Black Flourite - 1 year later

Gerryd

Plant Guru Team
Lifetime Member
Sep 23, 2007
5,623
20
38
South Florida
Hey all,

Quick thoughts on this substrate after 1 year in my 180.

Still looks great, not clogged anywhere, have not really vaccumed, but still very clean when disturbed. I tend to replant top cuttings and try new groupings so I disturb a lot.

Roots on all plants grown nice and healthy. Stems and rosettes all good. Crypts, etc. Have planted in all sections so far.......

Very happy with it overall and would totally recommend.

Now if we could easily make it nutrient rich with the same characteristics as above......we would have a winner in my book :)

Later,
 

tedr108

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Nov 21, 2007
514
0
16
Los Angeles, CA
Gerry,

I started with Black Flourite (gravel, not sand) about a year ago also -- your assessment is good, in my opinion. When I did replants with ADA AS, what a cloudy mess it made. That doesn't happen with Flourite.

It should be noted that I recently re-did a one year old tank that had Flourite. I decided to rinse the Flourite. You would not believe how much waste had accumulated. I had to do like 6 full rinses for the rinse water to start clearing up. My point is that a lot of waste does accumulate in the Flourite, whether you see it or not.

The way ADA AS begins to break up after a time, I'm not sure you could even rinse the stuff off after a year and re-use it. I feel like my Flourite will last me as long as I want it to.
 

VaughnH

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jan 24, 2005
3,011
94
48
85
Sacramento, CA
When I put Flourite Black sand over a layer of river silt, I was able to poke stem plants down through both layers without generating a cloud of fine stuff. And, my moving plants around didn't cause any problem either. When I took the tank down I found that the separation between the two substances was so good I cold salvage both components in separate bags, virtually uncontaminated with each other. I actually used my hand to brush the last bits of Flourite sand into little mounds so I could pick it up. The silt layer was like sandstone. Of course when I dug the silt out, it quickly became loose like it was originally. And, river silt is a nutrient rich layer.
 

Gerryd

Plant Guru Team
Lifetime Member
Sep 23, 2007
5,623
20
38
South Florida
Vaughn,

Thanks for that reply. I was hoping someone had had that experience and am not surpised it was you :) I know that you have done quite a bit of experimentation with different methods ........

Now I just need to find some river silt......

I am not one to leave the tank alone, but am trying to cure myself of this. In the meantime I do not think that ADA is a good choice for me right now lol

However, this would require the removal of the current substrate, the addition of the silt, and then the overlay with the flourite. Plus several hundred cardinals to deal with at the same time..... A lot of work for sure.....

Lots to think about.

Ted,

My point is that a lot of waste does accumulate in the Flourite, whether you see it or not.

Duly noted.......I will do a gravel vac over the next couple of weeks and see how it looks... What you say does not surpise me.

Thanks as always......
 

shoggoth43

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jan 15, 2009
1,092
11
38
When dealing with the flourite gravel, any issues with Corydoras? I had Flourite sand in another tank and was reasonably happy with it. However I've heard the Flourite gravel might be "too sharp" for them and injure their feelers.

My other problem is that with discus the substrate color seems to matter a LOT. Photos of them over white sand vs. black are very noticeable even with all other parameters the same. Mine were considerably darker over the flourite, but that was when I first got them so they were understandably bent out of shape. I'm keeping them in a bare bottom tank painted white on the underside and they are considerably lighter in color.

-
S
 

Gerryd

Plant Guru Team
Lifetime Member
Sep 23, 2007
5,623
20
38
South Florida
Shoggoth43,

I had about 25-30 cories comprised of at least 1/2 dozen species. I collected loners from the LFS. I felt sorry for them........

Anyway, no issues with barbels, and I fed blackworms a LOT, so they were always digging in the gravel.......

Hope this helps.
 

shoggoth43

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jan 15, 2009
1,092
11
38
I hadn't run into any issues yet so I was starting to suspect it was one of those folklore kind of things. Good to have some longer experience to back that up.

-
S


Gerryd;37211 said:
Shoggoth43,

I had about 25-30 cories comprised of at least 1/2 dozen species. I collected loners from the LFS. I felt sorry for them........

Anyway, no issues with barbels, and I fed blackworms a LOT, so they were always digging in the gravel.......

Hope this helps.
 

jeremy v

Guru Class Expert
Apr 17, 2008
166
2
18
Gerry,
Instead of taking out your substrate so that you can put the river silt layer down on the very bottom, you might want to first try taking the river silt you find and putting it in a bucket that is full of water next to the tank. Then use a turkey baster to suck up handfulls of river silt from the bucket and then poke the baster into the gravel and slowly push the silt out while moving the tip around in the gravel a little bit. After a few days even any spilled silt on the substrate surface will work its way to the bottom of the sediment and give you the fine silt base that you want without having to remove your existing substrate. I have done this and it worked really well for me. In my specific case I added fine pool sand into an existing substrate of 2-3mm aquarium gravel, so I would think it would work fine in your case as well. When I was done adding about 20 lbs of fine sand to my 75 aquarium I had mildly cloudy water. A quick 75% water change cleared it right up and everything looked normal again by the next morning.

have a good one, Jeremy
 

Gerryd

Plant Guru Team
Lifetime Member
Sep 23, 2007
5,623
20
38
South Florida
Jeremy,

An excellent idea........

I especially like that YOU used the method :)

I can see doing this in small parts of the substrate at a time. Uproot, vacuum a section. Add the silt, then trim and replant.......

New question:

Obvious, but where does one get river silt other than a river?

Is it only from certain areas of a river?

Can it be purchased?

Many thanks,
 

jonny_ftm

Guru Class Expert
Mar 5, 2009
821
2
16
Hi,

I'm going soon to start a new nano cube 8 gal tank. I'd like to follow the dry start method to carpet HC and/or glosso + crypts and mybe some small echino

In my area, I never saw ADA aquasoil. I could order some Flourite soil, but I don't really like the black and would prefer a sand version over gravel

Any idea if the other Flourite soils (sand, red, basic...) are as good as the black flourite gravel version you talk about.

Also, Flourite doesn't contain NPK. So, should I add them via CSM+B/KH2PO4/KNO3 that I mix with the soil for a dry start? In waht proportions in that case.

Many thanks, as I really don't know anything on substrates except the JBL Aquabasis Plus I used to have
 

jonny_ftm

Guru Class Expert
Mar 5, 2009
821
2
16
Hi,

Need to order my soil if I want to start my nano in 2-4 weeks
Any comments on my above questions, especially on the need of adding NPK to the soils?

Many thanks
 

kcharley

Junior Poster
Jan 21, 2009
24
0
1
Hi Johnny,

I won't be much help but I'll try.

As I recall, Seachem has the differences on their website.

I'm no chemist so the differences didn't mean anything to me.

I went with the Black Onyx sand based solely on looks and sand (It's my corycat tank.)

It's a low light tank, no CO2 with just java ferns, anubias, java moss, cabomba and water sprite(floating). All easy plants but they are generally growing well. The cabomba isn't great but is better than a similar tank with inert gravel and the water sprite is overtaking the entire surface (which it isn't doing in the inert gravel tank.)

One thing with Onyx Sand, it did leach low ammonia levels for about four weeks. I moved an establised filter to the tank from the start and was running .5 ammonia and .5 nitrite for the first week, .25 ammonia and .25 nitrite for weeks 2 and 3 and 0 ammonia and .25 nitrite for half the fourth week. I didn't expect this and had added the corys so I was doing daily 75%+ water changes. Didn't lose a single one and while they didn't look stressed they are livelier now that ammonia and nitrite are 0.

Sorry, I've not tried a dry start tank yet, so I have no experience to share there.

HTH.

Greg
 
K

km9172

Guest
Hopefully this isn't a dumb question, but I've been wondering...

If you have a Fluorite in the tank for a while, and don't vacuum it, does the accumulated mulm, in effect, become a somewhat nutrient rich layer over time? I realize this does depend on fertilization, amount of accumulated waste, etc, so it's hard to say "yes" or "no" specifically. Would there be a significant benefit to changing the substrate to Aquasoil, or adding river silt for Fluorite that's say, 6 months old?

I'm thinking there would be if you have heavy root feeders, but if you've got plants that can either take from substrate or water column, maybe not as much benefit.

What about using "mulm-infused" Fluorite in a low tech/low light tank?
 

VaughnH

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jan 24, 2005
3,011
94
48
85
Sacramento, CA
Gerryd;37239 said:
Jeremy,

An excellent idea........

I especially like that YOU used the method :)

I can see doing this in small parts of the substrate at a time. Uproot, vacuum a section. Add the silt, then trim and replant.......

New question:

Obvious, but where does one get river silt other than a river?

Is it only from certain areas of a river?

Can it be purchased?

Many thanks,

Well, since I live right alongside the American River I just walked across the levee to an area that is almost solid silt and dug some up. I can show you a satellite photo of the exact area if you want to fly here and dig some:D I suspect most rivers deposit silt along the banks, especially at curves in the river. Of course some river silt will mostly be industrial waste products, but that's another subject.
 

jonny_ftm

Guru Class Expert
Mar 5, 2009
821
2
16
kcharley;37513 said:
I went with the Black Onyx sand based solely on looks and sand (It's my corycat tank.)

it did leach low ammonia levels for about four weeks.

That's why I didn't plan on it

Now, I'm thinking Black Flourite Sand would be a better looking product for my nano, yet it is sand, as I like it

So still waiting to know if I have to add macro to my soil for a dry start

Also, vacuming flourite sand is easy or it will be all vacumed?
 

kcharley

Junior Poster
Jan 21, 2009
24
0
1
jonny_ftm;37536 said:
That's why I didn't plan on it

Now, I'm thinking Black Flourite Sand would be a better looking product for my nano, yet it is sand, as I like it

So still waiting to know if I have to add macro to my soil for a dry start

Also, vacuming flourite sand is easy or it will be all vacumed?

I don't really "vacuum" the sand. In the few open areas, I just wave the hose end above the gravel, see what raises off the sand and siphon it up before it lands again. If I get too close, the siphon will pick up the sand.
 

hbosman

Guru Class Expert
Oct 22, 2008
277
1
18
Leesburg VA USA
I have the Flourite Dark. It's a dark brown so, it "looks" a little more natural to me. I think it works just as well as the Flourite regular. I have never used the black.