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seachem-flourite-black gravel

Discussion in 'Sediment / Substrate' started by inkslinger, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. inkslinger

    inkslinger Guru Class Expert

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  2. reef12

    reef12 Member

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    No but I have the red one, no problem so far.

    But should of got the black one like you want.

    Jeff
     
  3. inkslinger

    inkslinger Guru Class Expert

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    Looks just like Eco Complete with out the liquid, I'm looking on trying this also for a 60x18 tank
     
  4. rjordan393

    rjordan393 Guru Class Expert

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    I had the red fluorite in my 75 gallon for 22 months. From the beginning, I gave it a through rinse until the rinse water ran clear. I rinsed about 8 lbs at a time. What I did not know is that this material continues to dissolve into a fine like mud. For about two weeks, I had to clean my filters two times aweek and replace the filter pads because of this mud. After which, the gravel finally settled down. When it came time to vacuum it, I could not tell the difference between fish waste or uneaten food from this fine mud and thought it was fish waste and uneaten food. When I started to add plants, the water became so cloudy; I could not see through it.
    This is when I thought, maybe I did not do a good job cleaning the gravel. So I removed my fish and plants and placed them in a 30 gallon tank and proceeded to use the 75 gallon tank water to clean the gravel using a fine mesh sieve. A lot of the fine like mud was removed in this manner.
    The cleaned gravel was placed in five gallon buckets. Then I pumped out the dirty water and removed all the mud and cleaned the tank and filled it back up.
    When I got the temperature up, I placed my fish and plants back in. Everything seemed ok for about eight weeks and I decided to vacuum the gravel. I was still removing more mud then fish waste and uneaten food. From there on out, I just had to put up with it until I got fed up with it. Finally in October, I removed the gravel and replaced it with Eco-Complete and I am very pleased with this new gravel. It does not dissolve as easy as the fluorite.
    I also suspected that the fluorite mud interfered with the free flow of oxygenated water through the gravel.

    The only negative I see with the Eco-Complete is that it is so light that you have to use plant weights to hold them down or place them in a plastic pot that has slits on the sides and bottom for roots to find their way out. Its been about five weeks now since the change over and I can see it was a good move. The Eco-Complete also has many more traces in it then the fluorite.
     
  5. rjordan393

    rjordan393 Guru Class Expert

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    I had the red fluorite in my 75 gallon for 22 months. From the beginning, I gave it a through rinse until the rinse water ran clear. I rinsed about 8 lbs at a time. What I did not know is that this material continues to dissolve into a fine like mud. For about two weeks, I had to clean my filters two times aweek and replace the filter pads because of this mud. After which, the gravel finally settled down. When it came time to vacuum it, I could not tell the difference between fish waste or uneaten food from this fine mud and thought it was fish waste and uneaten food. When I started to add plants, the water became so cloudy; I could not see through it.
    This is when I thought, maybe I did not do a good job cleaning the gravel. So I removed my fish and plants and placed them in a 30 gallon tank and proceeded to use the 75 gallon tank water to clean the gravel using a fine mesh sieve. A lot of the fine like mud was removed in this manner.
    The cleaned gravel was placed in five gallon buckets. Then I pumped out the dirty water and removed all the mud and cleaned the tank and filled it back up.
    When I got the temperature up, I placed my fish and plants back in. Everything seemed ok for about eight weeks and I decided to vacuum the gravel. I was still removing more mud then fish waste and uneaten food. From there on out, I just had to put up with it until I got fed up with it. Finally in October, I removed the gravel and replaced it with Eco-Complete and I am very pleased with this new gravel. It does not dissolve into mud like the fluorite.
    I also suspected that the fluorite mud interfered with the free flow of oxygenated water through the gravel.

    The only negative I see with the Eco-Complete is that it is so light that you have to use plant weights to hold them down or place them in a plastic pot that has slits on the sides and bottom for roots to find their way out. Its been about five weeks now since the change over and I can see it was a good move. The Eco-Complete also has many more traces in it then the fluorite.
     
    #5 rjordan393, Dec 8, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 8, 2013
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I have been very happy with the Black flourite sand, the best inert sediment out there.
    Better than the EC and better on asethetics.

    But hard on washing the fines out. EC is ready to go there.
     
  7. gparr

    gparr Subscriber

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    What is the recommended way to rinse the black sand?
     
  8. Christophe

    Christophe Subscriber
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    Put one bag at a time into a 5 gallon bucket outside, run a garden hose into it, stirring through all of it by hand. Periodically dump off most of the water slowly. You're there when what stirs up settles back down fairly soon. Takes about 10 minutes per bag, but gets it really clear.
     
  9. rjordan393

    rjordan393 Guru Class Expert

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    Tom,
    You are comparing sand to gravel. The thread is about gravel. For what its worth to others who consider using Seachems fluorite gravel. I cannot see how one can keep this clay based gravel from breaking down into fine like mud. If the sand is clay based, then the same problem will develop.
    Their gravel is more flat then granular and has sharp edges. This makes it difficult to plant a stem plant by using your finger to make a planting hole. When one does this, the bottom of the stem gets mashed. However, I did get around this by using a plastic spoon to make a planting hole; then by using another tool to guide the stem into the hole and then using the spoon to push the gravel in place. This gravel also packs down hard and is ok for plants with thick roots like swords.
    If you compare the traces in both, Eco-Complete wins. It also is easy to clean by vacuum. Each has their pro's and con's but in the end, the gravel that causes the least amount of clouding is the one I would pick.
     
  10. rjordan393

    rjordan393 Guru Class Expert

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    Tom,
    You are comparing sand to gravel. The thread is about gravel. For what its worth to others who consider using Seachems fluorite gravel. I cannot see how one can keep this clay based gravel from breaking down into fine like mud. If the sand is clay based, then the same problem will develop.
    Their gravel is more flat then granular and has sharp edges. This makes it difficult to plant a stem plant by using your finger to make a planting hole. When one does this, the bottom of the stem gets mashed. However, I did get around this by using a plastic spoon to make a planting hole; then by using another tool to guide the stem into the hole and then using the spoon to push the gravel in place. This gravel also packs down hard and is ok for plants with thick roots like swords.
    If you compare the traces in both, Eco-Complete wins. It also is easy to clean by vacuum. Each has their pro's and con's but in the end, the gravel that causes the least amount of clouding is the one I would pick.
     
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Sand is much easier to plant in. Ec has the same issue and is light(er) weight.
    Old EC that was black I liked, they have this new stuff with 3-4 different materials mixed in and bits of red crap, I really did not like it.

    The sand is fine and roots plants very well, even the delicate types. Belem hair grass etc:
    [​IMG]


    That's some pretty dense fine rug. So.......

    Looks nice, hard to beat if sand if your thing vs say ADA clay type sediments.
    Yes, after some time, they(ADA soft clays etc) turn to muck. Varies though depending on how you treat it and replanting, trimming methods etc, fish also.

    The gravel is okay, the flat slag locks together and the roots get pretty well lodged after a few weeks, but the interm might be tough for some species, say Erios that came in bad shape.
    The sand does a better job in terms of looks and plant growth I'd say overall. I think folks have had more issues with the red Flourite. I poersonally do not like the look so I've never used it personally.

    I use the running water method to clean Flourite.
    But, if you think Flourite is a PITA to get clean and mucks up the water in a new tank, try redoing a tank with ADA AS. Hehehe, that's a whole other level of mess.
    EC was the best new inert sediment for set up for myself, but over time, I've preferred Flourite black sand.
    I tend to use ADA AS or the Mr Aqua Aquatic plant sand which is similar to ADA. Does not last forever, but......has other attributes.
    There are going to be trade offs with most of these sediments.

    As far as Traces, both companies market this tripe and it is frankly, manure. This stuff is essentially inert.
    Both product brands. They can say they contain these elements, but what form they are in matters. SiO2 is hardly a source of plant bioavailable O2.
    This same tripe was used for marketing Tourmaline and weird water filtration miracle no water changer devices etc.

    Take this elemental chart Jamie Johnson did about 15 years ago:

    http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/plant_substrates_chart.php

    I can assure you that Yolo loam, South Carolina top soil etc, has far far more bio available nutrients than Turface or Floruite.
    You can put plants in pots with each type and if you wanted to add EC, same deal, and you'd see a massive difference in growth between the soils and the Ec, Flourite, Turface etc. Elemental chemical analysis does not imply anything about plant growth.

    ADA played this same marketing garbage comparing Plain inert sand and plain water to ADA AS and then also PS to plain sand.
    One has ferts, the other does not. Well, duh.
    Of course one will do better with such a comparison.
    It's like adding CO2 vs not or plenty of light vs hardly any.


    If the red flourite was a PITA, I'd write to SeaChem and let them know it's falling apart and super dusty.
    Folks have done this to ADA and their revised ADA AS got a lot of bad reviews and they changed and went back to the old stuff.
    I've never had issues or problems over the short or long term with Black Flourite sand, which is why I mentioned it. Did not turn to muck or mud, not dusty when I uprooted plants(anymore than plain sand etc).
    Does it have the same fertility as ADA AS? No way, they are essentially inert, but tend to have very porous grains which lend well to bacteria and perhaps cycling of incoming detritus etc.
    Same can be said for the EC with the only difference being grain sizing/aesthetics, and cleaning the initial batch(biggest issue for me personally).










    Nothing is perfect.
     
  12. rjordan393

    rjordan393 Guru Class Expert

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    A good response Tom.
    So it comes down to our needs and manufacturers hype on their products. Seachems black sand must be different then their gravel in some way. The only experience I had with sand was when I maintained a marine reef and eventually I had a problem with hydrogen sulphide when ever I disturbed the sand bed. So I will leave it to the user on what type of sediment he will be happy with based on other users experience.
     
  13. rjordan393

    rjordan393 Guru Class Expert

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    A good response Tom.
    So it comes down to our needs and manufacturers hype on their products. Seachems black sand must be different then their gravel in some way. The only experience I had with sand was when I maintained a marine reef and eventually I had a problem with hydrogen sulphide when ever I disturbed the sand bed. So I will leave it to the user on what type of sediment he will be happy with based on other users experience.
     
  14. Kathy328i

    Kathy328i Lifetime Members
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    I have been very happy with black fluorite. It has stayed black and only becomes dark grey when matter settles on it. To rinse it, i punched a few small holes in a plastic bucket and put in a few layers of cheesecloth on the bottom. Put in one bag at a time and stir. Let the water drain out. It is absolutely true that as you jostle the grains, they will break down a bit so do not overdo the stirring.
     
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