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Plants closing:
I tend to agree that the closing of the plants does not necessarily mean they have stopped photosynthesising 1 hour or so before that. But I don't have any scientific base for my view.

Even if the light is still on some plants close anyway. I think it's just common sense to turn the lights off about that time.

Remotely similar to the plants closing at night is the increased bubbling in the afternoon. I have seen tanks that bubble only 30 min after the lights come on in the morning, but the heaviest bubbling that I've seen has always been in the afternoon. So it probably makes sense to tailor the light period or intensity to that natural fluctiations.

The above being said there is an APC member from Asia I believe that has a sump full of aquatic plants that get light only during the night while the plants in the tank get light during the day. From what I understand the plants in the sump are doing well despite the reversed light phases.

That is probably a good example of how well the plants adapt to changing light periods.

Light period too long:
I have an experience that doesn't really lead to any conclusions but it's somewhat interesting. Maybe one conclusion would be that plant tissues need the dark period for proper development.

I set up a 30 gal. tank with 110 watts of CF (3.7 wpg) for a friend of mine. The guy let the lights on 24/7 for about 4 weeks, never turned them off. There weren't any algae at all, after a month the tank was as clean as the day it was set up. But there was not much plant growth either. No fertilization other than the initial 10:1 N:p and some TE.

The only weird thing were the leaves of Hygro corymbosa. The new leaves were long and thin with the looks, color, and transparency of dark green jell-o. Hairgrass and Java Moss hardly grew but were nice green. Hygro polysperma grew mostly down by the substrate, and with normal leaves.

Strong light for a few hours a day:
Do you think that the stem plants would benefit from only MH or HQI as Amano is doing? What about using strong CF lighting instead?

--Nikolay
 
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