I just started playing around with a tiny indoor artificial light setup with a 20 gal FT and 17 gal GB in an ebb and flow system on a timer and a pump about two and a half months ago. The GB drains through a flowerpot filter into the tank. I started this experiment with a couple of 12 watt new fluorescent bulbs that are supposed to yield 60 watts each and lately added a Sylvania 60 watt old type grow light bulb from a hardware store when it seemed I needed more red spectrum. Is anyone using grow lights in a tiny system or have information on a cheap way for now to give the plants sufficient light? I want to see if I can make this work on the cheap side for now and hope to move and do a bigger system later when I get my feet wet and get a bigger place. Ideally I would prefer sunlight but I have my setup in a windowless room in a tiny apartment. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I will post some pics later when I recover from my plague of sinusitis and get some energy. I only have two and a half feet (75 centimeters) above the grow bed till the plants hit the roof and I boxed it in with a lining of tinfoil as a huge reflector to get maximum light. Plants look spindly.
as an aside I have never seen such happy fish as my live bearers. I feed them constantly in small amounts and they never stop gobbling food and having babies. The water stays pristine because I have gravel and plants as another biofilter with the guppies and sword tails etc. and a filter to create current. The fish are buffeted by the currents in the tank and just love it. They don't touch babies once they swim. In fact it is heavily planted and has river rock on 2 cm granite for babies to hide in and to hold plants and of course act the natural biofilter. I need to lick my light problem before I can properly access my ebb and flow cycle. I must say it is intriguing. I like this idea.
Cut your lighting costs in half! Get a light mover. There are several types that you can buy, or you can make your own from recycled parts. It just moves a single light back and forth over the plants, and you turn one light into two!