I'd ideally like to go with Aquasoil or Azoo Plant Grower Bed so I can have plants like crypts and such that are heavy root feeders. Not really keen on pushing root tabs into shrimp tanks. Though, I guess I can use Osmocote Plus rolled in little clay balls and such. And both of those substrates would likely require added crushed coral in a filter to jack the pH up.
Hmm I run azoo plant grower bed brown and I think it looks nice, had I known I was going TT's at the time, I would have gone black. But, does aquasoil come in brown?
The BTOE will stick out like a sore thumb in that brown though so it'll be awesome.
Also I don't like the sound of that ammonia spike, because it means the longer I have to wait for shrimp to be put in! hehe.
Is the flow on your spraybar turned to maximum? I have mine limited a little bit because I don't want the substrate being blown away........but I worry about not enough circulation.....may put in a powerhead in addition.......hmmm.
My focus is always plants first, shrimp second. So I'm comfortable with having to spend a few minutes looking at a tank to get the full picture of livestock and such. So I guess I'm not sure why I'm fretting over substrate, anyway.
Re: spraybar - yep, filter is flowing at about 100%. It's probably more flow than most people are comfortable with but I've found more water movement to be absolutely necessary in this tank. Specifically surface agitation, which helps me keep the tank cooler on these 106 degree days.
Hmm your spray bar is located below the water surface and pointed up.....I never thought of that. I may do that and crank up the water flow. That means I have to pay attention and not let the water level get under the spraybar lol.
Nice plants, I've never seen plants bloom underwater before, looks awesome. What's that plant vine going across the screen in the 3rd pic?
Yep, it's pointed slightly up at the surface. You may be able to tell in the photo above that I drilled every 3rd or 4th hole a bit lower than the rest so I could have better flow.
Having the bar directed at the surface, rather than above the surface spraying down, provides great surface agitation without any noise.
The stringy plant is a form of Utricularia that I can't eradicate from any of my tanks. Came in as a hitchhiker with some Utricularia graminifolia several years ago and I just get get rid of it to save my life. The other stringy things are roots from the Bacopa australis.
Now that the Bacopa australis is well-established, I'm going to start trimming it way down to the base of each stem so I can train it to be more bushy. Also gonna start adding some ferts beneath the bed of Marsilea minuta to help it grow a bit.
Transferred some new C. parva to the right front:
To match the old Crypts on the left:
Decided I like pool filter sand as a substrate for my next tank (BTOE - though, I want a new Cory tank so badly I can taste it):