- excellent choice for a tank. If the 40g long I'm using now weren't free (friend's abandoned tank), 40breeder was my first choice.
- great choice for substrate. Try a black background on the tank and you'll be amazed on how the colors of the plants and fish will stand out. Of course if you don't like it you can just take off the background
- I admire people with woodworking skills, how I wish I had the time, tools, space/place, and patience for this.
As for your light, 156W is sure a lot of wattage, I'm guessing this is a 4x39W.
- Does the bulbs come with separate parabolic reflectors? If not, you may want to look into DIYing this so as to get as much light from the bulbs into
the tank and not wasted on restrike with the neighboring bulbs.
- How many power cords does it have? If it has 2 power cords (each cord powering 2 bulbs), you can run them on separate timers, 2 bulbs on throughout the photoperiod, the other only on for a few hours in the middle of the photoperiod (something like a mid-day blast). If there is only one power cord, you might be able to DIY it into 2 separate (not sure, I believe it depends on the fixture's wiring) cords.
....or just run all on throughout the photoperiod....but remember, more light means more CO2 and ferts needed to maximize plant growth and minimize algae madness.
I'm sure everyone will tell you to stock it up with as much fast growing stem plants from the get-go to minimize the initial algae blooms, and then just slowly replace them with the plants that you want.
Oh, if your tank is that close to the bed, expect your bed to get wet several times....and you might want to be careful with non-sleep activities with the bed, specifically those that involve movement that might cause water from your tank to splash out