I would like to upgrade my 55gal goldfish tank into a fully planted tank, and would like to ask if anyone will share his/her expertise. The tank's been set up for about 9 months, and I've been adding and rotating plants periodically for my goldfish to munch on and to help with the nitrate level. Well the plants never thrive enough to have any effect on nitrate partly because my goldfish do devour some of them and do thrash around in the tank a lot, but also I think because the environment isn't quite right. After reading about benefits of proper water hardiness in aquariums in general, I've been working on raising the hardiness in my tank for the past few weeks by adding Seachem buffer and Wondershells. The tap water is soft around here, and I used to get readings of below 70ppm for both KH and GH, and they are now KH at 100 and GH 180+. I have a 36" single florescent light fixture at 30w, and that probably isn't even close to being enough light. I've been looking into options such as T5HO and power compact, and from reading some other threads here T5HO seems to have more member votes. I noticed power compact bulbs have much higher wattage than T5HOs though, so if I went with, for example, a 48" T5HO fixture, would I need one that holds 4 bulbs? I'm thinking I may have to do something with the gravel as well. There is average 1.5" of pea gravel in the tank now, and the only plant now that's actually somewhat rooted is a type of lotus I think with a bulb to hold it in place. Should I use a layer of plant substrate of some sort or perhaps mix finer substrate with the existing gravel? I understand it maybe a bit trickier with goldfish, but I'm not talking about highly manicured aquascaping. I'm just very attracted to the idea of an aquarium as a balanced and working system. Am I missing something here? Any ideas will be appreciated. Thanks!