View Full Version : How to grow plants Help

11-24-2010, 02:23 AM
Will plants grow in only aquarium gravel? if so which plants. I have amazon swords not doing so well


11-24-2010, 02:30 AM
what is your lighting rated at and what type is it (t12, t8, t5 etc..) also how big is your tank.

ive had great luck in a 20gal tank with all the hygrophillia species ive tried

11-24-2010, 02:34 AM
Most aquatic plants are very easy to care for and will easily grow in the gravel. If they're not doing well, it's prob. because you do not have sufficient lighting. I have argentine sword, red melon sword, hornwort, and dwarf hairgrass in my tank with plain old gravel and a cheap liquid fertilizer and they are doing great.

11-24-2010, 02:48 AM
Most aquatic plants can grow in just the gravel, getting their nutrition from water and whatever mulm accumulates in it over time. I have all of my plants (a wide variety of them) in gravel or sand with no special substrate or fertilizers. They don't grow as fast as they would if I had a special substrate, but they are nevertheless healthy and looking good.
You may also consider plants that don't rely on substrate at all and get all their nutrition from water - rhizome plants like java fern and floating plants like hornwort and brazilian pennywort.
Which plants are best to choose for your tank mostly depends on your light level.

11-24-2010, 03:48 AM
Swords require a very rich substrate, normal gravel alone isnt good enough for them. They do best in substrate designed for plants in addition to substrate fertilizers, but substrate ferts are a minimal requirement for them. Swords also need medium spectrum lighting, 2-3WPG is a good general guideline.

Plants that dont really need specialized plant gear are anubias, fern and moss. They will still need the occasional dose of liquid ferts but standard fluorescent tank lighting is usually oK for them as well.

12-02-2010, 04:34 AM
Provided you have good lighting for the aquarium, I've had the best results growing sword plants in Aquasoil Amazonia II - very rich substrate for promoting growth, it takes a lot of the learning curve out of planted tanks since it lessens the need to dose daily with ferts, etc, and anything that makes things even slightly easier for planted tanks is a good thing.

There are lots of way to skin the cat though, like the previous posters have mentioned!

Lady Hobbs
12-02-2010, 12:34 PM
I agree. It well worth the investment to get planting substrate.

Wild Turkey
12-02-2010, 04:01 PM
+1 Swords are going to do better in a nutrient rich, sandy soil. Pretty much all plants that spread through runners arent going to do as well in gravel.