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I'm thinking of starting a high tech yet low maintenance tank for my office, and it seems only MTS is able to offer high tech tanks with no daily dosing. However, as MTS has to be capped with ~1inch of gravel/sand and HC roots are not deep growing, will I be unable to grow HC in my tank?
 

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I'm not sure, but I would think that any substrate that had to be capped for reasons other than appearance or holding the plants down would have enough nutrients leak into the lower half of the cap to satisfy HC. Why don't you try a 1/2-3/4" cap and if you have trouble with algae you can top it off. I would recommend sand or a more nutrient-rich substrate (Fluorite, etc.) as a cap- sand because you would need a thinner cap; more nutrient-rich substrate to supplement the bottom layer (in case the nutrients leaking through aren't enough). You might also be able to get away with mixing the bottom half of the cap with some of the bottom layer (i.e.: put in bottom layer, put down first half of cap, take a fork or chopstick and lightly swirl the cap just until some of the bottom layer peeks through, plant the HC, then put down the rest of the cap).

I suggest trying out different methods at home and seeing what works before setting the tank up at work. And ask the people you buy the HC from how long the roots get in their experience.

This is probably a bad time to ask, but what is MTS? I thought it stood for Malaysian Trumpet Snail or Multiple Tank Syndrome. I can’t think of any substrates by that name.
 

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This is probably a bad time to ask, but what is MTS?
mineralized topsoil

I'm thinking of starting a high tech yet low maintenance tank for my office, and it seems only MTS is able to offer high tech tanks with no daily dosing.
MTS provides nutrients to the substrate but you still need water column dosing. Not sure about the HC though.
 
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