Planted Tank Enthusiast
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Northern Michigan
1. For substrate, you can use commercial products like Eco-complete, Flourite, Amazonia, among others. Some people also use plain old dirt, such asiracle Grow Organic Potting Mix (remove the wood chips from it first). Then cover the dirt with a layer of gravel or sand. You can also use plain gravel or sand if you put some root tabs in it.
2. If your light can power a reef, it's in the very-high light category for a freshwater planted tank. So yes, it will grow plants very well, but since it is so powerful, it can also cause algae to grow.
3. Add the plants as soon as your setup the tank. Plants will help the tank to cycle faster since they will carry some good bacteria with them.
4. With your lights, you can grow any plant out there. But, some good hardy plants are Java Moss, Java Fern, Anubias, Wisteria, Crypts, Amazon swords, Rotala, any of the more commonly available plants really.
5. You probably already know this, but let the tank cycle before adding any fish.
The Fraternity of Dirt #144