Dirty Dirty Flourite - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Dirty Dirty Flourite

My first time using flourite in my new 55 gallon. All I can say is what do I do now. I washed it for at least 30 minutes and thought it was clean, I was wrong. After a day it is still as dark as the Mississippi. Should I just do water changes or what? Its only one bag mixed with my gravel also. HELP
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 09:02 PM
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Its going to be dirty for a while...i've never used flourite personally but I know it takes time. You can do WC if its an established tank but if its a new tank, I would hold off on the WC and just be patient. Make sure the filter doesn't clog up too much and change the water polishing pads since they will be clogged pretty badly. Eventually, the dirt in the water should settled as they get more water-logged. Hopefully someone with experience will chime in and give better advice.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 09:10 PM
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I know I saw someone's setup where they had stuck all their flourite in a 30 gallon bucket out back and just stuck the hose in the bucket for a couple hours. I would personally be afraid that it would then get rid of all the flourite!

But then, what do I know? I just use tahitian moon sand...
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 09:15 PM
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Don't worry, this was my tank when I put in Flourite:

It'll clear up in a few hours

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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 10:01 PM
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I washed mine for about a hour but it was not a simple "stick the hose in" but a rinse and dump, rinse and dump, then a few times through a strainer, etc.

Do not want to wash too much as you will wash out a lot of what's good about it. Looked muddy as all get out when I got it in the tank but running my eheim 2028 it was 80% better the next day, then about 80% better from that another day later, and by day 3 or 4 or so was pretty much crystal clear. Needed to replace the fine filter pad in the eheim after that though as no amount of rinsing it took out the sediment.

That said though from then on every time I'd plant something up, or move a plant, the substrate would get disturbed and it's clouds galore all over for about a couple hours or even overnight. That sucked. Finally topped off the flourite with about an inch or so of white sand. Then a year after that I topped that with some SMS as I wanted a darker substrate.

I get great root growth right down through the second and third layer of sand and flourite so the plants love the stuff, you too might want to have a top layer of something cleaner like I did though to prevent cloudiness every time you rescape or even move one or two plants.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 10:13 PM
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I just fired up my filters and let them run for a couple days. Cleared right up eventually.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 10:22 PM
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yeah i just bought some play sand from home depot and
let it settle in my tank, its been about 2-3 hours its clearing up slowly

also i have a question, once my tank is setup with the play sand , if i get in there and start planting will it cloud up again?
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 11:44 PM
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Glad I wasn't the only one to have this problem. It was a real mess for sure, but in the end I really do like it as a substrate. I have a fair amount of it in the 20g and a bit in the 55g.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-08-2008, 12:43 AM
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Cloudy water is the one drawback of Flourite. You can rinse it for hours and you will still have some cloudiness.

The key is to painstakingly pour the water very slowly into the tank. For a larger tank try this: pour the water into a white shopping bag and let it gently run into the tank.

Good luck!


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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-08-2008, 01:23 AM
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I just plugged in my diatom filter and let the dust get sucked out of the tank.
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-08-2008, 01:53 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, I bought some floss for my filters. Hopefully That will fix it. Next step getting my drift wood to stay underwater.
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-08-2008, 03:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pollpegj View Post
Thanks guys, I bought some floss for my filters. Hopefully That will fix it. Next step getting my drift wood to stay underwater.
If you want to get floating driftwood to sink, just tie a heavy stone or something to the wood and throw it in a container full of water. After a week or so, give or take, it should finally stay down. This is what I do.

Also, for flourite, I found this method works very well:

Okay, we know the particles in flourite (good bag) can be very small and if you pour water into your tank fast, it'll push all these particles up. Also, since flourite is a clay substance, disturbance also causes breakage in the bigger pieces, creating more particles.

So the trick is to NOT stir the water as much as possible.

I've tried cleaning flourite and adding it to the tank and not cleaning it and adding to the tank. Cleaning it is better and unlike what most people think, a little cleaning doesn't kill the nutrient values since you're going to dose your tank anyhow.

Method 1:

1. It's a lot easier to wash part of a bag of flourite then a bunch of bags worth of the stuff. So what I do is get a rectangular tubberware and fill it with half a bag worth of the stuff or whatever amount you feel is easy for you to handle and wash.

2. Take a hose with a spraybar and spray the stuff. Dump water into plants so there's no waste, as much of the water as possible excluding the flourite, you're basically just rinsing it. Continue to do this till you see that the water is a bit clearer. Took me only 7 washes. Spray it till it's about 3-5 inches from the surface of the substrate, no need to fill the whole tubberware.

3. Now put it into your empty tank. If you need more flourite, repeat steps 1 and 2. Flatten it out and put watever plants you want into it now.

4. Now to add water, the most important part IMO. Let it slowly go in, very slowly, a good trickle. Just enough and not to the point where the debris or substrate is kicked around a lot. When it's about 1 inch or so from the substrate, stop.

5. Leave it till the 1" of visible water seems clear, then once again, slowly fill it with water. Put it so the tube that the water is coming from as near to the substrate as possible. It is best to put the tube near a corner. Why? Less disturbance.

6. After filling it up, you can add an HOB with a sponge over the intake and a sponge or sponges inside the hob. Give it a few hours. Should be good. It'll take about a few days for the water to completely become clear, based on your filtering as well.

Method 2:

If you want to do the nonwash method, start from step #3.
However, it'll probably take longer for all the debris to settle.

NOTE:

Here are a few questions that you might have thought of from what I said:

Q: For #2 step, why do I have to stop at 3-5 inches? Why not just keep spraying it?
A: Because the point of washing it is to dump out the water with all the particles when there's the most particles washed up by the water. If you keep filling it past that point, you're just wasting water and not getting much of a difference. You just want to push those particles out before they sink back down into the substrate again.

Remember, flourite is a clay substance, if you continue to wash it, you'll continually get particles since the bigger pieces will continually break up into smaller pieces aka particles. The point is to wash it till it's decently clear, not all the way clear.

Q: For #5 step, why do I fill it up to 1" past the substrate and wait?
A: If you fill the whole tank up, particles that are still moving around remain moving around a lot longer since they can't settle to the bottom because there's a lot more room in the tank for the particles to move around in. The 1" method makes it so that the particles are a lot closer to the bottom and gives them less room to move in and therefore makes it easier to settle down.

This is what I do and I find it easy and useful. Never had a flourite issue.

Since you already filled it up with the thing, here's my advice on it:

1. Suck out all the water.

2. Do steps 4 through 6.
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-08-2008, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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Well, it settled. The filter floss did the trick, plus a small water change. Now I need to clean the glass off.
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-08-2008, 07:46 PM
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Haha, I just rinsed 3 bags of flourite yesterday. It took me 2 hours and I still had cloudy water. Its sitting in my 29g now with about an inch or so of water and I've been dreading filling up the tank.
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-08-2008, 08:34 PM
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One other thing that I've seen work is to lay a plastic bag on top of the fluorite, and like Natty said, fill very, very slowly.

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--May the floor under your tank always be dry, and your glass clear!!!
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