What Carpet Plants grow in Pea Gravel?

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RandomMan

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Mar 26, 2020
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I'm creating a self sustaining aquarium. Well, have been for about 7 months now. The tank is roughly 20 Gallons, I have a ~2 in level of sand/kitty litter, with a ~1 1/2 in level of Pea gravel on top of it. I have Amazon Grass planted, Java Moss, and what I can only think is Anubis planted in it. I have a colony of Ramshorn snails in the aquarium, and a small colony of Guppies. The crap is building up, and I fear that the nutrients are not being cycled through the aquarium. What I want to do is plant a carpeting plant that will survive and grow in Pea Gravel. I have already tried dwarf grass, and it died. If anyone can help, I would appreciate that.
 

Amazoniantanklvr

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Feb 26, 2020
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You have kitty litter in your aquarium?
 

the loach

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Aug 6, 2018
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Define "self sustaining"?
With "pea gravel" you mean it's pea sized?
So you have a 3,5" layer of substrate in total?
 
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angelcraze

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Mar 21, 2020
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Do you mean you won't be siphoning the stuff building up at the bottom? Do you have a filter?

Not sure what amazon grass is, but if you have enough light (like med), I have success using stargrass as a carpeting plant in plain pea gravel and no ferts.

It's actually a stem plant and I just keep it trimmed down. With enough light, it will actually creep along the substrate and send up side shoots. In a low tech tank, i'll prune and replant the tallest crowns weekly to keep it short.

20190920_113008.jpg
 

RandomMan

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Mar 26, 2020
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Never heard of people using kitty litter as substrate??
It's a combination of sand and clay kitty litter, I rinsed the mixture until the water ran clear through it. My plants (Except the Dwarf Grass) seem to be doing quite good in it, not to mention it is cheap.
 
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RandomMan

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Mar 26, 2020
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Define "self sustaining"?
With "pea gravel" you mean it's pea sized?
So you have a 3,5" layer of substrate in total?
I only have lighting and heat going into the aquarium. I set up the ecosystem so I have natural filter, decomposes, and consumers. The gravel is the size of peas, and yes, roughly 5" of substrate.
 

RandomMan

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Mar 26, 2020
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Do you mean you won't be siphoning the stuff building up at the bottom? Do you have a filter?

Not sure what amazon grass is, but if you have enough light (like med), I have success using stargrass as a carpeting plant in plain pea gravel and no ferts.
I won't be siphoning the stuff building up at the bottom, I want to deal with it in a way that it cycles back into the system. I don't have a filter at all, and I meant amazon sword grass. I'm also trying to find a plant with minimum trimming, but I'll look into stargrass
 

fishorama

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Jun 28, 2006
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Angelcraze, your "stargrass" looks great! So does your angel, good show.

RM, I'm not a fan of no vacuuming of at least surface crap...& your substrate is pretty deep. What fish do you have & how many? The only way to have such a low/no maintenance tank is to have very, very few fish. I've only kept cherry shrimp in a low maintenance tank...but I still had a small filter & did monthly vac/wcs or so.

RM, what is your lighting over a 20g long 30" x12 x 12? or standard shape tank 24 x 15 x16? I haven't done LEDs yet.

Have you looked at Walstead method of keeping your kind of tank? You might keep a platy or so, not much else. & I believe Diana W. had a thin dirt layer, maybe capped with sand but it's been a long time since I looked at that style tank, maybe 2+ inches of substrate or so total, not pea gravel. Most or many ground cover plants have shallow roots that will have trouble with heavy pea gravel. My current 110g tank has lilaeopsis in ~2.5 inches of coarse sand & root tabs. It's very slowly spreading, a long term project. No animals yet.

I prefer more plants & animals, good luck! & let us know how it works for you...& pics too please.
 
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