Optional substrate - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-06-2009, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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Optional substrate

I am moving up to a 70g. I have uncoated gravel, most of the size smaller then a pea. It has some Ecco complete in it but as that breaks down I end up vacuuming it up in the Hot Shot Micro filter when I do monthly substrate clean.
Can plants live in uncoated gravel and thrive? Most of the substrate material I have seen is of a very fine material. So I stayed away from it. Since I use dry fertz, Excel and no CO2 Is this enough nutrients getting to the roots in my gravel? I had tried root tabs but they dissolved to fast and made my water cloudy. Really need your thoughts on this Thanks

75g, pair of gold rams , ABN, 1 adult 2 young discus, 2oto's, 6ADF's, 3 anglefish. 96w 6700k-light 6hrs raised, No C02, Excel, EI dry macro's and micro's, Eheim 2126, 18w UV, 2 Nano 270 powerhead. wall of bubbles for more O2 for such a deep tank.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-06-2009, 05:20 PM
Many plants...little time
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I would say its going to depend on what plants you want to grow.
I would also not vacuum your substrate so much with just the regular gravel so you get a fair amount of "crud" down there

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-06-2009, 05:37 PM
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All plants, even terrestrial ones, can get their nutrients through the leaves. You don't need to feed any aquatic plant through the roots. (Yes, I do think there are a very few unusual aquatic plants that feed only from the roots, but they are far from the norm.) We always see sword plants, crypts, and other heavily rooted plants called "root feeders", but all plants can take in nutrients from the roots, and all plants can take in nutrients from the leaves.

I once had a few sword plants in a 29 gallon tank, in inert substrate, with only EI fertilizing. Within a couple of months they had totally filled the tank, growing very fast. And, sword plants are one of those that people swear need root feeding. They don't!

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-06-2009, 07:16 PM
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It is good to know this about swords. I was always told they were mainly root-feeders. But I think you must be right about them feeding from the leaves, because with a new dosing regime into the water column, the sword is the one which shows the most improvement.

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