>> 1) Should I vacuum the substrate during my weekly 5g water changes? <<
Yes, but in areas where there are plants, simply run the vac over the surface
to pick up surface detritus and dead leaves. Do NOT drill down into the
gravel in areas around the plants or you'll damage the roots.
>> Should I mix into the gravel something else in addition to the occasional
tablet of Tetra Crypta Hydro? <<
I am a firm believer in the use of laterite in planted tanks. This can be
added to a set up tank quite easily if you by the "ball" form. There will be
some very temporary clouding, but it will settle out quickly.
E-mail from: Karen Randall, 03-May-1995