View Full Version : gravel: how much?

03-20-2007, 12:25 AM
i have a 30 gallon aquarium in mind and i have a tight budget and i would like to grow live plants. how much gravel do i need, and is there a certain type for plants?

03-20-2007, 12:54 AM
If you are on a budget, then just use plants that feed from the water column and don't require any kind of special substrate. Perfect examples include any variety of moss (java, taiwan, christmas, weeping, flame) and java fern. With java fern, just tie the rhizome to a rock or driftwood with some fishing line, making sure to leave it exposed. Java fern and moss are low light plants as well.

Lady Hobbs
03-20-2007, 01:08 AM
I mixed one bag of Flourite (15 lbs) with about 10 pounds of gravel I already had. Gave me about 2 inches in the front with 3 at the back. Bank the back of the tank up higher as taller plants have longer roots.

03-20-2007, 02:27 AM
Another idea is you could go check out Home Depot or some equivalent at their gardening section. I bought a bag of "pea pebbles" for $4 and some change, and it was plenty (more than enough, actually) to cover the bottom of my 29 gallon. The catch is, though, that the pebbles aren't washed. I mean, they're covered in mud. You have to clean them really well, then clean them some more, then some more. I still had a little dirt and cloudiness after all that cleaning. The rocks are really pretty, and actually a little larger than a pea. I wouldn't suggest any bottom feeder fish that require smooth gravel, though, since these rocks are a bit sharp and coarse.

They should be fine for plants as long as you supplement their roots with some of those vitamin/food sticks you put in the gravel next to their roots.

Also, I suggest the java fern and some mosses. The anubias also has a rhizome that can be attached to driftwood.

03-20-2007, 01:26 PM
For plants, you should get fast growing stem plants like ludwigia sp. or rosette plants such as Vallisneria sp. for the back. For the front, dwarf sagittaria. Watersprite (Ceratopteris thalictroides) and Green Hygro (Hygrophila polysperma) are tall plants for the back and are undemanding, that take up excess nutrients fromt the water and make good starter plants for a new tank. The ludwigia propage thru stem cuttings and the Vals and dwarf sag send out runners from which new plants grow. Your tank will probably look bare when you first plant, but after a few months of replanting cuttings and the runners from the vals and dwarf sag, you should have a good start to a nicely planted tank.

If you can afford it, and if there is room over your tank, buy another flourescent light strip. An even better solution, but also more costly, is upgrading to a compact fluroescent light. Some of the plants may not do well, ie grow slowly, if you don't have enough light. The ludwigia sp. require a bright light, 3+ watts /gal.

03-20-2007, 04:06 PM
He's on a tight budget though :/ 3 watts per gallon on a 30g would be about 80 bucks