I recently started a 5 gal marineland hex tank and its gotten off to a good start with a few bumps along the way. I have black Tahiti moon sand in there with like 5 or 6 plants and, at first, the plants did ok, when I say ok its because I had the standard incandescent light it came with but I upgraded to an 11 watt compact florescent which is much better. I started out with cabomba, frill, moneywort, Anubis, and scarlet temple (Petsmart) and before I got the new light in there the plants of course started to die. The Anubis and fern were doing fine along with the moneywort but I couldn't say the same about the others, I've had to pick off dead bits every day and I'm getting tired of it, today I'll probably take them out and toss them. Now, before I set up my aquarium, I talked to a friend who is very a experienced aquarist and he turned me on to the idea of sand because he said with a densely planted tank there's no need to vacuum the sand. Great! I thought to myself, that's easy. Upon reading more about this online, I found you have to churn the sand to release dead pockets trapped in there that could kill my fish after a while. I talked to another friend about this and he said as long as you have rooting plants you shouldn't have to churn the sand at all. I tested the water after a few weeks of having fish and it said high ammonia and nitrites so I did a water change and it got a little cloudy but I waited and did another and its gotten much better. Any advice about the churning though?