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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-15-2008, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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flora base?

Hi TPT,
Has any one used Red Sea FloraBase before? The local pet store just bought some in and I was wondering if it was any good.

Thanks Ghost
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-15-2008, 08:14 PM
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Its good stuff, and what I've been using.

Its basically ADA AS without the name or so I've heard. Supposedly its very similar. Having not had any to compare it to yet I can't say for sure, but for not having to pay shipping its worth it at around $20 a bag.

-Andrew
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-17-2008, 01:09 AM
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Hi TPT,
Has any one used Red Sea FloraBase before? The local pet store just bought some in and I was wondering if it was any good.

Thanks Ghost
You may want to check out this interesting review:
http://www.aquatic-eden.com/2007/04/...-aquarium.html
before you make your decision. According to this review Red Sea FloraBase is a substrate to avoid. for the following reason.

"Substrates to Avoid

Red Sea FloraBase

I almost bought this planted aquarium substrate as it was attractive and not too expensive. However, I looked up other's thoughts online and found out that although it is a great planted aquarium substrate for the first year or so, it requires replacing (it even says so on the label). Otherwise the granules, shaped similarly to ADA Aquasoil granules, will begin to lose their shape and "melt" into mush. This can be disastrous. Coupled with the fact that changing the substrate in an established tank is all but impossible without totally destroying it, this planted aquarium substrate is one to avoid unless you tear down your aquariums every year."
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-17-2008, 07:28 PM
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I wouldn't worry about the whole mush thing, hasn't happened in my 55g after two years nor in the 10g which will be a year old in April. You should have some MTS in your tank to keep the substrate airated and help the smaller dusty particles to fall deeper into the substrate and the larger ones to rise to the top.

Maybe this person got a bad bag?
-Andrew

PS. Homer this person is also saying that mud turns to mud as for laterite Didn't read the rest though..
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-17-2008, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Fish Newb View Post
I wouldn't worry about the whole mush thing, hasn't happened in my 55g after two years nor in the 10g which will be a year old in April. You should have some MTS in your tank to keep the substrate airated and help the smaller dusty particles to fall deeper into the substrate and the larger ones to rise to the top.

Maybe this person got a bad bag?
-Andrew

PS. Homer this person is also saying that mud turns to mud as for laterite Didn't read the rest though..
Thanks for sharing your experiences about this Fish Newb. It's always good to hear from someone who has first hand experience with this stuff. Lol, especially since I ordered some to test drive and see how it compares to ADA Aquasoil II, SMS, Fluorite, Schultz Aquatic Soil, and Eco-Complete.
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-17-2008, 09:18 PM
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I would expect it to be next to the best after ADA AS. Its VERY similar, and at one time I heard that someone said they where made next to each other at some factory somewhere, no idea if that was true though.

I like it better than fluorite, thats just me though.

-Andrew

There is a pile of flourite in the lot next door to me
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-17-2008, 09:54 PM
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A LFS has some in two tanks. One is all "Mushy" and one that seem fairly new. A worker there said the "mushy" one has been setup for about a year. He then demonstrate how soft it is by pinching it with his fingers. It turns to dust.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-17-2008, 10:46 PM
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Here was Red Sea's response today to my questions and concerns about it:
"Hello.
Its true it does turn into mud on the bottom not the top. Its takes a year or 2. After 6 months you have to start adding root nutrient supplements to the flora base. Thank you and have a good day.

pinky"

I decided I am switching it to the eco tomorrow and not looking back.
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-18-2008, 12:43 AM
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A LFS has some in two tanks. One is all "Mushy" and one that seem fairly new. A worker there said the "mushy" one has been setup for about a year. He then demonstrate how soft it is by pinching it with his fingers. It turns to dust.
How did the plants hold out for the year that your LFS had them in the tank and what condition are the plants in in the tank with the mushy Flora Base?

Many members claim to grow monsterous cryptocornes and swords with nothing more than inert gravel and good water column fertilization, so if the stuff turns mushy and you gradually add a good grained sand or gravel or even something like Schultz Aquatic soil combined with good water column fertilization, how much harm would the mush do, other than possibly cloud your water, which you could easily remedy with increased water changes, and a good filter. If the mush is contained using a good grained sand, gravel, or schultz aquatic soil and combines with natural mulm, how bad can it be and it may not be necessary to tear down the tank. I guess it is probably one of those things someone has to prepare for in advance to avoid problems, otherwise just spend more on another substrate not prone to this if taking advance action is too much trouble.

waterfaller1: Thanks for that information. And I believe that you made a good choice with the Eco-Complete. It is a proven substrate with a good track record and not as controversial as Flora Base.
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-18-2008, 06:43 AM
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It wasn't a display tank. It was a holding tank with no circulation containing crypts for sale still in pots. Besides the fact that they were all cover with floral base 'dust', they seem to be doing okay. No signs of flourishing or melting.
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-20-2008, 09:25 PM
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Here is a picture from my 55g this is two+ years of it in the tank. It was supposed to be a picture of the shrimp, but decided to focus more on the FB.



-Andrew
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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-21-2008, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your replies,
I got too excited and bought 11 bags before reading your replies. I am not sure if I should use it and take the chance. Or sell it back to the local pet store and buy the eco complete. It seems to me that the eco is a lot safer for the long run. Plus I am putting some discus in the tank and I don't think the FB will work if it goes muddy. If the local pet shop doesn't take it back then I will probably use it. I will keep you posted.

Thanks Ghost
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-21-2008, 06:27 PM
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mine went muddy after a year but brfore it did it worked great.it lowers the ph a bit and softens the water because of the peat content just like the ada aqua soil.now i use it a mix of 25% flora base and 75% flourite and have no problems.it doesnt lower the ph as much with a mix as expected.
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-22-2008, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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What do you think about using FB underneath the eco?
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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-22-2008, 07:48 PM
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read the "fine print" on a bag at the lfs the other day. red sea says that florabase is ideally suited (or some such) for undergravel filtration. why would they recommend ug, if they know it turns into mud (particularly the bottom layers)? it does say that it should be replaced yearly--that's enough for me to not use it.
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