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I was thinking of this at the AGA convention when I saw the Ironman competition, Mr Amano's demo aquascape, and some of the entries into the AGA competitioin. It seems that there is a definite move to dual color substrates, with a white 'sand like' open foreground and a darker area where the plants are planted. In the case of ADA substrates the plants are in AS. Just how sustainable is this in the long run? It would seem to me that as you uproot and/or replant, there will be mixing which occurs.

So how do you folks who scape this way handle this issue? Do you just re-scape every 3-4 months? Add more sand to the foreground area? Just prune and never uproot?
 

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I think by and large most "aquascapers" rescape every three to four months regardless :p Most tanks have their glory days (sometimes DAY) and after that if the scaper can't get it back to its former beauty, it's time to up root! That, and we all like to see something new, and it's easier to redo the one tank than buy a new one. (at least for me)

As far as dealing with it... I've heard of people who have the different substrates and they'll let it mix a bit, whether it's from flow, fish, replanting, etc... and then when it's time to take the picture, they sift all the darker substrate out of the sand, and have a small bit of white pre-rinsed sand on hand at all times to pour over any problem spots. Obviously physical barriers are needed in any case, but that can only stop so much. I'm sure you already knew that though. :)
 

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I actually tried this type of scape in my 55g crypt tank. I put up barriers and the such, but the sand eventually seeps beneath the planting substrate except in the areas where there is only sand. I don't really care though, because it kinda looks nice to me. It didn't take long though for the sand to seep below the other substrate. I'd say that it took maybe a week for the sand to start to disappear. I haven't messed with the substrate at all either.
 
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