I am new to this forum and I have been reading up on lighting, I am a bit overwhelmed by it all.
I have a 55.Gal tank I just finished up the hood and added Co2. I have about 9 or 10 plants they look ok but I think they could look better. I am using the original lighting fixtures that came with the tank ( 15 inch bulb length)
I replaced the bulbs 8 month ago with 2 15 watt grow bulbs to help the plants.
I want to use 2 or 3 (36 inch) fluorescent bulbs staggered to get the most light I can. I don't think 48 inch bulbs will fit. it would be tight end to end.
I have a community tank with about 22 small fish and a 10 inch pleco.
So the questions is : what size ballets should I use and that type bulbs should I use. I have read you should have about 2 to 2 1/2 watts per gal. of lighting. Please keep in mind I am working on a budget so the latest and greatest is not an option. What am I looking at in terms of cost where can I get the parts, also is theur a diagram showing how to put it all together. I am a handy person so as long as I have a plan to go by im ok.