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Quarter Inch Gravel for Glossostigma

According to the archives, Glossostigma elatinoides needs fine substrate (2-3
mm) to grow best. The thing is I _really_ like the way quarter inch Mexican
pebble sand looks in my tanks and I'm willing to sacrifice some growth if it
means a better looking tank. How much growth am I going to lose. I'm planning
on 3 w/g, DIY CO2, soil from the backyard mixed with vermiculite under an inch
and a half of gravel, maybe PMDD. Also what's the optimum temp for a planted
tank. I've heard that it's lower than the temperature fish are most comfy at.
Thanks in advance for all the help I know I'll get. One last thing, what does
IMHO mean.