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rohape said:
i was told that (swords especially) need a lot of light, and i have been thinking about going mainly swords. :D
It seems you have narrowed down the type of plants you want to grow which is something I have yet to be able to do :) If you want to go mainly swords my first thought for you is to get a bigger tank. I had a Red Rubin that outgrew my 75g within about 3-4 months.

I have grown plants in a 55g with 70 watts of NO (1.25wpg) up to 4wpg! Keep in mind, the higher the light you go, the more CO2 and fertilization you are gonna need. I don't know if the Hagen (or two of them) will be able to keep up with some of the higher wattage compact fluorescents. I really don't have any experience with CO2 other than pressurized so maybe someone else can help out here.

At 4wpg+ (4x65 watts), the Flourish Comprehensive, as well as other types of Flourish (Nitrogen, Phosphorous etc) will get very expensive on a 55g. You should look into getting your fertilizers in dry form. Greg Watson is a good source for them and he is one of the sponsors of this site.

As far as strip lights, Lowe's or Home Depot have very inexpensive shop lights that can be used over your 55g until you have the cash for something prettier/fancier. I have an All Glass 2x55 w strip (9325K lamps) on the back half of my 75g with an All Glass Triple Tube strip light that Gomer recommended (with 6700K, 8800K and 9325K lamps) on the front half. I experimented with various K lamps on the front half and this is what I settled on.

Since you say you want plants in your tank, I would suggest you do some searching on this site. There is a LOT of info on here just waiting to be read (or re-read in my case ) :)
 
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