haha, i bow down to ur superior knowledge guys!
One of the reasons i said this was because of reading on another forum about a heavily planted, low stocked tank that hadn't had the water changed for 6 months. I think there was a soil substrate, which i guess helped to supply the trace...
one amazon sword won't make much difference. putting more plants in can reduce the need to water change as the plants can use some of the ammonia produced by fish for thier growth. Wisteria (hygrophilla difformis) is good for this
depends what you mean by high light? above 2 watts per gallon is high generally - do you have this?
i'd definately recommend wisteria (hygrophila difformis) as its very easy to grow and sucks up lots of nutrients with the roots on the stems
i use pool filter sand and find that all of my plants are doing ok and showing growth after a period of settling in - they include: amazon sword, vallis spiralis, vallis gigantea and water sprite
lots of people recommend malaysian trumpet snails for use with a sandy substrate as they move...
i'm planning a tank and i was wondering about the compatability of cherry shrimp and german blue rams? the rams are the biggest fish i'm planning to get and i wondered if anyone had any experience of them mixing with shrimp?