As an FYI, my tank at home is a SW reef tank and I have kept fish for over 25 yrs. Thus I am familiar with the basics of keeping fish in general and now I am interested in the planted tank.
The tank is a glass 55 gal currently using a UGF with a coarse gravel substrate. Ebo Jagger heater and an external cannister filter. This is a tank located at my work and so I am not going to go hog wild on the absolute best setup. So what are the basics needed to have some decent success with a planted tank? If you asked me at this point I would shoot for low to medium light plants that are fairly easy.
Areas I need input on include:
Lights - I assume as with reef tanks many measure in wattage per gal - how much. I will not use a metal halide, PCs are an option, what type/combination of bulbs seem to give good results (i.e. Daylight, growlights etc.)?
Co2 Dosing - is it absolutly necessary? If not what other options are there?
Substrate - what is a good basic substrate? How deep?
Biological filtration - I assume I would remove my UGF, so are most using the biowheels or what?
Dosing - other than Co2, I assume you need to dose iron? what else?
Tank Parameters - What is an optimal Ph level? Temp level?
Plants - any suggested names of plants to try would be appreciated
Any other advice would be great, in particular if you can recommend a good BASIC book on planted tanks.
Thanks in advance