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Can I use rocks below the peat moss mixture?

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Dec 26, 2016
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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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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.
 

adnedarn

I'm growing CPs in the Desert of Tucson, Az
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[MENTION=4292]vraev[/MENTION] 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
 
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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
 

adnedarn

I'm growing CPs in the Desert of Tucson, Az
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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.
 
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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.

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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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.
 
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Typically, when you try to overcomplicate things with CPs, they become more difficult. A lot of my CPs are "sit and forget" plants.

I said something very similar in my introductory post when referring to the salt water addiction I've had for years..... you can make that hobby as simple or as complicated as you choose to. Glad the same applies here.
Sue
 

adnedarn

I'm growing CPs in the Desert of Tucson, Az
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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

Most of the time, no. But long term, given the right (or wrong) rock minerals could build up as the rock constantly leaches into the water and since the water is never getting changed, it just continues to build up. Just like using RO water that isn't all that great and tray watering... Over time, that could build up and be a problem and one day you notice things are starting to decline even though they were fine all this time.
 
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If you have "sit and forget" cp's please share what they are if you don't mind. My experience is you baby sit or sit and watch them die in a week or two. I work at a nursery and we try to sell the few typically [what I call] 'novelty' varieties of vfts, pitchers, and Drosera as quickly as possible so we don't have to compost them. Since I began working there and took a great deal of interest I have learned quite a bit. Even before that, we used only rain water, but since they don't fall under my care I have little input to their treatment. Thanks!

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For plants to die that fast there has to be something actively killing them. If your nursery is a general one they might be applying general practices to the like fertilization that is killing them. Or the supplier of your carnivorous plants is bad and the plants were already dying. Healthy carnivorous plants, especially the types you would find at a garden center do not need baby sitting to survive.
 
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I'm pretty sure it's the supplier. To my knowledge they are not fertilized, but I do know they don't get any sun or artificial light as they are in a shaded greenhouse. I also know they are bought for the impulse buyer, not serious cp growers.

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vraev

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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

Thanks Andrew. :) I learnt from the experts here on TF. The tanks aren't planted. I did one planted tank with VFTs before. IT was successful but not wort the hassle when dealing with compartmentalizing plants.

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


For a planted tank, I would recommend having a drainage layer with CP friendly products: perlite/glass beads/orchid bark. Then have your CP mix (the simplest mix : peat + perlite). You can plant your plants in it.

However, if you want to grow Cps in any long term capacity, it is better to grow them in their pots. You can just create a platform in your tank and place tanks on that. As you fill the tank, the moss can cover up the spaces in between and give a seamless look.

you can see pics of my tank and construction here: Flickr
 
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