Noob about substrate
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Old 03-09-2015, 08:32 PM   #1
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Noob about substrate

When I started my tank, I didn't know much about planted tanks since I wasn't planning for one so I used plain gravel from home depot that I cleaned. The gravel pieces are the HALF the size of a marble. After a while, I started getting into planted tanks. But I was worried the gravel won't help me grow my plants that I'll get in the future like swords, rotala, hornwort, crypts, etc. Although I plan on using root tabs and EI dosing, I'm not sure if this will grow my plants. I don't see anyone on this forum who uses plain gravel with nothing else. I need the answer if this will help or not. Thanks
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Old 03-09-2015, 08:37 PM   #2
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Based on the selection of plants listed above you should be fine; most of them are fairly undemanding . Gravel by itself wont give much benefit in the form of nutrition to your plants. Your plan with root tabs and an EI dosing regiment will take care of their needs.

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Old 03-09-2015, 08:41 PM   #3
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I use a mixture of pea gravel and builders sand in my 125 low tech tank. If you like how the gravel looks you can remove the gravel. Then add in the sand and cap it back with the gravel. You can also just add in the sand over the gravel to fill in the gaps.

You can also just swap out the substrate entirely with plant mix if you don't feel like the gravel look.
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Old 03-09-2015, 10:20 PM   #4
Raymond S.
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I have primarily used this in my tank(s) for a long time. I have one tank with Eco Complete/Laterite but don't notice ANY difference in the growth in there from the other with the gravel in it. This is just plain gravel although smaller than yours.
Actually it is called #4 blasting sand and comes from a sand blasting yard @ like $12
per 40Lb bag.
The shortest distance between any two points is a straight the opposite direction...
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