Just stick a few osmocote root tabs under your gravel and you'll be able to grow most med light plants no problem. It will also help with the deficiencies you are experiencing with the chain sword and micro sword.
Thanks. Do I stick the tabs under the gravel near the plants It to affect or just various places throughout the gravel? Also how many root tabs should I use in a 60 gallon tank and can I still dose with api leaf zone if I use tabs? Sorry for all the questions lolI have had chain swords in gravel before. From what I could see of the picture you still have it in the emersed state and it takes a little while for the new plantlets to start emerging.
I second the osmocote idea. If you can't get any then I'd suggest some seachem root tabs.
Picked up some floramax today, going to attempt to replace my foreground gravel. Thanks as always lauralee!If you're really looking for a nice carpet, IMO it will be worth the effort to at least replace the gravel in the front/ wherever you want carpet.
I've done several scapes where I used pea gravel to make a "river," and just that one change pretty much kept my carpet in place and out of the river- VERY few chain or microswords would grow in the pea gravel area as opposed to being quite thick in the Flourite areas.
I think it may be as much promoting root growth along the runners the mother plants send out as much as about nutrients; gravel is just too smooth and has too many big gaps between the grains. New plantlets take much, much longer to get established.