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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I’m not necessarily sure how I’d like to proceed here. I know I want brown sand as a substrate and found a great option at my LFS. It makes a lot of sense to either dirt or add fluorite or some sort of nutrient filled substrate as a base and then cap with sand.

My main concern is rescaping/moving plants and the mess it can make, as well as the mixing of the sand and other substrate. I’ve searched a ton of threads and some people say it’s no issue and some say it’s an eventual nightmare.

Can anyone chime in to give some insight on the above? I’m also thinking of using the DSM method if that matters.

I know root tabs are an option, but for a moderately to heavy planted tank I can see this being a pain and/or costly. Thanks in advance for any help!
 

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Me personally I love the sand. I just learned that when replanting just pull very very slow and the clip off the extra extra long roots. And having some extra sand on hand just in case gets a little to messy- just add more sand.My tank has been dirted for 2 years and I'm so happy I did it. For extra nutrients in substrate I used Amaco red clay, Dolomite powder, and muriate of potash on bottom then 1-1.5 inch dirt (organic miracle grow potying soil mix/cheap topsoil). Then capped it with black diamond sand. I do not know what the DSM method is so I cannot comment on that. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Me personally I love the sand. I just learned that when replanting just pull very very slow and the clip off the extra extra long roots. And having some extra sand on hand just in case gets a little to messy- just add more sand.My tank has been dirted for 2 years and I'm so happy I did it. For extra nutrients in substrate I used Amaco red clay, Dolomite powder, and muriate of potash on bottom then 1-1.5 inch dirt (organic miracle grow potying soil mix/cheap topsoil). Then capped it with black diamond sand. I do not know what the DSM method is so I cannot comment on that. Good luck.
Thanks so much for the response! I appreciate the feedback. I was thinking that pulling and replanting slowly and carefully would help, good to hear.

I do think it's a little easier with black diamond sand as it's nearly the same color as dirt. I'll be using white/light brown sand so I'm a little concerned there. Good info though!
 

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I recently went from brown sand to black, also dirt. I would do things a little different. The big thing I would do differently is get all plants planted and then add sand water next. Making sure that all the dirt has sand on it. I had some major clouding of the water. Things have settled but I am still doing water changes every day. As for my plants I removed them all and put them in a bucket. I kept as much of the tank water as I could to refill the tank. Hope that this helps out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks! I'm seeing a lot of the same type of feedback. Because of the sensitivity of fish I'm planning on keeping, I think I'm going to go with Aquasoil and a sand cap. I've dealt with it before without any issues and I feel like it's prob the safe route to go.
 

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Thanks! I'm seeing a lot of the same type of feedback. Because of the sensitivity of fish I'm planning on keeping, I think I'm going to go with Aquasoil and a sand cap. I've dealt with it before without any issues and I feel like it's prob the safe route to go.
I know I'm late to the party...but how did capping the aquasoil with sand work out? I am thinking of doing the same exact thing. If you have pictures, that would be great!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I know I'm late to the party...but how did capping the aquasoil with sand work out? I am thinking of doing the same exact thing. If you have pictures, that would be great!
I ended up going with sand for ease of use. I got a nice brown colored sand and I love it, I use O+ root tabs heavily. I think if I were really serious about plant growth, I'd go with something that isn't inert instead. When planting heavily, there's no guarantee that all plants are getting enough nutrients--also it can be a pain since I have a tall tank. I also have EI ferts though.

This will end up being a discus show tank, so they're my priority over plant growth. I am about to start a 30g shrimp tank and am considering using dirt and blasting sand or just AS for that!
 

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I ended up going with sand for ease of use. I got a nice brown colored sand and I love it, I use O+ root tabs heavily. I think if I were really serious about plant growth, I'd go with something that isn't inert instead. When planting heavily, there's no guarantee that all plants are getting enough nutrients--also it can be a pain since I have a tall tank. I also have EI ferts though.

This will end up being a discus show tank, so they're my priority over plant growth. I am about to start a 30g shrimp tank and am considering using dirt and blasting sand or just AS for that!
Thanks for letting me know! Good luck with the Discus and Shrimp tanks!
 
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