You confuse me a little with the lighting. if I have the equivalent of 80W NO flourescent - that puts me at less than 1 WPG?
Apologies, my Thinking was Faulty on that.
Of course... that does kinda get out of the paramaters of a 'Low Tech Tank'. LOL
Maybe so, but it still offers the benefits of "Low-Light"--which is what I think most people looking at "Low-Tech" are actually seeking: Low Setup and Operational Costs/Maintenance/Hassle:
As fancy as these 3+WPG tanks are, I really can't afford to give 1/2 hour every other day in maintenance, not to mention purchasing a $300 light.
On a 55g, 2 1g jugs of DIY C02 should be no problem, unless its just more work than You want to keep up with. It should not gas Your fish and should put out enough C02 to prevent BBA. And with the Low- Light you should only need to dose about once/wk and WC about every 2 wks or so.....
I like the low tech - just wish I could have the benefits fo a high tech!
There Ya go......Re-read above. On my tanks: Maintenance is less, Dosing is less, WCs are less, but they are still beautiful, algae-free and grow the plants at a slow steady rate. "Low-Tech" / "Low-Light": Mostly semantics. Not completely, but Mostly.
Oh, and another help might be to run two co2 reactors. I have two on my 55 and start them 2 weeks apart... that way I have a much less significant variation of co2 when I have to re-start one.
That's the Ticket. Just use 1g Gatorade/Mott's Apple Juice/Etc jugs. I use: 6 cups sugar, 1 Tbsp Baking soda and 1/2 Tsp. yeast.
but it might be good to check the kelvins available and costs of lights.
Sound Advice. The SCFs are available at Walmart in "Sunlight" which is 6,700K--they would work fine. But, if you go with the CF, its the Watt output that counts--Not the equal to. 26w=100w incadescent--Its the 26w that counts.
2. Add 2 Compact FL 15 watt screw in type bulbs
You can always consider the 13w kits at AHSupply.com. Since You are building Your own hood--The cost shouldn't be too bad.
I use some SCF and they work.
You may also want to consider what plants You choose.....Fast-growing stem plants are always going to be more work than slower growers. Plants that don't grow as Tall--generally require less pruning/maintenance/effort.
Hope this Helps