new to planted tanks need help
I am new to planted tanks but have been keeping fish for 15 years. I have a 70G tank that I'm converting to a planted community. CurrentlyI have 6 bloodfins, 4 gouramis, 2 spotted cats, 2 SAG and am going to be ordering the 60 or 80 plant assortment in the next day or so.
My question is lighting. I am going to order PC fixture but can't decide btw a corallife 48 in 2 x 65 W PC or going for the finished enclosure plus some combo of kits from AH Supply. Do I really need to spend twice as much for the AH Supply setup or will the corallife work.
Sould I invest in some sort of CO2 system or can I live w/o it.
My set up includes about an 1 1/2 in. of flourite, 1 1/2 in. of regular acquarium gravel, a fluval 404 w/ 1 1/2 baskets of bio cylindars, 1/2 basket of peat pellets, 1 basket of charcoal. My water tends to be hard w/ ph in the 8.0 range. I'm considering removing the charcoal and replacing it w/ peat pellets to soften and maybe lower ph. Does this sound like a good plan.
Thanks for the guidance