Originally Posted by Deathscythe617
Thank you so much for the info! It really helped!
I was planning on buying this light
For my aquarium, because i have read that it works very well for planted aquariums. I hope that i can get this thing together! I don't have any special substrate, so i know i am limited on my plant choices, but do you think you could throw together a list of possible plants i could get?
I have not personally seen that tube over an aquarium, so I can only base my comment on the spectrum graph and data from that site you linked. I think this would probably work, but it might have a bright yellow look which not everyone likes.
If I may suggest what I think would be a better choice, and for less money, either
the ZooMed Ultra Sun tube:
Or the near-identical Hagen's Life-Glo 2 tube:
Both are less money but I honestly think either of these two would be better lights on a single-tube tank. All three of my larger dual-tube tanks have a Life-Glo 2 as one of the tubes, and on my single-tube 33g it is the only tube.
Substrate: gravel is perfectly fine as a substrate. Smaller-grain size is best, the larger "pea" size less so. And a dark colour or shade is easier on the fish and shows off the plants better. I have never used anything except small-grain gravel. For plants, your options are almost wide-open. With either of the above tubes you will grow lush swords, crypts, vallisneria, sagittaria (substrate-rooted plants), or you have plants like Anubias and Java Fern that attach to wood or rock so these have a use. Stem plants are generally faster growing which means regular pruning/trimming to keep them neat and within limits. Stem plants can also be used floating, in addition to regular floating plants, which is useful to provide some shade (yes, this will be important, for the type of fish you would have in a 16g bowfront, smallish forest fish, cory cats, etc.).