Re: New to vivs
what's the compact top you're asking about? its an exoterra? i use their tops for some of my tanks. the ones that hold a regular bulb... i put in a 6500k compact fluorescent. should be fine for a tank of that size.
as far as clay ingredients goes, i've been using the kitty litter despite people saying its lousy. it gets the job done. where are you located? perhaps another frogger in the area can help you out w/ some material?