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Substrate Question


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#1 Chipmunk1210

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 07:47 AM

Ok so this might be a stupid question but humor me. Do I need a substrate like dirt or sand to use with plants or can I just use my gravel?

#2 marko

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 03:40 PM

for 99% of plants, yes.
floating plants (riccia, salvinia, etc), and epiphytes (anubias, microsorum, etc), dont care. very hardy stem plants can do ok in inert substrate such as gravel or sand (still need somewhere to root into). most plants will do fine in an inert substrate if you provide root tabs for nutrients (IME, none compare to RootMedic Complete). the only reason you would HAVE to have a very good substrate like aquasoil amazonia, or mineralized topsoil, is if you plan on keeping finicky plants (eriocaulon, tonina, UG, etc), or your doing a high-light setup and need good fertilization to prevent deficiencies and algae.

#3 majerah

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 06:24 AM

Rooted plants are the ones who need the nutrient rich soil as they take from the gravel what they need.Stem plants(which is a majority of what I sent )will take from the water column.These are the ones that benefit most from ferts added to the water column.You can add root tabs or even miracle grow sticks to your gravel every few months to help the rooted plants without having to change,and even not thorougly vacuuming around roots to let the detrius sink down to the roots for the plants will all help.


Oh and theres no stupid questions,except those not asked lol,

#4 Chipmunk1210

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 02:37 PM

Good to hear from both of you. I really love the idea of planted tanks and believe that is what will keep my sorority the happiest and work the best with my lifestyle so to hear that the "easy" plants can handle the gravel(especially the ones I am getting) is like music to my ears. LOL

#5 amethyst

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 10:01 PM

I've got anubias, bleheri swords, banana lillies, wendetti (red and green), and various crypts growing in tanks with just gravel. However, the plants in my heavily planted tanks, with a soil substrate under the gravel and root tabs, do look healthier and grow faster.




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