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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I set my low tech tank up with some fine plain gravel thinking I was just gonna do a moss tank. Now after seeing my driftwood and my scape I'm thinking I could fit a few more plants.

I have no plants as of yet but I'm getting some peacock moss mailed to me. I was thinking of adding some ludwiga. and cryps. could I just add some fertalizer spikes and be good with that or should I switch my substrate out all together?

I love the look of the gravel I have and I don't like the way Flourite or Eco complete looks.

Is there something I could put under the gravel that will rinse out of it whenever I take the tank down? This gravel was realy hard to come by and I might want to use it in a cichlid tank down the road or something.
 

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If you like your gravel, just keep it. I have a tank that grows almost everything i put in it and the substrate is pink epoxy coated gravel. Go ahead and laugh at my clown puke gravel but it grows plants just fine. I'll eventually change it out but it's such a chore that i keep putting it off. The only plants that I've had trouble growing are grass like plants. Dwarf hair grass and other similar grasses need finner substrate to root and spread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Pink gravel and plants? now thats a combo I havent seen before. I used to have blue and red gravel in my oscar tank.

The only plant other then moss I plan on using is cryps. The guy at my local pet store said the same thing I should have no problem with cryps in plain gravel.

But anyways thx for the help.
 

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Most of the easier Crypts will grow in plain gravel with just EI dosing to your water collumn, however they will not grow as fast or as good nor as big as when planted in richer substrate. Crypts are mostly more of the root feeder type, as I found out from experiment (so people's statement about this is true).

You can help them grow better by feeding them with root tabs, preferably those aquascape ones for those have more appropriate content which is better suited for aquarium, try stuff like JBL balls, ADA root sticks and the likes of it.

You can plant many kind of plants in plain gravel, though you cannot plant just all kind of plant. Some plants will suffer in poor substrate, while some will even never survive.

Alternatively, you can spread some base fertilizer such as denerle, sera or JBL under your plain gravel. This will richen up your substrate to certain extent. The thing is, you have to overhaul the tank for it is required to put base fertilizer under the substrate, which means drying and clearing out the tank.
 

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How long has the tank been setup? If more than 6 months, and you have some fish in there it more than likely has enough ferts to work with anyways. So changing would simply breakdown the already healthy environment.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thx for the tips everyone, I'll have to pick up some ADA root tabs. Next time I set a tank up with gravel I'll put something under it.

I'm gonna add some more gravel today, I only have about 1 1/2" inches. When I first set the tank up I wasnt planning on any other plants then the moss. The tank is a 5.5 gallon so I didnt think I had room for anyother plants because I have alot of swahalla root wood in there.
 

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I'm gonna add some more gravel today
You should "MIX" the new gravel slightly into the substrate so you have a healthy mixture all around. Plus it'll look better if there is any algae growing at all on the older gravel.

Have you decided which crypts you are going to get? I had a small tank with some C. Willisii in the middle "great red color" in it and Glossostigma growing all around it. It really looked like a "Zen" or Amano tank.

We'd love to see pictures when you get it together here! :thumbsup:
 
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