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substrate - lighting questions

I have been reading (lurking) this list off & on for a while now.
Thanks to all of you who post to it - I have learned a lot, found good
resources of information and supplies, and even been confused  : - )

I have been watching George B's lighting thread with interest as I need
to choose bulbs.  My setup is a 75 g. with Co2.  Lamp driver is a Ice
Cap with T-12 end caps.  After reading the lighting posts I wish I had
T-8's, but will try to make do with the T-12's for now - maybe down the
road I will switch to T8's.  Has anyone tried using the GE "sunshine",
GE "daylight ultra", or or Phillips X40DX as suggested in the Aprill
1999 FAMA article?  If so, what kind of results?

This tank is just about ready to go, but waiting for a decision on
substrate.  I have on hand enough laterite for the tank but would need
to buy the gravel ( local stores sell red flint - quartz? ).  I also
have enough turface MVP on hand for the substrate.  From earlier
postings it sounds as if the turface has worked well for many plant
people.  I intend to transition the tank the tank to crypts after I get
a handle on some easier plants.  Will the laterite make an unworkable
mess when I start pulling plants?  If so the Turface sounds appealing.
I have used the red flint gravel for years in "old style" tanks with
undergravel filters and like the way it looks.  The Turface seems
unnaturally light.  How does it look under the lighting that plants
need?   Is the black Turface truly black?  How does it look in the
aquarium?  If I use the Turface am I correct in assumming that aditional
iron should be added to the substrate along with other nutrients?  An
older posting I can't locate talked about adding filings?

Thanks for any help!
Jay Reeves in Minneapolis