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1) Great advice, start out easy with a low light/low tech tank. Then move to a high light/high tech tank if that is your desire.

2) Your right no incandescents, they produce to much heat and little to no beneficial light for plants. Like you I think PC fixtures are the best but for a low light/low tech tank you can go with regular fluorescents plant bulbs (5000k-10000k) with a good reflector.

3) Cycling is not needed for a planted tank, since you have the plants taking the bad stuff out keeping the tank from having ammonia/nitrite spikes, associated with a normal cycle in a non-planted tank. Here is a link on this subject... (look under cycling)

4) With a low light/low tech tank C02 is really not needed. Once you reach 2-3WPG you can do DIY pop bottle C02 in tanks 55G or below. In tanks 55G and larger and/or 3WPG +, pressurized C02 is needed.

5) Again good advice, substrates like Eco-complete/Fluorite are the best to use for a planted tank. However, another option is to use a natural plain gravel with addition of root tabs for the roots or a mixture of plant substrate and regular gravel (50/50).

So glad to hear that APC as helped you out. I can see you have learned a great deal :D
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