Well I decided on the flourite with a layer of sand on top. I'm also going to add fertilizer directly in the sand to help out the plants. Any opinions even bad ones would be appreciated. I think I need to fill out the tank a li8ttle more with either another rock and or plant.
Only problems I see is the depth of the sand as it will compact over time. Also, you're using a HOB filter, outgassing the Co2 produced by the fish that the plants use to build themselves. A Canister filter is the preferred choice for a planted tank, and if you're serious about having a well-planted tank, it'd be necessary to get one.
Also, DIY Co2 would be a cheap way to get lush growth. Now what are the lights you have over that tank?
I'm not 100% but I think sand is no good for plants, it compacts around the roots and starves them. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
You shouldn't have too much trouble with compacting, seeing as you have fluorite underneath to actually put the plant roots into. You should stir the sand up regularly though, and you can get critters to help like Malaysian Trumpet Snails.
Unfortunately the light right now is only a 20 watt bulb. In a week or 2 I should have the 80 watt system (Orbit by current). I'll still add the fertilizer and make sure I stir up the sand once a week or every other week. Does anyone know which Co2 kits are reasonable and good, so I won't have to clean out the kid's college savings? Also why are the snails bad? do they cause diseases?[/u]
The snails aren't bad, trumpet snails will dig under the sand, they will help keep the sand mixed up. You could go for DIY co2 there are suggestions on how to make the system in the DIY section. VERY SIMPLE!!
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