Can you use live plants with gravel? - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
White Mage's Avatar
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Location: Sugar Land, Texas
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Can you use live plants with gravel?

I don't wanna have to redo my tanks all over again just to add a couple of plants... will they do ok with gravel?

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 10:39 PM
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oh yeah, they'll do perfectly fine in gravel! you'll probably have to buy fertilizer but no biggie!
I actually have all my tanks planted and at the moment, all are gravel based :)

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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Oh good! What plants would you suggest? I don't want any long stringy or weed looking plants... I'd like some with biggish leaves, or maybe one that looks like grass.

I don't know much about plants D: lol

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 11:12 PM
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I never use soil...

In fact, I never use fertilizer either! I think the snails do that for me! xD
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 11:19 PM
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What about anubias, java fern, and jungle Val's?

I still don't know a whole lot about plants, but those are three I will be ordering... I'm not sure any are fast growing and will do much for water quality, though. If you are looking for those, I'd go for stem plants or floaters, but you probably won't get the look you are going for.

If research some plants, their difficulty levels, light/temp needs, how they propagate, etc... It'll be good to know before you get them. You can also look up some pictures of them. I am going for beginner plants since I have never had plants before..

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 10:23 AM
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in small unfiltered tanks, banana plants and amazon swords seem to do really well, though the swords will eventually grow to be fairly sizable plants.

In my big filtered tank, I have a bit of everything that caught my eye, but the java ferns, water wisteria, swordplant, and hornwort seem to be faring particularly well.

In both cases, just gravel tanks, and I put some LeafZone in with every other water change for the little, and every water addition for the big (cause it doesn't get them as much)

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 11:34 AM
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+1 on the sword and anubias plants. They get nice large but not too big leaves. Also shop for Amazon Compacta since they don't get over 6"-8" tall. I have two myself.

I have all my plants in black betta sand and they are doing just fine.


Last edited by InfiniteGlory; 03-01-2013 at 11:34 AM. Reason: brainfart
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 01:47 PM
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+2 on anubias-Its a low light plan. Don't plant it deeply, just the roots. If you bury the base of the plant, it'll rot. You will often find them at the petcos on driftwood. This tank is all gravel, and the green rounded leaf plants are anubias.. They are good for absorbing nitrates, too!

Last edited by TeteRouge; 03-01-2013 at 01:48 PM. Reason: can't spel. :P
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 01:55 PM
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gravel works fine. better to have it layered thicker to give them more to anchor with
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 01:56 PM
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A lot of the common aquatic plants have small or elongated leaves. But there are a lot of plants that do have big leaves. Go to and they have a tab called "plants" and there are hundreds of plant profiles there with pictures and comments by people who have kept those plants. You might have to shop in places other than pet stores for a lot of them, though. Like a fish store or online.

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