Seachem Flourite Red and my nightmare
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:58 AM   #1
scooter60
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Seachem Flourite Red and my nightmare


I apologize if this isn't the proper place or forum to discuss the problems I have (had) with Seachem and their Flourite Red gravel. I am posting some pictures of my 55 gallon and the 3D background that took me months to finish. Like most everyone money is tight so it took me some time to purchase all the materials to build this to my specs. Once the tank was finished I saved my pennies for an Aquatop filter and the Seachem Flourite Red gravel. With the background in my tank and the desire for live plants I was excited to buy what I thought was a superior product from a reputable company. First lets talk about the product and I will quote from Seachem's website
"Although pre-washed, it may be rinsed before use to remove residual dust. Dust can also be minimized by filling aquarium slowly and dispersing water so that the Flourite Red™ bed is not disturbed. Slight initial cloudiness is normal and will clear rapidly (2–12 hours). To shorten the cloudiness period use Clarity™ in conjuction with mechanical filtration (such as filter floss). "
I am 59 years old and when I read a product is pre-washed I believe the product is pre-washed. It took me 30 minutes to fill my 55 gallon with this product. I placed a large bowl in the tank and filled the bowl and let the water slowly spill over onto the gravel. The water was so muddy I actually emptied the water and filled again. My tank, air stones, rocks, plants and my new Aquatop IFE30 were covered in mud. The only recourse I had was to empty the tank a third time and remove all my equipment and the gravel. I spent hours (over 10) cleaning all my equipment and washing the Flourite Red until it came clear. My new Aquatop IFE30 filter is trashed. It is so badly clogged I can't get it running properly. I now have to purchase a new filter which I can't afford.
So I was a little upset and wrote an email to Seachem pretty much stating what I wrote above. I asked why would Seachem say the Flourite Red was pre-washed when there is many steps to clean it. Why wouldn't Seachem just say you have to really clean this stuff?
I'm sorry this is dragging on but you have to read Seachem's response. They pretty much say yes the problem is ours but we're not going to do anything for you...wow, read this;

Hello Scott,

Thank you for contacting us. I am sorry about your negative experience. All of our substrates are pre-washed but while transporting the substrate will grind against each other and create dust so they still need to be rinsed before placing them into an aquarium. Honestly, all the substrates should say that and our new bags will clearly say so. We are currently testing a better substrate bag that will have a built-in "strainer" so you can rinse the substrate in the bag. Although we cannot replace your filter I can offer you some products. Please let me know what products you would like to try and please include your mailing address. Again, I am very sorry about your experience.

Product Support
10234


"Honestly, all the substrates should say that and our new bags will clearly say so"
But since the old bags don't say this were not going to stand behind our product and oh by the way here's a lollipop.
Sorry guys but I'm upset and I need to get this off my chest. I put a lot of time, sweat and money into this tank and thought a company like Seachem would stand behind their products.
By the photos you can see this took a long time and I'm proud of what I did. Am I just old fashion to think when someone does you wrong they should right the wrong?
Thanks for taking the time to read this
Scooter60
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:10 AM   #2
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What part is clogged? I can't imagine it really clogging it. Open up the head compartment and pull out the impeller. If it's not damaged your filter should be fine. What probably happened if it's damaged is that particles ground down the ceramic axle, magnet or impeller blades. This can be replaced very cheaply. Maybe 20 dollars. If not, see if there's a warranty policy with your filter...

Also you should have been a tid more patient. The cloudiness would have gone away without any input/waterchanges/ washing after a week at most.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:25 AM   #3
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Ive noticed a lot of the substrates for planted tanks, say prewashed and minimal rinsing is necessary, but after my first tank, and the crap that came out of it, I have gotten into the habit of rinsing it when starting a new tank. With the black substrate, when you rinse it. It looks like you are rinsing out pure carbon. The is so much dust build up, your not the only one whose had issues with it.
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:51 AM   #4
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Seachem's reply about it generating more dust during shipping is absolutely true.

It's not a bad product, just a property of fired clay substrates. All that I've tried have this problem, and all understate the difficulty of abating it. Even if you'd rinsed it in addition to using the bowl to fill, you'd still have water muddy enough that you'd have to wait a few days for it to clear, or perform multiple water changes if you're in a hurry.

While I have generated some horrendously muddy messes when I skimped on rinsing Flourite and other similar substrates, I have never had any problems with good quality filters. It's possible that your filter is of unusually poor quality, in which case you can't blame Seachem alone for its failure. I own a couple of Aquatop products. It was immediately obvious that these were made of thinner, more brittle plastics than other products I've used. So I've always treated them with particular care and avoided any unusual stresses, and they continue to work well.

And while I agree Seachem could describe this issue better on the packages, I feel you should accept some personal responsibility as well. Always thoroughly research any product before making a major purchase, especially when money is tight. In a 55G, this qualifies as a major purchase, which almost certainly cost more than your filter. Since anyone who has used Flourite could describe this issue and prepare you for it, it's unlikely you looked very far.

If you still feel you've been wronged, by all means continue the dialogue with Seachem and try to come to a better agreement. Even with the current offer, you might pick compensatory products that could be resold; easily recouping the cost of a new impeller, or part of the cost of a new filter.

Two final things. First, I really love your custom hardscape!

Second, if you've read this forum's rules, you'll know that while product reviews are fine, vendor reviews are not. Stating your dissatisfaction with Seachem's customer service, rather than just Flourite, probably crosses that line, so a mod may eventually lock this thread. Not that it's my responsibility in the least to judge or enforce rules, I just feel as long as I'm replying, it's courteous to let people know in advance when there's a possibility of this happening.

Last edited by DarkCobra; 01-04-2013 at 09:32 AM.. Reason: The voices in my head made me do it. And the typo.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:14 AM   #5
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First up...Did you buy the gravel directly from seachem? Try writing to whomever you bought the gravel from, and hammer them to give you a replacement filter part if it is "truly" trashed.

Secondly, I don't know how many times I've read here, and other forums, of people writing about this particular product being "crap" and then they complain about the "muddy bottom" they now have, or the "really dirty water" it leaves. It does not take a rocket scientist to know that "ALL GRAVEL" since the beginning of time has had the comment with it to "RINSE". Even when I was a kid in the 60's I was told to "rinse" the "Normal" gravel until it came out clean... Has anyone else heard the LFS say "be sure to rinse the gravel until it is clean"?

I'm sorry for your predicament, but it is not seachems fault if you don't get the basics of aquarium keeping. I use this same gravel in black and red tones and have rinsed it out just fine. Come-on, Not washing completely...That's like buying a bag of miracle grow dirt and expecting that it will be "completely dirt free" after rinsing once or twice, and expecting that it will not cloud your water either...Doh.

If you want to correct this completely in the future, let the water settle for a couple days or until you feel it is safe to turn on the filter, and be careful with planting, or plant in pots to avoid the problem of re-stirring completely because you "will" stir things up each time you plant another stem... or just buy a vortex diatom filter for all your aquariums it will be reusable after more than the first run to give your tanks that polished look.
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:50 PM   #6
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Thank you for the responses from those who took the time to write. Again I apologize if this wasn't the proper place to vent as I said at the beginning of my post. I take full responsibility for not thoroughly researching this product before I purchased. I am new to this wonderful hobby and was excited to get the Flourite Red. On the other hand for newbies like myself I feel the manufactures have a responsibility as well to fully explain their product and what steps need to be taken to set up properly. I really needed to vent and get this off my chest which I accomplished. My world will not end and I will move on a little bit smarter and humbled. Thanks for the replys
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:07 PM   #7
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I'm sorry you had a hard time with Flourite. I probably would have had a similar situation except I was spared by the lady working the counter at the fish store I go to. She had some insight into product and informed me of the best way to clean it: pour it into a large container and let water flow over it, stirring it every once in while, until the water is clear.

I poured mine into a five gallon bucket (one bag at a time) with a hose set to the bottom of it and turned on the water (outside). It takes some time, but when I put everything into my aquarium and flooded it, there was very little clouding.

Flourite *is* a good product, but "some rinsing to remove residual dust" is a pretty mild way of putting it!
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:07 PM   #8
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For future notice, just putting a bowl and filling it doesn't really stop the dust. I put a black plastic garbage down, then put the bowl on that, then fill. I just did a 10gal that I took about 5 mins to fill in a rush, cloudy as heck. Drained and rescaped, refilled and took about 30mins to fill the 10gal, crystal clear. It really has to be a slow process.
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scooter60 View Post
Thank you for the responses from those who took the time to write. Again I apologize if this wasn't the proper place to vent as I said at the beginning of my post. I take full responsibility for not thoroughly researching this product before I purchased. I am new to this wonderful hobby and was excited to get the Flourite Red. On the other hand for newbies like myself I feel the manufactures have a responsibility as well to fully explain their product and what steps need to be taken to set up properly. I really needed to vent and get this off my chest which I accomplished. My world will not end and I will move on a little bit smarter and humbled. Thanks for the replys

Just look into a fresh impeller for your filter.
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:33 AM   #10
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Your background is awesome.

There has to be away to disassemble your filter and clean it out.

I think most, if not everybody here understands your frustration, but you have to just fix it and keep on going.
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