Gravel substrate and Plants? - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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Gravel substrate and Plants?

I have a ten gallon with gravel as my substrate and LED lights (it is getting a lot of indirect sunlight from two nearby windows though). I really like the look of natural plants and moderately planted to highly planted tanks, however I can't seem to find much info on how to keep a moderately planted tank without the "Naturally Planted Tank" method with soil and such (as a noob and college student, gravel is much easier for me to care for/clean).

Is it possible to get a moderately planted tank without using the soil method? (aka. pure gravel). I have an anubus, two other small plants im not quite sure of (but similar to a swordtail?) and a small patch of dwarf hairgrass (which I'd like to expand through the tank).

Biggest wish is to have either some dwarf hairgrass throughout the bottom, or some sort of moss that partially covers the gravel. Any advice?

PS) I can post pics if it would help
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 04:10 PM
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I have the same as you in two tanks going for almost three months. A third going for over one month. It takes a while for plants to establish, don't give up hope! I use a small bit of Seachem fertilizers also.
You may want to look into a couple of 11 inch (is what mine are) Aquascaping tools (scissor, tweezer, also.
They make working on the plants much easier as you don't have to stick your hands in the water and stir things up.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thank god :) I was wondering if they'd survive. Do you know how fast the hairgrass will grow, or how to get it to spread out over the bottom? Its only been in there a week, so I know I've got awhile to wait.

Do you know what kinds of moss or foreground plants might do well besides the hairgrass?
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 07:39 PM
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Yep i'm using gravel as my substrate but still have plants in tank :) I currently have wisteria, java fern, microsword, jungle val, and pygmy chain sword.

Java moss is a good beginner foreground plant and for nutrients, your plants will grow in just the light but if you want to see faster growth consider using liquid fertilizer such as seachem flourish and a source of CO2. CO2 can be placed into the tank through a number of ways such as liquid form (seachem excel), DIY co2 system or if you have the money purchase an actual CO2 system.

Try to find long tweezers to help make planting eaiser
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 07:46 PM
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I'm a new to plants too but i just took the plunge and did it---and it didn't turn out that bad. I currently have 8 different plants in my tank.

I have gravel too, no special substrate. I use fertilizers occasionally to give the plants a boost, though. So far my plants are doing well, but its true that they make take a bit to recover from planting. Oh, I agree with getting the aquascaping tools....I could have used those a few weeks ago!

As for something to cover the gravel.....I have java moss. I'm loving it and it looks really pretty. If you feel up to it, you can get some plastic mesh and make a carpet of it.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 08:46 PM Thread Starter
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Anyone here tried Flame Moss? My local pet stores don't carry anything beyond Anubis, but there's someone auctioning some flame moss on aquabid.

Or do you know of any members on the forum who might be selling any moss or carpet type plants?
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dwarf hairgrass , gravel , moss , plants

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