Thanks for that I info I will adjust the timer then I thought it was one hour before and one hour after the lights. Not sure if I will have both the higher watt light and the lower watt light off at the same time or not. I need more plants though I am not sure if my swords will die off or not. I do not think I will order plants unless I get overnight shipping. I think 7 days in Texas put a lot of stress on the plants.
To answer you about the livestock I am not sure. Probably just plants. Or a few tiger or black ruby barbs. 12 or so should probably be ok But I am not going to worry about until I can figure out how to grow a plant or two.
I stagger all my lighting. My CO2 comes on at 7am first fixture comes on at 815. Then second fixture at 945. The second fixture is very dim. The C02 shuts off at 4pm and first fixture shuts off at 5pm. The 2nd dim fixture stays on until 8pm for viewing, but it's really dim.
With a decent substrate and a few root tabs and light fert dosing your plants will grow very quickly. Swords, crypts, ferns, and mosses are all very good growers with C02. Stems are a little more complicated sometimes with the exception of Bacopa Caroliniana. That's a good one to have. It's quite frankly is just a perfect stem that doesn't lose its lower leaves and fills in nicely on its own.
I would suggest cherry barbs if you want barbs as some of the others can be nippy. Cardinal Tetras are gorgeous and despite being common they are role model inhabitants. Once you get comfortable you'll want some interesting livestock. Don't limit your choices by using nippy barbs.
A school of 20 Cardinal Tetras, 10 of the same species of Cory, and a pair of Apisto's will keep you entertained for the foreseeable future without some of the common aggression or other factors that take the joy from this hobby. Check out some YouTube videos. I'm doing Apisto's, Cardinals, and Corys in one of my 75 gallons and I'm going to turn my 150 into something similiar.
The plants will struggle in the beginning and you will battle algae and diatoms. It's just the way things are. I had my hands in the tank brushing off diatoms and algae and moving things around 3 times a day for the first 2 months these tanks were set up.p