Any Red Sea Flora Base Users? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-19-2004, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
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Just curious if anyone else has used it yet? I set my 20 gallon up on the 1st of the year (ug hung over boy that sucked) with Flora Base and was curious as to anyone else's experience.

Like wacky KH test readings, are you dosing macros/micros etc.

So far I like it. Looks nice. Little brighter then I would have wanted but still nice stuff. Expensive though. I put 3 bags in my 20 long. $29 a bag. And all new plants. I walked out about $150 less in the wallet.

Some thumbnails of that tank.

More photos here. And a lot bigger also.

If anyone has anything to share on Flora Base let me know. I'd like to see what you're doing.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-19-2004, 04:09 AM
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I asked this question about a month ago, no responses then. You're the first I've heard of trying it. Guess you'll have to wear your pioneer hat and let us know what happens!

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-19-2004, 10:07 PM
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My lfs has a large cube-shaped planted tank, and uses flora base as the only substrate. I don't know if it's the substrate, or the co2 unit they use, or the ferts, or the lights, or what, but their plants ALWAYS look gorgeous, and the fish in it as well.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-19-2004, 10:45 PM
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Did you buy that locally and if so, where? The plants look great perhaps I'll give it a try.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-19-2004, 10:48 PM
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Let me clarify- the tank is at the lfs I go to, in SoCal. It's their planted display tank. It's about $24.99 a bag, but i think you can buy it from or or
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-19-2004, 10:56 PM
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Sorry wonderwoman for the confusion...the question was for mm12463. I live about 15 minutes from Minneapolis.

mm12463, could you explain the wacky KH conditions? I soppose we have similar water parameters, pH=8.2, KH and GH=18-20, is this what you have and does the florabase really bring the water down to a pH of 6.5-7?

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-19-2004, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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Rolo - Freaky - I'm the guy your buying the bulb from!

Anyway I purchased it at World of Fish in Richfield/Bloomington. Right by the Airport/Mall of America - about 1/2 from my house.

They have a great tank with this stuff in it. Actually 2 tanks. Ones a 12 gallon nano I think. Rolo check out World of Fish if you have not - I'd say the best in our area other then Terra Quatics.

Okay here is the deal. With a normal gravel tank and the exact same setup and C02 I was getting about KH 3, GH 6. Before CO2 the water is around KH 4-5, GH about 7 and pH around maybe 7.5. MPLS water is pretty soft.

Anyway the website and packaging says it will buffer your water to maintain a stable ph of 6.5 to 7.0 How they know my water will maintain at that level I don't know. Considering they have no idea what I am starting with. What if I had liquid cement for water? Can't imagine the buffer in the Flora Base could do it. I dunno. I just got an email back from them today to give this rep a call. So I'll do that tomorrow.

So Rolo I guess the answer to your question is the stuff did bring my pH down from around 7.5 to 6.4-6.5. The CO2 helped some but before this substrate it only got the pH down to maybe 6.7-6.8.

One thing that did bug me from the start was how light this stuff was. Almost impossible to get stem plants to stay in. Last night I tossed in some more polysperma and it seems to have gotten a little denser and made it easier to get the polysperma in and stay planted.

They also say no need to fertilize for at least 6 months. Interesting. So I won't fert for the time being. I'll do a NO3 and PO4 test tonight and see where they are.

The other thing on the bag was something like replacing it within a year. Yah whatever! I'll ask about that tomorrow also when I talk to this guy. Better not need to replace it within a year. $90 every year. I don't think so.

Thanks for the compliments on the plants. Worth a shot trying it.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-21-2004, 07:13 AM
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Wow... FINALLY someone else is using it!

I use Florabase in my 10-gallon and I like it so far. My plants seem very healthy and I only use Flourish Excel. The only thing I don't like about it is that it's MESSY!! If you stir it up too much, it covers all your plants in brown dust. I get worried when this happens because it seems like it's blocking light from the leaves. Maybe not, though. It is hard to plant things in it.. like you said.

So far it seems alright. This is my first planted tank so I don't have other experiences to compare it to. I'm just glad that I finally found someone else who's using it!

Keep me updated and I will try to do the same.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-05-2005, 03:47 PM
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Well, it's a year later, any more comments on FloraBase. I've been using it since October of '03 and I've had my times of regret with it. Can't have corys or fishes with powerful tail fin because they'll stir up the substrate just when It's crystal clear and I'm staring at it. My blue, armored west african shrimp likes to cause little dust devils when he's diggin'. At one point I had tufts of algae growing on individual grains that I just sucked them out with tubing and dumped it. As much as I like the color and great root growth I get, I will only keep it until I go for a different look, then it's black sand. I don't like the look of fluorite or eco, but this stuff really needs to a lab rework.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-05-2005, 03:52 PM
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Gillman, that avatar disturbes me.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-06-2005, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Creedog
Gillman, that avatar disturbes me.
It's the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Think of it as actor Steve Chapman in costume.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-07-2005, 01:34 AM
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I don't really like it...I liked it at first, but now it is starting to degrade and turn to mush, it is also very hard to plant small plants like HC

I know it was modelled after ADA aquasoil, and next month I will try the real thing to see if it is better than the knock-off
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-07-2005, 02:12 AM
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Besides mush and dusting, how do the plants like it? Better then Eco or Flourite?
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-08-2005, 08:40 PM
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Seems to be the same to me, Luis and I talked about it, after a year or so, mush, I want something that last forever at 12-30$ a bag.

Onyx sand is still the best thing I've used so far.

I've had it for several years, heavy, fine grained, nice color, easy to plant things in it, adds some KH/GH to soft waters (better to have more than less), easier to uproot large plants like swords than Flourite, less inclined to get hair algae on the grains than EC, FB, Flourite, will never turn to mush.

FB works well, looks decent, but it's no better IMO than Turface which is 8-12$ for 50lbs and last forever. Same color and the same light weight. 50lbs of turface is a lot also.

Mixed with sand will reduce the lightness. But still turns to mush....
Some might not mind the mush and replacement cost.
Amano claims his does not turn to mush but it's the same stuff. We will see. I and some others are using it. It has NH4 in it(the ADA stuff). That will be turned into NO3 soon after the tank cycles.

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-08-2005, 08:58 PM
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I have florabase in my ugf 15 tall tank since september. It grows great roots but it is messy. I hate it now, all my plants are covered in brown dust. And it already turning to mush. I wish I had just ditched the ugf and gone to oynx sand like my original plan. It has crept under my ugf plates and is choking my powerheads constantly.
This tank also has new sump system I built recently so as to remove my ac mini and heater etc. So I am ok with filtration. I will move my fish to another tank until thing settle in there. I am now going to have buy yet another substrate and throw out 30 bucks work of red clay crap.
Tom I am glad you like onynx sand as I really want to try it.

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