05-05-2010, 01:22 PM
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The depth of the sand has an effect on compaction, the deeper it is the more likely to compact. This is why tanks with sand as the substrate material usually have shallower depth. But at the same time, some plants need depth to root. In your 2.4g you will not have plants with extensive root systems, except if you have crypts that do like space to spread their roots, so a depth of 1 inch at the front sloped to 2 inches at the back would work. You could build up the back as terraces with rock or wood, thus keeping the deeper sand in a smaller area where the larger plants would be planted. Poking it with a fork regularly should work.
Depending upon the actual shade of the tan sand, it could be effective with tetras and betta. But I certainly agree, these fish stand out beautifully with a darker substrate and background, and with plants.
There are planted tank substrates like black sand that you can get, and for a smaller tank like your 2.4g this wold not be very expensive, as say doing my 115g would.