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Seachem Flourite Cloudiness bad for fish?

Discussion in 'The Planted Aquarium' started by MikeNYC, Feb 9, 2006.

  1. MikeNYC

    MikeNYC New Member 5 Year Member

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    I just set up a new tank and put down seachem. My tank is very cloudy, even though I rinsed the substrate. Is this cloudiness lethal for fish?
  2. farm41

    farm41 New Member 5 Year Member

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    It should not harm the fish, it is produced for fish tanks. Mine gets cloudy everytime I pull plants, no ill effects on the fish.
  3. kingborris

    kingborris New Member 5 Year Member

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    if you can, get old of a secondary filter packed with floss. this should quickly clear the cloudiness. but as said, it wont harm the fish.

    flourite is about the dirtiest stuff ive ever had in a fish tank
  4. MikeNYC

    MikeNYC New Member 5 Year Member

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    Do you think that the flourite is worth the dirt/cloudiness? I have Apistos coming, so I wanted to plant pretty heavily and I know it is good for plants. I love the color, but I can get a nice natural substrate from Caribsea that looks similar.

    The water today is 50% more clear (thanks to my new Eheim canister.) But, it still looks cloudy and I have ordered a bunch of fish coming in today, including the sensitive Apisto Eliza.

    Any problems with small fish who may like to eat invertebrates from the substrate, such as Apistos? For some reason, I didn't think of this stuff when I purchased the substrate.

    Thanks for your insights.
  5. aspen

    aspen Active Member 5 Year Member

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    your plants will benefit from clay in the substrate. you can mix flourite into another substrate to get this benefit as well. the cloudiness doesn't hurt fish, but i wouldn't put new apistos into a brand new planted tank. apistos are very sensitive to water quality and you are likely going to have issues for a while, unless you are a pro at planted tanks.

    do you have other tanks to house your new fish while this tank is settling down?

    i use a micron filter, i have a hob magnum 250 and also a magnum 350 caniister which will take the micron sleeves. this is esp helpful when you have a green water problem.

    i would strongly urge you to get your planted tank together with only algae eaters. play with it for a while till you get ALL of your problems sorted out.

    rick
  6. Cumb Dunt

    Cumb Dunt New Member 5 Year Member

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    My primary interest in the aquarium hobby is planted tanks, and I *HATE* (notice the capitalization and asterisks) Flourite.

    Eco-Complete or SAPS (Schultz Aquatic Plant Soil) are much better in my opinion.

    I am not the only one with this attitude. A lot of the aquarium maintenance guys that I play cards with have all but eliminated it from the planted aquaria they take care of because of a) potential for turbidity at the most minor of disturbances and b) poor plant growth.

    If you are looking to do something even cheaper than Eco or SAPS, there is a product on the market that is geared toward baseball diamond infields called "Turface". It's available in several colors, I think...you can call them to find out if there is a distributor near you (odds are it's in the boonies). In the words of Tom Barr, Turface is basically "poor man's Eco-Complete".

    If you are NOT going to use CO2, adding these substrates will probably not enhance plant growth very much. In a tank without CO2, my recommendation is a layer of topsoil of about 1" under a layer of standard, unwashed gravel. This method is a la Diana Walstad and is sometimes called the "Low Tech Method". The advantage to the low tech approach is a) NO water changes b) steady plant growth and c) fertilization is via overfeeding.

    I find the low tech method to be suited to most people's needs the best. The high tech method can be very expensive, at least if you want to do it right.
  7. MikeNYC

    MikeNYC New Member 5 Year Member

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    I am moving towards plain sand in this Amazon style tank, with some low light plants such as swords.

    Are there any plant friendly substrates that I put beneath the sand? Alternatively, what plant substrate mixes best with sand, perhaps Eco Complete? The flourite might look okay mixed with sand.
  8. Cumb Dunt

    Cumb Dunt New Member 5 Year Member

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    Are you planning on using CO2 or not?
  9. MikeNYC

    MikeNYC New Member 5 Year Member

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    No Co2, I am trying not to get too fancy. My PH is around 6.6.

    If I go with straight sand, will the swords grow? I hear that sand will crush the roots of all plants.
  10. aspen

    aspen Active Member 5 Year Member

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    i've had successful planted tanks with sand only with a small piece of jobe's fern and palm stick under the roots. the roots will aerate the sand. when the swords have been in there a while, you'll find the roots will fill the substrate.

    rick
  11. Cumb Dunt

    Cumb Dunt New Member 5 Year Member

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    Some literature you might want to investigate regarding this is Diana Walstad's book "Ecology of the Planted Aquarium". She illuminates an excellent, perpetually maintainable non-CO2 dependent methodology for growing aquatic plants.

    Plain sand will not be enough, IMHO. But if you wanted to run inert sand and CO2, with good dosing, it would work.

    There are two avenues you can go down :)
  12. aspen

    aspen Active Member 5 Year Member

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    >>' There are two avenues you can go down.'

    if there were only 2 roads, it would make planted tanks very easy. there are as many roads as you can find info on, or think up yourself! new products and methods seem to be arriving daily. diy projects abound, many of these are refined and put on the market.

    lots of choices, lots of reading and lots of doing for yourself will make it a worthwhile project with many twists and turns. jump in and try it- you'll like it.

    i started with my old 15 gal tank. i ripped it down and re-planted it a lot of times. it is a nice size because the lighting choices are limitless since it is a 2 foot tank, and you can re-do a tank from scratch in an evening. you can buy a whole new plant set-up or substrate choice etc cheap. i use it now as a quarentine tank for new plants and fish. you NEED a quarentine tank for a planted tank.

    rick
  13. Cumb Dunt

    Cumb Dunt New Member 5 Year Member

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    Well, I made that statement based on my experiences.

    There are basically 2 (3) kinds of planted tanks that I've come across that don't merely accrue algae and frustrate the living $#!t out of their keeper.

    The first method I ever tried with success is outlined in detail in Diana Walstad's book "Ecology of the Planted Aquarium". The basic statistics are this:

    Substrate: 1" of topsoil or garden soil under 1" of plain gravel
    Lighting: ~1.5-2 watts per gallon of T8 or T12 NO (normal output) 4100k. I ran mine also with a Sylvania "Gro-Lux" bulb with success. Walstad also recommends several hours of natural light every day, but I don't have that luxury since my fishroom is in my basement. That's part of the reason I used the Sylvania bulb.
    CO2: None
    Fertilization: Basically, overfeed. Unless your tank is heavily stocked to begin with.
    Other stuff: NO water changes. Maybe twice a year. But do top it off now and then :) Also, maintain a decent GH. If this means adding Seachem's Equilibrium or R/O Right or something, that's fine. 6 GH is a little on the low side but it will grow plants.
    Advantages vs. other methods: Cheap and virtually maintenance-free.
    Disadvantages vs. other methods: Will not grow some of the more demanding plants.

    Walstad's method works for me with astounding success. In every tank I've set up using this method, I've had NO algae, very impressive plant growth, and clean water. But I haven't been able to grow very red plants or softwater stuff at ALL.

    The second method I use is what is referred to by Walstad as "the high-tech method" and ALSO works:

    Substrate: Porous clay (i.e. Eco-Complete, Flourite, Schultz Aquatic Plant Soil (SAPS), Turface, etc.) I use Eco mixed with SAPS.
    Lighting: 2+ watts per gallon of whatever kind of lighting you like the most...some use metal halides, some use power compacts (that's what I use)...still others use VHOs or T5 bulbs and yet even others use combinations of these. It really depends on the size of the tank and what equipment you can get easily or cheaply.
    CO2: Pressurized with a reactor of some kind. I feed mine into the intake of my Fluval 404 that I filled with bio balls. 30-40 ppm CO2 is optimal.
    Fertilization: If you go with Tom Barr's estimative index ("EI"), you're dumping fertilizers in all the time. For "macronutrients" (Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K)), most people just use potassium nitrate and mono potassium phosphate, both available cheaply at www.gregwatson.com. For trace elements, just plain old Flourish is fine, but there are reports of TMG (Tropica Master Grow) working better than Flourish. Some use CSM+B, which is also available at Greg's site. I don't use CSM because it has Mg (magnesium) in it and it unbalances my GH. If you do use CSM+B, you won't need to add any iron...but if you go with TMG or Flourish it's good to add Flourish iron or some other liquid iron source. Anyway, optimum values are Nitrate: 10-15-(20) ppm, Phosphate: 1-2 ppm. Potassium isn't usually an issue if you use the two chemicals I talked about above.
    Other stuff: Weekly water changes to prevent any buildup of unused compounds and to remove organic wastes.
    Advantages vs. other methods: Will grow most any plant quickly and beautifully.
    Disadvantages vs. other methods: Can be expensive, and it can also be difficult to "get the hang of" for some people.

    The third method I call the "impossible machine", i.e. something that just works despite naysayers and unlikelihood :)

    Wow, I didn't realize my post would be that long! Anyway, that's only MY take on it...but I have done most every method you can think of (including using kitty litter as a substrate) and the first two I outlined I think work the best :)