Your Lighting Question
I avoid the more light demanding plants and use 48 inch, 6,500 K T8s in my taller tanks and T12s in the wider tanks. The local hardware store carries a GE Aquarium Plant bulb that's about $10.00. They'll last well over a year. I've used these in my tanks for several years and plants grow fine.
Don't forget two important things in addition to the proper lighting: Large, frequent water changes to keep the mineral levels high. Standard filtration will remove the minerals over time.
I also dose the trace elements weekly, when I do my water changes. The macro nutrients I leave up to the fish.
"Fear not my child, just change the tank water."