Rooting Quality of the Substrate - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-30-2018, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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Question Rooting Quality of the Substrate

I have a handful of questions that I have not been able find answers for during my study, I have posted them below. Thank you in advance for helping a fellow aquatic plant enthusiast! I used potting soil topped with black diamond blasting sand in my 75g. My larger plants whose roots grow deep into the soil absolutely love it! The problem I am having, is with my smaller specimen whose root systems expand horizontally (DHG and s. repens). The sand seems to be too dense to allow the roots to grow normally, it also inhibits the emergence of new grasses, (DHG and tall hair-grass). My sand cap over the soil is as much as 2.5 inches thick in some areas. I will be moving across the country in the next year and I am planning to downsize to a 10g and I want to ensure that I perfect my substrate for carpeting plants.

Can/should I use a thinner layer of sand? Maybe 1 inch or less?

What do you use for s. repens?

How do you deal with tannin from the soil? My water turns a dingy yellow as few as two days after a 50% to 100% water change.

Does anubias prefer to be grown in or out of the soil? What light conditions are best for it?

I have submitted a photo below, please let me know if it cannot be viewed or it does meet the forum requirements!

pH 8.5, acceptable levels of nitrates & nitrites
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-30-2018, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Cole Sawyer View Post
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Can/should I use a thinner layer of sand? Maybe 1 inch or less?

1” should be fine in a 10 gallon


What do you use for s. repens?

All the S. repens I have ever grow has extensive root systems, and they usually take some time to adjust after being moved, but once they are set in they will take off.

How do you deal with tannin from the soil? My water turns a dingy yellow as few as two days after a 50% to 100% water change.

Did you screen the soil to remove large chunks of wood and organics? That is what is likely causing the tannins.

Does anubias prefer to be grown in or out of the soil? What light conditions are best for it?

Both can work, just make sure the rhizome is out of the substrate. My best looking Anubis have had their roots in the substrate, rhizomes out of the substrate.

I have submitted a photo below, please let me know if it cannot be viewed or it does meet the forum requirements!

Pic looks good!

pH 8.5, acceptable levels of nitrates & nitrites

PH of 8.5 is high, many plants I could never get going in a pH of 8.2 let alone 8.5. Swords and cabomba were the worst. Also, whenever possible state the actual numbers of ammonia/nitrite/nitrate. There is a HUGE difference in people minds of what is considered “acceptable”. So actual numbers are always nice.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-30-2018, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your timely response!

My s. repens has always rooted quite well in the past, I believe that they are planted in an area where the sand is just too deep.
I will be sure to fix this moving forward. About how long does your s. repens take to get started when you replant?

Would a 1" cap work in a 75g?

I did not screen my soil for wood and other large organics! It was my first trial run. What size screen should I use for best results? 1/4" or less?

I will be sure to adjust my anubias accordingly!

I will begin lowering to pH to a neutral level and observe my swords. The flame swords have been doing quite well but, the normal variety have had their issues to say the least.

This makes me wish I didn't have to downsize!

Bump: Thank you for your timely response!

My s. repens has always rooted quite well in the past, I believe that they are planted in an area where the sand is just too deep.
I will be sure to fix this moving forward. About how long does your s. repens take to get started when you replant?

Would a 1" cap work in a 75g?

I did not screen my soil for wood and other large organics! It was my first trial run. What size screen should I use for best results? 1/4" or less?

I will be sure to adjust my anubias accordingly!

I will begin lowering to pH to a neutral level and observe my swords. The flame swords have been doing quite well but, the normal variety have had their issues to say the least.

This makes me wish I didn't have to downsize!
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