Originally Posted by Reneeashley
I am not what should i have?....My research clearly wasn't being done in the right places...i should have waited longer before going out and buying plants. I only bought three plants so i am glad i didn't go out on a shopping frenzy. I really would like to upgrade my lighting....Any ideas under like 200?
To repeat, there is nothing wrong with the light you have. A lot of aquarium plants, in fact the majority, will "grow" under a single tube, provided it is the correct spectrum [more on this momentarily]. Look at the photos of my present tanks, click the "Aquariums" tab below my name on the left to see them. Those are all low or moderate light plants. One simply has to avoid high-light plants.
As for the best tube, a full spectrum or daylight tube. You need the length of tube that will fit your fixture, probably a 24-inch tube if it is like mine. In a T8 ("T" is the diameter in 8ths of an inch, so a T8 is 8/8 or 1 inch diameter). The best is a Life-Glo, or a ZooMed Ultra Sun. These brands are available at some fish stores. You can also use a "daylight" tube made by GE, Phillips or Sylvania from hardware-type stores. With these, look for one that has a kelvin rating of around 6500K. Phillips makes one called Alto Daylight Deluxe 6500K, and I know Sylvania has a similar one, and GE too. Tubes must be replaced every 12-18 months, I would suggest every 12 months to keep it brighter. They lose intensity as they burn.
Fertilizer: Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement is my preference because it has everything. You only dose a small amount, for a 29g it is 1/2 teaspoon once or at most twice a week. Make sure it is the Comprehensive, they make several products in the "Flourish" line.
As others have been mentioning, balance is the key. Light and nutrients must be in balance in order for plants to make use of them and grow. The brighter the light and more nutrients, together, the "faster" some plants will grow. But they will grow no matter what, provided they are suited to the light and nutrients available. Have a read of my article at the head of this section entitled "A Basic Approach to the Natural Planted Aquarium."