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pretty sure the standard depth is one inch dirt to 2inch capping substrate. though in smaller tanks i only do one and one. you can boil, bake or otherwise mineralize your dirt but it is not a requirement you can use it as is. everybody seems to agree you need to use the miracle organics choice potting mix. there is two organics choice one called mix the other called soil, read the content label, you do not want the one with cow manure, but chicken urea is acceptable. you might be able to use your mix if you soak it in a bucket for two weeks with daily water changes to leach out the ferts. then use it, plant heavily with heavy feeders and let it grow out for two weeks. this is where duckweed can be your friend. i think the lights ok, but keep an eye out for some material that is super shiny and pliable enough to make a curved reflector out of, if you can see an image in the surface it is a good material. i wouldn't worry about CO2, soil makes it's own. There is tons of info on the forums that will clarify some of things and there are people that have been doing this longer so read every thread you can. one thing to watch out for are folks who act like the way they do things is the only way to do things, those folks are probably doing something wrong lol
 
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