I have been reading this forum for about 4 hours now, and I feel like I'm going blind from all the choices (and great advice!).
I have a 54 gallon corner tank. It's a very (very) long story, but I had the tank up and running with a layer of Eco-Complete and then just Peace River gravel on top. I liked the pebble look. Had to tear down the tank (same long story) and remove everything. There was no way to keep the 2 substrates separated, so right now they are a mishmash in a 5 gallon bucket waiting for the tank to be ready - which should be this weekend.
Well, I do not like the way it looks all mingled together. I realized that would happen over time anyway, but it's really bothering me. I am almost willing to just go buy new substrate and save this mixture for a future tank that I'm not going to be so picky about - or divide it among smaller tanks. Before I do that, can anyone suggest a cap I could put on top to just smooth out the overall look and color? I don't want to do sand, but I would if it would work the best. I was looking at something like a red clay montmorillonite? The rock wall is a red/beige/terracotta look, so I would want the substrate to either be reddish or even black. I do have a bag of Floramax in my new 10G tank that I like the look of.
I do not have CO2 in this tank. I will be doing Excel and ferts - I have the PPS-Pro pack. I also have homemade root tabs with osmocote +. About the most demanding plant I will have in this tank is probably amazon sword - I'm going for easy, easy, easy.