Join Date: May 2015
Location: british columbia
I am a fan of dirt substrate capped with sand or very small gravel myself. I never had much luck with plants until I started dirted aquariums. Although, the research into setting up may have also helped me understand how to grow plants in an aquarium better as well.
I don't know tons about light, so can't help with that. I know to look for bulbs that are 6500K other than that, I just read a lot on lights I'm planning to choose and how others did with them, then try them :p
Good luck!! Would be cool to be given free aquarium stuff to try