, but I'm back now.
I absolutley think this Club is a great idea.
While one can spend a lot of money on fancy equipment for planted tanks, and Lord knows I have, it doesn't have to be so.
Tanks can be purchased used, plants are almost free here in South Florida, which just leaves lighting and CO2 as the biggest issues cost wise.
Flourescent fixtures in NO T-12 at 48inch lengths are as low as $7.00 at the Depot or Lowe's for a double tube rig with the econo bulbs priced in the $2.00 range. Buy just the endcaps and with only some basic wiring skills one can rig up a T-12 or better yet T-10 light canopy which will provide decent illumination for several tanks in the 20gal sizes.
In spite of all the warnings about letting natural sunlight hit your tanks, I've got several going outside which apparently haven't read those articles. They are doing fine with amazing plant (and fish) growth. Ditto my ponds. After all, we're often the envy of the nation climate wise - why not take full advantage of what Mother Nature freely offers us? I can see light tubes directed into large aquariums as being a totally viable, economically worthwhile, distinct possibility down here
Long term, there's a lot to be said for lower light tanks anyway -- less maintenance, less algae issues, happier fish, lower electric bills. In spite of my facination with stem plant stars like Lud. inclinata and Eusteralis, some of my favorite set-ups rely heavily on Crypts, Java Ferns and Anubias; all of which need no more light than 2 watts per gal - max. Maybe even less.
CO2 can be had cheaply with the DIY sugar and yeast generators.
At our first open house meeting at my crib - I'll demonstrate. Plant trade to follow!
bobo in West Palm