02-25-2013, 07:00 PM
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I would add either sand or vermiculite to keep water flowing. Sand being the better option.
I wrote a long post, but it got lost...
You don't want a lot of organics. I typically use soil from spots where rainwater collects and sits. Soil from a waterway only works if its fishless. If there are fish, there might be infectious organisms. You could bake itbefore you mineralise, then add soil from somewhere else during the mineralisation to introduce beneficial microorganisms... Its just a lot of work.
MTS won't prevent h2so4 buildup, since they stay out of the anaerobic areas. They can help keep the aerobic areas healthy, but I don't use them.
I'm scared to type out more... my last advice is to use rooted plants at startup, make sure there's enough oxygen (from a filter), and keep the total substrate 2 inches or less in small tanks. Stem plants will keep the tank stable enough for stocking on day 1 (when the water is clear enough for good plant growth)
A capless tank would be great for raising live fish foods... Perhaps gammarus, scuds, blackworms, daphnia and colorful snails?
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