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Trying new substrate method

Hi everyone

I am about to set up a new tank using "Steve's fertile 3 layer substrate"
for the first time.  My current 90 gal tank is gravel only with fertilizer
additives.  I have read everything (i think) on the Krib & AGA and previous
postings to this list on substrate and fertilizers.  I am still slightly
confused on the issue of which layers to put certain additives into.  My
plan is as follows:  (comments, opinions & suggestions appreciated:)

100 gal tank 72x18x18 with open top
Homemade hood suspended from ceiling (thanks Eric)
Icecap ballast w/3 vho bulbs 140 watts each
2 full spectrum 6500k for the plants & 1 blue actinic to bring out the color
in my fish
DIY yeast CO2 bubbled thru my canister filter
No carbon - just ceramic noodles & peat
spray bar positioned vertical to minimize surface movement
Substrate: (thanks Steve)
Bottom layer - 2 bags flourite + 2 large boxes dupla laterite
Middle layer - topsoil+peat+vermiculite+perlite+well aged compost
Top layer - 3 inches of medium grade sand blast sand (silica)
Plants - varieties of val, water sprite, hygro poly, giant hygro,crinium,
various swords
bacopa, rotala, anubias & crypts under the "shade" of the val forest after
the soil matures

I will transfer my 8 discus to this tank when it has aged so the temp will
have to be 82-83F
My local tap water is very soft - 2 dkh - with neutral ph and no chloramine
Plan to do small daily water changes with straight tap water & PMDD (thanks

I started my 90 gal plant tank 2 years ago as a complete newbie and was
convinced that I needed every chemical concoction & gadget known to man to
make it work right - (my LFS loves me!:) so I have been thru lots of stuff,
trial and error and money and still did not have the kind of plant display I
wanted.  Plus the 90 gal tank
is so deep that it has almost broken my back trying to maintain it.  I am
looking forward to a tank that is only 18" deep!  Finally, I found Karen,
George, Steve, Paul, Erik and all the others posting to this list and
writing articles that have convinced me that less is better.  So I am going
for medium tech - minimized everywhere possible. I used to just want to grow
plants - now I want to become a "gardener" - (thanks Karen:)

My questions are:

1.  Which layer do I put the additive into?

I have the following (to use sparingly):
fritted trace elements
micronized iron
aquaterra (potassium, magnesium, iron)
flourite tables
& the dupla tablets that came with the laterite

All in the bottom?  divide them between bottom & middle? if they should be
divided - does it matter which ones go in which layer?  I understand that I
need to minimize the amount that will leach into the water column - so that
would lead me to believe they should all go in the bottom?

2.  Is there any benefit to mixing "aged" gravel into the bottom & middle
layers to give the bacteria a boost?  If so, into both layers or just the
middle organic?

3.  I want to use the plants, driftwood & fish from my 90 gal - but it is
currently covered in hair algae.  I've kept up with the recent postings on
the bleach method but was wondering why not remove all the plants and treat
whats left with an algaecide?  Wouldn't that be better than the bleach & not
have to tear down the tank?

4.  Also - I want to transfer my mature canister to the new tank.  Will the
algaecide take care of what ever is in the filter?  If so, how long should I
wait after treatment before moving it?

Would it just be better to start from scratch with my canister - and
sterilize it & the media?

Mucha gracias!

Kevin Reavis
kevinreavis at msn_com
in beautiful NC where spring has also finally sprung!