Sand and flourite, or laterite. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-01-2003, 12:51 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Dec 2003
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hey guys, new to the forum, not to the hopbby though, ive had my 20 gal for a while and i recently changed substrate from reg gravel to silica sand because i heard my senegalus bichir could ingest in and die. This tank has always been planted but i cant get it to balanace out and take off, i inject co2, 2 24" flor(40 watts) chroma 50 5000k bulbs, started using ro water recently and buffering it with tap (i think there is lots of phosphates in tap water)(phoenix, az). anyway, i want to add some flourite or laterite to my sand. first, what should i use, flourite or laterite? second, how should i do it, just wash the laterite and mix it in with the sand? or should i remove the sand, and put the laterite down first then cover it with sand? need answer asap if possible. thanx guys.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-01-2003, 02:09 AM
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I am not sure on the laterite/flourite question. I have heard that "laterite is just baked flourite." That statement isn't very helpful. My impression is that your results won't be all that dependent on your choice.

Regarding whether to layer or mix: From what I've read here, either approach would be fine. The trace elements and CEC capacity of the *ite will work whether the top half of the root system is in sand & bottom in laterite, or if it is all mixed together. I think it mainly depends on aesthetics. Do you want a "pure sand" appearance, or do you like the look of sand mixed with larger reddish chunks?

Hope this helps!

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-01-2003, 11:52 AM
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Laterite is a additive and Flourite is a substrate. They both supply iron. Some types of laterite are not able to be washed as they will just turn into mud. These can also cloud the tank if disturbed. If you have fish that like to dig or play in the substrate then avoid this type of laterite.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-01-2003, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by hypsophrys
I am not sure on the laterite/flourite question. I have heard that "laterite is just baked flourite." That statement isn't very helpful.
Flourite is baked laterite, or some kind of clay resembling laterite.

What kind of plants are you growing in your tank. You don't need either laterite or Flourite if you are only growing java fern, anubius, and stem plants. You can take care of their iron needs through the water column fertilizers. These subtrates (and/or enhancements) are more for the rooted plants like swords and crypts.


Aquascape? I'm a crypt farmer.

It's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot.

That IS an aquascape, it's titled "The Vacant Lot".
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-01-2003, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Sebastian
started using ro water recently and buffering it with tap (i think there is lots of phosphates in tap water)(phoenix, az).
This has nothing to do with the subject, but I thought I would make a suggestion. If your local water is high in phosphates and you need to buffer your RO water, you could add crushed coral to your filter. Start off with two or three and then add a tablespoon at a time to get your levels up. This would keep the phosphates out of your system.

--- Dave ---
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-01-2003, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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i dont know if this helps, but its the aquarium pharm. first layer laterite, has anyone dealt with this, and what would be the best way to go about adding it, mixing, or underneath my sand? it says it can be mixed in established aquariums, btw, im growing wisteria, gaint bacopa, java fern, adding some micro swords and some water sprite today.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-01-2003, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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the reason im doing all this is the algae is growing all over my java fern, my wisteria and bacopa. java fern its every where on it, bacopa and wisteria its on the edges of the leaves. i dont know what kind it is but its black, long hairs or strings(1-2cm). please help guys...

nitrate -15
phos- dont have the kit
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-02-2003, 12:54 AM
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If you are having a big algae problem, you need to reduce nitrates and/or phosphates. I think that algae needs both (correct me if I'm wrong), so if you reduce one, then your algae will suffer. You say you think your water has lots of phosphates, so you need to get rid of nitrates since you can't really get rid of phosphates from your tap water. So, as long as your water doesn't contain nitrates, you can try increasing water changes, which removes nitrates. I'm a big advocate of lots of water changes

As far as adding laterite, I use the Aquarium Pharmecueticals First Layer Pure Laterite under sand. I already had the sand in the tank. I drained the tank and then I moved all the sand I could to one side and put the laterite on the tank bottom. Then I covered it up carefully with sand. I did NOT have fish or plants in the tank at the time, and I did NOT rinse the laterite. It worked for me, but I'm not sure how you can do it with plants already in your tank.

Hope that might help
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-18-2003, 08:56 PM
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I agree with NFish you need to keep those Nitrates down right now. You may need to decrease your bioload. And you definatly must do more water changes. If your Nitrates are high then your algea will grow. If that algea keeps growing then it will be out competing your plants. Once your plants really get settled in and health I think that your plants will deal with the nitrates and you can do less water changes. Until then do water changes dude. I like my Nitrates at 5-10ppm. I think anything above 12ppm stunts plant growth.

About substrate. Hmm I don't really know check out this link
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