05-24-2012, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by ytownxj
Got some updates for everyone and a concern:
My malaysian driftwood will be in tomorrow! I've been checking the water levels and ammonia has never gone up. Nitrate on the other hand went up a little high (40ppm) the other night and I did a water change and am planning on doing another one tomorrow if the level is still high. I think it was one of my plants with a rotting stem and just loose leaves and stuff.
Anyways, my concern is with the plants and the substrate. I've been reading more about my sand choice in substrate and getting a little worried about compacting and oxygen flow to the root systems. Would it be a good idea to dig out the sand, plant the plant, and then instead of filling back in with sand using some gravel (1-2mm) substrate? Or would you try to bag the sand idea all together (lots of work)? Any advice would be great, don't want to go through all this work to have the plants never take off for me!
Thanks a ton!
There is no issue with sand, provided it is not too deep. From 2 to 3 inches overall depth in a 4-foot tank is fine, I have this in my 115g. Plant roots will easily push through sand, and that will keep it from compacting. There is where lots of substrate-rooted plants like the pygmy chain sword and chain sword, crypts, Vallisneria and larger swords with their extensive root systems do a good job. I also recommend Malaysian Livebearing snails, they burrow throughout the substrate. A few "dead spots" is also fine, this is natural, just leave them alone. I never mess down under my many chunks of wood and rock.