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[APD] setting up 160 gal plant tank

Hi all,
I was able to purchace a second hand 160 gal tank (sat MT for over 10 years) on the very cheap. I'd like to set it up for growing plants but with fish also (characins, dwarf cichlids, corys, rasbora.). It is 84 x18 x 24 deep. It came with a predrilled corner overflow which skimmed water off the surface and led to a large trickle filter in the wooden cabinet below. The lighting system was (3) 160W 6foot VHO tubes (2 Sylvania day lights and 1 Sylvania natural light). They still work but must have been extensively used since there are dark burn marks near the ends. It appears though that all three bulbs must be used for the ballast to work. So, it's 480 W or I need a different system. It looks like it will cost me around $100 to replace the bulbs. So.....one question is .......should I stay with this VHO system and if so what bulbs should I get? I plan on using CO2 since I have a 20lb tank and regulator. I'd like not to go the pH controller route (at least at first). So I will need a good needle valve and some kind of reactor. Again.......recommendations with reasons are welcome. I'd like to stick with #3 quartz gravel which I can get very cheaply thru a US Quartz distributer locally. I was thinking perhaps 350 lbs.or so. Also, I was considering a thin pure laterite underlayer (3 55oz boxes). Is this worth the approx $40 expense? My understanding is that a trickle filter may not be appropriate with CO2. Also, the return pump on the filter is very large and power hungry. So, I'd like to use a large canister filter anyway for economic reasons. Finally, what are the chances I can avoid huge initial algae blooms with all that light? What is the best way to go about it? .I've been really psyched since my first real success with a beautiful red rubin sword in a 20 gal long tank with a 55W compact fluorescent. Previosly, I had always stayed in th 1-1.5W/gal regime with crypts, anubias, java ferns and moss. So, this is a whole new ballgame for me and I'd like to avoid any expensive mistakes I can. All comments and recomendations welcome.
...........................................thanks...................Ron Schulz .
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