How successful can pea gravel be?
I currently have a decent low tech planted tank in natural sand. I'm aware natural sand is definitely not the best for roots but I've still managed to get some good growth using fertiliser and root tabs to provide the nutrition and the plants have actually don't quite well. I'm considering swapping it out for a different substrate. The tank I'm doing this with is my smaller tank which is a Juwel Rio 240 the latest style with the LED lighting just to give an idea on size and lighting. I've seen and been told of many options like ADA and Fluval Stratum, which I'm not keen on as they do just turn to mud and become exhausted after a while, the other is pond soil with a capping layer, I have tried the capped soil method in the past and it was just too messy for me. So these methods as good as they may be for some I want to give them a miss.
I've found some 2-4MM pea gravel and feel that with the right fertiliser to the water colum and enough nutrition provided via root tabs as I've been doing with the sand it should at least work better then sand for root growth, in turn being a better substrate for plant growth.
I'm not looking to achieve an aqua scape stye pretty tank just a healthy wild mixed dense plant mass for my fish to live amongst, I'd like to know what do you think of 2-4mm pea gravel for planting and general opinions of how successful it could possibly be.