06-13-2010, 07:36 PM
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Get the API master freshwater kit, its great as it has the 4 basic tests (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and ph), if you stock the tank well enough with plants you should be able to skip the cycle according to some people here as the plants will absorb the ammonia, I would just add a few fish every week or so and monitor the water parameters so you know everything is staying in balance, as for lighting I have a 36 gallon tank with a 17w T8 bulb on it and all my low level plants are doing just fine, I'm sure they would grow more and faster with more light but you might want to try it with what you have before going all out. Make sure the light you have is in the 6500k-6700k range as that simulates daylight. Also look into a nutrient supplement for the plants I use flourish comprehensive.
Edit; forgot to mention, go take a look at the guides posted in the planted section of the forum by byron, should answer a few questions you might have and raise a few more :)
Last edited by zof; 06-13-2010 at 07:40 PM..