Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Outside Philadelphia, PA
I keep both reef and planted tanks. You need to keep in mind that while the goal of having a fantastic looking tank is the same in a reef and a planted tank, the way you get there is completely different.
You have to learn a new methodology if you want the planted tank to work. Lighting was one area that was mentioned. Filtration is another. For example, you have a refugium and sump. Fantastic for a reef, but not quite what you want for a planted tank. Canister filters are looked down upon in the reef area, but are highly desirable in a planted tank. This is because a sump and refugium are very good at gas exchange (CO2 out, O2 in). In a reef you want that to happen. In a planted tank it's a disadvantage, because you want that CO2 for the plants.
You also mention phosphate problems. Again, they are a big issue in a reef, as long as not over done, it is desirable in a planted tank. A reef keeper would cringe at the idea of adding phosphated to a reef, but it's often done on a planted tank.
I also recommend that you get a couple of good books on planted tanks. Then read and understand them, so you know what is done differently. Yea, you'll end up redoing most of what you have on a reef to convert it over to a planted tank.