Originally Posted by Cajun87
I am in the process of getting all of the pieces together to do a low tech planted 30 gal
tank. From what I've been reading here and there you need somewhere around a watt per gallon lighting in the ballpark of 6500k. It looks like i can do that with a couple of 24" NO fluorescent bulbs. I don't live all that close to any pet shops so it would be really convenient to hop over to the hardware store and grab a couple of regular old household 24" bulbs at or around the 6500k spectrum. Is it not recommended to use that type of bulb? What is different about the aquarium bulbs?
If you're keeping low light, slow growing plants in a low tech tank, you can use florescent bulbs from the hardware store. I keep low tech tanks and use shop lights and two GE 6500K bulbs.
I set up a tank yesterday to grow out some floating plants. A shop light and two bulbs was $18.00. This was for a 55 gallon tank. You'll just need a smaller shop light and bulbs. Get a two light fixture. One bulb won't be enough.
You may need to rig the set up a bit, but the lights will be more than enough for the dark green aqauatic plants. These require low or subdued lighting.
You can add a little Seachem's Comprehensive liquid fertilizer if you don't have enough fish in the tank to provide a steady source of fertilizer and change the tank water often to maintain good mineral levels.
The plants should grow very well.