I'm like you in my knowledge of lighting. But, if you're interested in low to moderate light plants, and there are a lot of them, all you need is to get bulbs that mimic natural sunlight or 5500 K
light. 6500 K
bulbs are recommended for growing most aquatic plants.
Lighting really is fairly simple if you're not planning on growing demanding plants. If you use 6500 K
, T8s and have lighting in the 1 to 2 watts per gallon range, you can grow plants that require low to moderate light.
I have several 55 G tanks and grow Java fern, Anubias, Cryptocoryne, varieties of Amazon sword, Onion plant, Peace lily, Water Wisteria, Dwarf Hygro, Indian Fern, Pennywort and several others I can't recall. I use one, 6500 K
, T8, 32 watt bulb in each tank.
The lights are extremely inexpensive. A pack of three 48 inch bulbs at Lowe's is about $10.00.
Again, if you're interested in a well planted tank with minimal lighting, just let me know. I'm never too busy to chat about the low light, low tech area of plant keeping.