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I have a 12g nano tank that i set up for my daughter (just finished cycling). I currently have a bunch of egeria, a sword, and one nubia in the tank. My tank has 2, 8watt T5 full spectrum bulbs, and 1 8w blue bulb that I am running for 10 hrs. a day.

Here is a link to my tank http://www.oceanproaquatics.com/shop/product_info.php/products_id/3182

My 1st problem is that I am kind of stuck with regular gravel as a substrate. My daughter really wanted blue gravel in the tank. I do not want to try to add a bottom layer at this point, so I was wondering if it would be a good idea to pot the nubia and the sword instead of just leaving them in the gravel. I was going to use little plastic cups that I cut down to 2 and a half inches, but I couldnt find much information about what type of growing media to put in the cups. Would something like eco-complete be good, or could I use pre-soaked potting soil?

My 2nd question was, if I just stick to using the plain gravel and no pots, what are some plants that would be good performers with my light/substrate conditions.



Thanks in advance for the help, I need all that I can get. The guys at the LFS don't seem to have the patience to talk about plants!
 

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stick with the "easier" plants, water wisteria and sprite, anubias etc, and you'll be fine. The gravel, once it builds up some mulm from critter poo, will be fine on its own, but until then, you can use root tabs in the substrate for your more root-feeding plants. You will simply want to stay away from delicate plants that don't root very well - they'll pop out whenever you look funny at the tank with that epoxy-coated gravel. I'll just say that I've had pretty good success with the regular aquarium gravel in my tanks before I got sick of looking at the "clown puke" that came with my second-hand tanks, for all the talk about expensive aqua soil or eco complete and such like...

But I dare say I've grown more interesting plants since I ditched the puke. :)

others will add insight to the rest of your tank... just thought I'd share about the gravel. ;-P
 
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