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I'm planning a 110gal brackish tank and am thinking of using a small-to-fine sized light colored sand for a substrate (perhaps with some crushed coral mixed in, but haven't decided), trying to match a particular ecosystem. Rooted plants I'm considering are vals, sags, and crypt. ciliata. I've heard the vals can do ok in sand, but that the ciliata needs more nutrients in the substrate.

Is there a way that I could incorporate a nutrient source in or below the sand and still be able to maintain a clean look? I'd rather not have flourite or laterite or whatever come up to the top when the sand is disturbed.

One idea I had is to take egg crate and layer the bottom with it. Then fill the egg crate with laterite or peat or other additives and cover it with window screen or other inert mesh. Sand then goes on top of that.

Is this a good idea? Any other ideas?
 
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