Agreed! This should definitely be a sticky!! Mods???
Just a few questions i4x4nMore if you don't mind.
(1) You mention fine gravel as cap over the soil. Could you post pictures to give an idea of grain size of the gravel you mean. Have you ever experimented with different caps and noticed any positive or negative experiences or one working better than another. For instance, pool filter sand, Schultz Aquatic Soil, Soil Master Select, tahitian moon sand vs pea size gravel.
(2) What photoperiod do you run your lights and have you noticed any positive or negative effects on plants or algae with different photoperiods. If so, what photoperiod would you recommend.
(3) How long have your tanks been running? Have you noticed and effects of substrate nutrient depletion(via plant nutrient deifciency symptoms) and the need to add more water column ferts over time.
(4) Do you follow the 1 inch per gallon rule of stocking when it comes to fish/snails/shrimp. Do you generously stock your tanks or keep stocking to a minimum? How frequently do you feed your fish?
(5) Finally, what is your water change schedule like and how much(% of total tank water approximately) water do you change?