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Converting tank Q's - laterite/fluorite? DIY CO2? Lighting?

Hi all,
      (sorry it's a little long - bear with me)After getting this list for 
about 2 years, I haven't had the time for the past few months because of my 
move(it was a 1 1/2 hour drive and all fish and plants survived!), finishing 
college(UC Davis) and all. Now that I have more time, I'm putting more 
energy and $ into getting my 40 gallon tank converted to handle plants. I 
have a 20 gal tank that I've had quite a bit of luck with over the last 
couple years, but now I want something a little bigger. So here it goes...
--I have heard all kinds of stories(and read some interesting threads on the 
www.thekrib.com) on fluorite. My question is, what do most of you suggest? 
I'm sure some of you use laterite and some use fluorite(and surely other 
substrates - kitty litter?), but which is better, or does it matter? I have 
about 50 pounds of beach sand that I used with plants before, but I was 
thinking of mixing it with fluorite or laterite, unless you don't think that 
is a good idea.
--I also was looking at www.azgardens.com(Arizona Aquatic Gardens) and ran 
across 'Lumichrome 1XX' and 'Eagle True LIght' T-12 bulbs - how do these 
compare to GE Chroma 50's(generally my bulb of choice)? I have also 
considered metal halide, but I haven't found a price that I like as of yet. 
Any suggestions on these or where to look, please let me know.
--I always have made the yeast CO2(and had great results), but it is a pain 
and I often didn't replenish it as often as I should have, so I am 
considering getting a DIY CO2 system. I remember looking at a site of 
someone on this mailing list a while back for the parts for this and thought 
they were good prices - what is the URL for this? Are these DIY CO2 systems 
easy enough to put together even for someone who has never done it before?

-----A big thanks to all who respond. I have been slowly trying to figure 
out everything I need to get this together and have come up with many 
questions. As far as mail order places for SAEs, plants and the like, is 
Arizona Aquatic Gardens good for that(it's the only place I know of that has 
live products). I appreciate any response, even if it is incomplete. Any 
info will help as I am at a stand-still right now.

Ryan Ingram
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