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Reptile Sand

Dear Bob,

According to the kind folks on the www at Aquatic Concepts and the book "The Optimum Aquarium," fine sand will eventually become too hard and will not provide a good substrate for planted tanks.  Check out http://www.frii.com/~booth/AquaticConcepts.htm for more info.  Also, in the book "Nature Aquarium World" you will find that the author points to tank size as one factor in choosing grain size: the larger the tank, the larger the grain size.  Presumably there are upper limits to grain size of course, but you get the idea ( you don't want huge pebbles as substrate!).  ADA offers three grain sizes.  Check out www.natureaquarium.com for more details.  The overall winner in the substrate category seems to be #3 natural quartz gravel mixed with laterite in the bottom third.  

Hatef Yamini