I really want a nice, planted tank for my fish, but I need to know what lighting fixture I need to support that kind of tank. I bought my tank and hood already equiped with 1 fluorescent bulb, is that enough to give the best light? my tank is 30 gal btw.
It depends on how nice you want it and how much time your willing to put in it along with money. A fixture for your tank will cost at least 60$ plus shipping more if you want a nice one but then you might need co2 if you have more than 60w over your tank and you'l need to dose your tank with ferts and is helpful to buy a new substrate. Few questions?
1 Is the tank already setup?
2 If so any plants in it, what type of substrate, fish?
3 how much time are you willing to put into this tank a week, or will you be able to do little maintenance daily?
4 Is money a factor if so how much
5 Checkplant geek and see what type of plants you would like to have and what light requirments they need
6 How many watts and what type of fixture do you currently have
I hope you do choose planted, I have a nano and I love it so far, plants make the tank so pretty.
You might try looking on Amazon for your light. I recently ordered a 24" 65W compact fluorescent (Coralife) for my tank for $45. It was cheaper there than any where else I found online. Way cheaper than the lfs!
Well Obus first of all most LFS sell everything that is remotely related to fish at like twice the price so yeah it will be anyway like ATM said in not so many words, it all depends on what type of fish you have and how much time and money you want to put into your tank I have Hygras, bronze crypts, and 1 stalk of bamboo and I had to replace my flouresent light with a "plant light" the bulb alone costed me about 10 USD so just keep that in mind if you want a planted tank you will have to pay into it I'm not saying don't get a planted tank just keep in mind that it is a TON of work depending on what plants you have. Personally I'm willing to pay out the ************ for a planted tank it is so awesome to watch my fish play in the plants and it gives Nessy (my bamboo shrimp) some interesting places to hide during the day!! JUs tsome things to keep in mind that's all. What ever you decide make sure you weight out both ends of it first.
Some pros and cons that I came up with
Looks more natural
The leaves are generally softer than fake plants
Will consume SOME (not all) poisonous gasses that your fish release like nitrates and ammonias
You may be going out once a month or so and getting more stuff to keep your plants alive
You really can't re-arrange your tank (Although i'm not so sure you should do that anyway...)
You may have to get a special light that simulates the sun
An algae out break is likely especially while your plants are getting established.
I'm sure there are more of both, but I can't keep track of them all :-D
anyway I would definitely say go with a planted tank unless your fish will eat you plants then it might be a bad idea... anyway good luck