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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I intend to cover my soil base with a tight mesh before I place 2 - 3" of quartzvsand over it but I'm wondering about the actual area where the plants are actually planted. The first thing I'm doing is decreasing the sand to 1" under the plants. I was also thinking a larger mesh (perhaps 3/16" weave); half depth of soil base, placed right under the plants might be good to let some roots wrap around it.

The actual base of the plants will be unapproachable due to strategically placed rocks so digging is NO problem. I don't care about biting off plants as that's just a method of keeping the bushes trimmed. My last concern is ripping them out by the roots, it would be nice to give those roots an anchor. Better a haircut than a un-rooting

My only concern is problems for me when I have to take a plant out.

This is a cichlid tank

MeCasa
 

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I would just get some plants with a solid root base and or can be mounted to rocks or driftwood rather than stem plants for a cichlid tank. Since cichlids tend to dig and shred plants to begin with, finding something hardy and unappealing would be a better option. Actually, what cichlids are you referring to here? If it's dwarf's you shouldn't really have much of a problem. African's and larger South American's you will have to replan.
 

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I tried mesh over soil in a tank a few year's back.
Mesh was just a little larger than window screen but it did not work out so well.
Root's grew through the mesh which made moving plant's a chore without also pulling up the mesh.
Course I guess if you don't move the plant's,then this would help prevent fish digging clear down to the soil but all they really need to do is uncover the sand to where mesh is, and dirt will leach into the water.
Larger cichlid's could just rip up mesh with not too much effort.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
There is NO chance of fish ever getting to my soil system. One third of the aquarium (150) will have soil under it and every square inch of this area is covered under a reef. The mesh over the soil was more to keep the soil away from the sand in case I ever needed to break it down. And for whatever reason it just seemed like the right thing to do.

The parts of the aquarium where I fully encourage an occasional sand bath or just playful digging is quartz sand more than 3" deep without soil substrate.

I'm 50-50 on using the larger mesh below the plants, I was concerned about the plants becoming unmovable at the same time I was designing this to make the plants unmovable. ...Makes no sense..right?

One option would be to simply cut the plants out with scissors when and if they needed to be removed.

But you do believe that the mesh would make them difficult for the fish to yank out?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
One more question. Let's say I have a plant that I don't like and I cut it out. Are there plants that will continue putting up growth from the root system? The answer to that is obviously yes Duh. This would make the mesh a problem because you would not be able to remove plants.

And are there plants that will send up suckers (whether wanted or not) out of the soil and through the sand in the middle of nowhere from runners based in the subsoil or from the root system itself?

Thanks
 

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There is NO chance of fish ever getting to my soil system. One third of the aquarium (150) will have soil under it and every square inch of this area is covered under a reef. The mesh over the soil was more to keep the soil away from the sand in case I ever needed to break it down. And for whatever reason it just seemed like the right thing to do.

The parts of the aquarium where I fully encourage an occasional sand bath or just playful digging is quartz sand more than 3" deep without soil substrate.

I'm 50-50 on using the larger mesh below the plants, I was concerned about the plants becoming unmovable at the same time I was designing this to make the plants unmovable. ...Makes no sense..right?

One option would be to simply cut the plants out with scissors when and if they needed to be removed.

But you do believe that the mesh would make them difficult for the fi



Well,not sure I would bother with soil in area that as you say.."every square inch will be covered by reef."Will plant's be able to fit in between somewhere?Or maybe just attach anubia,java fern to the reef in which case soil would be of little benefit.(they draw nutrient's from the water).
As for mesh making it more difficult for the six to eight inch fish you mentioned in another thread or previously in this thread,, I think they would not have to uproot the plant's but by nibbling on them,, the plant's would have difficulty looking like much over the long haul.
 

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One more question. Let's say I have a plant that I don't like and I cut it out. Are there plants that will continue putting up growth from the root system? The answer to that is obviously yes Duh. This would make the mesh a problem because you would not be able to remove plants.

And are there plants that will send up suckers (whether wanted or not) out of the soil and through the sand in the middle of nowhere from runners based in the subsoil or from the root system itself?

Thanks
Vallisneria,Watersprite are a couple that send out gob's of runner's from root system.
Watersprite has tendency to grow more upright toward's the surface
and once cut back,you can replant what you cut and it will grow in same or another area.
The vallisneria can send out runner's far away from original planting site which is where the soil would help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The vallisneria can send out runner's far away from original planting site which is where the soil would help.

Normally the soil would help. In my case I have designated plant areas and I won't allow anything to grow outside those areas. while I wanted the root system to have area for roots to grow my original calculations did not consider runners.

I'll have to go back to the drawing board and pick plants that do not have runners.

One way or another, the mesh above the subsoil is gone, I can't take a chance I won;t be able to pull root systems. I may still put some mesh under the plants themselves but it will be fiberglass mesh that I can cut with scissors.

Just when you think you have every little detail worked out you find more potential problems.

I want cichlids and after spending time in this forum I WANT plants so I'll work it out.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
In case I misunderstood, does 'putting out runners' mean plants will come up in other areas off of the runners b

or does it mean they have a massive root system.

Sorry about that.
 
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