07-17-2012, 07:20 AM
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The stem plants will have the hardest time under low light. They could be hit or miss, but don't expect fast growth. That single bulb though can work. I used a 15W 18" tube on a 20 gallon tall and it worked, which is 2 inches shorter than a 29 gallon.
A common 'problem' with stem plants is unless they are under high light (and even then it's tricky) the bottom of the stems will go bare and it will only keep leaves on the upper portion. So plan your aquascape to have something infront of the stem plants to hide that. Either another smaller plant, or a decoration like driftwood.
You do not need CO2, that is only for high light tanks.
For upgrades you could use a T5 NO (note, the NO for normal output, not HO for high output) but those are getting really rare and hard to find ... plus expensive. A single tube T5HO can work, not sure if you could find out though as that's also rare (T5HO is more for marine tanks). If you have a glass top, you could just get a second 30" fixture (with a 24" tube in it like you have now).
The last option is to go to a home improvement store and buy a 24" shop light that has two T8 tubes. I managed to find one out Lowe's but it is not ideal, and only works with glass tops. It came with a plastic refractor cover that I just removed since I don't need the light to disperse over a whole room. That makes the front and back open (you can see the bulbs) while the left and right are metal. It is also designed to be hard wired into a house, so I had to convert a 6 foot extension cord into a power cord for it (cut off the female end and wire it up to the fixture, using a cable clamp thing like you'd use on an electrical panel cutout so the cord doesn't rub the sharp metal). I can take a picture if you want.
Unfortunatly Home Depot/Lowe's does not sell 24" Daylight T8 bulbs, they only sell T12. So I went onto Ebay and bought a pair for less than a single bulb would have cost me at the petstore (Search for F17T8 Daylight). The ones you mentioned though from Zoomed/Coralife will work.