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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello amazing community,

I want to pick your brains as I’m trying to setup a new tank and want to level up my aquascaping skills.

I’m planning on having baby dwarf tears, pogostemon erectus, myriophyllum mini and regular, alternanthera mini, dwarf grass.

And have been debating on what granularity to use.
I wonder if getting extra fine for the baby dwarf tears is worth it.
And whether I should go regular or fine for the rest of the plants.


Extra: is it worth getting a base of ADA power sand? (Basic vs advanced thoughts)


Thank you all


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I like a mix of aquasoil sized granules with sand, makes planting most plant species pretty easy. Some people are not fans of the look when the two mix.

I'm using small irregular shaped clay pebbles with a fine sand, I have a lot of what you listed planted in that.
 

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I used fine with my Monte Carlo and didn't have any issues planting. My carpet is over a year old and lifted up about 3 months ago. The fine grain size was easy enough to sprinkle over some small sections to get it to root again and didn't look horribly out of place... For dirt sprinkled on my once nice "lawn", lol!

It's a pain getting stems to stay though when I replant tops.

I have since used extra fine Contra Soil (not sure if it's comparable or not) in a tank and don't mind planting in that grain size, although no small carpets in that tank.

As for the power sand, while I don't have first hand experience I did a ton of research for my upcoming 100 gallon where I'm planning on having some thicker sections of Aquasoil. Consensus was that, while nice, it was not really needed. Crushed lava rock would serve the same purpose if you where worried about stagnation/compaction as well as give the benefit of better bacteria growth, which is mostly the point of power sand.

I understand, though, if you want to keep everything ADA compliant. :)

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the input, not married to ADA, just that for Power Sand like product, it’s actually the only one I found.

I’ve been thinking on using lava rock for foundation, though the one at Home Depot is small, not sure is fine enough to be considered crushed.

As for the aqua soil, I’ve been looking into Controsoil, just not sure if go with medium with a layer of extra fine where I would be putting the carpet, or fine with a layer of extra fine.

Thanks for the thoughts and options.


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My preference is to use a medium sized gravel then fill in between the individual pieces of gravel with smaller media:
I laid down my media in this order:
Sprinkling of lime
Sprinkling of potash
Sparagum peat moss
Aragonite sand
Finley crushed red lava rock (from driveway)
A fine layer of recycled dirt from the 35g to introduce soil bacteria cultures
A good layer of horticultural charcoal for buffering
Miracle grow organic potting soil
Loamy volcanic soil (from back yard)
Red clay
Azomite for trace elements
5mm river gravel
Amazonia sprinkled heavily on top of the gravel and allowed to settle into the gravel
Amazonia powder sprinkled heavily on top of the Amazonia and allowed to settle into the gravel
Black sand heavily sprinkled on top of the Amazonia powder and allowed to intersperse with the lower layers for a pleasing random color pattern.

I like the look of bigger grains with smaller grains interspersed and the color variation of the different grain sizes. The Amazonia and Amazonia powder were VERY distinctly different colors... which I used to my advantage.
 
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