I apologize if this is too much info or a repeat question. I have a hard time finding much recomendations for a planted tank the size of mine with a large fish community.
Here is what I have.
125 Gallon Freshwater community tank set up for about 3 months
Small gravel substrate with driftwood and plastice plants
2 Marineland 360 canisters and a HOB Magnum for polishing duty.
Current fish (I know I'm pretty full plan to move a couple schools to my 29 gallon once it is set up)
5 rummy nose tetra
5 red eye tetra
5 columbian blue tetra
2 rainbow sharks (they don't fight much with all the hiding spots)
3 baby clown loaches
1 Zebra botia (don't know the real name 2-3 inches long. LFS says they get about 4-5 inches)
1 lepard botia (don't know the real name 2-3 inches long. LFS says they get to about 4-5 inches)
1 gold dojo loach
2 bala sharks (about 4 inches now)
4 cory cats (juli cory's I believe)
4 zebra danios
5 white cloud tetra
8 tiger barbs
Current lights - 2 36 inch single tube lights and 1 30 inch tube light.
So that is what I have now. Now I want to start planting the tank.
1. Are any of my fish a big concern with a planted tank?
2. What your opinion on the follow light options for lights? Cost is pretty much the same
get 2 96 watt CF retrofit kits from AH supply and put them in the existing fixtures - Total of 194 watts of CF lighting
Put plant bulbs in current 36 inch fixures (30 watts each) and add a pair of dual T5 36 inch stips 78 watts each. - Total of 216 watts (if this is a good option should I go with all 6700 lights? The Nova freshwater has 1 6700k and one 10,000,k bulb.
3. I have city water and a water softner. Should I be using straight city water or water after it has gone thru the softner? The city water is pretty hard. Right now the tank is about 1/2 and 1/2. Every other water change I shut off the softner for the change. The water tests out in the medium hardness in all my tests. Sorry I'm at work I don't know the specifics
I'm not going for prize winning planted tank or anything. Just want a good healthy active community tank with living plants. I want to get rid of all the plastic plants.
Any other info or comments that may be useful would be greatly appreciated. I have read allot of good information but there isn't allot of detailed information about a planted tank the size of mine so I wanted some opinions. I think I have the general concepts - Plant food, CO2... all that is understood. Trying to stay away from CO2 if possible. I know CO2 is better but hoping to get by without it.