Just An Observation Since Switching To Sand
A few months ago, I decided to experiment with a play sand substrate in a ten gallon aquarium. I loved the appearance right away. In a short time, I noticed that plants that would normally uproot if I wasn't careful during maintenance had a much firmer hold. Then I noticed that the plants just seemed to have an overall healthier look. Now, plants that I always struggled with (vals,sags) are literally taking over. I'm so thrilled that I haven't thinned them out. If anyone out there is on the fence, I would strongly suggest you give it a try. I have changed a thirty gallon over to sand and will do so in my 55 when a thorough cleaning is due (years).
Thanks for posting.
FWIW it also agrees with my experience.
I also found the by using a layer of peat moss with sand on top hardness as in kh and gh remianed constant. But with just the sand they did tend to increase over years and years.
Thanks, I'll definitely give the peat a try on the next occasion.
Peat used to be reccomended, but now It's next to impossible to find plain pure peat with no additives. (Sphagum peat can be toxic, and fertilisers and surfactants can hurt the fish too.)
If you live close to a hardwood forest, subsurface soil can be added (1/2 inch of soil mixed into 1/2 inch of clean sand) and topped with sand. A little more (2/3 inch of each) for larger tanks, sloped up in the back, but the "mixture" should only make up half or less of the total substrate depth.
Even a few tablespoons of soil can make a difference, and any soilcan be used.
That's why I use the canadain spahgum peat moss with nothing added.
Actually given time even potting soil/peat with ferts can be used. I just takes longer for the plants to balance out the tank and there in the mean time there could be algae problems.
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