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Old 11-24-2009, 08:15 PM   #1
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planting with pfs

So I'm working out the plans for the new 120 that we'll be looking into getting after Christmas *Grumbles for the holiday to hurry up already* and my plan was to do a layer of laterite between layers of sand for the plants. After researching deeper into laterite I've found it's not so highly recommended. So anyone have any other ideas on what to use as a planting layer?
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:23 PM   #2
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Medium sized gavel usually works pretty well. It gives plants roots enough space to spread out. The only thing is if you are adding sand on top I don't know if the sand would fill in the cracks between the gravel.
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:27 PM   #3
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Medium sized gavel usually works pretty well. It gives plants roots enough space to spread out. The only thing is if you are adding sand on top I don't know if the sand would fill in the cracks between the gravel.

I use gravel in a few of our other planted tanks, but I really enjoy sand. I've found that using the sand makes cleaning and planting easier. We've got it in 2 tanks now (not pfs but onyx sand) and everyone likes to looks of it. The sand would eventually shift down through the gravel.
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:32 PM   #4
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Yeah I agree with you about how much better sand looks, and how much easier it is to clean, depending on your vacuuming skills. What about using just sand? I have always wondered whether or not plants could grow in the really fine "sugar" sand which imo is the best looking substrate.
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:08 PM   #5
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I know the black onyx we have is very fine and looks great but for the 120 I wanted a bit of a different look. It's going to house our cichlids and catfish. Time for them to move into a penthouse
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:48 PM   #6
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if you mix substrates, it will mix too lol. ive got pfs in my 10g planted and have no issues with plants not rooting... imo i wouldnt mix, because over time, youre going to end up with pfs/gravel or whatever you use all mixed together
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Old 11-25-2009, 01:14 PM   #7
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I have no rooting issues with sand either. The amazon swords in my 29g have roots from one end of the tank to the other and I couldn't pull up some moneywort without breaking the stems.
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Old 11-25-2009, 06:39 PM   #8
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It's not rooting that I'm concerned for. It's the nutrients for the roots. I know some plants root well in sand. Both of our tanks that have onyx sand are planted and the plants are doing great. Of course, with those 2 tanks I mixed Activ-Flora substrate into the sand. It blended fine. I'm not going with any gravel, just pfs and I'm aware that there will be mixing. I just wanted to know if there is something I can layer to give the roots what they need. It seems laterite isn't that great.
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Old 11-26-2009, 12:02 AM   #9
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any of the plant substrate (ie laterite, eco complete, flourite, etc) will be completely useless in time... pfs with root tabs will do just fine. its basically the same concept... over time the nutrients in those substrates become depleted and root tabs will be necessary to replinish them, so why spend 5x the money on it, when all you gotta do is add the root tabs a little earlier?
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Old 11-26-2009, 12:05 AM   #10
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You could try using plastic canvas between the two. Granted you would still get sand in your gravel, but no gravel coming up thru the sand. I got 6 sheets of plastic canvas at WalMart for $2.
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Old 11-26-2009, 09:46 AM   #11
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Quote:
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any of the plant substrate (ie laterite, eco complete, flourite, etc) will be completely useless in time... pfs with root tabs will do just fine. its basically the same concept... over time the nutrients in those substrates become depleted and root tabs will be necessary to replinish them, so why spend 5x the money on it, when all you gotta do is add the root tabs a little earlier?

See, that's what I was curious about. I had thought about just root tabs but then I wondered if they would have enough nutrients for the plants or if I needed a base of laterite or something first. I have a place where I can get 75 tabs for $10.00 (it's on my Christmas list
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