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Hello Everyone,

I have two questions:

1. Does this substrate eventually run out; as in, it needs to be replaced?
2. Do i need to add any substrate fertilizers for my plants for increased iron or is the flourite enough?

Thank you everyone
 

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did i waste my money buying this? If it's inert, why did i pay an arm and a leg...

i guess im a sucker.

somebody please tell me otherwise
 

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I use it in one of my tanks. I like it for its natural look, and I have noticed it does well with my plants. As far as I know, it is a clay based product with a fair amount of iron in it. You will notice though that dosing and root tabs do help alot, but that goes for most substrates.
 

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did i waste my money buying this? If it's inert, why did i pay an arm and a leg...

i guess im a sucker.

somebody please tell me otherwise
No, you didn't waste your money. Most substrates need additional fertilization. Flourite is a good substrate that will benefit from root tabs.
 

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Several months ago Tom Barr did a test of various substrates, evaluating them by the mass of plant tissue that grew in a period of time, using, as I recall, 2 species of plants. The high CEC materials gave better results than the low CEC materials. If anyone wants more details on this I could search The Barr Report to find that post. But, this convinces me that high CEC is a meaningful thing to have, so Flourite should be better than ordinary pool filter sand. But, you can grow plants with ordinary pool filter sand too.
 

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Several months ago Tom Barr did a test of various substrates, evaluating them by the mass of plant tissue that grew in a period of time, using, as I recall, 2 species of plants. The high CEC materials gave better results than the low CEC materials. If anyone wants more details on this I could search The Barr Report to find that post. But, this convinces me that high CEC is a meaningful thing to have, so Flourite should be better than ordinary pool filter sand. But, you can grow plants with ordinary pool filter sand too.
Hoppy,

When you have a moment. Could you post a link to that thread?
 

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did i waste my money buying this? If it's inert, why did i pay an arm and a leg...

i guess im a sucker.

somebody please tell me otherwise
I've been using the same Flourite for 5 years and I currently have a stand of crypts in there so thick that you can bearly see daylight under it. I don't add root tabs either, just KNO3, KH2PO4 and CSM+B in the water. I think it's important not to over vaccuum the gravel around root feeders, just lightly graze the surface. The roots on the crypts are thick, long and white. I stick with Flourite because it works and has better weight than some of the alternatives.
 

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I'm currently using flourite black for my planted 10g, and will be ordering 4 more bags of it for a planted 40g I'm working on in a couple days. Did you waste your money? I don't think so. Is it overpriced? Definitely, but what in this hobby isn't?
 

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Agreed. Back to getting on topic, I use fluorite red in my tank and it works pretty well for me. As a cheaper solution a few of the members in our club use "black beauty" sand blasting sand.
 

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Hoppy,

When you have a moment. Could you post a link to that thread?
I searched for it once today, but didn't find it. It is hardly a definitive test of substrates, just a few were tested, with only a couple of plant species, and one set of conditions. But, I felt that it did show the effectiveness of CEC. Until then I was wondering very much whether high CEC was a 1% improvement, 10% or what. Now, I'm pretty sure it is more than 1%, and very likely more than 10%. Maybe I will try more searching tonight.

EDIT: Found it! But, it is a write-up in a Barr Report Newsletter, Volume 3, issue 6. which you have to join the Barr Report to get. In summary, it showed that SMS gave roughly twice the mass of plant leaf growth as plain sand, for the duration and conditions and plant species that the test used. Oddly enough this was better than any of the other substrates tested.

Shortly after this report came out, I dug some American River silt and used it as a bottom layer under SMS, and found this to be the best substrate I had ever used, for plant growth. This, of course, is not proof of anything, but at least I was impressed. SMS is a high CEC granular material, leading me to conclude that high CEC really does make a substrate significantly better for growing plants fast.
 
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