Sand vs Flourite? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-07-2011, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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Sand vs Flourite?

Hi guys,
I currently have sand in my set up, and was thinking about redoing the scape as some of my more light demanding plants are shadowed, and vice versa.
The sand in my set up stuffed with tetra initial sticks and seachem root tabs, and was wondering if this is sufficiant for a mid to high tech set up. I'm running CO2 at around 15ppm, dosing seachem NPK according to their dosing regime, flourish, flourish excel, and kent Iron and Manganese.
I'm achieving good growth in some plants, yet others just aren't growing and I'm assuming it's due to their position in the scape.
Would switching out the sand for flourite be better? also I still want the sand is it possible to place it over the flourite?
Cheers,
JK
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-07-2011, 03:34 PM
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Other than the possibility that sand (the regular, small-grained variety) can compact and inhibit root growth past a couple inches, it's just as good as Flourite. And easier to actually physically plant anything in. The only advantage Flourite has is that, due to its clay content, it's got a high CEC, which basically means it will readily absorb nutrients from root tabs and the water column, which gives you a larger margin for error if you forget to dose for a week or two. But if you keep up with dosing, Flourite won't grow anything better than sand.

Either way, I would suggest running CO2 at closer to 30ppm.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-07-2011, 03:35 PM
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What type of plants are dying. That'll give us a better idea of what to do.

My roommate says I'll die by giant turtle.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-07-2011, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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It isn't that plants are dying. just starting to brown in some places due to plants growing taller and shading them. I have some swords which are in the middle of the scape, that haven't showed any sign of growth and are now being shadowed by a growing stem plant which I haven't had an ID on.

So should I be fine to rescape using the sand and maybe stuffing some more root tabs in?
The sand in question is CaribSea super naturals
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-07-2011, 04:11 PM
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Okay, yea. Sounds like a rescape is in order.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-07-2011, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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I have also been removing plants, which I've been finding out aren't actually aquatic. I'll probably stock up on the root tabs, get a plastic container I can hold my P's in before I re scape the tank.
Probably post pics of all the plants so I can get ID's so I can base my scape of that rather then going for something that looks good for the moment.
Do you think the root tabs with supernaturals is good enough for plant growth? Or would I see better lusher growth with flourite? I have the very fine kind of SN with smallest grain being 0.1mm.

edit:
I'm also having trouble getting my CO2 above that, currently I'm on 6-8 bubbles per second, and because I don't have a drop checker and use a step ladder diffuser, I don't want to waste more CO2 bumping up the bps which might end up dropping my PH as my KH is only 3.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-07-2011, 05:28 PM
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Fluorite holds nutrients, its far more superior. You will still need to add nutrients, like the root tabs. Also the sand will end up under fluorite anyways, remove it if you go with fluorite.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-07-2011, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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So from what I understand now is, if I use flourite, the amount of fertz and roots tabs will be decreased due to it's ability to store them. Yet with the sand, I'll have to add root tabs far more often to achieve the same growth. correct?
Is there any substrate that has the same appearance as tanned sand? I want something fine as I find it easier to clean.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-09-2011, 12:10 AM
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I use Flourite red a like it, the tank has gone from high tech to low tech over the past 7 years due to lack of funds, but I have never use plant tabs. I am getting ready to replant and buy new bulbs and start running CO2 again soon, I think I will start using plant tabs because it's so old but I still have Cryptocoryne's, Aponogeton crispus, and some other not too picky plants in good shape but growth is at a minimum. I would go with the Black now, I think the green of the plants really pops against the black and the fish have a dark hiding place.


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