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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If I were to get some of those plants the LFS sells in those tiny pots and bury the pots in my all-gravel substrate, would the plants still grow? Are there any low-to-medium light rooting plants that will grow in a substrate that consists strictly of small rounded pea-size gravel with no soil of any kind? Would the plants in the tiny pots extend their roots out into the gravel and still find nutrients in the detritus that deposits there? I really don't wish to mess with sands and soils, if I don't have to. I know the rhizome plants do well because I can attach them to things and don't have to bury the rhizomes. But what about some other kinds?

-- Aquamom
 

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Most of the plastic pots from the store are filled with rock-wool and great for hydroponic pans but not long term. The way they are grown for marketing is shallow trays and high fert levels. A better idea (I think) would be to get small clay pots and place the plants in those with a soil or sand base, maybe add a root tab and then a cap of gravel matching your tank added to the pot.
Angelfish breeders do this all the time with sword plants and bare tanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I read that flourite can be messy. Would eco-complete be a good potting soil? And what should I do if the plant grows so well it becomes root-bound? A bigger pot, that I might have to hide behind an ornament, because I don't like the look of flowerpots in aquariums? (That's why I would bury it and cover it with gravel.) Or, once its root system is well established, could I just mix the eco-complete in with my regular gravel and dispense with the pot, altogether? I'm thinking pot so that my dojos can't dig it out.

By the way, what colors does eco-complete come in? I would want black or dark blue.

-- Aquamom
 

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Like this...Its what I had to do with my water-sprite because I didnt make my substrate thick enough for the plant.
Micheals sells these, and some are pretty small.

This is how I do it also in some of my tanks. You can get 6 for $1.50 at Hobby Lobby. I usually do this with clippings until they grow roots that I can bury.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I read that flourite can be messy. Would eco-complete be a good potting soil? And what should I do if the plant grows so well it becomes root-bound? A bigger pot, that I might have to hide behind an ornament, because I don't like the look of flowerpots in aquariums? (That's why I would bury it and cover it with gravel.) Or, once its root system is well established, could I just mix the eco-complete in with my regular gravel and dispense with the pot, altogether? I'm thinking pot so that my dojos can't dig it out.

By the way, what colors does eco-complete come in? I would want black or dark blue.

-- Aquamom
Anyone????
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
And if I did plant it into the substrate, would I get by with just gravel or would I need to mix it with the potting soil? Also, what colors does eco-complete come in? Can I get it in black?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Okay, but when I eventually transplant from the pot into the substrate would I have to mix the eco-complete into the gravel or can I just plant the roots into the gravel without mixing anything else into it? In otherwords, can I eventually plant the formerly potted plants into bare gravel, once they get well established, and let the roots feed on nutrients already in the substrate?

-- Aquamom
 

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Depends on the plant.

For water sprite, I'd actually recommend leaving it in the pot, since the plant will sometimes uproot itself from normal substrate. A labmate of mine left his watersprite in the store pot and it's gone absolutely crazy with new growth.
 
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