sand vs gravel - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-19-2013, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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Question sand vs gravel

I've started this thread to see if any one else has seen this. I have two tanks, ones a 55 gallon, ones a 20 gallon. I used a 1" layer of miracle grow organic choice potting soil in both tanks. In my 55 I used aqaurium gravel bought at petco. In my 20 I used black sand bought at petco as well. In the 55 gallon I can't seem to get any plants to form a carpet or produce runners, in the 20 gallon I have runners shooting up every where and I just put in s. repens and its taking off.

Is this due to the fact that the gravel is too heavy for the plants to send runners out? Has any one else noticed this?

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-19-2013, 04:08 PM
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I dont know about gravel, but i have been running nano tanks with soil capped with sand and the growth have been great with a lot of runners.

I like to use soil and sand cap, the only negative thing compared to gravel is that i think gas pockets rising from the soil wil slowly mix sand and soil.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-19-2013, 04:13 PM
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I've had similar results with dwarf sag and two different tanks without the potting mix. The tank with gravel only fails yealds on three offspring for three original platings over a two year period. Then I moved just one of the plants to a smaller tank with sand only, and it produced over fifty offspring in less than half the time.
One of the off shoots started to grow against the front glass about a half inch below the gravel surface (weird). It seems the offshoot has difficulty navigating through the gravel.
These variations in growth rates may be do to other factors like lighting or available nutrients. Unless your willing to substitute a small portion of one of your tanks with the opposite substrate we may never know for sure. You could place a small container in the gravel tank filled with the soil and sand and a plant or two.

Have an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out.

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