I updated by 55 gal freshwater planted tank which has been running for several weeks now. The substrate is a combination of Eco Complete, FloraMax and gravel from my previous tank set up. It is running a Cascade 65 gal canister filter with standard filter media and ceramic bio bag, a pressurized CO2 system running in conjunction with my T5 HO 2-54 watt GLO lights
You have high light
(CO2 feeds from air stone into filter intake so virtuallly no bubbles escape), a buried 48" bubble wand that only runs 4 hours (12 Midnight to 4:00 AM) and a 200 watt heater.
There seems to be general growth and I have for a week now been dosing the tank with SeaChem Flourish products following each bottles's instructions:
Flourish recommendations are for low light tanks. You need to dose at least twice as much with high light.
Day1 - Flourish / Flourish Excel / Iron / Nitrogen and Phosphorus, Day 2 - Iron and Trace, Day 3 - Excel / Iron / Potassium, Day 4 - Iron, Nitrogen / Phosphorus / Trace, Day 5 - Excel / Iron / Potassium, Day 6 - Flourish and Iron. The dosing instructions, which I modified a bit, state that on Day 7 Acid or Alkaline buffer as needed and SeaChem Equilibrium (GH Treatment). I have only added SeaChem Neutralizer as needed because the water here in Maine is not at all hard.
Don't dose any acid or alkline buffers or Neutralizers. Use your tap water as is, until you learn for sure that there is something wrong with it.
Should I expect a lush planted tank if I follow the above dosing method and keep up with filter and water changes?
You may get very fast plant growth, if you dose enough of the fertilizers, and have the CO2 bubble rate high enough, but you are even more likely to grow a good algae crop, with that much light.
Also what is the best filter media in my canister since I have community fish along with the plants? I was told that Purigen was the best stuff? Do I need to also add activated carbon to the filter if I choose to use just Purigen?
Thanks for your time and assistance.
The best filter media is filter floss, with perhaps some biomedia, like ceramic stars, rings, etc. You don't need Purigen or activated carbon unless you need to remove medical products or excessive leached tannins. Don't make it more complicated than necessary.