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post #1 of 4 Old 09-02-2010, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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question on substrate and plants

okay got a 55 gallon tank a bit ago currently cycling it. before i set up the aquarium i decided i didnt want the work keeping plants but since then i have read alot on the subject and learned that it really isnt thaaaat much work.
so thinking i didnt want plants i didnt take plants into consideration when choosing my gravel. i got largish river rocks type gravel each piece of gravel is i dunno bout a half an inch or so give or take and ive read that the common easy to mantain plants that id be interested in like an amazon sword or the like really do better in finer gravel soo is it too late for a beautiful planted tank even with liquid fertilizer? i aslo dont really want potted plants
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post #2 of 4 Old 09-02-2010, 10:47 PM
go with the root type of plants but you'll need root tabs in the gravel

5x2x2 aro,highfin bat,fei feng,ST,albino tinfoil,c.perch
4x1.5x1.5 planted tetras,harlequins,
otto,WMM,2 types of celebes rainbows,rcs,amano, bamboo,red ramhorns,MTS
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2x1x1 nano sw shrimps
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post #3 of 4 Old 09-03-2010, 05:04 PM
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Well I would not reccomend rooted plants... Swords, crypts, etc will probably be a headache.

Some good choices would be:
Hygrophila Difformis (press the stems far into the substrate. Their roots will be useless, but you won't have the problem of the stems rotting because you planted them too deep.)

Anubias \
Mosses \
Java Fern \ Tie to rocks.
Bolbitis heudelotii \

Potted plants would actually be a good option... just plant the pot in the gravel and you'll never see it....

Finally, the last idea is to get some play sand, rinse it extremely well, and pour it in the tank (with a funnel and a tube) so it falls inbetween your rocks...

Floating plants will also work nicely- water lettuce is a good one.

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post #4 of 4 Old 09-03-2010, 07:03 PM
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There are non-plant issues with large gravel that are worth noting. IF it really is 1/2 inch size, you shuld do as redchigh suggests and add some finer gravelor sand (I would go with finer gravel rather than sand which has other problems you may not want to tackle). Too large a gravel size means food and stuff will become trapped, and without the plant roots and bacteria associated to deal with it, more gravel cleaning is necessary.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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