Substrate / Plant Roots

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sparkypenguin

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Hi all,

Looking for some thoughts about an idea I had to help my plants root securely into the substrate.
I have a sand substrate and have read about using nylon mesh etc to help the roots take hold, however I was wondering if anyone has ever used pond filter sponge?
You can buy it in very larger sheets with various mesh size and it's approx. 1" in depth.
I would put a layer on the bottom of the tank and then place the sand on top which would then fill the sponge.
I would keep on adding until I had increased the depth so that the fish would still have a layer that they could burry into.
This would create a complete 3D framework acrosee the bottom of the aquarium into which the roots could grow.
The only downside I can think of would be if I wanted to clean the substrate but my belief is that sand only needs a surface clean anyway, happy to be contradicted on this point ;)

Mark.
 

Uberhoust

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Mesh, net like material, in general is a bad idea in an aquarium, eventually some gets exposed and fish could be caught in it. I would recommend rocks, or even the weight strips before I would put any mesh material in the aquarium. The closest to mesh I would use is the filter bag sized material (50 to 100 mesh) but those openings are too small, anything with a larger opening might cause issues later on, and once the plant grows into it you really cannot get rid of it easily.
 
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sparkypenguin

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Thanks for replies.
I'd never thought about the fish getting trapped in nets but once pointed out it's fairly obvious this could happen.
I've uploaded a couple of photos of the type of foam I would be using to see if anyone can think of any negatives....

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1650361745388.png


Mark.
 

Uberhoust

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That foam would not cause any issues with the fish but not entirely clear on how you would use it.
 

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Your sand substrate should be perfectly fine. Sometimes it's tricky getting new plants to stay rooted at first. If it's a plant like a Swordplant or Cryptocoryne with lots of spreading roots you could sprinkle a little aquarium gravel around the base of the plant. If it's a bunch plant like Water Sprite that hasn't rooted yet you could pinch the stem between a couple small rocks and then take them away in a month or so.
 

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