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Old 12-05-2012, 08:45 AM   #6
lochaber
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My first tank back in college was real similar to what you are planning.

daylight compact fluorescent bulbs in an incandescent hood, lined the hood with aluminum tape.

used kitty-litter for the substrate. I may have thrown some peat, vermiculite, and laterite in there as well, but that was so long ago I can't remember.

Things turned out pretty well, especially considering it was my first tank.

I think the oildry would probably work better then the kitty litter I used.

And painting the hood white is probably a better (and cheaper) way to increase reflection.

You could probably get daylight CFL bulbs at a lowes/home depot for a fraction of what they cost in the fish store.

Don't worry too much about screwing up, there isn't much you can do that you won't be able to correct/work around, and you'll learn in the process.
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