Anything that WON'T grow in Blasting Sand? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-01-2019, 04:22 AM Thread Starter
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Anything that WON'T grow in Blasting Sand?

I'm very strongly considering the switch to blasting sand/coal slag in some or all of my tanks (have been for a while), and I know my carpet plants will do better in the finer texture, and stem plants are loads easier to plant, but is there anything that doesn't do well in it?

I'd downsized most of my stem plants last year when I had to scale back on my tanks, and now that I'm restocking I'm leaning more toward low-maintenance rosette plants, rhyzome plants and creeping groundcovers/carpets since I'm working a lot. Mostly tons of swords, lots of crypts, laliopsis, and marsilea, plus the rotalla and ludwigia that I kept around.

I know my friend killed a nice lagenandra division after moving it to a tank with slag, as well as the buce I'd given her, but her tank had other issues, so not sure if the black diamond was to blame. Her surviving swords in that tank also look ragged, but I think she is underdosing ferts (and I know she's not using root tabs), so again maybe the sand isn't the culprit.

I would love to hear your experiences with different plants in blasting sand. Good, bad, or meh. Also what did well but care was different.

I'm replanting 3 tanks, and restarting 3 more that I had broken down last year, and I want to change over the ones that will do well, but will leave any that might not. Currently using EcoComplete in most tanks, inert river gravel in one empty tank though that used to just have anubias and mossballs.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-01-2019, 05:45 AM
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I have not experienced any problems with growing plants in BDBS that I could not attribute to other issues. I have around 40 varieties of plants and the ones I struggle with most is Mermaid Weed, HC, and Dwarf Baby Tears. I believe most of that is due to my tech level and water conditions.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-01-2019, 01:32 PM
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as long as your feeding the water column just about anything will grow in bdbs I have two tanks with about 18 varieties and all grow very well...
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-01-2019, 02:41 PM
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It's an inert sand with low CEC. I think the only parameter that would matter would be grain size. Other than that, it's the same as any inert sand with low CEC. It will hold the roots in place just fine.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-01-2019, 07:18 PM
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Love using BDBS- It is clean, easy to move and replant things. I have nothing bad to say about it after about a year of using it.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-01-2019, 08:06 PM
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I could never get frogbit to grow in BDBS...... No matter what I did, that was the ONLY plant that I couldn't grow in it

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-01-2019, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quagulator View Post
I could never get frogbit to grow in BDBS...... No matter what I did, that was the ONLY plant that I couldn't grow in it
Now the you mention it, that would sorta tough.

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-02-2019, 04:27 AM Thread Starter
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Lol, I'll remember that about the frogbit. I suspect duckweed doesn't do well either.

My big worry was the stuff like the crypts and swords, that the roots might smother in the denser substrate.

Good to know everything seems to do ok. I like my EcoComplete most of the time, but it's no good for thin carpet plants until they get good and established, and the MTS in my gravel are so out of control after several years of unchecked breeding I either need 20 assassin smails or new substrate.

Cheap, pretty blasting sand it is. 🙂
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-02-2019, 05:50 AM
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I have Eco-Complete capped with BDBS. I wish I had listened more closely to advice (here) on the Eco as it is pretty much inert despite the name. Flourite black (as advised) capped with BDBS, or just BDBS alone would have probably been better. I got caught up in the price per pound and did not realize that I was paying for water. On the plus side, it required virtually no rinsing. The BDBS does require a lot of rinsing though. Despite feeling like I could have made a better choice, it seems to work quite well. From what I understand, the Eco has the capability of absorbing and holding nutrients from the water column to provide to roots which is a good thing. Capping your existing Eco with BDBS could be a great option for you. The Eco will come to the surface when you pull out rooted plants, but it is pretty easy to push the big chunks under the sand to make things pretty again.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-02-2019, 07:10 AM
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Make the switch. You wont regret it. Just be sure to give it a light rinse to get rid of the dust. It is a great substrate!
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-02-2019, 01:54 PM
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Hi MissCris,

I started with eco-complete in my low tech planted tank, but I switched to sand because I find it much easier to keep clean, especially in a tank that's primarily a fish tank, and if you move plants around much (guilty, still getting the hang of arrangement), you don't have to deal with the cloudiness that you get when you disturb larger particle substrates.

I love the look of black sand, and to address your concern about swords, the majority of my plants at the moment are crypts and swords, all doing well. Since swords are such heavy root feeders, I put a root tab directly under every single plant, I dose the water column with flourish with iron twice a week and that seems to do the trick.

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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2019, 04:51 PM
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Oh man I see this post just in time. I just got an email that my order of a bag of BDBS is ready to pick up. Cant wait!!!
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2019, 08:47 PM
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Late to the party - but now that I've started using sand - I am probably never switching. I have been fantastically pleased with how excellent my sand tanks have been. My favorite feature is when I uproot plants for topping and replanting - there is little to no cloud of detritus blowing all over the tank.

I don't use root tabs, just dry dosing npk and csm+b.

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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-07-2019, 12:10 AM
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I use BDBS in all my tanks and crypts , vals, java ferns , any plant I have tried have done well . The crypts and vals spread like wildfire through the soft substrate . I recommend it and it is cheap .....lol

My wife says if I get one more aquarium she is going to leave me . I sure am going to miss her fried chicken .
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-07-2019, 06:07 AM Thread Starter
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The cheap is the best part. I'm going to change over my 20g this weekend if it's not too ugly outside for washing the sand. If that goes well, I'll get a few more bags to do up my 60g.

Is there a pounds per gallon ratio that you guys found works well, or a specific target depth? My 60g is a 24" cube, and it took about 70lbs (3 1/2 bags) of ecocomplete to get a decent depth bed for planting.
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