New 29 gallon w vermiculite/adobe


When I was a kid 30 years ago i kept a coupe of aquariums, so this
Christmas I decided to get my kids an aquarium (well, OK, it's my toy too).
I hopped on the internet and read a lot of the material, including Jim
Kelly's article. As a kid I wondered why my plants lived for a while then
just kinda faded away. Anyway I just set up a 29 gallon using a substrate
of on inch of vermiculite, a shattered Osmocote fertilizer tablet, and
black Southern California adobe below 1 inch of 2mm fine gravel and 3/4
inch of aquarium gravel. I still only have the single 20 watt light that
came with the aquarium kit and have not gotten around to DIY C02.

So after too weeks of operation the plants have done very well. I got some
miserable looking valisnaria and stuck it in the front (as it was so
short). The val took off and grew 10 inches in two weeks and started
sending off shoots, forcing me to move it to a more aesthetic location in
the tank. When I pulled it up, the roots in the gravel were white and bare,
but the new root growth that had penetrated into the vermiculite/adobe was
thick and loaded with fine hairs. Anyway, I'm convinced about substrates.

I'm trying to find some Java fern in the LA area. I've found that most of
the dealers don't know one plant from the other. They get the plants from
the suppliers and sell the ones people point at.


In So. Cal.  48 F.