For a standard 10 gallon tank, with no CO2
etc. Two standard fluorescent "hood lights" for a ten gallon would be perfect. That is, 2x of the 15watt standrd fluorescents. Two will fit side by side nicely on top of a ten gallon. They will grow most any common plant, and not be so much light that you need CO2
I have 2 ten gallon tanks.
One, has 52watts of CF
, Special substrate, Lots of ferts and 50% weekly PWC
. This tank take lots of maintanence. And is very hard to keep algae under control. That said, I grow some of the most demanding and difficult high light plants in there with alot of success. Blyxa, Eriocaulon, Downoi etc. This tank cost me over $500 to set up.
My other 10 gallon, has 2 standard fluorescent aquarium fixture (ie 2x 15 watt fluorescent), normal gravel, no CO2
, no ferts, monthly small water change. This tank has Rotala, E. tennelus, Many Cryplts, Pennywort, Anubias and a few others that all grow fine (even if slowly). This tank was set-up for under $75.
A lot depends on how much maintenance you want, how much money you want to spend, and how fast you want your plants to grow. If you are just starting out, I would suggest going with a lower light option.