I'm still waiting on my ADA shipment containing 30lbs of Ryuoh stones to cherry pick. It's hard for me to get a sense of what's possible elevation-change wise until I actually get my hands on the ADA substrates (it's also possible/probable I might change my mind entirely...again, based on the stones.)
I've been giving a lot of thought to trying the DSM. I'm still researching but It seems this tank might be a perfect candidate allowing the carpet to take hold and hopefully help stabilize the Aquasoil Powder. I think I've made a decision on the water - Initially, I was hoping that for the sake of simplicity, I could use my tap water. As I thought through it further, here's why I'm leaning toward remineralizing RO/DI...,
As strange as it seems, over time my well water varies quite a bit. I test is several times a year and find that TDS ranges from ~250 to as high as ~400. I'm at a loss to explain why (aquifer changes, water-softener variations...), but it does pose another variable that might be harder to manage than simply using the known quantity that is 0TDS RO/DI.
Maintaining reefs has my routines pretty regimented. I test a lot and leverage technology (Apex, probes, reactors...) to monitor and allow me to create a stable environment. I find this especially valuable as I travel extensively and Internet access and alerting provides an additional level of comfort. Because I'm so conditioned to having known values and clear targets, strangely I think I might find it more stressful not knowing what's going into the tank (via tap water) vs the comparatively simple process of adjusting RO/DI. This coupled with the fact I already have a RO/Di system in place and can easily incorporate an automated top-off system, I think makes RO/DI a better choice for me.
Hi-tech vs low-tech, lights and CO2 - I designed this so I could go either way, or perhaps more accurately - both ways. I had the CO2 equipment already on hand including a AP Carbon Doser regulator that coupled with the Apex and pH monitoring should make managing CO2 virtually plug-and-play. I chose the LEDs so I could easily vary the amount of PAR (i.e. lots for DSM, than less as needed once submerged.)
I went this way as I'm just smart enough to know I don't
know what I'm doing and it affords me the most flexibility along the way for when I hopefully reach the point that I do
know what I'm doing.