View Full Version : planted substrate

02-28-2010, 11:30 AM
has anyone ever had a succsesfull planted tank with gravel only, 3-6mm

02-28-2010, 02:08 PM
nope to thin, no room for root development so you will get a ton of surface roots which will look ugly, and there will be no strength to keep the plant anchored if a fish bumps it or tugs on it.


02-28-2010, 09:17 PM
I'd recommend Seachem Fluorite. It comes in brown, a rusty red, and black colours in both gravel size and now sand size as well. I've been using it for years and it works great as a planted tank substrate. Its also probably the easiest planted tank substrate to find in Canada as most LFS stock this. I'm running about 2-2.5" thick in my tank right now and thats more than enough to keep the roots buried and the plants held nicely in place.

03-17-2010, 12:24 AM
are you talking 3 - 6mm of the size of the gravel? if so that would be fine. if you put it about 2" deep

i have 10 or so planted tanks submersed and 2 emersed tanks.

i have some with fluorite and most with just regular gravel. after a while, once the fish waste and dead plant stuff gets into the gravel the plain gravel is just as good as the fluorite.

i almost never clean the gravel in the planted tanks, like less than once a year.

lately i have been changing my gravel over from regular to a 1 - 2 mm sand colored gravel called sil 9 i get it from a sand blasting wholesaler place. it is $20 for 40kg

with the larger sized gravel it is just a little bit harder to get the plants to stay when initially placing them. but once they grow in it will be fine.

03-17-2010, 12:30 AM
i also just noticed that you are from edmonton, and i think that the sil 9 is made in edmonton.

i think this place sells it, but i am not sure. i seen up to sil 8 in there catalog


07-11-2010, 01:09 AM
I use Shultz aquatic soil, which is repackaged turface. You should be able to get them at Home depot or bonsia/lanscaping places. I buy mine at Rona or Homedepot.

Good luck!

07-11-2010, 01:51 AM
Flourite is good but its just starters. The best way is to make your own. The most basic thing you can do is get planters clay and line the bottom 1.5" of tank and then flourite on top and bury seachem florite food tabs in the clay. If you want to go the more custome rate you can also make your own top soil instead of the flourite.