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Re: More on Simone's substrate question
IMHO, unless you want to rearrange your aquarium every year or so, I don't
believe that you have to tear down the setup in order to replace the
substrate. My youngest aquarium is six years old and the plants are
beautiful. I give them away constantly! When something doesn't appear
quite right to my eye, I do as Karen R. does -- add a Jobe's plant stick
and/or place a ball of laterite at the roots of the suspect area. I do
fertilize minimally with an iron/manganese product weekly.
In the meantime, my load of fish are producing fertilizer that goes down
into the gravel and I'm utilizing their waste. I believe that Dupla claims
at least 10 years on their setups. My oldest is more than ten years and is
packed with beautiful plant specimens.
So, you don't have to break down your aquarium. Observe the growth, the
color of the new leaves, the rate of growth, etc.; but most of all, take
time to enjoy your own work of art in the "best hobby in the World"! Don't
make it all work and frustration!
Just my two cents!