Plants that grow in river stone gravel? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-02-2011, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
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Plants that grow in river stone gravel?

After having my NPT tank go toxic I have gone back to gravel, small smooth river stone type. What plants can I grow in this? I have anubias, java fern, java moss, banana lilies, and a crypt.
I wouldn't mind adding ecocomplete in the back area but afraid of another huge mess. Will jungle vals work? I guess I'm trying to avoid root feeders at this point unless they can be potted.

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-02-2011, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by psalm18.2 View Post
After having my NPT tank go toxic I have gone back to gravel, small smooth river stone type. What plants can I grow in this? I have anubias, java fern, java moss, banana lilies, and a crypt.
I wouldn't mind adding ecocomplete in the back area but afraid of another huge mess. Will jungle vals work? I guess I'm trying to avoid root feeders at this point unless they can be potted.

Hi psalm, good to see you. The breakdown in organics is why I never use straight potting/topsoil, I always mineralize it first.

A good mineralized topsoil, ecocomplete, oildri, SMS, Turface, fluorite, etc, won't have a breakdown process that will foul up the tank water, so don't be too afraid to use them.

If you do decide to go with stones, you still have several options. Vals will grow in just about anything, just add some root tabs or liquid ferts every now and again. Java fern, anubias, java moss are all good plants that grow in most anything as well.

If you really wanted you could leave something like crypts potted, they'd just be constrained to the pot area.


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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-02-2011, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. Nice to see you here as well. I may try some ecocomplete next time. The gravel is a very thin layer, enough to cover the bottom. I will not try dirt, although to be fair it is working in my 5G.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-02-2011, 06:17 PM
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What's thus about organic soil? I was set on using some for my next tank. Maybe I should rethink that though...


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-02-2011, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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I had a very bad experience with my miracle grow organic soil in my 29G. Doesn't mean other people will. Too be fair I made the mistake of using jobes organic root sticks for land based plants and I think this was a major factor. The jobes main ingredient is nitrogen after all. Anyways, my tank went toxic, smelled really bad, and almost killed all my poor fish. 1 died. My 5G is soil/sand w/out fert tabs and doing fine, no bubbles.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-02-2011, 06:34 PM
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A lot of people use jobes fertilizer sticks, I think the main issue was the organics breaking down in the soil. Aquatic plants and land plant fertilizers are not all that different. Land fertilizer and aquatic plant fertilizer both have macros like N P K and micros. Osmocote is another garden fertilizer that works great in aquaria, and has a really slow release so less of an issue of overdoing it.

Adding root tabs to an already nutrient rich organic soil was probably overkill, though.

The mineralizing process deals with that organic breakdown before adding it to the tank. That funky smell is the gas building up from the decomposition in the soil.


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-02-2011, 06:43 PM
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Hmm. So what do you think? Should I not risk it? I am not able to do mts. I could just do schultz aquatic plant soil. But then i might need root tabs and I was looking forward to not having to use them.


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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-02-2011, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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It's interesting because like jetajockey stated, I may have just used the wrong combo. I only used soil/sand in my 5G and so far no problems at all. If I were to do this NPT again I would do it fishless until the gases die down. Plant real heavy to start. Then add fish down the road. At this point I have moved my fish too many times to start again.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-03-2011, 12:47 PM
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my 145 gal is gravel/stone like that and I have everything from hornwort, elodea, violets, etc growing more than happily in it
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-03-2011, 01:19 PM
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Sorry you gave up on the NPT. The jobes overloaded it I'm 99% certain. Again not all Jobes sticks are aquarium healthy.
Going back to gravel and staying low tech can create a nice tank too.

Just a little something extra makes a big difference. Allow the fish crap and mum to settle into the gravel. Also if you want minimum risk of drama buy a single 12lb. bag of Flora Base and add it to your gravel.


It can be added after the tank is established without hazard or clouding the water (I've done it). Two or three 12oz. cups added by sprinkling the material out of the cup over the existing gravel will work it's way into a mix over time. I did this to an old 55g tank with river gravel substrate over the course of a year. Stuff grew better with less algae gradually doing this.

HTH





River gravel and Flora Base low tech.


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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-03-2011, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. I was going to post a thread on different aquarium soils. I have seen the flora base at the LFS. It's kinda pricey at $30. Good to know it can be added with an established tank. I haven't totally given up on NPT. My 5.5G is still NPT w/out plant fert sticks and doing well, no bubbles.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-03-2011, 10:19 PM
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If I switch up the substrate in mine to MG organic, I wouldn't be able to keep it fishless for a while before adding fish. Because there are actually fish in the tank now.


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