05-20-2014, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by lilnaugrim
They aren't essential but they certainly can help out! Yes, they would have enough soil to run around in and be fine. I had MTS in my non-soil based planted tank and they were happy enough to burrow around in the sand!
I have been unhappy with the sand cap in my 20 gallon, substrate is only 2 inches thick, maybe a little bit more in areas and I've been having lots of bubbles and this is in a tank that isn't terribly old. They aren't harmful as of yet but it is ridiculous, I wish I chose to do something with a larger grain size on that tank although I'm not sure if it makes much a difference in the end. I did have a 3 gallon NPT soil based with gravel on top and never had these issues!
But you can poke the soil as I do with my tweezers or a chop stick.
As for starting dry, are you going to misting the plants? You could start off a great carpet of something like Baby Tears, dwarf hairgrass, glosso, and more since they have a great supply of co2 if you start dry and then acclimate them to underwater as you fill the tank. I think that's what you're asking about anyway, let me know if I'm totally off the track lol.
This is all a new area for me, so to a degree, I am not even sure what the right questions are
As for dry, that's good to know about the carpet. Hadn't even crossed my mind really. What I was really kind of wondering about is if the plants grow with a plentiful CO2 supply, as they pull that down into the roots, oxygenating the soil, if that had some benefit to the soil and eco-system once water is added.
That's also why I asked about keeping the soil aerobic. Will this type of thing, meaning letting the plants grow dry or above the water level, serve to aerate the soil?