04-23-2012, 11:36 PM
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Sand, plants and possibly mixing gravel.
Well I am moving next month and so I have to go through the horrendous process of breaking down my two tanks and transporting them to another state. Since I am breaking it down, I have become very very frustrated with my EcoComplete substrate in my 29g because all of my rooted plants are stem plants and I can never get them to stay put. I have about a 2.5"-3.0" layer so its plenty deep but stems and EcoComplete just do not mix.I have amano shrimp, snails, cories that constantly pester them and even the thick ones that grow beyond the top will get uprooted. I was hoping to solve this by switching to a sand substrate. I know they are not big time root feeders so I could get away with stems and root tabs every few months to help with the low CEC. I was wondering if anyone has had success. I'm not looking for out of this world growth, but as long as it maintains and does not wilt away I am happy. I have yeast DIY CO2, regular dosage with liquid ferts,and dual T5 bulb setup for lighting on a timer. I know that the tabs would be better with the sand so i plan to incorporate those if I do switch. Was thinking of purchasing some pool filter sand since it is pool season here in the SW and its available and cheaper than usual and I like the look better than play sand.
Also on I side note I have seen some people mix a bottom layer of gravel with a nylon mesh to keep the sand layer on top and prevent mixing but still allow plant roots to get the high CEC benefits from the underlying gravel that they can stretch into. Wondering if anyone is familiar with this process as well.