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> I am tearing down my overly gross and neglected 55g plant tank.
> Does or has anyone used Flourite as a sole substrate? Any idea how much I
should use?

> Did the kitty-litter/sand thing last time and although it worked well,
> trying to get something with a little more "size" than sand to keep the
> mulm from building on the surface of the substrate up in the next
> go-around
> (or do we have any good tips for reducing mulm?).

Here's a suggestion that came to me from Steve Dixon (and to him from Roger
Miller): retain 30-40 lbs of your current, mulm-rich substrate.  Pile it
into a 1-1/2" plateau pulled back from the front and side glass of your
aquarium, then cover with 2-1/2" Flourite.  This will give you the
appearance of a 100% Flourite substrate with the advantages of an aged
substrate.  I did this 4 months ago in a new 50g and it's worked out well.
Karen Randall's suggestion is to plant it heavily right off the bat, add
only a few SAEs, Otocinclus and snails and DON'T FEED THEM for the first
month, then gradually add more fish.  If I had it to do over again I'd
proceed in just that manner, as my tank developed some algae (gone now, but
not forgotten <g>).

Ramshorn snails and Malasian Trumpet snails seem to do a good job in keeping
the fish mulm manageable.  They burrow in the substrate but don't disturb
the plants.  My water never has anything visible in it when I change it.

michael rubin
michael at rubinworld_com