Hi folks, brand new to TPT.net. I have been keeping planted tanks for about 30 years, but now that we have all these forums I find that I've been doing everything wrong.
I have never used BDBS before but got a 20lb bag of Medium Grit today for my new set-up. I plan on using AquaVitro aquasolum as the substrate and capping it with the BDBS. I have used the Aquasolum for a couple of years with good results, but never capped.
I want to cap it this time for A) looks and B) to give my Kuhli Loaches a nice sandy bottom to dig and forage in. I have been keeping Kuhlis off and on for a long time (40 years) and went to sand about 20 years ago. The fish like it but it's been a struggle to keep the plants happy, since I didn't really know what I was doing. The LFS guys are anti-forum, so I just used what they suggested - inert gravel or sand and lots of fertilizers, with mixed results.
A couple years ago when the Aquasolum came out I started mixing it with my gravel / sand, and the plants liked it. But it doesn't look very natural. I recently found lots of good reviews/advice for the Black Diamond, as well as using it to cap aqua-soils for a good looking and nutritious tank. That is what I am getting ready to do this weekend - a base layer of the Aqasolum soil pellets covered with the BDBS for good looks, good foraging and good burrowing material for my loaches.
BUT, I got the BDBS today and it looks sharp.
Like lots of broken glass sharp. I have read nothing but good reviews of it for bottom dwelling fish like Plecos and Corys, but the Kuhlis like to dig down into the sand. I am worried the BDBS will nick their scale-less skin.
The alternative at this point would be to use straight Aquasolum without any cap. It doesn't look natural, but it is all soft round pellets and will not hurt the Kuhlis.