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Old 08-15-2017, 04:11 AM   #1
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Can you crush substrate for smaller plants?

I've got some dwarf baby tears coming in soon and I just found out that its much easier to plant them in finer gravel, which is sort of an issue for me. I don't really have the budget to buy black sand at the moment so I was wondering if crushing up substrate to make it finer would work for them? Thanks for your time.
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Old 08-17-2017, 08:47 AM   #2
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Hi, I've thought about this but would be concerned crushing might result in sharp edges. Nothing in garden centres where you might get a bucket for free?
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Old 08-18-2017, 05:11 AM   #3
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I've got some dwarf baby tears coming in soon and I just found out that its much easier to plant them in finer gravel, which is sort of an issue for me. I don't really have the budget to buy black sand at the moment so I was wondering if crushing up substrate to make it finer would work for them? Thanks for your time.


To be honest you want a nutrient rich substrate for baby tears. You'll want something like ADA or Tropica soil, flourite etc

Also baby tears are almost impossible to grow without co2 injection (preasurised) so I would think twice about purchasing them if you don't have co2.
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Old 08-18-2017, 05:44 AM   #4
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Oh Im dosing seachem flourish excel and I already have a good nutrient substrate, its just that the roots I heard can latch on much better to smaller and finer substrate like eco complete sand.
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Old 08-18-2017, 05:46 AM   #5
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To be honest you want a nutrient rich substrate for baby tears. You'll want something like ADA or Tropica soil, flourite etc

Also baby tears are almost impossible to grow without co2 injection (preasurised) so I would think twice about purchasing them if you don't have co2.
Oh dont worry, Ive been dosing with co2 using seachem flourish excel on top of flourish. I also have good nutrient packed substrate, I was just worried that the roots might not grow that well if the substrate wasnt very fine like eco complete black sand.
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Old 08-18-2017, 06:04 AM   #6
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I don't think EcoComplete is available in a fine grade such as sand. Years ago they offered it but is was discontinued.
Earlier this year I carpeted my tank with DBT. It went well for about 5-6 months and then the carpet started to lift up. I was using EcoComplete, PPS-Pro ferts, moderate to heavy CO2, and a pair of Finnex fixtures in a 20g long. For the first 4 weeks I kept the fish in a different tank and this allowed me to be generous with the co2. It was nice while I had it but I just could not keep up with the weekly trimming; once it gets "full" it tends to grow over itself. If left unchecked, I found that the undergrowth would not do so well (yellow, decay).
Would have I attempted this without CO2? Probably not. Is glutaraldehye (or Seachem Excel, API CO2 Booster) sufficient for growing DBT? Maybe. Would I have used a different substrate? Definitely. Something such an ADA aquasoil or similar product due to its nutrient content and grain size. EcoComplete, like sand, is not full of nutrients on its own. Unlike sand, it has the ability to weakly bind certain molecules, some of which are vital for plant growth.
I've had better luck growing DBT in a terrarium. I even have some growing outside under a waterfall.
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Old 08-18-2017, 01:48 PM   #7
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I don't think EcoComplete is available in a fine grade such as sand. Years ago they offered it but is was discontinued.
Earlier this year I carpeted my tank with DBT. It went well for about 5-6 months and then the carpet started to lift up. I was using EcoComplete, PPS-Pro ferts, moderate to heavy CO2, and a pair of Finnex fixtures in a 20g long. For the first 4 weeks I kept the fish in a different tank and this allowed me to be generous with the co2. It was nice while I had it but I just could not keep up with the weekly trimming; once it gets "full" it tends to grow over itself. If left unchecked, I found that the undergrowth would not do so well (yellow, decay).
Would have I attempted this without CO2? Probably not. Is glutaraldehye (or Seachem Excel, API CO2 Booster) sufficient for growing DBT? Maybe. Would I have used a different substrate? Definitely. Something such an ADA aquasoil or similar product due to its nutrient content and grain size. EcoComplete, like sand, is not full of nutrients on its own. Unlike sand, it has the ability to weakly bind certain molecules, some of which are vital for plant growth.
I've had better luck growing DBT in a terrarium. I even have some growing outside under a waterfall.
Ahh ok thanks, i hope my dbts dont start doing that
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Old 08-18-2017, 06:20 PM   #8
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Ahh ok thanks, i hope my dbts dont start doing that


What substrate are you using?
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Old 08-19-2017, 12:52 AM   #9
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What substrate are you using?
Altum aquatic substrate, says its good for plants and shrimp
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