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Though I have been reading posts in this forum for a while, I'm still not sure about the need for specialized substrate. Mostly I don't like the look of them -they look unnatural to me. If my tank were to be thickly planted with various types of vallisneria only, would a substrate of river sand or small gravel be enough, or is this a plant that needs a rich substrate, like a swordplant?
 

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Vallisneria won't care what they are grown in, as long as it is rather small grained like most commercial substrates, stay away from pea gravel and you will do fine. Most Echinodorus sp. don't care either.
 

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Vallisneria won't care what they are grown in, as long as it is rather small grained like most commercial substrates, stay away from pea gravel and you will do fine. Most Echinodorus sp. don't care either.
Depends on the pea-gravel... I can get some here in Colorado that is a perfect grain size, but couldn't find anything good in Georgia.
 
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