Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ
Newbie converting 5 year old 65 gallon tank
Here's my situation. I welcome all advice and comments because I have very little experience with keeping live plants in my aquarium.
I currently have a 65 gallon(36 inches wide but 24 inches tall) that has been running as a fish only tank for 5 years. The tank has a regular gravel substrate and currently has only the standard flourescent bulb at 38 watts. I would like to begin to add live plants to my aquarium.
My goal is to keep low light plants without having to add CO2. I do not want to drain the tank and start from scratch.
Here are my questions/issues:
Lighting: Will anything grow(or stay alive) in this tank with just 38 watts? If not, I was considering upgrading my light with 1 36" Coralife T5 fixture/bulb. I believe the wattage would be in the 40's but I'm told the T5 bulbs are intense and would likely give off double what I'm currently at with my standard 38 watts. Secondly, if I added Coralife T5 would I still have low enough light where I wouldn't have to add CO2?
Substrate: Am I ok with the regular gravel? I was considering mixing in flourite with my current gravel but I read I might have a huge mess on my hands trying to add the messy flourite to a tank that already had water in it. Keep in mind, I"m ok with just growing the easy stuff(Java Fern, Amazon Swords, Anubias, etc). Would my existing substrate work ok with the "easy plants"?
That's my situation.
What would you do in terms of altering or not altering my lighting and substrate? Thanks.