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Reid Kerr asks....
>My current tank seems to be doing quite well now, but I don't know if I
>can expect this to continue given my current substrate, and I would
>appreciate any help you could provide.
If you are happy with the val, hygro, water sprite, and swords, your
success should continue indefinitely. These are fairly undemanding
plants. You might try potting the swords (in soil), or placing dried
balls of clay encompassing bits of pond tabs below the roots of the
swords. Lake Ontario water is about DH 7 unless it has changed since
I last lived in Mississauga. That's just fine. I don't know what Kent's
mixture contains, but make sure you add potassium during your weekly
water changes. Another inch of gravel wouldn't hurt either. Dozens
of species, especially stem plants, will grow well in plain gravel.
Swords, aponogetons, and crypts do better with a deeper soil substrate.
I have one setup similar to yours, but use PMDD instead of the Kent
product. It contains about 35 species, a few potted.
ac554 at FreeNet_Carleton.ca