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Joe
Regular Member
Username: joesaysso

Post Number: 284
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Thursday, March 09, 2006 - 07:21 pm:       

I was cruising the net reading up on plants and I stumbled across an article about low fertile substrates. It basically said that although, regular gravel contains no iron or trace nutrients to provide to plants, it can sometimes accumulate enough fish waste to provide some nutrients to plants that under low to moderate light conditions and proper fertilization, plants can grow. I'm sure that this isn't any secret to any of the plant experts here. Even I have heard of this before.

My question is: can plants grow in ANY kind of substrate?? This is hypothetical of course. But say moderate to high light is provided. You dose you water with every liquid fert in the Flourish product line and even give the substrate its own ferts (root tabs, I don't know what else is available), will plants grow in any substrate that is heavy enough to keep them rooted??
Joe
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Joe
Regular Member
Username: joesaysso

Post Number: 285
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Thursday, March 09, 2006 - 07:35 pm:       

Oh one more thing I forgot to mention (too late to edit), the hypothetical tank is CO2 injected. Proper CO2 levels are always maintained. Will plants grow??
Joe
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Erin
Moderator
Username: shay

Post Number: 1009
Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Thursday, March 09, 2006 - 09:01 pm:       

Joe, most plants can be trained to take more of ferts from the water column than the substrate rendering the choice of substrates less important.
Member of Delaware Valley Aquatic Gardener's Association (www.dvaga.com)
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russ
Ancient Member
Username: rasaqua

Post Number: 3869
Registered: 01-2003
Posted on Thursday, March 09, 2006 - 09:21 pm:       

Joe,

A point to ponder about your substrate question. First (and this will not seem that obvious to 99% of folks) but plant roots do not grow in the substrate. They grow in the spaces between the substrate. Certain varieties of plants, such as ferns and mosses still anchor themselves within the tiny cracks and crevises of smooth rocks. Then there is 'clay'
"For every difficult question, there is an answer that is clear and simple and wrong."
(George Bernard Shaw)
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Christine
Advanced Member
Username: christine

Post Number: 1096
Registered: 01-2004
Posted on Thursday, March 09, 2006 - 09:59 pm:       

Plants have grown fine for me in sand and large, med, and fine gravel.

HTH
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Brad
Advanced Member
Username: brad

Post Number: 1684
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Friday, March 10, 2006 - 10:17 am:       

My take on substrates is that they ''help''. My high tech tank has regulr pea gravel and my plants grow fine. I like fertile substrates more in low tech tanks than high tech simply because you substrate can`t keep up with the high growth rate anyway.

I do get better growth when I use good root tabs, so IMO, and fertile substrate is a good idea, but not neccesary. There are a million things I would tweak and adjust before worrying about my gravel.
Ever feel like you`re flying and drowning at the same time?
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Joe
Regular Member
Username: joesaysso

Post Number: 286
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Friday, March 10, 2006 - 05:36 pm:       

Thanks, all, for your thoughts. Maybe I'll save a little money on new substrate the next time I convert a tank to planted.
Joe
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