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Re: Substrate, Plant Maintenance

Dave Phillips wrote:

>Is it normal that the plants uproot themselves on a regular basis,
>and require re-planting?  Some of them do grow quite well (esp.
>Lloydella), and often require trimming also.

This happens to me sometimes, although I wouldn't describe it as
being on a regular basis.  It may be from an overzealous fish
searching for food in the substrate.

>Someone was mentioning kitty litter or other soils as substrate.
>What substrate or other tricks are there to keep the plants stuck to
>the bottom??  :>

There is no trick that I'm aware of better than having a deep enough
substrate.  I'm using about 2 inches of fine gravel with laterite mixed
in the bottom third. Just be sure to remove the lower leaves on your
stem plants as these will rot if you bury them.   You shouldn't need
those lead anchor things or rubber bands at all.  See the FAQs and
the archives for an abundance of information on substrates.

> Another problem I have now that my guppies are breeding like
>crazy is that they're eating all the plants.  If I were to set up a plant-
>only 10 gal tank, would I need anything other than gravel and light?
>Is it beneficial to keep the light on 24 hours a day?
Don't forget you'll need some way to keep the water circulating.  I
started a 10 gallon tank because I didn't know what else to do with
my cuttings.  I am using a small Duetto internal filter with just a foam
insert.  I have added about 11 zebra danios and 2 otocinclus to
supply nitrates and provide a minimum of algae control.  They are
small, lively fish and will not eat your plants.  This tank is by a south-
facing window and receives only natural sunlight.  There is no hood
on it and the Bacopa is now growing emersed.  I am also providing
DIY CO2  for the submersed plants.  How much light are you giving
your 20-gallon tanks?  Most people provide their planted tanks with
anywheres from 10 to 14 hours a day, but never 24.

Good luck,

Jonathan in Maryland, where we had quite a rainstorm last night.