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Silicia sand is inert. It is harmless. If you use only sand for substrate you have to use ferts. Many use root tabs.

I had it in a 10 gallon tank over dirt, El Natural style. Since we had a water shortage at time I set it up, I just rinsed the sand 1x. It took a few weeks for the cloud to go away. It got ugly after 3 months. It was impossible to get the mulm off. Recently put it in a 29 gallon tank with the sand in the front with no plants in it. Didn't rinse it. Just added nutrafin clear. It didn't get very cloudy and cleared up in a few weeks.

Hoppy is using it over a RUGF in his tank:
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