Plant growth in sand vs gravel - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-10-2018, 03:48 AM Thread Starter
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Plant growth in sand vs gravel

I previously had some pearl weed growing in blaster sand, and it grew huge fairly quickly. Now I have pearl weed in eco complete "plant gravel" and its growing super slow. You'd think it would be the opposite since the gravel allows more water to flow thus more nutrients for the roots, and the sand would be too compact. But the results so far have been otherwise. I don't think I've changed any other factors. Has anyone else had any experience with this?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-11-2018, 05:36 AM
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I see several places online that recommend planting it in the substrate still in the pot to get outward and upward growth, maybe the sand was causing the plant to grow up because it's a water column feeder? Someone with more experience can probably comment about that. Eco-complete has lots of easily-accessible nutrients so maybe that's why?

I have MTS
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-11-2018, 06:07 AM
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Eco complete and blasting sand are both innert. My guess is something else changed, most likely nutrients.

Plants grow towards light. If you want HM to carpet then trim it more ofthen. Why someone would recommend planting a plant in its original basket is beyond me. Pearl weed also grows fine floating.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-11-2018, 09:17 AM
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It depends on the plants. Some prefer gravel and others are sand.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-11-2018, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishtanks View Post
It depends on the plants. Some prefer gravel and others are sand.
Gotta ask the plants.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-15-2018, 01:58 AM Thread Starter
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Haha true, yeah I guess it's the plants decision. It's just strange to me. Also, if anything I've been dosing more ferts and I have more light now. It's really strange.

I'm also not going for a carpet, I prefer how it looks tall and bunched.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-18-2018, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, my pearl weed is still being outgrown by other plants like crazy! I really am dumbfounded to why it's the only plant not growing...
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-18-2018, 08:36 PM
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I agree with OVT, something else must've changed. Did you replace your substrate, or is this a totally different tank? If you replaced the substrate, then you lost all the trapped mulm and detritus that had settled deeper into the substrate that will help feed the plants. Eco-Completes grain size allows a lot to slip down into the cracks and settle in where a quick water change won't get.
If this is a totally separate tank - Keep in mind, tank to tank, things can be quite different even if you think you've set things up identically. Eco-Complete is a substrate I'm currently using unfortunately...I'm not a fan. It's totally inert, but everything I've planted grows just fine in it because I fertilize the water column. I use pool filter sand in a 10 gallon at home, and all my plants, including carpeting plants, do well in there also. In fact, just added some pearl weed last night that I expect to go nuts here pretty quick!

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Gotta ask the plants.
Dying
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-18-2018, 09:05 PM
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Ok, my pearl weed is still being outgrown by other plants like crazy! I really am dumbfounded to why it's the only plant not growing...
How about some pictures of the tank and close-up of HM? Is it the same light fixture?
I would let some stems float to see how it does.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-19-2018, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgeorges View Post
I agree with OVT, something else must've changed. Did you replace your substrate, or is this a totally different tank? If you replaced the substrate, then you lost all the trapped mulm and detritus that had settled deeper into the substrate that will help feed the plants. Eco-Completes grain size allows a lot to slip down into the cracks and settle in where a quick water change won't get.
If this is a totally separate tank - Keep in mind, tank to tank, things can be quite different even if you think you've set things up identically. Eco-Complete is a substrate I'm currently using unfortunately...I'm not a fan. It's totally inert, but everything I've planted grows just fine in it because I fertilize the water column. I use pool filter sand in a 10 gallon at home, and all my plants, including carpeting plants, do well in there also. In fact, just added some pearl weed last night that I expect to go nuts here pretty quick!



Dying
The only thing that has change is the substrate from black diamond blaster sand to eco complete. I'll get on my phone and upload some photos

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Ok, my pearl weed is still being outgrown by other plants like crazy! I really am dumbfounded to why it's the only plant not growing...
How about some pictures of the tank and close-up of HM? Is it the same light fixture?
I would let some stems float to see how it does.
The first photos will be close ups of the pearl weed today that’s growing very slowly. The next will be of my whole tank, the other plants are constantly needing trimming. The last photo will be of the pearl weed months ago before when it was growing very quickly.

Sorry, here’s the last photos of the pearl qeee when it had grown much more in a shorter amount of time.

Bump: I have no idea why the images are so blurry when I upload them, but I hope you can tell make them out enough.

Bump: I've got root tabs, flourish tabs, and I EI dose the water column daily.
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Last edited by Darkblade48; 05-20-2018 at 10:28 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-16-2018, 08:39 PM
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I used to use eco complete, my current tank is my first with sand instead.

Growth has put anything I've attempted with eco complete to shame. Sand has been much easier to work with and plant in. And the growth rates have been amazing.

However, if you can grow well with eco complete - you can probably grow anything well if you try. My biggest eco complaint would be the difficulty in initial planting of small stems of like, Monte Carlo or pearl weed or HC.

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-16-2018, 09:50 PM
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Eco-Complete is as much “complete” as Miracle-Gro is “miracle”.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OVT View Post
Eco complete and blasting sand are both innert.
Really? No KH and TDS increasing with Eco?


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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-16-2018, 11:19 PM
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Eco-Complete is as much “complete” as Miracle-Gro is “miracle”.

Really? No KH and TDS increasing with Eco?

The liquid in the bag is not inert.
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