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Re: Questions, questions

Medium gravel by itself probably is not a good substrate.  Kitty litter, 
Flourite or some of the other substrates talked about on this list would be a 
better choice.  Search the archives for 'substrates'.  I personally use Kitty 
litter with some form of fairly fine gravel to 'seal' in the kitty litter, 
and I've have had great success.

Cloudy water is a common symptom of newly set-up tanks and causes great 
distress.  The fact is that patience along with good husbandry pratices, such 
as judicious feeding, appropriate fish loads and reasonable water changes,  
and time will solve the problem.  I would never recommend an algaecide in a 
small closed system such as an aquarium.  I believe they just make money for 
those who make them and do not solve the underlying problem.  

There are many good fertilizers on the market.  In general I avoid the one's 
with nitrates and phophates.  However I've read on this list of those 
actually adding nitrate to their tanks.  There seems to be a balance or ratio 
between nitrates, phosphates and potassium that romotes optimal plant growth. 
 There have been numerous discussions on the list about phosphates and a 
search and study mission may answer better your question.  I believe however 
if phosphate is high, you will have problems in the form of undesirable algae 

I have snails in my tank and frankly their presence seems to coincide with 
good conditions.  this is my personal observatioin and I cant speak for 
others.  They seem to help with grazing on algae and burwoing in the 
substrate.  They also eat any uneaten food on the bottom.