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-   -   New Flourite Black Sand Substrate review (http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=163912)

msawdey 02-03-2012 07:31 PM

New Flourite Black Sand Substrate review
 
First off, I want to say that I LOVE the sand in my tank... My blue angels and Bolivian Rams pop like no other.. And the new plants love the sand with root tabs


That little caveat being said.... This is a review for those who want to purchase in the future.

I came from having eco complete mixed with pea gravel in my 50 tank.
That also being said.....

Be prepared when ordering the sand that it may take dayssssss to prepare for tank use. For my 50 i used 6 bags of flourite black sand. I FIRST used a pillow case and loaded 1 bag of the sand at a time into the case. In the bathtub (i have an apt with no outside water source, if you have a hose, definitely use it and dont do this inside), I ran water into the pillow case to flush out the "dust". This was done to each pillow case for more than 10 minutes. I finished and put it into the tank. Partly filled, and turned on my 2 canister filters....

HOLY DUSTY WATER!!!!!!!!!!.. so after 60 mins of rinsing each individual bag... it was clearly not enough...

I RECOMMEND THIS WAY FROM THE BEGINNING:
So after the trial and error. I got a big Tupperware container and put 3 bags into it. I then placed it into the bath tub (again if you can do this outside... doooo it) and lifted the end with the faucet at an angle.. For the next 2 hours, i ran water over, through, around, and stir it with my hands. In the end, there was about 1/4 of an inch of black soot in the bottom of my tub (gf was not too happy about this)(the reason why you should do this outside). I was able to clean it all up. But the process took me 3 days of trial and error to get it going again.

tbarabash 02-03-2012 09:27 PM

Oh man I can imagine, my wife shat bricks when she saw me making a mess in the tub cleaning regular flourite I can't even think of how gross the sand must be haha

Bandit1200 02-03-2012 09:57 PM

Here's my secret for doing this...

Open the bag, pour it in your tank, 'scape how you want.
The next thing you do is get yourself some airline tubing and a bucket of water that will sit on top of your tank. Fill the bucket, start the siphon into the tank and then continue to fill the upper bucket as it siphons out until the tank is full. You may still have some slight clouding, but it will settle out fairly quickly. In between filling the bucket you're still free to do whatever. It will still take a while to fill the whole thing up this way, but it beats the hell out of breaking your back and losing your mind trying to rinse it all out. This is how I do all mine now.

Bree 02-03-2012 10:03 PM

I agree with the rinsing, i bought 4 bags of this for my new 45 gallon and started rinsing 1/2 bag at a time in a 5 gallon bucket in my tub....After at least 1 hour at each bag the water was still clouded in the bucket but i put it in my tank anyways as i had enough of cleaning it. Well the water was insanely cloudy for the first 24 hours and so i unfilled the tank took all the sand out again and re rinsed like before! Again still cloudy! So i added a few extra filters packed with polywool. This time the water was clearing up much better. So i planted the tank and put my fancy goldfish in there. In a matter of hours the plants were covered in black dust....Ugh.

Long story short (er) its been a month or more and the tank is cycled with some more fish in there and the water is still not totally cleared up, but its only me who can tell as i am a bit of a perfectest.

The upside is this sand looks amazing, perfect grain size, and super easy to plant in! Not to mention bottom eaters like corys and loaches love it as well as the plants, my vals are going crazy, where as before i was not able to grow them very well in my flourite dark.

I would recommend this substrate to anyone with patience...LOTS of patience and that doesn't mind getting there tub filled with a good inch of mud. haha

msawdey 02-04-2012 04:45 AM

problem and my point with the sand.. you HAVE TO RINSE in some manner... there is just tooooooo much dust

DaTrueDave 02-04-2012 06:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bandit1200 (Post 1707667)
Here's my secret for doing this...

Open the bag, pour it in your tank, 'scape how you want.
The next thing you do is get yourself some airline tubing and a bucket of water that will sit on top of your tank. Fill the bucket, start the siphon into the tank and then continue to fill the upper bucket as it siphons out until the tank is full. You may still have some slight clouding, but it will settle out fairly quickly. In between filling the bucket you're still free to do whatever. It will still take a while to fill the whole thing up this way, but it beats the hell out of breaking your back and losing your mind trying to rinse it all out. This is how I do all mine now.

This.

Rinsing any of the flavors of Flourite is just throwing money away by getting rid of the most valuable part of the substrate. Plant roots love those fine particles.

The "secret" is to add the Flourite to an empty tank and then to fill the tank without disturbing the substrate. I don't care how dusty your bag of Flourite is, you're not going to have cloudy water the next day after letting your filter run and letting things settle...

msawdey 02-05-2012 05:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DaTrueDave (Post 1708748)
This.

Rinsing any of the flavors of Flourite is just throwing money away by getting rid of the most valuable part of the substrate. Plant roots love those fine particles.

The "secret" is to add the Flourite to an empty tank and then to fill the tank without disturbing the substrate. I don't care how dusty your bag of Flourite is, you're not going to have cloudy water the next day after letting your filter run and letting things settle...

I fully disagree you with you Dave,

After the first round of rinsing and putting the sand into the tank, filling it halfway up and running TWO eheims with extra floss for 2 days... it wasnt clearing up. My tank looked like Abu Dahbi in a sandstorm. I dont know if your referring to regular flourite, but my post is only about the sand. "Fine particles" as you call them are kind of pointless when your talking about sand being that all the particles are fine. The layer of dust, which is almost like soot, that was in my tank was grey and about 1/2 inch thick. With flourite sand, that is the stuff that most people dont want

DaTrueDave 02-06-2012 04:39 AM

I'm talking about Flourite black sand and their other flavors. I've simply never had any cloudiness that wasn't gone the next morning.

And everyone that I've seen demonstrate Flourite's supposed "horrible dust problem" has dumped the substrate into water, or dumped/sprayed water onto the dry Flourite, which is obviously going to result in suspended dust.

But maybe there is just a big difference in different bags of Flourite? I've never had a problem, and now that I've put a mixture of "red" and "dark" in my tank, I think I've used every type of Flourite out there. Maybe I'm just lucky?

diwu13 02-06-2012 07:28 AM

msawdey, how did you fill your tank up after you put the flourite sand on the bottom?

Monster Fish 02-06-2012 08:48 AM

For those dealing with the initial cloudiness, what I did was rinse the sand thoroughly in small batches until it rinsed clear. It takes a bit more work but it's a lot more manageable than rinsing a whole bag or two at once. Also when I filled the tank, I dispersed the flow over a piece of wood or hardscape and with a watering can. Of course this is not realistic in a larger tank so diffusing the flow with a plastic bag or saucer helps. Be sure to fill it up slowly. Any remaining soot should be gone after a few hours with either a polishing pad or some filter floss. Hopefully that helps.

Silock 02-10-2012 11:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DaTrueDave (Post 1708748)
This.

Rinsing any of the flavors of Flourite is just throwing money away by getting rid of the most valuable part of the substrate. Plant roots love those fine particles.

The "secret" is to add the Flourite to an empty tank and then to fill the tank without disturbing the substrate. I don't care how dusty your bag of Flourite is, you're not going to have cloudy water the next day after letting your filter run and letting things settle...

What happens when you vacuum the substrate? Do you get a lot of those particles kicking up?

DaTrueDave 02-10-2012 01:04 PM

I never vacuum my tanks.

Silock 02-10-2012 01:26 PM

So what do you do to keep them clean?

DaTrueDave 02-10-2012 06:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Silock (Post 1718246)
So what do you do to keep them clean?

Nothing. I let the debris break down on its own to enrich my substrate!

msawdey 02-12-2012 04:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by diwu13 (Post 1711334)
msawdey, how did you fill your tank up after you put the flourite sand on the bottom?

The sand was put into the tank with the tank empty, water was then put in using a gravel vac and hose on top of a bucket cover....

Basically, I used all precautions when putting the water in. I was extremely patient with letting the filters do their work, but after 3 days and seeing almost 1/2 inch of "dust" on top of the sand. Letting it "settle" back in definitely would not have not happened


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