Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Greensburg, Indiana
Would like to upgrade to planted. Possible in this way?
Hello all! Fist post on this site. I will be upgrading my Saltwater aquarium lighting to LED's to start growing corals, and I believe that this would be a good chance to upgrade one of my current 55gal. to a planted tank. I just wanted to run it by the experts here and see If they thought it would be possible to convert my tank over.
Fist off the light that I currently have on the saltwater will be going on this tank it is a coralife 4x65watt, which I will be putting the 6500k lights in (believe thats the K). I do not want to run C02 in the tank, so I'm not sure what kind of watt/gallon ratio I should run. I could run from 2 to all 4 of the lights as needed.
I will convert the gravel over to a high grade gravel. Can't think of the name of it but I've read some articles on here about it. I plan to dose Seachem's Flourish Excel (I believe thats the name), not sure how often would be optimal. I have recenlty switched my 2x 55's to use ATI sponge filters, which I love for the bio filtration. I plan to buy a Marineland HOT Magnum 250 filter so that I can polish both of the tanks when I do water changes, and would like to run this full time as mechanical/chemical with running carbon on this tank. Is full time carbon filtering suggested in planted tanks due to leaching of plants? Also, without running C02 would using the airstone type filters be a problem?
And now for the gasp's... I would like to run this in an overstocked Metriaclima Lombardoi (Kenyi cichlid) tank. I believe that this will be my largest issue with everything. I would like to keep the tank set up to be 100% optimal for cichlids, and I believe the PH for alot of the plants is suggested to be lower then in a Malawi tank. Would this limit my choices of plants alot? Would a slow drip acclimation help my chances with the plants? Also, I've heard alot about how cichlids tend to nip at plants, and then also the tend to dig alot so this will uproot some of the plants from time to time.
Do you guys believe that the Kenyi will be a major issue with the plants? Even without the tank being planted I tend to mess with the tanks alot, so if they dig out the plants will it be ok to just "re-plant" the plants? Without running C02, running good gravel, dosing, and these lights would plants have a chance to thrive in a tank like this even with the occasional/frequent abuse from the fish? Anything else that I am missing that will need to be done in the tank (other then large frequent water changes)?
Thanks ahead of time for any advice, I'm currently an open book with planted tanks and would appreciate any and all advice on the topic.