12-28-2011, 05:04 PM
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On the substrate, I now have tanks with fine gravel, playsand and Flourite (enriched substrate). Plant growth--and I have many of the same species in each of these, with identical light and fertilizing so it is a fair comparison--is much the same in all of them. There may be a slight advantage in the Flourite tank, but I am still having to dose Flourish Comp weekly the same as the other tanks. I do use Flourish tabs next to the large swords in the sand and gravel tanks.
Quantum's comment on substrate fish is important. I moved my corys out of the Flourite tank, the substrate is rather sharp-edged. And one reason I selected Flourite over Eco-Complete was that having seen both in a store I felt the Flourite was not sharp whereas the EC was. Still, the corys did not seem happy, but they are now over sand. Loaches would be the same issue. I have not tried (or seen locally) the other enriched substrates like ADA or Amazonia [if I have those names correct].
On the light, Quantum has commented. Whichever it is, a short duration daily plus heavy floating plant cover should keep it manageable. The latter will also be appreciated by the fish.