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Old 06-13-2018, 01:04 AM   #11
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Just like goatnad, I went LED on a dirt-sand-cap tank and had amazing plant growth for about 2 years. He's right about the mess if you move anything. I would also HIGHLY suggest that you screen the organic soil you use to get rid of floaty chunks of wood/fiber. That was more mess than anything else when I moved plants around. The only other issue is that the dirt is exhausted after 2-4 years. I've had to resort to Fert tabs / caps to restore good plant growth. I've always fertilized the water column with GLA dry ferts, too. This is my 150g display community tank. Currently, it's my mangiest tank due to the soil exhaustion and me not getting enough Fert tabs in there.

My other tanks (40breeder, 12 cube, 65 high) do NOT have dirt. The cube has Fluval shrimp/plant stratum. it's a pain in the arse due to crumbling and settling. Just as much trouble as dirt with a sand cap, way more expensive, and I don't see better growth there than others.

The 40 breeder and 65 high have Flourite or Ecocomplete (or a mix). The 65 has some ADA bacter 100, CaribSea mycorrhyzial supplement, and coco fiber mat. Both are growing like wildfire and doing well with high-power LEDs, CO2, and water column ferts.

I use Finnex Planted Plus on the 40 and the 12. Work -great-. Put MarsAqua black box LEDs on the 65. They're growing carpet plants at 24" depth, which is awesome, and they were cheap.

Anyway, just my experiences, fwiw.
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