The short answer is Yes. You can grow algae with just a flourescent bulb. The growth rate and types of algae depends on the amount of light.
light is used to kill bacteria and other organisms floating around in the water and is a bad thing for living organisms (that's why you use sunblock when your at the beach or the pool).
There are may different types of lighting you can use: NO, T-5's, VHO
Also Plants for SW
You would want more intense lighting if you wanted to keep corals.