For those that have used both Flourite Black and Black sand... - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-14-2010, 01:24 AM Thread Starter
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For those that have used both Flourite Black and Black sand...

Who has used both and which did you like better. I need 10-11 bags of one or the other. Tank will be mostly riparium but have some submersed growth setup as well.

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-14-2010, 01:36 AM Thread Starter
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planting will probably be crypts, anubias, java ferns, lotus, easier plants taht won't require tons of maintence.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-14-2010, 01:45 AM
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Ask lauraleellbp or check her 90 gallon journal. She has posted tons of info on those substrates.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-14-2010, 01:45 AM Thread Starter
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Ask lauraleellbp or check her 90 gallon journal. She has posted tons of info on those substrates.
Thanks, I knew someone here had done testing with both but couldn't remember who it was. Time for something BIG!

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-14-2010, 05:34 AM
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I already answered Craig in PM, but I'll put my 2cents here too just in case anyone else has the same question...

I told him I'd go with Flourite black for a big tank to help encourage better water circulation/discourage anaerobic spots.

I like both of them, though. (I just got some black sand to re-make my 10gal...)





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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-14-2010, 07:45 AM
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...I told him I'd go with Flourite black for a big tank to help encourage better water circulation/discourage anaerobic spots...
Yeah, and on that note, someone please talk to me about anaerobic spots. I'm a product of the old Undergravel Filter School, Class of **** (no need for specifics, is there?), so setting up a tank without one has me concerned about toxic spots of anaerobic activity. While I was out of the aquarium hobby, someone apparently changed the rules behind my back. I'm back into it, and I've taken my tanks & stuff "out of mothballs" and I want to try my hand at planted tanks, but I want to start out right (if cheaply). So what is the current theoretical thinking behind the Planted Tank in regard to anaerobic spots in the substrate?

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-14-2010, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, and on that note, someone please talk to me about anaerobic spots. I'm a product of the old Undergravel Filter School, Class of **** (no need for specifics, is there?), so setting up a tank without one has me concerned about toxic spots of anaerobic activity. While I was out of the aquarium hobby, someone apparently changed the rules behind my back. I'm back into it, and I've taken my tanks & stuff "out of mothballs" and I want to try my hand at planted tanks, but I want to start out right (if cheaply). So what is the current theoretical thinking behind the Planted Tank in regard to anaerobic spots in the substrate?

Olskule
Typically the smaller the grain of substrate is the tighter it will compact in your tank over time. When using Sand especially in a NON-planted tank you should stir the sand up frequently to keep gas pockets from forming in them. Typically they will create a Hydrogen Sulfide gas (I believe I just woke up a few minutes ago so may not be thinking clearly jsut yet). This can be toxic to your fish if enough of this builds up in your substrate. With a planted tank alot of the times if you have a plant wiht a good root system it will move through the substrate as the roots grow and also some snails such as MTS can help keep the substrate stirred up.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-14-2010, 02:56 PM
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UG possible ?

Small world olskule - I cut my teeth on UG filters in the 60s (no, not 1860), and I use them hugely successfully to this day.

Question for the pros (I'm a newbie to plant life) - Can I continue with the UG and add the other amenities (light and co2) with success? Will a coarse sand support plant roots?

Thanks. joe
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-14-2010, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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Small world olskule - I cut my teeth on UG filters in the 60s (no, not 1860), and I use them hugely successfully to this day.

Question for the pros (I'm a newbie to plant life) - Can I continue with the UG and add the other amenities (light and co2) with success? Will a coarse sand support plant roots?

Thanks. joe
Biggest down side to UG filters and plants is when the roots grow through and you move everything in the tank when pulling plants out. Sand works for plants to varying degrees, depending on the type you may conisder root tabs ond water column fertilization.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-14-2010, 03:06 PM
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Thanks. Is this root invasion quick (Kinda a dumb question)? I don't mind attacking the UG annually, but monthly would drive me crazy, more crazy.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-14-2010, 06:44 PM
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Depends on your plants. Rosette plants (Crypts, swords) can put out pretty extensive root systems pretty quickly.

You might go with an RUGF system instead of straight up UGF to help prevent debris buildup, since it's relatively hard to keep an UGF clean in a planted tank.





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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-14-2010, 10:34 PM
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Thanks. Is this root invasion quick (Kinda a dumb question)? I don't mind attacking the UG annually, but monthly would drive me crazy, more crazy.
Hi, PapaJoe! Maybe we should compare notes, huh? As for using the UG filter in a planted tank, I already got an at least partial answer to that from another thread I started, ( https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ge...iltration.html ), where I was furnished with this info:

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There is no reason not to plant whatever you want when you use an undergravel filter. The only consequence is that the plant roots may grow into the slots in the filter plate, partly plugging them, and making removing the plant later much more difficult.
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If you run that undergravel filter in reverse, with the water being pumped down the tubes to under the substrate, to flow back up through the substrate, you can avoid the roots problem almost entirely. I use that type filter now on one tank, with no problems. Another member here uses a conventional undergravel filter in his tanks, but with only a portion of the substrate being used as the filter, and no plants in that area. He has great success with that.

Just because a method is out of current favor, and no longer being used by many people, doesn't mean it isn't a good method.
I'm more or less set on running a reverse flow UGF on my main tank (at least until I get more confident with current planted tank methodology in my other tanks). Now my next question is about using cat litter that stays together as part of the substrate over the UG filter plate, and about flow rate. Anyone have any answers to those?

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-14-2010, 10:57 PM
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Typically the smaller the grain of substrate is the tighter it will compact in your tank over time. When using Sand especially in a NON-planted tank you should stir the sand up frequently to keep gas pockets from forming in them. Typically they will create a Hydrogen Sulfide gas (I believe I just woke up a few minutes ago so may not be thinking clearly jsut yet). This can be toxic to your fish if enough of this builds up in your substrate. With a planted tank alot of the times if you have a plant wiht a good root system it will move through the substrate as the roots grow and also some snails such as MTS can help keep the substrate stirred up.

Craig
Yeah, I'm familiar with the build-up of Hydrogen Sulfide gas, and that's why I was asking. So simply the roots existing in an area of substrate or stirring the substrate either by hand or via Medeterrainian Trumpet Snails (or other critters) is the accepted method for avoiding toxic levels of H2S? What about layered substrates that are supposed to remain undisturbed; is simply not disturbing the substrate the accepted method of avoiding it, or is the existence of undisturbed anaerobic bacterial "beds" to metabolize nitrates (as in a "Plenum System") a planned part of the planted tank biology, and are there substrate parameters to keep in mind for this?

Olskule

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 02:10 AM
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UGF bad for planted tanks because of "FERTS FLOATING ALL AROUND" as opposed to being used up quick..Can cause algae..roottabs,,work goo,dbut then add a UG filter and you have it pulling/pushing the nutrients through the tank...

I am also from the OS of UG filters also,started keeping plants in seattle in the 90's with UG filter and co2,LOL...it has progressed to MINERALIZED TOP SOIL,or was MTS just rediscovered,oh well who knows..ANYWAY,I would look into MTS I am going to give it a go very soon.My tank has been set up for about 5 years,so time to rip it down,I had no UG on this one,and not much problem..Although I would love to have a substrate heater..

As spoken of in the OPTIMUM AQUARIUM .A book I wish i HAD NEVER LOANED OUT..


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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 04:48 AM
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Question Back to Craig's question. . . . . .

Sorry I took y'all off track, but this is good. Is there an advantage to using a mixture of fluorite and sand, say 3 inches thick?
So far, I'm leaning toward UG with lift tubes and rather sparse planting (I'm a veteran of fish, but a newbie to plants.) I usually disturb the sand frequently to assist breakdown and avoid anaerobic spots. I've had good success with coarse sand (cleaning only 2-3 times per year). I'm not sold (yet) on reverse flow . . . . . . .I'm a rockhead, Olskule.
So. As I start with a few plants would a mixture (fluorite and sand) be beneficial ?

All comments welcome.

joe
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