I am doing cost analysis right now between turning my 90 gallon drilled tank into either a SW grassbed tank or a planted Discus
tank. I currently have a successful SW reef tank with lots of SPS corals and a African Tropheus
colony in a 55 gal which I am taking down so I am not new by any means to the fish keeping hobby.
Heres my first issue. As you can tell from the history above, both of my current tanks require hard water and high PH, in fact I buffer my Tropheus
up to 9.0 and dont have to touch my SW PH since I use RODI water off my tap from the aquafer. I know most fish locally bought are used to the local high PH and hardness, so if I go Discus
, that wont be an issue. What will be an issue is the substrate and the drift wood I plan on using will be dropping the PH and soften the water in the tank as they sit there so when I do a water change, its going to shock the system. Are those powders that supposedly drop PH actually work and is there a more economically feasable way to drop my WC water? I raise my PH with baking powder and a few other things currently for my Tropheus
and thats not an issue. Could I use Morton's Water Softening salt for its obvious use to soften the water a bit? What to use for the PH? When I do water changes they will be fairly large so buying ten buck powders every couple weeks is a no go. Whats a good home remedy for this as well?
My second issue is lighting. I have a 4 bulb T-5 system with all the bangles. I havent really researched into what plants I want but should be able to cover about everything. What color 54w bulbs should I use. Currently I have 2 actinic and 2 daylight bulbs(no idea what the K rating is without opening it up.) I really want to use the blue to bring out the blue on the Discus
and rams I plan on having. So there is one bulb. What should I use for the other bulbs with K ratings, please? Also if someone could mention a place to buy said bulbs if they are outside the normal marine ranges (6500k-10k + actinic)
Thanks for the help.