Ideal substrate for large scale emersed growth?
What is a good cheap substrate to grow hc, ug, glosso emersed in? This is more of an experimental project so I won't be spending too much on the setup. I also want to try out a large emersed setup to grow out plants before putting them into my aquarium.
x1 two bulb flourescent shop light suspended right above plants
x1 light timer
x1 40+ gallon bin from Homedepot with a large footprint
Substrate (to be decided)
Aquasoil is ideal because of its nutrient content. It is however too expensive for large scale applications.
1.) Eco-complete and Flourite (though expensive) are inert so emersed growth will not get nutrients of either the roots or the water column. Would some osmocote work with this.
Great grain sizes for root systems
No accessible nutrients for plants
Needs fertilizers (root tabs or a spray of fertilizers)
2.) How about potting soil? The only issue I see would be mold and fungus. I heard some plants like UG need nutrient poor substrates, otherwise, it'll burn the plant. Any experience with this? I wouldn't like the smell of it in indoors though.
Requires baking (to kill organisms and parasites)
Texture when wet
3: Sand is inert so same as Eco-complete and Flourite. Maybe just buy some osmocote for it?
Plants root easily
Perhaps a mixture of Sand and Potting soil? I'd prefer a clean setup that looks nice that my parents won't go crazy over. Is there something with the texture and color of Eco-complete but cheaper? Cheap alternatives for substrate fertilizer besides osmocote?
I can't wait to set this up. It will be a great learning experience for me.