Hi all, I'm new to this forum but look forward to using it a lot in the future.
I currently have a 55galon (UK) with an Eheim Pro 3 2073, stocked not too heavily with small Clown Loach (upgrading further down the line).
The tank has been set up now for about 9 months, and is mature in terms of the biological filtration.
Up until this time I have been using very easy to grow plants, amazons, anubias, elodea etc, but I now feel it's time to start planting a bit heavier for a jungle/river tank with high flow (above the sand).
I'm definitely fixed on using a sand substrate, specifically for the loaches., and I have some silver sand to cap the soil with.
You're probably mostly in the US? but, the soil to use over here is the John Innes no2.
My question is... as I already have a stocked tank, can I prepare the soil in any way to prevent the ammonia leach? (baking/drying out?) If so, is there a particular method? and how long should I leave it drying/baking/temp? A bit of ammonia isn't a problem thanks to API Ammo Lock,but what I want to avoid is a big nitrIte spike.
Ideally, as I already have stock - once the soil is prepared I'd like to get the tank done within an hour to prevent the loss of any beneficial bacteria within the filter.
Just a thought when filling up to prevent any cloudy water, is it worth leaving a 1" cap around the outside of the soil to cap the side with sand too? It's not really an issue if it does however as the eheim would have it spotless in no time.