I recently bought a used 30gal (30"W) aquarium, and I would like to make it a planted tank if I can afford it. I have never done planted before and need some advice.
I've been doing a lot of reading on the subject in the last couple of days, and my head is swimming from all of the information.
My main question has to do with lighting. I would like to try to keep low light plants and would like to know what sort of lighting I should use. Can I use a traditional single bulb fluorescent light strip, or would I need a fixture with two bulbs? I've read about CF bulbs and they seem great, but are a little on the pricey side for me (I am a student on a very tight budget).
For a substrate I was thinking about using coarse sand or maybe coarse sand with a layer of fluorite underneath. Will this work? or can anyone reccommend any other decent, cheap substrate?
I currently have a HOB filter capable of moving up to 150gal/hr. Can I use this for a planted tank? From what I've read, it seems that HOB filters are okay as long as it doesn't agitate the water too much...
Also, is it going to be neccessary to add CO2? I've read about the DIY CO2 methods and I think that would work, but I don't want to have to buy any pricey equipment.
Is there anything else that I'm missing?
Thanks in advance for any help