Hello fellow aquaficionados,
I am a noob and I am planning for my first aquarium setup. I am going for a beautifully aquascaped freshwater planted aquarium. I have always loved aquariums and fish but never really thought about getting into the hobby myself until very recently. The works of Takashi Amano and James Findley instilled a burning motivation in me and I find myself becoming an addict now. The past couple of weeks, I have read up quite a bit and I got my cycle, fish, plants, substrate, fertilizers, chemicals, tools, co2
, etc figured out...I think.
I am struggling with the more basic things like Aquarium, stand and lighting. I am inclined towards getting an acrylic aquarium. A 29 gallon, that is 30" in length. Its going to be heavily carpeted and planted (a couple of reddish plants too that need high lighting). I can't figure out the best lighting fixture or the type of lights that will be best for me. Based on my reading so far, HO
compact floroscent lights seem suitable. As far as the wattage goes, if I need 3-4 watts per gallon, is it sufficient if the total wattage of all the lights adds up to 3-4 times 29 gallons (say 120watts) ? Or does the intensity of each light needs to be 120 watts ? Probably a stupid question and maybe the later option is a recipe for Algae soup, but I had to ask. I am planning to start with running the lights for 5 hours a day first and slowly increase it to 6-7 hours depending on what the plants like. So, that said, can one of you recommend me the best lights (and fixture for 30" long acrylic tank) for me please ?
On a different note, I care about the life and health of my plants and fish, and the only life I am willing to experiment with during the cycle is that of Ben (beneficial bacteria). So, if you have any advice or lesser known tips for me regarding the cycle, I will appreciate that as well. Say Hi and wish me good luck even if you dont have any advice for me. After all, I don't have any friends in this hobby and I wish to make some at least online.