Caribsea Floramax - Substrates - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 08-02-2010, 09:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Caribsea Floramax

So today I've bought 24lbs of Caribsea's Floramax Midnight. The first thing I noticed about the substrate was it's texture. It's rough, really rough. I don't think cories would be very happy on this stuff. However it's very easy to mash my hand through. My thumb can penetrate very well through the substrate even when it's wet. The grain size is about 3-4mm in size. The stuff feels really light but it took minimal rinsing to get it to stop clouding the water. After only about 2minutes of sitting still any residual cloudiness dissipated.

I have yet to begin to plant or grow things in it. More info in a few weeks.
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Old 08-05-2010, 08:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Caribsea Floramax

I am looking forward to your review of this. *subscribe*
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Old 08-06-2010, 12:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Caribsea Floramax

Planting stems in this stuff is a bugger. Make sure you have tweezers and long ones at that. The stems won't stay in unless they are at least an inch deep. What I did was bury the stem 1cm into the substrate and use the really fine sandy grit that was left over from rinsing the substrate to hold the plants down. I have about 1 quart of this sandy stuff I saved from the rinse bucket and it is great at holding plants down.

It's been 3 days since I've planted and upon checking for root development, all the stems have begun to attach themselves to the substrate; they come up with bits of it stuck to their roots.

The substrate is seems to be crushed lava rock with crushed, baked laterite intermixed. It's a combination of both sand and pebbles.
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Old 08-21-2010, 10:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Caribsea Floramax

Things are going very well in the tank right now. The two blyxa japonica plants I purchased have spawned two more plants and have rooted heavily into the substrate. Everything seems to be doing very will except for my L. Arcuata. I don't know what's wrong with it but it has seen better days, that's for sure.
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Old 08-23-2010, 03:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Caribsea Floramax

I used this in my 20h a few months ago. Love the look of it, as it has some larger pieces in it. Plants grew awesome roots in it, being a low-tech tank.
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Old 09-07-2010, 10:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Caribsea Floramax

I guess here is my final synopsis of the substrates:

Pro-
Relatively inexpensive
Available at petsmart/co
Comes in black & red
Grows plants relatively well. Quick root development.

Con-
Very light, hard to clean the substrate without taking in a few pieces of the substrates. Also hard to plant in at first.
Coarse, You can't keep cories on this stuff.

In the end I do suggest this substrate as a budget alternative to flourite or eco-comp. I also suggest mixing at least 1:5 sand:floramax ratio to make planting easier.

Benchmarks I used:
Glosso in sand/clay vs. Glosso in floramax.

The glosso definitely grew in both substrates and at about equal rates.

One last note: This substrate scratches glass VERY easily, so be careful while moving stuff around like hardscaping.
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Old 09-08-2010, 04:38 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Caribsea Floramax

i too used floramax to fill my 125 (can you afford 20 bags of eco? lol) i used 2 40 pound bags and TOPPED them off with about 8-10 bags of eco and my plant growth is good! the only con i can think off is that when moving large plants a good amount of that flora max comes out with the root system and is messy/dusty and red lol
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Old 09-15-2010, 11:08 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Caribsea Floramax

I would like to add to make absolute sure you rinse the stuff. It is quite dusty.

Also, if you can get fine root plants like HC to stay when first planted they will attach themselves to the substrate very well as it has a lot of nooks and cranies for small roots to hold onto.

+1 on the roughness. It is a rough substrate. The stuff feels like a foot scrubber my GF bought from a salon one time.
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Old 05-29-2015, 04:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default

Hi everyone I was wondering what types of plants seem to grow best in floramax? I am assuming Crypts and Amazon swords would probably do well.
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Old 08-12-2015, 10:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Caribsea Floramax

I use floramax midnight and miracle gro on my 75 gallon. Pretty happy with it. I don't find it that light weight and have no problem with stems staying down. My perspective is also different because I replaced turface which is so light it practically floats. Some plants do better than others. But that isn't necessarily a substrate issue. If I redo this tank I'll go ahead and spend the $200-300 on the full ADA aqua soil and additive pack


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