Adding Flourite to an Established Tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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Adding Flourite to an Established Tank

I have a fairly new, work-in progress 29 gallon tank with 2.8 wpg and plain gravel substrate and somehow without co2 my plants seemed to be growing well. I recently noticed some brown spots in some of my newer plants and was wondering if dosing iron or overhauling my substrate with flourite would be better. Even though this problem is most likely caused by co2, I was just looking for some general advice outside of that area.

If I dose iron will the substrate hold some of this nutrients and/or will it be distributed to (root-feeding) plants that seem to be having the problems?

If I do add flourite, how should I go about changing the substrate.

Thanks and sorry, I'm new to all of this.

Unfortunately, I don't know the names of the plants.

Here are some photos (I apologize for the quality):





The large plant to the left with the broad leaves and the mini-crypts??? are the plants that seem to be having issues. They are growing new leaves and flourishing but have brown spots and occasionally melting leaves.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-10-2008, 12:00 AM
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If it's just your crypts melting I wouldn't worry about it- crypt melt is pretty par for the course until the crypts get acclimated to your new tank.

Personally I'd still switch to fluorite 1) because it will contain and hold nutrients but your current gravel will not at all 2) because I like the looks better





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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-30-2008, 04:39 PM
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Is it possible to just add a layer of fluorite on top of the regular gravel? The colors would be pretty similar so eventual mixung would not be a problem.


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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-30-2008, 05:15 PM
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Sure.

Whatever pieces are bigger will be the ones that end up on top.

Make sure you rinse the Flourite REALLY REALLY well before adding it, though. IME it also helps to let it dry thoroughly after washing. I washed all of mine outside in a bucket with the hose, then spread it out in the driveway in the sun on an old sheet to dry. Worked really well.





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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-30-2008, 10:03 PM
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Will do, thanks a lot!


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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-01-2008, 09:51 PM
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So, when SeaChem says that the Flourite has been pre-washed they're joking, right?

There is so much stuff coming out of it that I was afraid I was washing out all nutrients. But since everyone says "Rinse!" I'm rinsing like hell...


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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-02-2008, 12:01 AM
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Don't get too crazy about washing it, it never really comes clean. Just make sure to dry it really well and pour water into the tank CAREFULLY.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-02-2008, 01:07 AM
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Yup, it's in. The water is a little milky, but not too bad. Let's see how it looks tomorrow.

Wow...I have 4x15W over a shallow 15 gallon tank, and the water really looks like fog right now. I would love to take a pic, but my wife stole the memory card from my phone.


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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-02-2008, 07:50 PM
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While I love Flourite, I had a bad experience putting it in my 20g last year. I washed it about 30 times and there was a ton of sand and silt still left. When I put it in the tank it clouded up really bad.

I did hear a great tip for established tanks though. Put it in a baggy and use that to drop it on the bottom in a controlled manner. It should kick up less material.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-02-2008, 08:40 PM
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I washed my Flourite in the little mesh bags that are used to strain paint.

$5 for a 3 pack from Home-Depot. Problem solved.

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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-02-2008, 09:46 PM
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great idea! much better than flooding a pale 30 times.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-02-2008, 10:19 PM
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I used two socks belonging to my wife. While it gets the Flourite really clean, the sharp edges ruin the socks. I hid them deep down in the trash can so my wife doesn't find out.


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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-02-2008, 11:08 PM
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For adding Flourite to an existing tank, I wash it well ... whatever method works for you, I use 5 gallon buckets and a garden hose...

When I actually add it to the tank, I drain the tank way down, like 80% of the water out..whatever the mininum I am comfy with the fish in it... put in a tank divider to separate the fish from the part of the tank I am adding to... gently put it in and let it settle a good bit.. then fill i back up from the fish side slowly to minimumize the churn. Still gets a little cloudy, but nothing like adding it to a full tank and letting it fall all the way to the bottom.

I killed a few fish once from the blackout of adding it with fish in there.... least I assume that is what caused it as I found several dead the next morning....

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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-03-2008, 01:17 AM
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More likely the combined stress.


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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-03-2008, 02:42 AM
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I use a bucket and a garden hose and leave the hose continually running in the bucket while swirling around the substrate with my hand. Works pretty well. Kinda hard on the back unless you put the bucket up on a chair or something, though.

I dry it, add it to the tank, and then use a big bowl or a frisbee (if I can find one the dogs haven't torn up ) to pour water into when filling the tank to minimize disturbing the substrate.

4x15watts of light over a 15gal tank? You're running pressurized CO2 on that tank, right?





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