Originally Posted by Second Hand Pat
Since I have my lighting figured out perhaps substrate is the next consideration. My plan is to use PFS (pool filter sand). It is easy to work with, cheap and vacuums easy. What other questions should I be asking regarding substrate?
I’ve found that it is hard to keep plants rooted in pool filter sand. I would also be surprised if there are any nutrients in it so root tabs would be a good idea
I've been exclusively using a #20 pool filter sand for a while now, zero issues with plants staying rooted and it's heavy enough that it doesn't become suspended if disturbed.
Here's the specific PFS I use, and this is where I buy it. Cheapest I've found it, plus free shipping...how they swing that on a 50 lbs bag blows me away - https://www.intheswim.com/p/pool-filter-sand
It's definitely on the pricier side for PFS, but I've tried others and have not been as pleased, so I'm happy to pay a little extra. This stuff is very clean out of the bag so there's minimal rinsing involved, very uniform grain size, a nice white color - love it! It is inert, but root tabs aren't needed if you're dosing the water column. I tried DIY root tabs very briefly, but I move stuff around fairly frequently, so I ended up with Osmocote+ balls getting pulled to the surface. No bueno. I strictly dose the water column, even the "heavy root feeders" like Crypts are 100% happy. The "heavy root feeders" thing is a myth, FYI
If you have questions about fertilizers, I can try my best to answer.