07-25-2012, 01:16 AM
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Sand is definitely recommended, though it takes a bit more work in the beginning, but less work later on.
Im not sure about what lighting your plants will need, because it depends on the size/dimensions of your tank.
I have a 45 gal, 24 inches tall, and i have a single t8 bulb, 6500k, and all i can really grow is surface plants. If i added a second bulb, i would be able to, but i dont have enough plugs! =]
From what ive read, CO2 isnt necessarily required, only in some situations, though hopefully someone more educated will come by and help you out!