hey:) im planning to change my 40 gallon into a planted tank. i need some help on wat kind of subsrate and lighting that is good but also cheap cause i know t5 lighting is good but its too expensive. this is going to be my first planted tank so i dont want to spent like tons of money on it. comment ideas, tips anything THANKS:)))
If you have earthworms where you live, brush aside the leaf litter and below you'll see what looks like black dirt in the form of little round balls. This is earthworm castings and the most fertile soil for any plants - terrestrial or aquatic. You can use this alone or mix it with what Dustin uses - Miracle Gro Organic soil.
Cap this with the clay pellets that are used to suck up oil slicks. Its sold in automotive stores for about $6 for a fifty pound bag.
For light make sure you have between 10 to 40 lumens of light per square inch of surface area in your tank. Thats the length X width X 10-40. At the very least make sure you have 5 lumens p/sq/in of surface area. The color temperature of the light should be around 6500K. The size of the bulb (T5, T8, T12 etc) or type of light (florescent, LED, etc) is irrelevant. Buy a shop light at any Hardware store or supermarket. As long as they fit the above parameters you have the exactly the same light or better than anything you'll find at some over-priced pet store. If you can position your aquarium to receive sunlight you won't need a light.
thanks for the info:))