10-11-2009, 01:33 PM
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I see I had input in the linked thread, so I'll comment directly here to your questions. The info in the thread applies, but with your choice of plants you've got a disparity.
Java Fern, Java Moss and Anubias are all relatively low-light plants. Dwarf Hairgrass is exactly the opposite; most aquarists find it difficult to grow even with high light and CO2. You should perhaps revise your choice in plants. From the other thread and my Aquarium photos, you can see the wide variety of plants possible with minmal light, no CO2 and minor fertilization. What we tend to refer to as basically low-tech, natural systems. The main issue is light, which brings me to your first post and the links to the fixture and tube.
The fixture is a good one in my view, I bought two of them this past July to replace my 12+ year ones that finally gave out. It takes regular fluorescent tubes, not T5 tubes which require a different fixture; so you can't use the tube in the second link in the fixture in the first link.
The first decision is what plants you want; most rooted plants (swords, crypts, aponogeton, anubias, java fern, vallisneria, sagitarria...) will manage with moderate light. Some stem plants also, like the Brazilian Pennywort in my 115g, and the Wisteria in my 70g SE Asian tank. But many of the other stem plants require a bit more light, and more light generally requires added CO2 because the CO2 from the fish and biological processes in the aquarium will be insufficient to match the light--it is all about balance. And the nutrients have to balance as well.
If you go with low and moderate light plants, on your 29g tank, a single-tube fixture will be sufficient; a double-tube regular fixture would also work, a bit more light but with floating plants that would probably be fine. I have a 33g tank with one regular tube, and plants grow quite well in it. Myself, I would not go with a T5 on a small (relatively) tank. I tried a twin-tube T5 fixture in July, and had it for a week before I took it back for the regular All Glass fixture. Too much light. We want enough light to enable the plants to photosynthesize, but not so much that the fish become blinded or algae increases. Most of the fish we keep come from dimly-lit waters and would be very happy with no light at all over them; so the light is solely for the benefit of the plants, and our viewing of the aquarium. The less light to do the job, the better.