Personal Experience Substrates
Standard 10 gallon tanks (20x10x12), aquarium gravel with natural mixed in about 3:1 aquarium: natural, lighting is an 80 watt shop fixture over 2 ten gallon tanks, about 33 watts on each tank.
I have only used gravel and mostly aquarium gravel although I now have some natural gravel mixed in. I can grow pretty much any plant that isn't considered a carpet plant, i.e. glasso, HC, clovers, etc. I have grown Wisteria, Water sprite, Red Melon Sword, Primrose, Anubias Nana, Christmas moss, Crypt lucens, wendtii and becketti, Lymnophila Aromatica, elodea, sunset hygro, and almost any stem plant I put in the tanks. I also could not get foxtail to thrive but it did grow, looked like it had mange. :shock: I think that seasoned gravel is a much better plant substrate, new gravel needs to get the nutrients built up before it will really grow plants. If you can seed the gravel with root tabs it may help a lot as my tanks took about 6 months before they would grow plants well without them.
In an attempt to keep it more generalized; only include substrate, watts of lighting and tank size including gallons and dimensions. And don't forget the plants, both successes and not so much. The explanations are the most important part and why you think it works for you. Letâ€™s leave dosing for another topic; it is confusing enough on its own.
29 gallon tank with 130 watts of lighting (4.5 wpg). I use Soilmaster Select (charcoal) as a substrate. Many people are starting to use it, and it works because it is an infield conditioner for baseball fields. It is very cheap- only about $15 for 50 lbs. I use CO2 and dose E.I.
I have never had a plant die. I have grown Rotala rotundifolia, Rotala wallichii, glossostigma elatinoides, blyxa japonica, ceraphyllum submersum, eleocharis montevidensis, anubias barteri v. barteri, and ludwiga repens.
This is my very "non guru" substrate:
enriched soil under
fine sand under
I use/ have used onyx sand, Eco-complete, ADA aqua soil. (different tanks)
All with a mixture of light and ferts. So far I've been able to grow any plant that I've got my hands on. The Aqua soil has been the best of them.
faster, and greener growth , easy planting and so forth.
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