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going to sound like a complete tard here but do i need to pay for those expensive specialist light like cost £25 for a 30 inch i use power glo, could i just use normal lights that you buy for home light tubes?
 

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You can. The ordinary cool white are 4200K and you won't like the color of the tank, all green. Warm white is 3000K and would turn everything yellow, even worse. If you can find 5000-6500K you would like the look just fine.
 

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Yes, plants grow fine with any kind of light as long as there's UV. Look for aquarium / full spectrum plant grow lights, but at 30" you might only have soft white and cool white, which are 3000 and 4200k.
 

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Kathyy and caoder are right, you don't have to pay for expensive tubes at an aquarium store. There are fluorescent tubes available for less that will do well.

When browsing your local store for fluorescent lights tubes, look for types with names that include words like "sunlight", "full spectrum", "natural". Then check the specification on the package for colour temperature in the range of 5,000K to 6,500K. These are in the range that provide the most light energy absorbed by the plants. 6,500K is preferred, and 5,000K will do, as well.

I use Philips brand, brought at a home improvement store (Home Depot, here is USA), with a colour temperature about 5,000K and grow plants pretty well.
 
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