Hi guys, I've decided against dirting my tank(s) going to wait till I get a bigger tank then dirt that and plant the hell out of it!
I still want some live plants in my tanks though, one is a sand substrate, the other is gravel, will I need to add anything to help the plants root and grow?
the sand is approx 1inch deep at the front, going up to 2inchs at the back, I will only be planting at the back of this tank
the gravel is 1inch level to the back, I have more gravel I can add though if needed.
Thanks in advance for any advice, and I know dirt would be the best thing, but I haven't got anywhere for my fish to go, unless a friend has a spare tank I can borrow from him for a little while
there are many liquid plant fertilizers found in lfs or even big brands(petco/petsmart) you could use for the time being also look up root tabs they can substitute for nutrients in the gravel and also have adequate lighting.
I even saw some special dirt in a pet shop that was made for adding to your aquarium after you have put in water and everything, was made into small balls of dirt that dont melt(or what you should call it) in contact with water, you just dig a hole in the gravel where you want to add the plant, but in the dirt just where you want the plant and put over the gravel and plant the plant, but havent tried that one myself so dont know how good it is or if it even works. but they claimed that i worked in the store.
get this product http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=10850842 it really helps to grow plants bug and fast. i have a planted tank but there isnt dirt and i use this stuff and it grows fine. also, you dont even have to use this stuff, these plants will grow in any condition really, anubius nana, java fern, hornwort, java moss, amazon swords, ludwigia, white ribbon plant, wisteria, water sprite, there are accually a lotof plants that dont need dirt, also any floating plants would work as well scince it doesnt even touch the gound.
good luck with you're planted tank,
Thanks for the replys, I've decided to dirt my tank, and while I'm at it remove the snails (bought some bogwood with java fern on it, obviously didn't rinse it well enough!) oh well, live and learn, will be buying everything I want/need for the dirt conversion over the next few days, will probably dirt the tank at the weekend and hope to have my fish back in it after a week or so
my plan is to remove the fish and put them into a large container with the water out of my tank, and obviously the heater and filter, clean my tank and dirt it ect, and do the large water changes every day for a week, then for the final big water change, add back my "old" tank water and put the fish in
I'm not going to run co2 on this tank and see how it goes with just liquid ferts and dirt, I may add co2 at a later date, really looking forward to dirting my tank, going to draw up a plan soon, I know what plants I want and I know how i want it to look (in my head)