I was told that the bulbs were T8s but my friend could have been wrong. As for plants I know I have some crypto's not sure what kind but they are doing fine I dont think I could kill it if I tried. I also have some wisteria, and java fern that is not doing well. also some plants I got for free from a friend a petco, here they just toss them out once they get algae on them but I have some oto cats so they clean them up nice. I also have eco complete.