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!
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.
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)
The smaller cryptocyornes
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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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!
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.
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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