Considering Flourite Black Sand - Any Experience? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-24-2012, 04:04 AM Thread Starter
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Considering Flourite Black Sand - Any Experience?

Moving the tank to another location in the house and basically doing a tear-down in the process. During that effort, I want to switch over from regular inert gravel to a plant-friendly sand...so I'm considering Flourite black sand.

Plants will be crypts, swords, cabomba and a few "above grounders" such as moss and fern.

Anybody have any experience with this stuff?

Thanks in advance.

The longer I'm involved in this hobby the more & more I'm convinced that Bio-Type species tanks are the way to go. Plants and fish/inverts live together in nature for a reason. I find the less I try to fight nature the better my tanks look.

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-24-2012, 04:10 AM
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I use it in my 5.5 gallon grass tank (pics in sig). It grows hairgrass and crypts well, but then again I have peat moss under the sand. What are you planning to do for ferts?

Also rinse it well if you want to avoid the initial cloudiness.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-24-2012, 04:20 AM Thread Starter
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I really don't know, Monster. Quite frankly, I've been essentially a non-user of ferts after all this time because I've stuck to low-maintenance root-feeders and bulletproof attachers such as java fern and moss.

Maybe a little bit of a dose of Flourish Regular and Trace liquids on the anubias with a syringe if they look a little rough and that perks them right back up where they're good from that point on. That's happened maybe twice over the course of the past two years.

As for the seeming "trademark cloudy" from all Flourite products, plus being sand, I'm planning on simply packing a AC 70 with only floss and forgetting the whole rinsing thing. Rinsing regular Flourite is a headache and a half, so I figure the sand version...no way in hades. Throw it in and let the AC do all the work. Besides, the tank's going to have to start with an entirely new cycle.

But, the peat moss underneath the Flourite...now there's an idea I haven't contemplated and may just consider. Standard fare for underneath regular gravel, but with it underneath Flourite for an excellent push...simple, yet priceless suggestion. Thank you.

The longer I'm involved in this hobby the more & more I'm convinced that Bio-Type species tanks are the way to go. Plants and fish/inverts live together in nature for a reason. I find the less I try to fight nature the better my tanks look.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-24-2012, 04:22 AM
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Well, crypts and swords are heavy root feeders and are going to need more than liquid ferts. Have you thought about root tabs?

Edit: Forgot Flourite Black Sand has a high CEC so liquid ferts might work. Root tabs would be nice though.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-24-2012, 04:23 AM
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I would suggest a bacterial additive and root tabs to start. I am sure you can find something like that in the SnS. Fluorite isn't particularly ful of bio action initially and getting it off to a good start is key. Organic soil can be nice underneath, peat is useful, mineralized topsoil is superb. He is right wash it thoroughly because it is very dusty. I would be a little diligent about the fine mechanical filter pads at first, I don't like the fine abrasive dust running unimpeded through my can. It does look pretty BA when done right.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-24-2012, 04:31 AM Thread Starter
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I would suggest a bacterial additive and root tabs to start. I am sure you can find something like that in the SnS. Fluorite isn't particularly ful of bio action initially and getting it off to a good start is key. Organic soil can be nice underneath, peat is useful, mineralized topsoil is superb. He is right wash it thoroughly because it is very dusty. I would be a little diligent about the fine mechanical filter pads at first, I don't like the fine abrasive dust running unimpeded through my can. It does look pretty BA when done right.
Yeah, the can here (2215) is going to get a rest and a AC70 will be providing the temp position for the cloud clearing. Planning to get a couple bags of floss for the occasion.

Mineralized topsoil underneath...another great suggestion.

The longer I'm involved in this hobby the more & more I'm convinced that Bio-Type species tanks are the way to go. Plants and fish/inverts live together in nature for a reason. I find the less I try to fight nature the better my tanks look.

- DogFish 1.24.12
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-24-2012, 04:59 AM
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-24-2012, 01:37 PM
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Most LFS will be pretty nice if you ask them for a discount when buying multiple bags of 15.4lbs of flourite. In my case they reduced the flourite to $1/lb when I bought 3 bags haha. Pain in the ass carrying that back on my bike ._.

But anyway, any reason you want to change from regular flourite gravel(ish) to flourite sand? That'll be even harder to plant it. I would recommend sticking with regular flourite again for a planted tank?

Fish Shrimp tanks are like cups of coffee, one is never enough.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-24-2012, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Monster Fish View Post
Well, crypts and swords are heavy root feeders and are going to need more than liquid ferts. Have you thought about root tabs?

Edit: Forgot Flourite Black Sand has a high CEC so liquid ferts might work. Root tabs would be nice though.
Yeah, I've got the 40ct tab box with plenty still left over. I'm considering your suggestions - mineral soil underneath, Flourite on top and the tabs.

As for other ferts, may consider the dry macros. But, right now I'm stuck on the substrate aspect for the time being.

Quote:
Originally Posted by diwu13 View Post
Most LFS will be pretty nice if you ask them for a discount when buying multiple bags of 15.4lbs of flourite. In my case they reduced the flourite to $1/lb when I bought 3 bags haha. Pain in the ass carrying that back on my bike ._.

But anyway, any reason you want to change from regular flourite gravel(ish) to flourite sand? That'll be even harder to plant it. I would recommend sticking with regular flourite again for a planted tank?
Carried it while on a bike? Dude, that's awesome. Devotion to the hobby to say the least.

I'm going from regular stock pebble gravel to the Flourite sand. Reason for the sand is I keep a few loaches and the regular Flourite would bang them up pretty bad.

Picking it up online, as the LFS' that carry it here want far too much per bag where a buck or two off still comes nowhere near the savings with online price plus shipping.

The longer I'm involved in this hobby the more & more I'm convinced that Bio-Type species tanks are the way to go. Plants and fish/inverts live together in nature for a reason. I find the less I try to fight nature the better my tanks look.

- DogFish 1.24.12
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-24-2012, 07:48 PM
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I am in no way an expert but speaking from my experience with it I would not recommend it. Here are my reasons, which may not be the same for everyone, but again, speaking from my experience.

* It is horribly messy. I rinsed mine forever and even with a ton of it ending up down the drain it still left a mess all over my tank and in my filter for a long time.

* Plants do not like to stay in it. I put a layer of CaribSea Floramax in my tank at first and thought it would be too rough for the Dwarf Corys I wanted to get so I then put some black Flourite Sand on top. Needless to say the Cobamba I bought didn't stay in the tank long because it was constantly floating all over the tank making a mess. The Flourite Sand is VERY fine, almost powdery. I think the only reason my Vals stay down is because they've made it down to the Floramax.

* It doesn't look black! Maybe it's just my tank but it looks like a gray color, even after the white layer of filth on top eventually went away. I am currently using Tahitian Moon Black Sand in some of my other tanks and the plants stay down, even the stem plants, and things are growing just fine even with no ferts and low light, and it's a very beautiful shiny black. I will give the Flourite Sand one thing, it does look very natural in my opinion.

* Last but certainly not least, it's way too expensive in my opinion for what you get.

Sorry to be such a negative nancy but if I could do it over again I wouldn't have purchased the Flourite Sand.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-24-2012, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry to be such a negative nancy but if I could do it over again I wouldn't have purchased the Flourite Sand.
It's not negative when you make a very good case. Quite convincing, particularly when you bring up the cabomba and the sand being of a powdery consistency. That sort of headache I sure do not need.

Also checked out the Flourite Black Sand's contents compared to regular and dark Flourite and the elements take an enormous hit once it's broken down to the sand version.

What I may be able to do, is nix Flourite Sand completely - get regular Flourite Dark to make a bottom layer, add some mineral soil to the Flourite, top off with a seriously thick layer of regular old Black Diamond sand and add tabs at the roots of the plants to give them a happy jump start.

What do you folks think of that? Too much work or a good mix of stability and nutrition...or simply "meh"?

The longer I'm involved in this hobby the more & more I'm convinced that Bio-Type species tanks are the way to go. Plants and fish/inverts live together in nature for a reason. I find the less I try to fight nature the better my tanks look.

- DogFish 1.24.12
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-25-2012, 02:00 AM
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Quote:
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What I may be able to do, is nix Flourite Sand completely - get regular Flourite Dark to make a bottom layer, add some mineral soil to the Flourite, top off with a seriously thick layer of regular old Black Diamond sand and add tabs at the roots of the plants to give them a happy jump start.
The sand will slowly seep down to the bottom as it is much finer. So you'd end up with gravel on the top and bump your loaches as well.

Fish Shrimp tanks are like cups of coffee, one is never enough.

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-25-2012, 02:04 AM
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I've used Flourite on three tanks so far and didn't get much mess with it. I rinsed 1 bag at a time in a five gallon bucket outside with a hose Three rinses and it was sill cloudy both that cloudiness settled pretty quickly. I think the trick is to get the light stuff to suspend in a bucket by mixing it, i used my hand, and then pour out the bucket while the light dust is still suspended until the good stuff just starts to pour out. Rinse and repeat two or three times at most. All my tanks cleared pretty well in a couple of hours and that's with mixing 1/2 gravel with my hand on two of the tanks. Light residual cloudiness was gone over night. I wouldn't over rinse or you lose too many smaller particles IMO. About black sand, on the last tank, I mixed black sand with regular black (two to one) and liked the combo although if I were to do it again, I'd go two black to one black sand. Next tank is going to be ADA for sure!
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