Onyx or Flourite ??? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-27-2003, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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I have a problem. What should I use as a substrate for my 4x2x2 tank, Seachem Onyx or Flourite? Over here in Australia I can get the Onyx for $120 (US$83) for 20kg and the Flourite for $75 (US$52) for 7kg. I know this is expensive but the shipping from the US kills us over here. Obviously the Onyx is cheaper than the Flourite. Unfortuantly we cannot get Eco-Complete.

I would probably buy 2 or 3 bags of the Onyx (40 - 60kg, would this be enough. I could also add some existing gravel to the onyx but I am worried about mixing the colours) but I am worried about the buffering capacity of the Onyx as I have a few discus in the tank. I also have 500g of Dupla Laterite which I could add to the bottom inch of the substrate if needed.

Does anyone have any comments in regards to using the Onyx sand ie. Is it as good as flourite etc.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-27-2003, 11:38 AM
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Just below this post, is a post titled "flourite Vs Onyx sand", that may be what you are after. Its so expensive in Australia for everything it sux, $120 for 20kg!!!!!!!. Hey do you know any good australian Fish and Plant boards??? so far i cant find any.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-27-2003, 01:12 PM
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One hint. Look for a saltwater substrate called Grey Coast Calcite. It's the same thing as Onyx and it comes in larger bags at a lower cost. Also recheck the size of the bags because I have never seen Onyx in 20 kg bags. The Calcite comes in 10 kg bags and Onyx comes in 7 kg bags. If you go with Onyx get the sand and not the gravel (boulders actually).

Also a big hint here is to goto www.seachem.com and look for dealers near you. There might be someone that is importing enough to get the shipping costs down. It might be worth the phone calls to call all the listed dealers. And if you look under the products it will tell you how to calculate how much you are going to need.

If you are going to mix either Onyx or Flourite then it should be on a 50/50 basis based on the depth. At a minimum you will need around 60-80 kg to make this work.

If I were you and looking at the cost you are looking at I would just get some coarse sand and use the Laterite under it.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-05-2003, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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Unfortuantly we can only buy Flourite or Onyx over here. The Onyx comes in 20kg though I think they are 2 x 10kg bags.

I am leaning towards buying 60kg of the Onyx. The only reservation I have is in regards to the raising of the KH. I am about to add a Dupla automatic CO2 system. How will I counteract the buffering of the water and will the raising of the KH affect the CO2?

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-05-2003, 01:44 PM
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Man, I would never, ever, ever pay $360 (US$250) for ANY substrate. I don't care if it were made of pure magic dust. Substrate just doesn't plan an important enough role in plant growth to justify the expense, unless you've already exhausted yourself of ideas on ways to spend money and already have metal halide lighting, pressurized CO2 with automatic pH control and a box full of every macro and micro nutrient you'd need.
Dude, go to Home Depot and buy a bag of potting soil. Put a thin layer (2 cm) on the bottom and cover it with regular coarse sand. Find an industrial supply store and buy a 100lb bag of coarse sandblasting sand. Or just buy regular black sand or gravel from your Local Fish store. Ask around, you'd be surprised at which ones might be able to get it for you. If all else fails, go buy some regular play sand. The kind you put in sand boxes for kids. Maybe mix it with some fine pea gravel for texture.

Bottom line is that while Fluorite is a nice substrate, it's not THAT much better than regular sand/gravel that it's worth breaking the bank over. Now, if $250 is no problem for you, then go for it. You'll love it. I'm just saying there is an easier way.

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