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>>"What is your preferred substrate for a general planted tank?  IE, if you
>were setting up a tank today, what material(s) would you use to construct
>the substrate?"
>I have flourite (apparently so does everyone else) in my 29G "show" tank and
>I like it very much.  However, the one gripe I have is that the grains are
>too large.  I have coarse sand over kitty litter in two other tanks and my
>cichlids love to sift through the sand.  I'm about to set up another tank
>and debated the issue once again.  This is going to be a show case for my
>new F1 Columbian Rams so I'm doing sand over laterite.  When they make
>fluorite in a much smaller size it will be ideal.

It does grow fine rooted plants like Gloss and hairgrass well though. There
is oynx sand (like flourite except a grey-black)which would solve your grain
size issue BTW. Money is an issue for most but as Mr. Gadd
mentioned..........22$ for 45lbs. ain't bad:) I don't know if they have the
sand at pets.com etc though.
Tom Barr