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Old 11-19-2013, 04:37 PM   #1
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Proper Substrate for plants?

I've seen many planted tanks and I've seen people use dirt and gravel on top, sand, and just the gravel. Will plants grow ok with just the gravel? I have good lighting, but are my plants doomed to die if I don't have the silkier dirt under the gravel? I'm talking about the basic Petco rocky looking, black gravel (not sand).
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Old 11-19-2013, 05:18 PM   #2
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I've had a gravel substrate with many plants. The plants will do fine if they are "low-maintence" plants. I had 5 small neons in my 5 gal planted and there was a balance of light and enough fish waste for the plants. However the plants look and could do better in a substrate with available nutrients.. II used basic petcco gravel aalso
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Old 11-19-2013, 05:34 PM   #3
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i guess it all depends on what kind of plants you are trying to grow.
and how much growth you want to achieve. in the past i have used gravel with some plants it will work fine I hope this helps.
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Old 11-19-2013, 05:37 PM   #4
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If you want more than a low light tank plants will work in gravel but the smaller the grains are the better for plants. If you do low light plants like Anubia, Java Fern, and Bolbitus tied onto driftwood or rock and use Crypts for planting in the substrate it would work. If you plant any Crypts you will need to get and use Root Tabs as Crypts are heavy root feeders.
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Old 11-19-2013, 06:35 PM   #5
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Substrate

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maridia View Post
I've seen many planted tanks and I've seen people use dirt and gravel on top, sand, and just the gravel. Will plants grow ok with just the gravel? I have good lighting, but are my plants doomed to die if I don't have the silkier dirt under the gravel? I'm talking about the basic Petco rocky looking, black gravel (not sand).
Hello Mar...

There are several aquatic plants that don't require special substrate. Anubias nana and nangi varieties, Java fern, mosses, like Singapore, Anacharis, Pennywort and Cryptocoryne. Many of these can simply be attached to pieces of lava rock with a little black sewing thread and placed on top of the gravel or partially covered. Research these and see if any will work for you.

B
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Old 11-19-2013, 06:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maridia View Post
I've seen many planted tanks and I've seen people use dirt and gravel on top, sand, and just the gravel. Will plants grow ok with just the gravel? I have good lighting, but are my plants doomed to die if I don't have the silkier dirt under the gravel? I'm talking about the basic Petco rocky looking, black gravel (not sand).

I have plants growing in pool filter sand, planted tank substrate, pea gravel, regular gravel and 3M color quartz.

You don't have to have "special" anything other than the correct lighting and fertilizers depending on what type of plants you're wanting.

Some plants like crypts and swords are heavy roots feeders so the root tabs are essential, where as some plants like your java ferns and anubias do best when tied to driftwood or rocks. Most of your stem plants like higher light. Some "bunch" plants like vals or sags do well in mid-light.

So again no, you don't have to have special substrate for your plants.
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Old 11-19-2013, 10:46 PM   #7
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Thank you all so much. This was very helpful
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