Good question! I haven't set the tank up yet. It will be located in a very sunny room, my "plant room" as it gets full sun (south-southwest exposure and I have sheer white drapes).
I am in the process of digging out my old hood and deciding about light. The plants I bought (arriving next week) are all mid-level in terms of light. The tank will be in front of the west-facing window.
I am following the advice to not even think about adding fish for at least 1 month, and then, just one guppy or platy. I figure it will give me a chance to see how the plants are doing, how much algae, etc. so I can adjust the light from there. Any suggestions will be helpful!
At this point your 2 key points to get right are lighting and circulation. Doubt very seriously your filtered window light will grow much of anything on its own. At bare minimum youíll probably need a dual bulb t8 fluor. strip on a timer set for like 9am-3pm cycle to supplement it.
Circulation. Get this wrong and your whole tank will suffer. In a 29gal youíll need 1 output top right blowing a nice rippling current, you donít want huge water drop off causing huge amounts of bubbles (which actually drives off co2 from your water much like putting a air stone in tank), just a nice brisk ripple of water surface movement kind like a light rapids. This will sweep water around and down front glass and across your substrate bed right to left. Then back left of tank add a 2nd med flow nozzle or water circulator blowing down back glass left to right.
Your setting up a lightly brisk rotating roller coaster current in tank that will sweep gases and nutrients around and into gravel bed, making little micro currents through substrate. In a tank like this, it is one of the most important things to get right from start. In a low maintenance planted tank like your going for maintaining the substrate health is critical, it is the most important filter in your tank.
Set up right, once plant roots get situated in gravel and itís all functioning properly when you get fish load to plant load balanced in it can be a almost self sustaining ecosystem. The huge surface area of a substrate bed has way more biological processing power than your foam block etc in filters, and it does it right where plants roots are, ready to uptake it.
Usually for type tank your doing I still prefer just using a more common blast sand type substrate mostly. 1mm+ sized. Usually lay down layer of fluorite clay/blast sand 50/50 mix about 1/2-3/4Ē thick on bottom. Lightly pepper surface of that with peat pellets or coco peat to get touch of organic matter in substrate then cap it with 1.5-2.5Ē of blast sand.
Itís easy to plant and some of the specialized plant substrate can be a little to abrasive for stuff like Cory cats and loaches to root around in. It can also save you a load of cash and perform just as well as more expensive stuff.