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Substrate Support Interfering With Root Growth?

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by shoulan, Jan 30, 2019.

  1. shoulan

    shoulan New Member

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    I started a new tank a few months ago, using ada amazonia and some uns controsoil (since I ran out of amazonia) as substrate. There have definitely been other problems (like algae) that I'm struggling with which might have an effect, but most of the plants I've added seem to have trouble with root growth in general. (I will make another thread asking for advice about the other problems once I have enough posts on here.)

    The monte carlo I dry started did grow some roots but they're not that long and it's easy to pull them out. Everything else I've tried to plant either doesn't stay in the substrate, or the stems melt and the plants break off.

    It didn't occur to me before, but could it be due to the plastic egg crates I have stacked underneath? I have a few layers of them since I wanted some banks and slopes. Is it possible that the plants have trouble growing roots because they can't move the substrate out of the way? Or am I thinking too much and there's another cause?
     
  2. Tim Harrison

    Tim Harrison Lifetime Member
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    I doubt it's the egg crates. AS is pretty high in ammonia and nutrients, it can burn plant roots and cause brown/diatomaceous algae. Some folk plantless start with AS, that is they flood it straight away and leave it for 2-3 weeks in the dark before adding plants and then critters, and just change the water weekly. I've done it and it works well. I've also successfully tried DSM but I didn't flood for 6 weeks. By then the plants were fully established and ammonia levels quite low.
    Usually though I just plant it straight up, the key is to plant heavily from the outset, keep the light intensity low, the photoperiod to around 6hrs, and make sure you have plenty of filter media to soak up all that ammonia, Further, it may help to add LC, and definitely to dial your CO2 in ASAP.
     
  3. shoulan

    shoulan New Member

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    Well that's good to know. The monte carlo was actually doing quite well and at about 4-5 weeks, it had already filled the area I wanted it to fill. But yeah, I haven't noticed the roots getting any longer than maybe about an inch, so that's why I was thinking it might be the egg crates.
     
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