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Thread: What's the point of Flourite/Eco if tabs have to be added? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-01-2013 10:16 PM
SouthernGorilla When I bought Flourite at the nearby chain pet store I was under the impression it was basically mineralized dirt that would release nutrients to the plants over time. Now I find out it's basically smashed up terracotta pots. Sure it may release some nutrients over time. But it is far from being an ideal substrate for plants. All rocks, by definition, contain minerals. But you don't see plants growing in gravel beds. My next tank, and all future tanks, will be dirt. That's what plants need. Even wild aquatic plants grow in dirt at the bottom of whatever pond or stream they are in.
01-23-2013 10:00 AM
Robert H Clay gravels like Flourite provide oxidized minerals, mostly iron

Quote:
Eco-Complete has no nutrients. It has room for the storage of nutrients, though.
That is not true at all. How do you come to that conclusion. It provides several minerals and has a guaranteed analysis right on the bag.

There are two type of nutrients plants use. Macro nutrients and minor nutrients. Minor nutrients are minerals. Macros are nitrogen, phosphate, potassium, calcium, magnesium... Clay or rock substrates only provide minerals, but they are inert and last forever. Roottabs, depending on who makes them usually contain some of both, but degrad, dissolve after a couple months or so.

Soils contain a mixure of organic and inorganic material, and may provide both macro and minor nutrients. Organic matter of any kind decomposes at some point unlike a mineral substrate.

Quote:
but roots do not love the texture as much as dirt, and it does not seem to use the fish waste in as good of a way as soil does.
Actually fish waste can help to turn the oxidized minerals found in clay gravels into the more readily used water soluble form. Iron for example. If you remember high school chemistry, the oxidized form of iron is Fe+3 the water soluble. chealted form is Fe+2. Plants use Fe+2 much quicker. The same thing happens using soil. Organic acids as well as fish waste act as a chealator.

Quote:
These companies just make a killing on people just getting into live plants(I was one of those people) only for them to learn they need put root tabs in every couple months.
I have used Flourite and Eco complete for over ten years. I am no newbie! If you know what nutrients any substrate, including soils, provides for plants, then you know what else to add. Whats missing. Its not that difficult.
01-20-2013 01:43 PM
csf Here's one of my corys. He's been in the tank for at least 4 years (I think, I don't recall buying / adding a cory since the tank was last moved).

Tank is full of flourite.

You let me know if he's worse for wear b/c of Flourite.
01-20-2013 01:20 PM
csf I never could get blyxa to grow in my flourite tank (peristaltic EI dosing, pressurized CO2, pH controller, 4x55W CF 75 gallon) - a medium light, high tech tank.

It great perfectly well in my cheap potting soil + red clay capped with pool filter sand 20g tank. It did have 1x55W (old) CF light and DIY CO2, but wasn't a very spiffy tank overall.

I assumed it was the roots didn't like the flourite. Now where'd I put those empty tanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhays79 View Post
That's the perfect excuse to get multiple tanks!
01-19-2013 09:55 PM
Shimagoma
Quote:
Originally Posted by HD Blazingwolf View Post
water quality, and their search for food plays a big big roll
keep them decently fed and they wont scrounge so hard
keep water clean and they wil lstay healthy and grow tissue back better
they grew back fine as soon as i just dusted the rough patches with sand. it hasnt been an issue for a year heh
01-19-2013 08:03 PM
jhays79
Quote:
Originally Posted by csf View Post
Dirt is great - but messy. If I knew I'd have a tank set up for years, and I didn't have 125 lbs of Flourite, I'd probably do a dirt + black sand substrate.

I've done one for a couple years in a 20 gallon and it was a great tank. Grew everything well.

That's the perfect excuse to get multiple tanks!
01-19-2013 07:34 PM
csf Dirt is great - but messy. If I knew I'd have a tank set up for years, and I didn't have 125 lbs of Flourite, I'd probably do a dirt + black sand substrate.

I've done one for a couple years in a 20 gallon and it was a great tank. Grew everything well.

QUOTE=mitchfish9;2284297]haha my bag of dirt that I used on my tank was on sale for 1 dollar. Eco complete and flourite are ok, but roots do not love the texture as much as dirt, and it does not seem to use the fish waste in as good of a way as soil does. In a low tech setting, you don't have to worry about a dirt tank substrate for years... These companies just make a killing on people just getting into live plants(I was one of those people) only for them to learn they need put root tabs in every couple months. Dirt is the way to go in my opinion[/QUOTE]
01-19-2013 07:31 PM
csf No you don't. First hand knowledge with having Flourite for 15 years. I've got several corys that are perfectly happy with very long barbels.

As far as why you may need additional stuff in your substrate - well, look at terrestrial plants. Do they grow in fairly clean soil or fairly messy stuff? It's pretty messy and filled with organics and other nutrients.

Flourite and others help add some of what plants need. Dose the water column + detritus and you end up having what the plants do need. If you start CO2 dosing and pushing up your light, you might need to do more, especially for heavy root feeders.

Root tabs for large swords, crypts, or other heavy root feeders is never a bad idea unless you plan to moving them around. Then it just gets the water column messy.

I've used Jobe's plant spikes for years w/ no ill effects. Even when they get pulled up - just be particular about a WC and sucking up the extra bits.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Shimagoma View Post
florite is cracked clay and is very sharp you should put sand or mix it with some gravel if you have barbel fish going over it, like corys



http://www.seachem.com/Products/prod.../Flourite.html
shows you whats in it. It has def helped with my plants in general. I dont use tabs i just use liquid/powder foods
01-19-2013 01:16 PM
HD Blazingwolf
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shimagoma View Post
hah maybe my corys are just wusses, the fourite just made mine's dull so i covered it in a layer of sand and it helped. hehe.
water quality, and their search for food plays a big big roll
keep them decently fed and they wont scrounge so hard
keep water clean and they wil lstay healthy and grow tissue back better
01-19-2013 09:52 AM
jhays79
Quote:
Originally Posted by mitchfish9 View Post
haha my bag of dirt that I used on my tank was on sale for 1 dollar. Eco complete and flourite are ok, but roots do not love the texture as much as dirt, and it does not seem to use the fish waste in as good of a way as soil does. In a low tech setting, you don't have to worry about a dirt tank substrate for years... These companies just make a killing on people just getting into live plants(I was one of those people) only for them to learn they need put root tabs in every couple months. Dirt is the way to go in my opinion
Totally agree!
01-19-2013 04:36 AM
Shimagoma
Quote:
Originally Posted by longgonedaddy View Post
My cories have been living on fluorite for a year, always had long barbels, and unless I screw up with ammonia, they always will.
hah maybe my corys are just wusses, the fourite just made mine's dull so i covered it in a layer of sand and it helped. hehe.
01-19-2013 02:31 AM
longgonedaddy
Quote:
Originally Posted by Java Moss View Post
Hopefully it'll be okay for my dojos. I figure if regular pet store gravel doesn't bang up their barbels, then Flourite shouldn't either.
My cories have been living on fluorite for a year, always had long barbels, and unless I screw up with ammonia, they always will.
01-19-2013 02:06 AM
mitchfish9 haha my bag of dirt that I used on my tank was on sale for 1 dollar. Eco complete and flourite are ok, but roots do not love the texture as much as dirt, and it does not seem to use the fish waste in as good of a way as soil does. In a low tech setting, you don't have to worry about a dirt tank substrate for years... These companies just make a killing on people just getting into live plants(I was one of those people) only for them to learn they need put root tabs in every couple months. Dirt is the way to go in my opinion
01-19-2013 01:22 AM
m00se http://home.infinet.net/teban/jamie.htm
01-19-2013 12:53 AM
Diana
Quote:
Why in the heck would Flourite or Eco be worth the trouble if it needs tabs?
For the same reason you have dinner plates and add food as needed.
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