Gravel? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-22-2013, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
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Gravel?

I have been using gravel for...sooooo long... I only see seachem red where I live. I can't do it! Ferts? Liquid? Stick? Tabs etc?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-22-2013, 02:34 PM
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That gravel is a bit coarse for some plants to root in but otherwise is just fine. Looks like your plants are perfectly happy now. Use liquids to fertilize.

If you decide it is annoying you then adding an equal volume of a finer substrate in a harmonizing color would make it easier for plants to root and you could use root tabs more easily too. I haven't ever but people here like pool filter sand. I like fired clay products like SafeTSorb. SafeTSorb is easy to find in many areas, only $10 shipped for 40 pounds if you cannot find it and the color is very nice. Downside, lots of dust to remove before using and since it is porous it strips hardness out of the water until the pores are full. Mixed size substrate is not only being frugal it looks more natural to me.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-22-2013, 04:51 PM
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Root tabs under your heavy feeders, liquid ferts for the rest.

Only real issue I typically see with gravel--other than the difficulty of getting carpeting plants to root--is that folks tend to gravel vac too much, sucking up the nutrients that otherwise would have been provided by the decaying mulm.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-22-2013, 06:27 PM
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Maybe it's the stories of anaerobic pockets in a sand substrate, but I can't help but to vac my gravel regularly, even as I watch my dissolved root tabs get sucked up and go into a bucket.

Would you recommend then to not disturb the gravel bed at all, or mix it up periodically but not vac?
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-22-2013, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah that gravel...my other tanks are a bit more realistic. Its workin' tho. I wouldn't mind a liquid at all Flourish maybe? I like seachem for other things might as well use an easy to find brand.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-22-2013, 08:14 PM
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I use Flourish once a week with great results.

I really like Seachem too... currently I'm using Seachem: Flourish comp, Excel, Flourite, Flourish tabs, Equilibrium for RODI water, Prime for tap, and Neutral Regulator on occasion.

I guess you could call me a fanboy but I find their products super easy to use and very effective at the same time.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-22-2013, 08:38 PM
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We have a pretty limited supply of substrates here. I ordered some black florite sand and other stuff on line.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 02:36 AM Thread Starter
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I use rodi as well and equilibrium, despite the cloud it leaves (I add during the water change) it works well. My gh isn't to low I also add a little alkaline buffer for kh ( rodi has nothing). I guess fertilizer is the natural next step.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 02:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WheeledGoat View Post
Maybe it's the stories of anaerobic pockets in a sand substrate, but I can't help but to vac my gravel regularly, even as I watch my dissolved root tabs get sucked up and go into a bucket.

Would you recommend then to not disturb the gravel bed at all, or mix it up periodically but not vac?
The only time my substrate gets disturbed is when I'm moving things around. When that happens, enough gets kicked up into the water column that a combination of water changes and eventually filter cleanings take care of any excess. It doesn't make sense to put fertilizer (manually introduced or naturally occurring) into the bed only to suck it out

My sand tanks get a regular skim along the surface with the end of the siphon picking up surface debris and every month or so I'll use a bamboo skewer to lightly stir the sand around to ensure it doesn't compact. I don't even bother with that in my 37g as it has malaysian trumpet snails and the bigger ones dig all the way down to the bottom and back out again on a regular basis.
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