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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
as I only have plain gravel for a substrate (I had no intentions of plants to start with :lol: ) and I now have quite a few plants (hair grass, thin vall, golden penny wart?, anubias) that are struggling along I was wondering if it would help to put some expanded clay pellets ( used in hydroponics) in the substrate to hep improve the Cation Exchange Capacity of it? The tank has been operating for ~2yrs and Flourite etc is a bit out of my price range as I am only a student. help would be great

David
 

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A 2+-year-old tank has a lot of goodies in the gravel. It is not necessary to change the substrate system unless you are looking for something more aesthetically pleasing. Take a look at your Light > CO2 > N/K > GH (Ca/Mg) > P > Micronutrients before concluding that the substrate is responsible. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re

I am still playing with the co2 and nutrients and thought I might change the substrate at the same time, but I have decided to leave it and let every thing settle out
David
 

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I'd leave it too.
Nutrients are easy to maintain and you know and can test for what's in the water column and if you have enough.

Clay balls have not been the best thing IME/IMO.
The water column plays a more significant role as anyone that's done both _well_.......will attest.

The hydropobnics stuff floats as I recall, clay Coco pebbles? About 1 cm spheres? Mainly for aeration of the roots.

Look for Flourite, it's costly, I'd stick with sand though or is you can get MPV turface etc, add that to 50% sand.
They use it for base ball diamonds here.
Clay gravel with lots of iron and very porous.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 
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