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Substrate Problems

I have a 20 gallon high aquarium that I have set up according to the book
"Ecology of the Planted Aquarium" by Diana Walstad.  Great book!!!

I have redone the substrate three times, the first two times I used
potting soil and the last time I used top soil as the bottom layer.  I did
not pre-wash the soil before I used it.  For the top layer I used #1 size
gravel/sand.  The gravel is approximately 1 to 2 mm in size and it the
gravel layer is 1 inch to 2 inches deep.

I can not keep the soil layer from coming through the gravel layer.  The
soil layer slowly works it way up through the gravel and form little
mounds of soil.  I have been vacuuming the mounds away when I do a water
change, but within a week or two they are back.

Should I have used larger gravel?

If I keep vacuuming the mounds away, will the soil stop perking it way
through the gravel?

Should I have pre-washed the soil before using it?


Alex Holeczy (alex at wmi_com)