Tom , I have just relocated from the east coast to southern California , which meant breaking down three tanks on which I was doing EI with CO2 injection and giving away their inhabitants and contents . The upside is that I have just yesterday finished digging and filling a pond that is about 1000 gallons . I have read up as much as possible on doing planted ponds , but I respect your opinion much more than the contradictory information that I get from the authors of whom I have never heard . I will try to keep the questions to a minimum , but for the time being , what substrate would you recommend ( I love the ADA Aqua Soil that you recommend , but that may be prohibitively expensive in this monster ) , and looking at previous posts , it seems you recommend a light version of EI due to smaller water change percentages , but what about CO2 requirements ? I can't imagine doing a tank without CO2 and I can't stand BBA . Lastly , I may have to leave this pond I just filled for 2 weeks to wrap up business on the east coast so my question is should I leave it empty , filled without any declorinator added , or throw in a bunch of plants and see what I come back to ? Thank you in advance and the new website design looks great .