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Is planting substrate Necessary


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Basically I got a new tank and finally found a lighting unit to go with it.

I'm planning on it to be a planted community tank but the big problem is deciding between pea gravel or plant-growth substrate (like fluval stratum/Fluorite)

I'm getting a high output LED "grow" light from an LFS around 10,000K+ apparently :o.

Will it be fine if I don't use aquarium plant substrate and stick to gravel?

he plants that I am planning to keep are the common LFS ones like Crypt, Amazon Sword, Java Fern, Aunbias, Vallis Green Cambomba but Recently found some HC and am really keen on getting some but is the lighting enough for plants like HC?

Thanks :)

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You need a fairly fine gravel, say 2-3mm.

The Kelvin rating just affects how the tank looks to humans not whether it will grow plants or not. 10000K will give the tank a bluish cast which some people might think is fine. 5000-6500K is what most aquarist look for to get a balanced, pleasing look. For plant growth you need to know the Colour Rendering Index (CRI) of the bulb and maybe see a colour spectrum chart. You want CRI to be above 90 ideally. Plants need a colour spectrum which is high in red and blue. Green plants need more red, red plants need more blue.

HC needs enough light to reach the bottom of the tank. Light gets weaker as it passes through water. So that usually means more bulbs.

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