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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
 
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n00bie question!

So I recently set up a 20 gallon high tank. I bought 25lbs of gravel but did not know that I needed substrate in order to have a successful tank. Can I still have plants with just plain old gravel or what else would I need?

The tank has been up and running for about a week without any fish and is currently at ~77 degrees fahrenheit.

Any help would be great! Thank you in advance!
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 10:45 PM
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Yes you can have plants with regular gravel.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 10:50 PM
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You may need fert tabs if you go with rosette plants (like Cryptocoryne or Echinodorus). Stem plants take up most of their nutrients through the leaves and stems, so you might need some kind of a liquid or dry fertilizer eventually.

But yes, you can grow plants without a special substrate

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thank you guys.

Will the plants be able to root to regular gravel?
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 11:56 PM
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Yup, just as long as the gravel isn't too coarse. 1/8" to 1/4" is perfect. 1/2" might work, but it may be hard to keep some plants rooted in something that large-grade.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 12:31 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for your help Lego!
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 12:35 AM
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I have small river rock in 20g tall tank. It will definitely grow plants, but is not optimum. I ended up mixing in flourite and saw some improvement.

The biggest issue I have with plants in gravel is getting them to stay when you first plant them, before the roots spread.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 01:25 AM
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n00b...I think that the advice that you've gotten is accurate about being able to go ahead with the gravel you bought, but IMO you'd be so much better off replacing it with a product like EcoComplete. I recently replaced my substrate in my planted tank and it really isn't that big an effort, surprisingly. I just pulled all the old stuff out using a fishnet and then with EcoComplete, you can just put it directly into the tank and replant the plants. I think you'd be happy in the end if you do it.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 03:41 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BottomFeeder View Post
I have small river rock in 20g tall tank. It will definitely grow plants, but is not optimum. I ended up mixing in flourite and saw some improvement.

The biggest issue I have with plants in gravel is getting them to stay when you first plant them, before the roots spread.
Thanks, that's exactly what I was wondering. I was planning on getting a small school of corys so I'm sure that would be a problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avi View Post
n00b...I think that the advice that you've gotten is accurate about being able to go ahead with the gravel you bought, but IMO you'd be so much better off replacing it with a product like EcoComplete. I recently replaced my substrate in my planted tank and it really isn't that big an effort, surprisingly. I just pulled all the old stuff out using a fishnet and then with EcoComplete, you can just put it directly into the tank and replant the plants. I think you'd be happy in the end if you do it.
I thought about doing that, but I got kinda frugal the past year so I feel that it would be a waste of the gravel I just bought. Plus it's my first attempt at a planted tank.

Would I still be able to do this later when I have an established tank with fish and everything? Would it change the water parameters much?
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 05:05 AM
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Quote:
I thought about doing that, but I got kinda frugal the past year so I feel that it would be a waste of the gravel I just bought. Plus it's my first attempt at a planted tank.

Would I still be able to do this later when I have an established tank with fish and everything? Would it change the water parameters much?
If your tank is established, the last thing you'd want to do is replace the substrate. IMO, just replace it now before everything is set up - it is 100% worth it in the long run. Products such as flourite or eco-complete have gotten great reviews from people here. I have a bunch of used flourite that i'd give you for free if you lived in AZ.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by AzFishKid View Post
If your tank is established, the last thing you'd want to do is replace the substrate. IMO, just replace it now before everything is set up - it is 100% worth it in the long run. Products such as flourite or eco-complete have gotten great reviews from people here. I have a bunch of used flourite that i'd give you for free if you lived in AZ.
Thanks AzFishKid. Lol, I wish I lived in AZ . I will try it out.


Thank you for all the informative answers!!
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 09:29 PM
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I'll most likely be selling my Eco-complete from my 39g soon. It's mixed in with some inert gravel, but you can sieve them out with a screen. I'm not sure if you can wait tho.


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