It's about 1"-1.5"of cap and 1"-1.5" of top soil.
There's no soil in the middle, so it's a little lower than the rest of the tank. Hopefully nothing will grow there, since that's the area I use to net fish.
Ive already done 3 or 4 changes to cut back on tannins, but it doesn't bother me and Beattys fins seem to like it.
All of the plants in the front have had great color and growth, so I've made changes slowly to avoid upsetting whatever I'm Doug right there.
One thing I learned in the second month was about emerged growth. So, a trick I came up with for the stems in the back was to wait a days or two to refill the tank after I started my water change. That put the plants in an almost-emersed state so they'd have more access to CO2 and oxygen (and light) and grow faster. That way, when I refilled the tank, they'd be just a little bit closer to the surface than before the water change.
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