Ok here goes... (I hope this will be in the right section!)
I am coming up with my tank plan... This will be my first REAL attempt at a solid freshwater tank. Don't have anything for it yet, because I am waiting to buy till I know what all I need. I am on to the lighting phase now.
Here is what I have so far in the plan:
Tank- Standard 40 breeder
Stand- DIY plywood stand
Filtration- Fluval 406, DIY spray bar to spread the flow
Heat- Hydor 200 ETH inline heater
Substrate- Either Eco Complete, or ADA new amazonia aqua soil... or a mix of both!
Now for the lighting... I am thinking I can use the Finnex Ray 2, but here are my only doubts. As I will be pretty darn new to freshwater, I am wanting to go semi low-tech. I say semi low-tech because I don't want to get into co2 quiiiiite yet. (Fiance has some say in that lol.) I don't want to go COMPLETELY low tech though to the point of nothing but water and plants and hope for the best. I am wondering if I can get away with the Ray 2, and dose flourish excel to add the carbon needed by the plants in hopes to prevent some algae. Also, I'm figuring I can go for the Ray 2 over say the fugeray as I can always reduce light, but can't always increase it. I can hang it to raise above the tank, or use a diffuser of some sort from the hardware store to bring it down a bit.
What do you guys think?
CO2 is the best thing you can do for your tank.
If you will not be adding CO2 then do not increase light at all.
The problem here is you are investing in a nice light.
If you invest in a nice light you will either have to change your light or add another.
I highly recommend you work on getting a simple CO2 setup into the mix. Take a peek at GLA and see what your options are. I decided on a 5lb tank under my stand and the Primo regulator setup.
I have 3" of Eco-Complete in my 75G and I am not totally impressed. I hear a lot of great things about AquaSoil but I read if you cycle Miracle Gro for a while that is do-able also, and for a much lower price. Both have a higher than normal ammonia cycle but it seems to pay off.