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Old 10-21-2004, 07:44 PM   #1
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Sand or gravel?

What's a better choice to anchor live plants in a freshwater water aquarium?I'm presently using gravel and the plants are constantly being uprooted,probably by the goldfish.Will they root themselves better in sand?
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Old 10-21-2004, 09:27 PM   #2
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Maybe use those polished river rocks to hold em in? It worked for me, and the rocks look nice too.

I have fine gravel and my plants NEVER come out. I havent disturbed em for months and they grew a HUGE root system that holds em down.
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Old 10-21-2004, 10:24 PM   #3
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careful if you choose to only have river rocks because the problem with those is waste will collect inbetween the crevices and build up. I have fine gravel and my plants do just fine. I've heard sand is good as well, just easier to disturb.
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Old 10-21-2004, 10:37 PM   #4
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Plants and goldfish are mutually exclusive, in most cases. Goldfish are just too busy for them, plus they eat them, and if you look around on the net you will find few people able to keep the two together, but there may be plants that the goldfish won't eat/uproot. Try tying java fern to objects and let it take hold, and the same for anubias sp. Rooted plants in the substrate can be "potted" in their own little pots to protect them, but this might have limited results.
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Old 10-21-2004, 10:56 PM   #5
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I have several different plants in my Goldfish tank and Anacharis stands up very well to the Goldies and grows like crazy with 2 wpg lightng and using Flourish and Flourish Excel in a gravel base.
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Old 10-21-2004, 11:47 PM   #6
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When I have plants that will not stay in place, I make a small tub out of the clear plastic used to package things on cards. The plant bulb packages are great . Trim off the excess from around the edge. Cut a round hole in the bottom, then cut 6 or 8 slits radiating from the hole. Work the plant through the hole. The cuts make it work like chinese hand cuffs. Fill the tub with your substrate and bury it flush with the substrate in the tank. Once the plant is well rooted, you can snip the tub off with scissors.
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Old 10-22-2004, 01:01 AM   #7
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I heard it was a bad idea to mix sand and goldfish. I read that in a book and got some advice from some diehard goldfish people on another fish site. Something about how they scavenge around sometimes in the rocks for bits of food and the sand becoming lodged somewhere. Can't remember the negative effects really well. You can use temporary river rocks or small decorations until the plant roots itself.

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Old 10-22-2004, 04:26 PM   #8
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Goldfish will also choke on bits of pea gravel as well, though I have not had that happen to me. Large substrate is a maintenance problem as it can trap tons of debris that will interfere with water quality (been down that road years ago ) so I stick with regular gravel.
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Old 10-22-2004, 10:11 PM   #9
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Thanks to all for their replies.Tmurphy171;I've had anarcharis and found it does grow like crazy but has no roots and made it extremely difficult to anchor.I've had it grow to enormous lengths on the surface of my pond.Bassnman;sounds like a great idea but I'm not sure what this clear plastic is you mentioned.Could you elaborate a bit more?Tank girl;the lps told me that sand, because of its tiny size won't trap debri as gravel does and may help to keep the water quality at better levels, but at the same token won't allow fish waste(food source) to the plant roots as easily as gravel.
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Old 10-22-2004, 11:23 PM   #10
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All you need are root tabs, or concentrated root fertilizer, to shove down around your plants in the sand and that will take care of that. Some plants are heavier root feeders than others.

Sand is, in many ways, easier to maintain than gravel and is less likely to get that "grunge" that tends to build up in gravel, but it has its own problems so you have to choose. Plants do well in sand, in general, so don't let that stop you.
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