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Why so much sand?? It's already a shallow tank. I'd suck the front down to 1" and have it raise towards the back. Look up aquascaping guides
 

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If plants need 2" of soil it means 'nutrient soil' and not inert sand.

I would get rid of all of it and maybe just have a very thin top layer if you want the white sand look at the top. You could also push the soil away from the front glass and drop sand in there... so it looks like ALL sand yet you have aquasoil at the bottom layer
 

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You are correct but with your nano tank and shallow tank you will need to choose between a more shallow soil (stunting growth of plants potentially) which will give you more room for fish.... Or give your plants rooting space at the expense of fish capacity
 
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