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Normal Sand


11 Sep 2010
Manchester, UK
Hi All,

At the moment i have normal sand which i bought from my LFS i suspect this is probably play sand but im not sure. My question is, will plants grow properly in just normal sand? or will i need to have some nutrient rich substrate underneath?

You don't need a nutrient rich substrate because plants absorb nutrients through their leaves as well so you can dose a liquid fertiliser.
You can use root tabs to good effect as well.
Ok cool thank you for that info, i was thinking about taking all the sand out and putting a rich sub in instead, i will see how this sand holds up.

On a side note, you mention liquid ferts, i have Easy Life easycarbo, is this suffice?

Unfortunately Easycarbo isn't a fertilizer. Its just a source of carbon. It can be used instead of CO2 injection, or along side it as it has algaecidal properties. The main ingredient is Gluteraldehyde, which as a search on this forum will show, needs to be handled with care. I use it myself, but I do treat it with respect. (Don't get it neat on your skin for example). As for ferts, well that depends on many other variables. Tank size, lighting intensity / duration, even fish stocking levels. Not to mention the type of plants you intend to grow. Tropica Plant Nutrition Plus is a good all round one if you don't mind splashing the cash. (Ensure it's the plus variety, as this does contain all the necessary ingredients) It can be found via several of the site sponsors. Personally I'd advocate the dry powder route. It really is far cheaper. By a long way. I use James' All In One Solution the recipie for which can be found here:

Any further questions, ask away. there is a wealth of invaluable knowledge on here. I have learnt a vast amount in the past 9 months, all of it from this site. Just doing a search of the forum for what puzzles you usually brings up the answer for me, but by all means ask anything your not sure of.
See thats the thing when you rush into things you just buy what you think is good :( i actually think i have some JBL fert coming with the co2 system i bought so i will take a look at that in the first instance.