Posted 3d ago by

Is aquarium gravel(glo fish) fine to use as pebbles in your plant mix?
I was wondering if aquarium gravel can be used as pebbles for plants. Is it toxic etc? #HappyPlants #PlantsMakePeopleHappy #PlantAddict #NewGrowth #PetsAndPlants #PlantTherapy #GrowLights #NewPlantMom
Best Answer
Yeah I agree be careful even using it as a top dressing because it will trap in the moisture and the soil will stay wet longer. Which means you won’t need to water it as often. You’ll need to use a soil moisture meter to ensure the soil is completely dry at the bottom before watering again. Rot could become a problem otherwise
If it’s safe for fish it’s most likely safe for plants. I could be wrong but I think it will be ok
It can be used as a top dressing but only for non-succulents. Gravel tends to hold water and succulents prefer dry soil. Tropical of indoor plants don’t kind the extra water. Succulents and cacti will, though. I hope that helps!
Make sure you rinse it really good I always do for my tanks. It does have some dust and never know what else. What a variety are available. I especially like the ones that look like glass or marbles
I agree with everyone. I’ve personally tried it, so has my mom. It looks nice but it holds moisture in the soil and makes it a lot easier to over water your plant, especially if it’s in a pot with no drainage hole. I lost a lot of plants when I first started because I put gravel on top and didn’t ease up on the water schedule
@DDa00 is definitely correct about that. Just remember they thrive on neglect and watering them can be the worst thing to do if the soil isn’t dry. I won’t use a pot without drain holes anymore after having issues with rot in the past. And if it’s really rot prone I recommend soil like rabbit hill farms cactus mix and add a bunch of lava rocks in the soil and use a terra cotta pot that isn’t painted so the porous pot will help to dry the soil much faster. Also if grown inside a fan oscillating nearby the plant will help circulation of the air and dry the soil better also. I keep two fans constantly on in my grow closet so the plants stay strong and the soil doesn’t stay wet and get moldy
I researched this extensively a long time ago and I can't remember now the exact sources, but the short answer that I came up with for my plants was don't risk it. Now, here's the trouble, there's two sides to consider.... The practical/experimental side of me says, okay, it will probably be fine, but listen to what others have said. Now, the academic/theoretical side came up with a long list of different types of aquarium gravel and they are all very different for different uses depending on if it's being used with freshwater or salt water and what is going on the tank. Some pebbles are naturally colored, others are dyed. Some have a polymer coating, some don't. Here's the issue I had. I was growing exotic plants that are very sensitive to their soil environment. If yours are not, then it might be okay. But most gravel releases calcium carbonate, calcite, strontium or possibly even limestone or other byproducts and chemicals. Other elements can build up to potentially toxic levels in the soil, but.... honestly that probably won't occur. The bigger problem is that this tends to raise the pH of the water and soil which can prevent the plants from absorbing nutrients properly. This can be corrected for as well, so long as you take that into consideration. So, the short answer is you might be fine, depending on what you're growing but, at least in theory, there's more negative outcomes possible than positive ones.

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