Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
For my 20 gallon standard shaped tanks I found I needed 2 bulbs when I used T-12. I used one 'Plant and Aquarium' and one 'Daylight'.
The plants use a lot of the wavelengths supplied by the plant specific bulb, but it did not light the tank as well as I liked. Some of the fish, especially orange ones looked funny. The Daylight bulb has some wavelengths the plants use, and a lot that humans see the most, so that corrected the odd colors, and supplied a little more for the plants.
You could keep a school of Tiger Barbs (up to about 10) or fewer (perhaps 6) and add some Cories. It is rare that Tiger Barbs attack Cories, and once you get some plants going there will be some cover for the Cories. I would not get the Albinos, though. Get the Pepper Cories, they are better camouflaged.
If they are available, get Pentazona Barbs. They are a bit smaller than Tiger Barbs, and a lot less nippy. Then you could get a dozen, plus the Cories.