Aquariums compared to gardening & starting off strong

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by wilkyb, Mar 13, 2021.

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  1. wilkyb

    wilkyb New Member

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    I’m new to the forum. I’ve been growing aquatic gardens & keeping fish for about 3 months now. I’ve had some very satisfying and exciting results so far.

    I’m very new to gardening with respect to the emphasis on the research portion. I learned a lot from the aquarium forums, and so naturally here I come!

    In your best terms, and to a layman like myself, how do you compare aquarium gardening to plant keeping ?

    More specifically, I’d like advice on soil composition. Nothing too extreme here; just garden soil, sand, gravel/stone is what I plan on working with.

    I have an idea to put gravel at the bottom of a potted ZZ planter, and then build the substrate upwards from there with a sand & garden soil mix. In my experience so far keeping plants, the soil seems to be lacking oxygen.

    Attached is a photo of seeds I plan on propagating soon & some planters I currently care for / adopted from friends. I will be using the seeded plants hydroponically in my aquarium gardens after they have established.
     

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  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    For most indoor plants, use indoor potting soil in a pot with drainage holes at the bottom. Not garden (outdoor) soil, not sand, and not gravel/stone--some of those will specifically cause drainage issues, others will cause drainage issues using the layering of substrates you are suggesting.

    Other than the Coleus, the seeds you have there need to be planted outside for any sort of success beyond a week or two.
     
  3. wilkyb

    wilkyb New Member

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    I'll use indoor potting soil then! However, I have had problems in the past with soil being oversaturated. What would you think about using landscaping mesh to stop potted soil from seeping through the gravel base? I'm going to do it anyways, but I am curious what you think?

    The seeds I have are actually for another project; I'm not sure why I attached them here lol
     
  4. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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  5. wilkyb

    wilkyb New Member

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    Call me crazy, but the author of the article is citing professionals without an actual explanation as to why. I’m going to do it anyways & see what happens. This isn’t a good enough answer for me.
     
  6. Sulev

    Sulev Contributor

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    I agree with you. Just remember, that plants need certain amount of soil. You can't replace soil with a gravel. So use deeper container if you plan to use gravel layer in the bottom. Then it could be really beneficial. Those myth busters have implemented only poor linear thinking.
     
  7. wilkyb

    wilkyb New Member

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    I think I’ll need at least 50% gravel for it to be effective (depending on the shape of the container). Only time will tell!
     
  8. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Here's an article where the introduction of gravel at the base of the container is specifically used to increase water retention in the upper soil layer: https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s00271-010-0227-3.pdf

    A few more examples where scientists are using the fact that waterflow is significantly reduced when forced to cross different media types (soil to gravel or soil to sand) to increase production by ensuring that soils remain saturated in arid or production systems:

    https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s00271-020-00666-3.pdf

    Numerical analysis of soil water dynamics in a soil column with an artificial capillary barrier growing leaf vegetables

    Using different media types in a pot is a now becoming a production technique to keep soil saturated as opposed to having the water drain. This works for these production scenarios with high throughput of water through the plants in greenhouses or arid conditions. For home gardening situations, either in outdoor pots or indoor pots, water is rarely the constraint to growth and all one ends up with is poor oxygenation to the roots, leaving most plants to drown (with exceptions for those that are adapted to grow in stagnant saturated soil conditions).
     
  9. Sulev

    Sulev Contributor

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    If I understand correctly, OP will be using these plants hydroponically in his aquarium. This case all your links are in vain, they are about totally different situation.
    All this anti gravel rant is very narrow minded, and ignores situations for what this amended gravel is meant. They study only those situations, where gravel is added without any purpose or is placed unreasonably.
     
  10. wilkyb

    wilkyb New Member

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    I don’t see how 1-2” gravel with plenty of air pockets between them would increase water retention in the soil above it; that just makes no common sense. I don’t need scientific articles to dispute this; I’ll just go do it & report back.

    Remember that the bottom of the hydroponic planter tray will be sitting in the aquarium with the gravel at the bottom of the tray, and the soil & plants will be above water level.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2021
  11. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Ok. I see that the goal posts are moving. While I've been providing information with scientific papers, that you can read and critique as you like, I'm not being provided much back; with insults from one, and a person claiming to seek advice who is just going to do what they're going to do. Let's just close the thread, as I don't think there's any more to be gained.
     
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