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Well, I must believe in this stuff because when you put your hard-earned money (is there any other kind?) down on 300lbs of this stuff, in this case 20 bags for $250.00, you must believe in it. The killer is, as soon as you pay you have to start humping this stuff out to the car, deliver it home, bend over (owe, my back!) to pick it up and out of the trunk and now into the house, etc.

When I lay out that kinda money, I expect a bellhop to appear and...

Nevermind.

Anyway, I've been very happy with this substrate over the years and I know it to be a one time purchase. Switch tanks? Sterilize it if need be in an oven or better yet, a BBQ grill. Now there has been some controversy concerning the use of bleach with this material. The one time I used straight pool chlorine on it the liquid turned quite red/brown -- almost as if I was leeching out ...well, something.

Not good.

There again, it shouldn't be necessary to use straight pool chlorine and a much diluted mix would have undoubtedly done the job of killing all the attached life within without pulling the guts out of this expensive clay.

...and clay it is too, I believe -- a manufacturing origin of Georgia, a state famous for it's red clay and bricks, makes this a dead givaway. It's fired, I'm sure but I wonder if they add anything else? I really should ask Dr. Morin at Seachem about this.

Err...the proper method for sterilizing it, I mean.

Perhaps I will and I'll post his reply -- or better yet -- maybe I'll invite him over here to take the stand himself!

What about you guys -- anybody using this product and loving it? What are your experiences good and bad and what about the black sand-like Onyx? Anyone object to its purported ability to buffer the pH? Think this property was a planned or unplanned bonus or disaster?
 

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Hey Bob.

I think Flourite is some type of fracted clay. I don't recall right now.

Along with ADA's Aqua Soil, it was the first product to come out that made substrate easy. Before then, we used to have to get involved with substrate mixes that may or may not work.

The down side to Flourite, IMHO, is that it requires quite a bit of washing to get rid of the dust. Also, it only comes in one color. Lastly, I'm not too fond of the fracted clay particles. I prefer rounded edged particles.

Also, IMHO, I prefer to have some organics in the substrate that Flourite doesn't provide.
 

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Art, I suggested some years back to make a rounded grain substrate with less dust to Greg, but they were selling it and making $ so......

The flat grain shapes are good for locking plants in the substrate, but I'd rather lose that and have a round shape.

I also want a substrate that's white or light tan. Eco complete seems a bit more to my liking at the moment.

Perhaps SeaChem will come out with a rounded light colored substrate 2-3mm dia.

The Eco complete tanks I've set up have been doing well, they had less dust(none) but after a few months it's difficult to tellm, but it does make the set up easier, and looking at Bob's 300lbs or washing:), I am not jealous!

I still like flourite a great deal, onyx is an improvement but the rising issue is weighed by the shipping of the water issue.

There is no perfect solution from the maker's perspective.

But that's what I'd want, light tan natural color, round grains 2-3mm, low dust content.

You can BTW, bake your own(hint hint) and add macro nutrtients to this and use this as your base fert(say the bottom 1/2") and add KNO3/KH2PO4/traces(CMS etc) to it before cooking it.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Tom,

If it ain't broke, why fix it I guess?

I'm actually experimenting with a substrate that meets your characteristics. It is light-medium tan and has round particles that are 2-3 mm size. Kinda like Amano's Aqua Soil. It does have quite a bit of dust that must be washed off in some way.

The issues I'm seeing with it is that it seems to eat Ca and Mg initially. It's a good thing really as this makes them available to the roots in the future, however the tanks GH/KH can drop precipitously in the beginning.

If it passes my tests, would you mind taking some and giving me your thoughts? I'm sending some to Bob as well.
 

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I'm constantly getting flourite stuck to the magnet scraper on a tank at work. I would guess that's some good Iron content. :)

My only beef with Flourite is that it's been prone to getting algae growing on it. I know a few people who've had this problem so I doubt it's just me.
 

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I use flourite mixed with eco-complete 50/50, and I have had great results. It definately is a great substrate and is necessary for echinodorus species as well as many others. I am not sure of its iron content but it must be good from the results I have seen with my swords.
 

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Art, sure.
I'm mainly looking for a lighter colored product.

Also, if you cook some KNO3, KH2PO4, traces in there and try this as a base fert and the other as capper, I think you will provide a good line of products for a variety of methods folks may want to try(heavy or light water column dosing etc).

The ferti plant from Dupla is mighty costly and we now know that NH4/Urea is not our friend, not PO4 or NO3.

Calling up Jobes, Miracle Grow, other fert companies to see about having something made might be an idea. Cheap is good. DIY is good also though.

Folks can still compare water column to substrate results with Miracle grow sticks(these have less NH4/Urea content) but I've found what the research literature suggest, so I still stick with the water column(except for iron and porous stucture) but it's not bad to have nutrients in both places since plants will take them up from both regions.


I like Eco complete more than flourite but there's a cost difference.
I'd not worry much about Ca/Mg drop, nothing regular water changes do not modulate.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Flourite interests me a great deal, but the cost is a huge factor for me. In a 70 gallon tank I would need a whole lot and I have yet to find it for cheap enough that I could afford the expense. I am thinking laterite/gravel mix would be cheaper, but then what about clouding up the water every time you move a plant around. Is this something I should worry about?
 

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I wouldn't stress out about cloudy water since this could be avoided fairly easy by introducing water when substrate (Flourite) is completely dry. Works like a charm and even presented by Karen at AGA'03.

My main concern w/ Flourite is visual appearance. Color is way too bright especially when 9,000K and higher level bulbs are used. Many of present aquascapers, who use Flourite, tend to cover entire substrate to eliminate this annoying appearance.

My money is on Eco-complete and Onyx as for as appearance. The actual juice could be boost with either one.
 

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I hate Carbi Sea though, from what I understand, suddenly when folks started buying aragonite Southdown play sand at Home Depot they pulled stuff to protect reef folks from buying at Home Depot for 3$ a 50lb bag and now no one can get it from Home Depot.
Now they think reef folks will have to buy there 30$ for 15lbs of aragonite sand. They make Eco complete BTW.

Screw that. I found a place that sells aragonite sand for a bit more from a place in AL.

SeaChem? They are the hobbyist choice for service, help, including working deals for large orders etc.
They are active and involved in the plant hobby?
Who's the prez of CarbiSea? I've never seen any of them out hitting the AGA/APD or forums.

All I see as a consumer is greedy company protecting their reef market.

I do not find that much difference in terms of growth between any of the three, but I sure have a lot more loyalty that's been earns the old fashioned way by SeaChem.

I seldom voice this opinion but it's something folks can look up on reef list and also know about regarding SeaChem's efforts.
It gets me pissed off. I hate when a compnay sells something in another market, then when folks start switching markets and realizing it's only 3$ for 50lbs, they pull it and try and force folks to pay the extra 33X extra cost.

It obviously doesn't cost them that much, but they add a reef hobbyist gouge to the bottom line. That's not right.

I chose to spend my $ where I think it is best and not just based on some subtle difference between products.

Maybe none of that matters to you, it does to me.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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plantbrain said:
I hate Carbi Sea though, from what I understand, suddenly when folks started buying aragonite Southdown play sand at Home Depot they pulled stuff to protect reef folks from buying at Home Depot for 3$ a 50lb bag and now no one can get it from Home Depot.
I'm using that sand in my african setup. You can't beat that price.

I had people from TX asking me to send it to them. 50lbs bags :roll:
 

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Jay Luto said:
I wouldn't stress out about cloudy water since this could be avoided fairly easy by introducing water when substrate (Flourite) is completely dry. Works like a charm and even presented by Karen at AGA'03.
Oh my gosh! So I guess it *wasn't* my imagination... I had a teeny bit of Flourite left over from a bag I must have bought three years ago. It was completely dry and was stored in a paper bag. I went to rinse the heck out of it a few months ago when I needed it, but lo and behold - it barely even produced cloudiness. I tried to think back to see if I had actually used this saved material before, but I was pretty sure it was unused. So I guess this explains it - if it's completely dry, it doesn't muddy up the water.

Thanks! Mystery solved... :wink:

-Naomi
 

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Yes, you can sell it Jay, there are many that will pay you for it etc.
Why pay 30 for 15lbs whern you can buy 50lbs for 3-5$?

Seems like gouging of the aquairum hobbyist, sort of like some plant companies, but I've not seen that with SeaChem.

Still, I like some market competition with Flourite so it's good for us and perhaps will lead to a better product from them.

But the Eco complete stuff is good, I just don't care for the company. It's their right to do that, but good will is very tough to buy once you lose it.

I stopped making my CO2 reactors(unless someone asks me to) since Mr Ghori came up with an easy to explain DIY CO2 reactor for 10$.

Some things you just let go of and help the hobbyist/consumer out on and try to make $ eslewhere rather than market protection.
The good will there really brings in loyalty and trust, that nmeans something to me, espeically when the differences between the two is not great.


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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flourite

Hi all,
I'm new here, just joined several days ago and this site has rekindled my passion for planted aquariums. With all this talk about a clay substrate lighter than Flourite, you all might want to go down to Home Depot and get some Aquatic Soil made by Profile. It is a little finer than flourite and has a nice, unassuming khaki color. I have used it by itself, and mixed 50/50 with Flourite and have had great results with it.

This stuff is located in the gardening section near the fertilizers. It comes in 10# bags, I recall and is WAY CHEAPER than Flourite.
 

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Profile/Aquatic plant soil etc is mighty expensive really, 7$ for 10lbs when Flourite can be had for 15$ for 15lbs. A savings of only 4.50$ a bag, that might add up over 10 bags to a savings of 45$, but still not that much............

Now if you want to save some money and promte it as a REAL savings, use MPV turface which is similar in all respects to Profile except is 8$ for 50lbs.......................

Got a problem with the light weight?, Add 50:50 sand.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Where are you able to buy a bag for 15$? My LFS sells it for 20$. Online it's 15$ plus 4.50$ on shipping or so. Schultz Aquatic Plant Soil is less than half the price of Flourite where I live.

Carlos
 

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My LFS sells it 15.99.
Eco complete is 26.99.
Lowes and Home Depot sell the profile Schultz stuff for 6.98 for 10 lbs, not the 15+lbs.

Either way, Turface is much cheaper.

I've seen onyx on sale on line for 12$ for a 15lb bag several times including Drs F&S etc.

If you are buying a large amount Greg at SeaChem has worked deals for folks and so have LFS's for reduced cost.

It's mainly a shipping issue and also some packaging, the products themselves are not expensive.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 
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