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Although I’ve been doing fish tanks for years, I am a complete novice when it comes to planted tanks. It’s the one big thing in the aquarium hobby that I haven’t tried. I have a couple of questions regarding my existing equipment. The tank I’m using was a 55 gallon reef. It was beautiful, but got to be way too much work. I’ve scrapped off all of the coralline algae and salt creep. I think I’ve got it as clean as it’s gonna get. Are there any other precautions I should take when using a tank that previously contained saltwater? Second, I know my 2 x 175 watt metal halides are a little much for a planted tank, but I do have a Corallife 4 x 65 watt fixture. I has 2 on/off switches. What bulbs should I use? I could care less about the color. I want to use whatever is best for growing plants. Nothing fancy. I’m not trying to win any awards. I just want the plants to grow. And before you ask, yes, I’m going to use a CO2. Any help is appreciated.
 

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Since you say it can't get any cleaner than it is now, I'd just soak it in water and wash it out once or twice again just to make sure.

Your Coralife fixture will be perfect. Run two bulbs for now when you're just starting up. With CO2, you'll be able to go for 4 bulbs, but not quite yet. Go for bulbs that have a color temperature of 6700K or 10000K since those will give you spectrum that are more suited for plant growth. Plant growth isn't determined by color temperature, but most PC bulbs made in those color temperatures put out spectrum suited for plants.
 

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Succinct, solid advice, epicfish.

Tracey,
Welcome to the softer side of aquaria ;). With your background, I'm guessing you'll ease into this part of the hobby fairly easily. If you want some general advice / faq about planted tanks, check out rex's site. He's the guy with the most posts on the board.

rexgrigg.com
 

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Welcome to the planted tank, its not as hard as you think. You have recieved good advices follow them.

I would have liked a vinegar wash of your reef aquarium to remove 'not visible to eye' carbonate deposits.
 
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