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[APD] Training the Chain Gang, and others

I (not so) recently aquired some chain swords to grow out the foreground of my tank, 6 in all.  I have probably about 12 now.  I'm assuming these are easy to train so I don't have little chain swords growing out under my amazon sword all the way in the back.  I decided to experiment with one of the straglers and replaced it to the front somewhat along the glass...we'll see how that goes.  I have another that's headed back 4 or 5 new sprouts to my ruben sword so I guess I'll soon move that one, chain and all...unless I should for some reason break the chain and replant them individually?

I also have a few clumps of micro sword which I've been trying desperately to grow out to a good 'lawn.'  I figured if I couldn't get that to grow in well, the chains would get somewhat the same effect.  I had originally taken the clumps out of the little basket pot and loosened it up a bit, then wiggled it into the gravel.  It seemed to root pretty well, but it isn't spreading like I'd hoped.  So I took one out an broke it into a bunch of small pieces, some were just a small root bunch with 1 blade attached, most were a few blades and a small root bunch.  I made this into a small square somewhere in the range of 6"x6" about .5-1" apart I guess.  I hope this will grow in together to achieve the effect I want.  Is either one a better route?  It's growth rate is pathetic in comparison to some of the other plants.  Perhaps some other plant would suit that role better.

Next question.  My substrate seems to be kind of hardening at the top.  I originally thought it was perfect substrate, #1 quartz sand-ish about 2-3mm I think for the most part.  I'm going to have to (sadly) move the tank probably over the summer, I'd probably want to replace what I have with something more appropriate for good growth.  I always hear the suggestions of flourite and others.  Where the hell do I find this stuff?! (Moving MA -> MA).

I'd also like to thank Tom and Scott H. for their help in ferts and CO2 stuff.  I haven't reached the level CO2 I really want yet, and I think it might be largely caused by my overflow.  I've been adding CO2 at an incredible bubble rate getting out the desired levels.  However, my fert schedule has become less guesswork to me now so I'm quite pleased.

Dave T.
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