Originally Posted by Mashiro
So, I'm thinking of turning my Aqueon 5 gallon into a NPT and I have a few questions.
Does the quality of the soil you're using matter at all? I'm pretty sure it has to be organic, but other than that is there a good brand name you can recommend?
Also, can I use that black aquarium sand at Petco as a cap?
Should I remove my filter after it matures?
1. Yes and no. Most aquarium substrate marketed as being best for planted aquariums actually have very little value. I have heard the ADA stuff is the best to start with, however it is not the end all of substrates. What actually matters is that you properly fertilize the water column and substrate. Any substrate will eventually become as beneficial as Petco Sand.
In my Evolve 4, I have Petco sand. And my Argentine Swords exploded in growth. I recently rescapped because the swords were so tightly packed. One section had roots at least a foot long. Odd thing is they are not getting taller. In my 30gal at home, I have CarbiSea Floramax, only because it was on sale 50% off.
2. Depends on what you use. The larger sized substrates, like Floramax, will just suck down the sand. But this is as designed. If you went with some sort of Miracle grow mix, yes. In fact I would suggest it.
3. Why would you ever want to remove your filter? It not only gets bad crap out, and keeps good BB in, it also creates water flow.