Looking for expert advice: PERMENANT substrate?
I'm planning on starting up my first aquarium in a long time - a 180 gallon or greater freshwater, planted community tank.
I want to use a substrate that, while being appropriate for plants, will not at any point require me to remove the substrate or to clean it.
If I keep the gravel or sand down to 1.5 inches, have a lot of plants rooted in the substrate, and have enough oxygen in the water, can I allow organic waste sediment to build up within the substrate and leave it there for the plants to feed off of?
I was thinking that, since it's shallow, the beneficial bacteria (left undisturbed) will keep up with it.
Can this be done?
If so, would I do this with gravel or sand?
I don't mind dusting off the gravel, but i don't want to have to use a suction device and do superficial cleaning and i dont want to distrurbe or remove the gravel. Through my experience with ponds, IF it were possible to have enough oxygen in the water and a good amount of surface area for bacteria to colonize, in a pond, this can be done - but that would require a great deal of oxygen saturation. One other issue may involve parasites.