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Help finding a plant that roots in super fine sand

Italicus

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23 Oct 2014
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34
Location
London, United Kingdom
Hello all,

I have two aquariums which have as substrate only super fine sand. This was done on purpose giving the animal species.

I found that while moss and floating plants grow great, rooting plants struggle. In the past I've grown Vallisneria in gravel and it does well, but in this case it just doesn't produce any Tallis and I still have the same plants I started with.

Is there a plant that propagates easily and fast in very fine substrate and potentially does well in cold water?

The aquarium are unheated so they get to 10° ish in winter

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PARAGUAY

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13 Nov 2013
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Lancashire
Hygro. Polysperma put a few stems in ceramic disc,as found in potted plant pots or filter media noodles. Probably try any stem plants this way bury the disc in the sand. A few rooted plants in a disc but maybe add root tablets .
 

tigertim

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Hull
Same here i use fine sand , never a problem, how deep is the substrate level ?
 

Italicus

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23 Oct 2014
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Location
London, United Kingdom
This is my sand:

Unipac Coloured Black Sand
A coated sand in an exciting range of colours.
Grain Size: 500µ to 600µ

I thought maybe the cold inhibited growth, but even in summer they are not really growing

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_Maq_

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23 Jun 2022
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Czech Republic
A coated sand
That may be your problem. In fact, you don't keep your plants in a 'sand' but in tiny granules of plastic. These plastics have different hydrophilic/hydrophobic properties. As such, they are unknown to plant's roots and microbes. The impact of this on tank's life is unpredictable and may be significant.
It happened once to me. Since then, I never use coated sands, even if I like their colours.
 

Hufsa

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Norway
That may be your problem. In fact, you don't keep your plants in a 'sand' but in tiny granules of plastic. These plastics have different hydrophilic/hydrophobic properties. As such, they are unknown to plant's roots and microbes. The impact of this on tank's life is unpredictable and may be significant.
It happened once to me. Since then, I never use coated sands, even if I like their colours.
Marian Sterian grows his collection of plants in colored sand
FB_IMG_1659859453010.jpg

I strongly believe that for the original poster, the sand is the wrong area to focus as this is not likely to be the reason why his plants are not growing.

If he can post the details outlined in this post then im sure we can help him
 

_Maq_

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Marian Sterian grows his collection of plants in colored sand
I strongly believe that for the original poster, the sand is the wrong area to focus
My suggestion does no imply that all coloured sands are bad. I'm well aware that many use them without issues. I suspect some use them with issues yet do not identify the plastics as the source. And I'm pretty sure that in one case, coated sand was the source of my troubles.
There are many producers of coated sands and their formulae are virtually unknown. They surely differ one from another. And in general, I doubt they care much for their biological behavior except for colour stability.
 

Hufsa

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My suggestion does no imply that all coloured sands are bad. I'm well aware that many use them without issues. I suspect some use them with issues yet do not identify the plastics as the source. And I'm pretty sure that in one case, coated sand was the source of my troubles.
I dont doubt your experience Maq, my concern was that such rare cases might not be the most helpful route for the original poster to go down
 

Italicus

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23 Oct 2014
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London, United Kingdom
Here are the details as best as I can

1. Size of tank - roughly 55l
2. Age of the system approximately. - 1 year old, almost
3. Tap water parameters. - haven't measured them in a while, but fairly hard water. Temperature go down around 10° in winter
4. Filtration. - small internal filter
5. Lighting and duration. - nicrew led lights, 9 hours a day
6. Substrate.- unipac sand
7. Co2 dosing or Non-dosing. - not dosing
8. Fertilizers used + Ratios. - no fertilizers
9. Water change regime and composition. - every other month, an 80% maybe
10. Plant list. - moss (unsure of type), lemna, salvinia natans, a few strands of Vallisneria and elodea


The tank has a 5cm layer of sand. All the plants are doing well, with the tank being full of moss and the floating plans needing a constant weeding out.

The possible causes I came up with are:
the sand is too fine and the roots struggle to go through
The temperature during the winter is too cold and has stunted growth, but this shouldn't be the case now
The floating plants block the light, but I'm sorting this out

I should probably mention that this is not a show tank but purely functional one.

Ideally the plants I'm looking for are plants that don't need fertilising, root through the sand and Ideal are grass like/have small leaves.


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dw1305

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UKAPS Team
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Hi all,
Fertilizers used + Ratios. - no fertilizers
And there lies the first problem in my mind, there needs to be some ferts go in even if it is low tech. Just reduce the amount you dose
Rest assured this is not the problem. In nature, plants root in gravel, sand, silt, clay...
Same for me, but there is a way where you can check whether it is the substrate, or lack of fertilisers, and that is to <"use a floating plant">.

Have a look at the <"Duckweed Index">, it is a method where <"you add fertilisers"> only when your "Duckweed" growth slows to an unacceptable level.

At the moment I'm using <"Solufeed 2 : 1 : 4"> as my fertiliser and <"Amazon Frogbit (Limnobium laevigatum)"> as my duckweed.

cheers Darrel
 

Italicus

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23 Oct 2014
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I'll try to read on all the link, lots of studying to do.

If it helps, I do have duckweed and Salvina and they always take over the surface until I put a bigger filter that moves the water surface to free up some space

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