Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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MikeyG 10-02-2009 11:13 PM

Anchoring plants in sand
I have 11 plants in my new 10 gallon cory tank, about an inch of pool filter sand as substrate, all anchored with these:

Penn-Plax Plant Anchors, Artificial Plants & Accessories at Pawtastic Pet Supplies

They say the are "non-toxic", but also say the are made of lead. Since my water is pretty alkaline, I'm not concerned short term, but I would like to get rid of this lead.

My problem is that the fish are all new as well, and I am afraid to stress them by mving them, tearing the tank down and moving them again. Needless to say, these plants will all float if not anchored somehow.

My first thought was to wait a month or two when the fish have acclimated, get a new 10 gallon tank (they're cheap), use eco-complete gravel as a base, then add a layer of sand on top of that.

Would this work, or is it a bad idea?

Has anyone else run into this issue? It seems that the further I get into this hobby, the more "gotchas" I encounter.


1077 10-03-2009 12:18 AM

I would prolly use the ecocomplete and top it with a natural colored SMALL grain gravel. Sand has a way of working it's way to the bottom. I would aim for three to four inches of total depth for root plants.Some folks have reported that placing a plastic mesh type screen over gravel and then covering with sand ,helps keep the sand on top as opposed to ultimately mixing with the gravel but I am wondering about the effects of roots not being able to pass through the mesh if too small ,or sand passing through if mesh is too large.

MikeyG 10-03-2009 09:56 AM

Wow, so that would basically turn my 10 gallon aquarium into a 7 gallon. I guess this is where everyone says "move up to a 20 gallon", but I simply don't have the space :-?

MikeyG 10-03-2009 10:31 AM

Was browsing EcoComplete, found this:

The peace river looks like a small gravel, with 1-2mm grain sizes. The EcoComplete gravel is 2-6mm, again, just trying to think about the Corys.

Byron 10-03-2009 11:16 AM

I would recommend the Peace River gravel; it is the best size for plants, and the corys will have no problem. I have gravel comparable to this in all my tanks, and have for 15 years. In a 10g I would personally not use enriched substrate material (eco-comlete) under the gravel. Root tabs/sticks if needed (depends upon the species of plants) are fine. And I agree with 1077 not to put sand over any other material and for the same reasons he cites. Two inches of gravel like the Peace River will work, slightly sloped from front to back or terraced, so it is shallower in front (1 inch is fine) and deeper (2.5-3 inches) where the plants will likely be planted.

As for the lead strips, I definitely would not use them. Plants often come with lead strips around them from the store, I always remove the strips (or rubber bands if they are used). If you have sufficient gravel the plants will root; corys will not dig up plants unless there is insufficient substrate to hold them. If you intend to get a new tank within a month, I would wait and do all this then; use the gravel, move the plants, then the fish. How many plants have you (may have been mentioned earlier, can't remember)? If there are several and they are growing, they will cycle the new tank immediatly.


MikeyG 10-03-2009 08:44 PM

A 20 pound bag of Peace River will be just right then. An added benefit is that it might be a tad closer to what the cories like...a bit darker anyway

I have 11 plants, plus the coconut with moss on it. Most of the plants are Amazon Swords, and from what I am reading may be the wrong plant for a 10g. There is a post in this section detailing plants suited for a small tank, but since my selection here is rather limited, I'll probably mail order a few more suitable ones at the end of the month (Byron, I remember you mentioning a chain sword or something like that..) I think Live Aquaria has a decent selection of plants, I may order from them unless there are other reccomendations.

It looks like at the end of the month I will be on version 4 of my cory paradise, and thanks to everyone who has helped me out with it...couldn't have done it without you!

Edit: On second thought, I may just keep the swords and deal with them if/when they get too tall. I am on day 2 and the Phantoms are refusing to swim above plant level...they are pretty much hanging out with the cories, when they arent jostling each other or going after a female. Funny fish!

Rohland 10-03-2009 08:49 PM

I just use sand. Planted my plants like regular plants. They are fine.

MoneyMitch 10-03-2009 09:52 PM


Originally Posted by Rohland (Post 252388)
I just use sand. Planted my plants like regular plants. They are fine.


willieturnip 10-04-2009 04:25 PM


Originally Posted by Rohland (Post 252388)
I just use sand. Planted my plants like regular plants. They are fine.

Me too and I keep half a ton of C/SA Cichlids...

Rohland 10-04-2009 09:03 PM


Originally Posted by willieturnip (Post 252726)
Me too and I keep half a ton of C/SA Cichlids...

oh, that could be a little more challenging... do you have to keep replanting some or are they fairly good are not digging that much.

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