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Yesterday (June 13, 2020) I did a tank teardown and switched to a soil substrate after carefully reading The Ecology of The Planted Aquarium. I don't know how much money I've spent over the years on chemicals and gadgets. I have chased what seems to be the siren call of a flourishing planted tank for many decades, always without success. Not sure what keeps driving me. Hoping this time things will work out.

My swordplants have been deteriorating, brown with holes. Ms Walstad says this could be a calcium defiency. The local water district lab analysis indicates soft water (1.9 GH) but my API test strips indicate tap water as 10 GH. Not sure what gives there. Will follow up tomorrow (Monday) when things open back up.
 

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Welcome to APC! You may already know that Diana Walstad is a moderator here and frequently posts and answers questions.
 

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Good luck Mike! I read the same book and went with a soil substrate beneath the sand. I do use C02 however. But my swordplants (and others) are amazingly vibrant.

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