This is a new journal for the re-scaped 220-gallon. I had been using MGOPM capped with coarse sand in the previous set-up, and replanting every once in a while was a disaster. Not so much to cloud the water, but terrible enough to see dark soil sediments on top of tan sand...
Anyway, I am using Black Diamond Blasting Abrasive 20/40 grit this time. No soil underlayer, but I will be using Osmocote Plus root tabs around Cryptocoryne, Vallisnerias, and Staurogynes, and other root feeders.
So here is what we have: a 220-gallon full of plants, which over time lost its initial idea or order because I let a lot of species grow wherever there was space.
I am going to keep about 45 gallons of water from the old set-up, so I first put it aside before mudding the water. I also left about some 0.5" layer of water mixed with mud at the bottom of the tank, but removed anything solid, such as wood chips present in MGOPM.
And here is Black Diamond Blasting Abrasive 20/40 grit. I purchased six 50-lb bags of this at $7.99 at Tractor Supply.
The good news is I didn't have to wash Black Diamond at all (what a relief!). I just dumped it onto the aquarium and started filling with water. It's quite clean, and here is what the tank looks after filling.
And here is what the tank looks like couple hours later with plants.
Alternanthera reineckii 'Mini'
Cryptocoryne crispulata balansae
Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Green'
Hygrophila corymbosa 'Kompakt'
Limnophila sp. 'Wavy'
Lysimachina numularia aurea
Microsorum pteropus 'Narrow Leaf'
Vallisneria spiralis 'Tiger'
I will likely be moving plants around, replacing some with other species, until I get to the point, where plants are best contrasted by both leaf shapes and color.