Florabase Under Sand? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-16-2008, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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Florabase Under Sand?

I have a 4 gal finnex tank coming for my new betta on friday. I would really like to use sand, but want to have plants. Can I put Florabase under the sand?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-16-2008, 05:58 PM
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Ive never used flora base, but I dont see why you couldn't. Is it anything like AS?
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-16-2008, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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Hmm..I don't know but I think so. It is an enriched substrate. Supposedly it gives off CO2 to some degree, and you don't have to do anything for the plants for like 6 mo. florabase
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-16-2008, 06:33 PM
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In my experience, it is pretty difficult to keep 2 types of substrate separated. The small substrate will always move to the bottom over time.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-16-2008, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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Good point Putty, learned that one with sw tanks years ago. That old CC would constantly work it's way to the top of the sand. Can I get away with just sand if I use tabs for the rooted plants?
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-17-2008, 01:02 AM
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Waterfaller1, I don't want to scare you or discourage you from buying Flora Base and trying it. It is ultimately your choice. However, you may find this review most interesting. According to this review on substrates which is one of the best I have seen, it lists Flora Base as a substrate to avoid for the following reason.
Substrates to Avoid. Source: http://www.aquatic-eden.com/2007/04/...-aquarium.html


"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."


It seems if you don't read the fine print, you can really get screwed by this stuff.

Of course capping it with sand may help compensate for some of this after math, but to what degree and whether this sets the stage for anaerobic pockets/hydrogen sulfide production with disasterous results or perhaps only results in increased conversion to harmless and possibly beneficial mulm under the sand without any disasterous results, one can only theorize and speculate without actually testing the substrate, so good luck whatever you decide.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-17-2008, 01:42 AM Thread Starter
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Oh great..where were you a few days ago when it was recommended to me? I just set up a 10 gallon for shrimp with it...
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-17-2008, 01:47 AM
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Oh great..where were you a few days ago when it was recommended to me? I just set up a 10 gallon for shrimp with it...
Perhaps it will still work out, one person who commented on the review disagreed, so don't lose hope, things may still work out for the best. Here is what the response was.

"September 23, 2007 9:45 PM
Anonymous said...

Hi , Great Blog.

My expeirience with Flora base -

Ive been using flora base in my tanks for a while now with good results. Personaly I do not feel the yearly change is an issue as most of the aquascapes I try to achieve have long since past their peak by this time (grown out). Does ADA aquasoil or ECO complete have an unlimited suppy of nutrient? does the exhaustion rate not depend on how heavily planted the aquarium is and which plant species are used? If the issue is simply that of the substrate breaking down or compacting I can honestly say ive seen no evidence of this after 18 months use, however I do not keep Corydoras catfish of other gravel shifting species. I may be tempted to use ECO complete in my next tank as it is so highly favoured but im in no hurry to remove the Flora base despite the manufacturers recommendation. I currently have a healthy lush green carpet of HC growing im my old Flora base.

Just my opinion!"
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-17-2008, 07:34 PM
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I have seen people do this, as mentioned it will get mixed over time somewhat.

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Originally Posted by waterfaller1 View Post
Oh great..where were you a few days ago when it was recommended to me? I just set up a 10 gallon for shrimp with it...
That review in my opinion isn't very accurate. It doesn't just "turn to mush" like it states. I replaced my 10g's flourite with it when I was redoing the tank. That tank was set up around april, and my 55g was set up two years ago this very month and it still hasn't turned to mush.

I find that this is better than the other common planted substrates and it is a bit cheaper in my area!

As with any clay like substrate and substrate in general MTS are great for helping the smaller particles settling to the bottom.

-Andrew
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-17-2008, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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Ok..well since I happen to have a bag of eco on hand now... ...maybe I will use it in the new tank. But I still want to make a sandy beach, at least just in the front...and I will...watch me...lol.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-18-2008, 05:38 AM
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I am going with a strip of sand when I re do my tank, but I plan on using acrylic dividers to keep the two substrates separate.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-18-2008, 07:49 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by putty View Post
I am going with a strip of sand when I re do my tank, but I plan on using acrylic dividers to keep the two substrates separate.
The sand can get anaerobic if water cannot circulate through it.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-18-2008, 03:09 PM
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Sorry, I should have been more clear. I will use 2 inch acrylic strips running from side to side of the tank to allow for a strip of sand in the middle and other, more plant friendly substrate on either side.

I do not intend to use acrylic to separate layers of sand, IE I will not be putting acrylic between layers of substrate.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-18-2008, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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I did understand, I still think it will block good flow through the substrate...but that's just my opinion. What I did was use aluminum foil to make the separation between the sand and gravel, then removed it carefully.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-18-2008, 09:27 PM
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I am not sure how much lateral flow there would be in the subsrate, as water tends to take the path of least resistance.

I may do your tinfoil idea, but was thinking that it would be nice to have permanent dividers to avoid contamination when uprooting plants etc.
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