58 Gallon Reef to Planted Conversion - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-04-2014, 12:52 AM Thread Starter
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58 Gallon Reef to Planted Conversion

Hello, I currently have a 58 gallon reef tank that I'm about to tear down and consolidate with my 55 gallon aggressive saltwater tank and sell the more delicate corals off. I run a sump on the tank with a UV sterilizer, protein skimmer, and phosban reactor. I will take the protein skimmer out and replace the GFO in the phosban reactor with carbon. I can add bioballs to the first section of my sump and use filter floss between the baffles. I have a 165 watt dimmable LED fixture that is suspended about a foot above the tank.
Here are the two channels:
Dimmer One(28 LEDs): 8 x Cool White 12,000k, 6 x Neutral White 7500k, 6 x Warm White 3500k, 2 x Red 660nm, 2 x Green 520nm, 4 x Blue 460nm
Dimmer Two(27 LEDs): 7 x Royal Blue 450nm, 20 x Blue 460nm.

I am thinking about shortening the suspension cables to raise the light to allow plants to grow out, above the water surface. I would like to do a water's edge type of setup. I want a lot of wood and a lot of plants in the aquarium. The aquarium is 36.5L X 18.5W X 21H.

My main questions are:
1) What substrate to use?
2) Is this light good for plants?
3) When should I add the plants (what parameters)?
4) What are good plants for my lighting that are hardy?
5) Any suggestions for my setup?

Any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-04-2014, 02:15 AM
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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.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-04-2014, 06:12 AM
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Yea, you're gonna have to switch lights. That or raise them very high. Can you reduce intensity? Most reefs are using par in the hundreds. Only if you are injecting co2 should you be hitting par above 50. And even then, I don't think you wanna go much higher.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-05-2014, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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The lights are dimmable. I am thinking about raising the lights anyway to let plants grow emersed. So, what would be a decent CO2 system on a budget?
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