There is no good reason to use three layers, and expecting them to stay in 3 seperate layers is just asking for a letdown. Sand will settle down.
I have 4 layers-
1st layer Laterite
2nd layer Reptile coconut bark
3rd layer top soil with potassium sulfate and calcium sulfate
4th layer river sand
Laterite provides iron, reptile bark provides Co2. Tap water has no minerals so I added minerals.
oh. do you know a good way to start a 10 gallon planted. substrate wise?
Eco-compete 20lb will give 1.5 in substrate. Petco has sales on it occasionally. Cheapest is to get Scott's top soil and Miracle grow cactus soil. Mix 3 parts top soil to 1 part cactus soil. Then top with river sand or pool filter sand (PFS). I prefer the river sand for it never looks dirty contrary to the PFS. Tank I saw where it looked white was vacuummed 3xs a week. I only vacuum my tank 1x a month so it got nasty.
ok, so just get some "Scotts top soil and miracle grow cactus soil and mix 3 parts top soil and 1 part cactus soil? OK i got that down. just were can i get this stuff? online? or can i get it at a lowes?