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Since you are using a substrate heating system (why in the world are you using that expensive equipment?:)), you will at least want to take advantage of it by keeping the bottom layer of your substrate relatively fertile. Flourite/Schultz Aquatic Plant Soil and some peat should work quite well. I would make this layer about one inch deep. If it doesn't with just your flourite, Schultz Aquatic Plant soil can be a cheaper alternative. It will not cloud your water (I've used it). If you can find it in your local hydroponics store, Diamond Black is an excellent product to use to further enrich your very bottom layer.

Cap that with the regular gravel if cost is a concern. You can cap it with flourite, though. Plants do use the top layer of the substrate, too...

IME, there is definitely a difference between plants that were grown in regular aquarium gravel and plants that were grown with flourite/eco-complete+enriched bottom layer.

Carlos
 
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