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Thread: Can I use rocks below the peat moss mixture?

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    Can I use rocks below the peat moss mixture?

    Hi there.
    Haven't purchased any plants yet, still in the process of cleaning out my saltwater tank to grow CP's in. I really don't want to have a shelf with pots on it - I'm hoping to do something really natural looking, and would like to plant the CP's right into the planting medium.

    Could I use rocks a few inches deep at the bottom of the tank and then put the peat moss on top of those? Then I could keep the tank full of RO/DI water at the rock level, providing the moisture the CP's require.

    Still in the thinking/planning process but I saw some photos of great aquascaping that involved hills, moss, non-CP plants mixed in with CP plants, etc. That would be my ideal scenario.
    Thanks in advance.
    Sue

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    I would guess the kind of rocks might matter, depending on what soluble mineral content might be present that could leach into the water and then be taken up into the medium and the plants. I am curious to learn what you find out, as I have an interest in this same kind of growing set up, but don't know enough yet to dive in yet either. I imagine the more inert the stone the better, where something like limestone which has a high calcium content might be detrimental to many CPs (as I understand so far).

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    Grey Moss's Avatar
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    Using rocks you find laying around in your backyard could be risky. I'd stick with materials that you would use in the potting mix itself like perlite, sand, or pumice. Whatever you use try to buy stuff that states it is inert or has been rinsed.

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    Admin- I'm growing CPs in the Desert of Tucson, Az. adnedarn's Avatar
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    @vraev does beautiful tanks, I can't remember if they are direct planted or in pots and top dressed and look direct planted.
    I have never been successful long term planting directly in a tank, but only tried a couple times some 15 years ago lol
    -Andrew
    Owner of TerraForums, FlyTrapShop.com, and cpforums.org.
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    So sorry for not thanking you all for these posts earlier - I forgot to "subscribe" to my post so didn't see that anyone had answered.... my bad.

    So what is it exactly that we are worried about using river rocks or landscaping rocks?
    Sue

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    Admin- I'm growing CPs in the Desert of Tucson, Az. adnedarn's Avatar
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    Even if you were to completely clean these rocks so you are sure you're not introducing any type of pathogen to your tank (which is one of the main problems of direct planting in a tank I believe) you would still need to be concerned about these rocks leaching minerals into the water in the long term, which most CPs are sensitive to.
    -Andrew
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    Quote Originally Posted by adnedarn View Post
    Even if you were to completely clean these rocks so you are sure you're not introducing any type of pathogen to your tank (which is one of the main problems of direct planting in a tank I believe) you would still need to be concerned about these rocks leaching minerals into the water in the long term, which most CPs are sensitive to.
    Wow - they are THAT fragile and sensitive? I guess I better start thinking of them as saltwater corals - I thought I was taking some pressure off of myself by switching from corals to CP's for a while..... guess I had no idea what I was biting off. Oh well, lucky for me I love a challenge!
    Sue

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    Benurmanii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SueAndHerZoo View Post
    Wow - they are THAT fragile and sensitive? I guess I better start thinking of them as saltwater corals - I thought I was taking some pressure off of myself by switching from corals to CP's for a while..... guess I had no idea what I was biting off. Oh well, lucky for me I love a challenge!
    Sue
    They really aren't as sensitive as you might think (well, most at least), they just have a few kryptonites, high mineral and nutrient content in the soil being one. You could probably use rocks you find yourself as long as you wash them off real well. I don't belive many people live where the rocks are particularly calcareous.

    Typically, when you try to overcomplicate things with CPs, they become more difficult. A lot of my CPs are "sit and forget" plants.
    Last edited by Benurmanii; 01-01-2017 at 03:01 PM.

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