if you plan to get some solid growth on plants, go for 1. LED and 2. Medium - High lights. the "finnex planted+" and "finnex 24/7" are popular on amazon.com . they are medium and up strength lights. prob shoot for $100 or lessI'm not new to growing plants- I have a little bit of experience, but nothing I'm satisfied with. I have several ten gallons with growing plants, just the types I can pick up at stores like amazon swords. I've been in this for a few months and have been doing decently with what I have, but I want to take this several steps up. I just have normal LED lights and I can see my plants' beginning to take stress from the poor lighting.
I'm interested in selling aquatic plants. There is a mom and pop store that will accept stock from me as well as many nearby aquarists in need due to the fact most of our local stores are gone. I'm just aiming for something to help the hobby pay for itself but I don't want to just sell every-day types of plants. I'm interested in growing more advanced or rarer plants on the market in order to get a following, therefore I will be investing quite a lot into these plants initially. I trust my ability with tending to plants. I have a lot of time and a green thumb to devote to this, but what to do for tech is holding me back, especially with the lighting.
I am not sure how all of this works at all- as far as wavelength, spectrum, and all of that stuff goes. I simply know that normal LED's just won't cut it for high-end production. I am starting with a 75-gallon tank in my basement devoted to plants but will expand from there. The amount of lighting on the market has done little more than confuse me with conflicting recommendations. This tank is a standard-sized 48-inch tank. I will have rich substrate, ferts, and injected Co2. The lights I want should be no more than six inches away from the water's surface.
My first priority is quality. I want lights for fast growth, vibrant color, and to create the best quality of plant I can. I'm willing to pay for an investment like this. My initial set of lights needs to be appropriate for plants of varying light requirements but in the future I'm interested in lights specializing in low, mid, and high light varieties which may be separated out to different tanks.
IF possible, however, I would like to stay within a budget. I refuse to sacrifice quality for a lower price, but if there is more of an ad-hock DIY way to make the lights that will do what I want, I would want to hear your suggestions. I don't really care about look, aesthetic, or design, as this is more of a basement fish-rack type set up only focused on practicality.
These lights also need to be safe for fish. Although the tank is intended to grow plants to sell, I can't resist adding community fish to it.