Originally Posted by eighty80
thanks for the help my tank is 12x24x36 the rocks in my tank are your regular gravel with a very smooth surface. i will read your stickies later tonight. again thanks for the help.
You are certainly welcome.
My 33g is 36 by 18 by 12 and I have one tube over it. No problem with most plants.
You could go with a full spectrum tube by Sylvannia, Phillips or GE, available in hardware stores; these will have around 6500K of colour temperature (the Kelvin number designates the "colour" of the light, something that will make more sense when you've read the articles). These tubes have names like daylight, daylight deluxe, etc. However, if you don't mind the additional cost, with a single tube over a tank that is 24 inches deep you could go with a Hagen Life-Glo tube. These have a special coating on half the inside that reflects the light more intensely out the opposite side. I personally think you can manage either way.
For plants, the swords (Echinodorus), crypts (Cryptocoryne), Vallisneria, Sagittaria, Anubias, JAva Fern, Java Moss (on the wood), would work, and some of the stem plants; these latter tend to need more light, but Pennywort does well in less and some of the Hygrophila do as well.
You'll probably have more questions along the way, don't hesitate to ask.