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-   -   Good Plants for Sand Substrate Tank? (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-planted-aquarium/good-plants-sand-substrate-tank-95716/)

pche 03-10-2012 04:49 AM

Good Plants for Sand Substrate Tank?
 
Im Starting my first freshwater tank and i am using Pool filter sand as my substrate. I am planning on having live planted tank, but i am unsure of what plants do best in sand as opposed to gravel? Does anyone have any suggestions on plants which thrive with sand?
Thanks a lot!

Geomancer 03-10-2012 05:23 AM

The short answer is ... all ;)

Plants actually do better in sand/fine gravel as opposed to larger gravel.

Your light is actually the important factor, along with tank size. Let us know and we can go from there.

redchigh 03-10-2012 02:03 PM

Assuming you have good lighting and nutrients, there are a few plants that perform better in sand than gravel in my experience.

Dwarf hairgrass (eleocharis)
Potamogeton Gayi
The smaller cryptocyornes

teddyzaper 03-10-2012 04:57 PM

Most smaller plant do better in sand than gravel because they have smaller, more fragile roots that will get cut up by bigger gravel.
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pche 03-10-2012 05:12 PM

Ahh i see, my tank is 95g and i have a 3 ft long blue fluorescent light + some natural light. Also is there any good fertiliser i should use? I have read that some people put a layer of fertilizer underneath their sand in the tank and that helps? I would prefer not to do that but if i need to i will. And one last question, how thick should i lay the sand down to allow the plants to grow?

Thanks a lot for your help!

Byron 03-11-2012 11:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pche (Post 1009317)
Ahh i see, my tank is 95g and i have a 3 ft long blue fluorescent light + some natural light. Also is there any good fertiliser i should use? I have read that some people put a layer of fertilizer underneath their sand in the tank and that helps? I would prefer not to do that but if i need to i will. And one last question, how thick should i lay the sand down to allow the plants to grow?

Thanks a lot for your help!

Using a layer of some type of enriched substrate is not necessary, there are pros and cons. One point is that with a top layer of sand, the sand would work its way down to the bottom if the substance was larger-grained, as most of these tend to be. So I would suggest staying with just playsand.

A depth of 2 inches throughout the tank is adequate. You can deepen it at the back in places where larger plants would naturally be planted, using rocks or wood to build it up a bit. And it can be shallower along the front, say 1 to 1.5 inches max.

Depending upon the type of plants, substrate fertilizer tabs can be used; these are useful with larger swords, crypts and aponogeton. But here again, they are not "necessary." A good complete liquid fertilizer is usually sufficient, and this by going into the water will benefit all plants--substrate rooted (the water must percolate through the substrate naturally), plants on wood or rock (Anubias, moss, fern) and floating plants. I use Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement. Another that I have not tried (yet) but which I believe is identical is Brightwell Aquatics' FlorinMulti.

Byron.

redchigh 03-16-2012 03:29 PM

I add a handful of soil under the sand in my tanks, and it seems to have the benefits of soil (plants grow faster, and the biological bed gets off to a better start) without the risk of anaerobic pockets and toxins building up.

When I say a handfull, that's all... about 1/2 a cup, no matter the size of the tank. I mix it into the bottom half of substrate.


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