Would like to upgrade to planted. Possible in this way?

Discussion in 'The Planted Tank' started by Reef Madness, Jul 18, 2011.

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  1. Reef Madness

    Reef Madness Flamingo Tongue

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    Hello all! I will be upgrading my Saltwater aquarium lighting to LED's to start growing corals, and I believe that this would be a good chance to upgrade one of my current 55gal. to a planted tank. I just wanted to run it by the experts here and see If they thought it would be possible to convert my tank over.

    Fist off the light that I currently have on the saltwater will be going on this tank it is a coralife 4x65watt, which I will be putting the 6500k lights in (believe thats the K). I do not want to run C02 in the tank, so I'm not sure what kind of watt/gallon ratio I should run. I could run from 2 to all 4 of the lights as needed.

    I will convert the gravel over to a high grade gravel. Can't think of the name of it but I've read some articles on here about it. I plan to dose Seachem's Flourish Excel (I believe thats the name), not sure how often would be optimal. I have recenlty switched my 2x 55's to use ATI sponge filters, which I love for the bio filtration. I plan to buy a Marineland HOT Magnum 250 filter so that I can polish both of the tanks when I do water changes, and would like to run this full time as mechanical/chemical with running carbon on this tank. Is full time carbon filtering suggested in planted tanks due to leaching of plants? Also, without running C02 would using the airstone type filters be a problem?

    And now for the gasp's... I would like to run this in an overstocked Metriaclima Lombardoi (Kenyi cichlid) tank. I believe that this will be my largest issue with everything. I would like to keep the tank set up to be 100% optimal for cichlids, and I believe the PH for alot of the plants is suggested to be lower then in a Malawi tank. Would this limit my choices of plants alot? Would a slow drip acclimation help my chances with the plants? Also, I've heard alot about how cichlids tend to nip at plants, and then also the tend to dig alot so this will uproot some of the plants from time to time. Another question that I have is, I've always heard that adding driftwood will tend to lower the PH in a tank. Is this true? If so I dont think that I would want to add any due to the fact that I would like to keep the tank optimal for the Cichlids, so that I would have a chance to get this set to breed.



    Major questions:
    Do you guys believe that the Kenyi will be a major issue with the plants? Even without the tank being planted I tend to mess with the tanks alot, so if they dig out the plants will it be ok to just "re-plant" the plants? Without running C02, running good gravel, dosing, and these lights would plants have a chance to thrive in a tank like this even with the occasional/frequent abuse from the fish? Anything else that I am missing that will need to be done in the tank (other then large frequent water changes)?

    Thanks ahead of time for any advice, I'm currently an open book with planted tanks and would appreciate any and all advice on the topic.
     
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  3. Reef Madness

    Reef Madness Flamingo Tongue

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    Bump. Any direction on this would be helpful.
     
  4. Doratus

    Doratus Teardrop Maxima Clam

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    You want to convert a saltwater tank into a freshwater planted tank?

    After you've done saltwater.. you don't need any direction with freshwater. Add water, add fish, add mechanical filtration, and your good to go! Cichlids and live plants are like dwarf angels and coral, you might get lucky, but you probably wont.

    I wouldn't consider a FW tank to be fun at all, especially when I have a SW tank to worry about. Plus, whenever I have more than one tank running it just takes up too much time. It's summer and I don't want to be at home doing water changes all the time. Unless you pay for your utilities out of your own pocket and I'm sure another tank wouldn't go over so well with those who do. The only reason I say all this is because if someone had told me all of this it would have saved me a lot of money and heartache.

    But... to each his own. Either way, good luck and have fun.
     
  5. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I would go with just 2 of the PC bulbs. Java Fern might be your only plant to put in the tank.

    You are right on your guesses about water quality and the differing requirements.

    Java Fern are slow growers. Use the Excel daily.

    Check out this link it should be a great help.
    http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/plants_101.php
     
  6. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Also look into fertilizer pellets from AquariumPlants.com if you follow the planting recommendations of the author.
     
  7. Reef Madness

    Reef Madness Flamingo Tongue

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    Sorry Doratus looks like I should update my sig. No currently I have a 75gal. reef to be, and 2x 55gal. Cichlid tanks. I am updating my lighting in the Saltwater tank, and would like to take advantage of the old light to update one of the cichlid tanks into a planted tank. I personally don't really care for most tropical fish either, but I am a sucker for cichlid tanks. I love the aggression and personalities that you get with these fish, and breeding them is amazing to me.

    Thank you 2in10 not exactly what I had hoped for, but it is kinda what I had expected and the reason that I hadn't tried it in the past. I will look into it a little further though.
     
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  9. blowfish

    blowfish Plankton

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    have you looked into african root wood for decoration?