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Re: Flourite and Algae


In your message, you say you "converted" your tank to 1/2 Flourite. I take
to mean that there was still water in the tank... at least a little.
Flourite is a
mineral-rich substrate which COULD be called a Laterite. I always say that
one should never add a laterite with water in the tank... even if there's
only an
inch over the gravel.  So -- sure, adding Flourite, or any other laterite,
for that matter, can cause sudden algae outbreaks.

The one thing I hate about Flourite is the amount of rinsing involved. I
more than a "light rinse" would be involved when I first got the tap running
to the bucket of Flourite, and the water gushing over the sides was red.
after a good 1.2 hours of washing per bag (I now have no nails!) in the sink
(I know.... it would have been a LOT easier with a hose outside), there was
some slight cloudiness from tiny chunks of Flourite breaking up when being
washed. If you didn't TOTALLY, and THOROUGHLY wash Flourite for a long time,
chances are even more nutrients got released into your water.

I'm also guessing that you had to mix your gravel with the Flourite, or
flatten it
out, and/or siphon it. Well, if you didn't totally rinse the heck out of it,
this would
release yet more nutrients into the water. Flourite contains nutrients, and
tiny bits hitting even a small amount of water would certainly release some
its iron, if not others. Most of these nutrients would hang around in your

What do you have now? A whole lot of nutrients floating about in your water.
many, in fact, that your plants can't use them fast enough. We all know that
all alga are opportunists and bums. If there's anything your tank can spare,
it'll ask for and take it. If there's a chance that algae can grow, it will.
are like jingling change in a passerby's pocket to this "bum algae."

Right now, the algae are feeding on your excess nutrients (I'm sure if you
measured Iron in your tank it would be through the "canopy" so to speak).
They're having a heck of a time with it, and gorging themselves. What I
do is do 30% water changes daily for three days to a week to get the excess
nutrients out. After that, I'd use a flocculent (like Clear Water, etc) to
bind any
larger particles and drop them down to where they should be... the gravel.
This will help. Also, scrape off any algae you see on-site.

Also, make sure to be careful of rutting around too much in the substrate...
this can release more nutrients into the water if you upset it too much.

Good luck with your algae!

-- Derek Wingert

> Date: Fri, 30 Apr 1999 16:49:47 EDT
> From: "Chaca Chaca" <chacachaca at hotmail_com>
> Subject: Fluorite and algae
> Hi,
> The algae problem in my 55 gal tank seems to have worsened ever since I
> converted the substrate to 50% Seachem Fluorite. I'm not sure exactly what
> kind of algae it is -- the back of the tank is covered with what seems to
> green algae, but the leaves of my plants are covered with a combination of
> dust (from the Fluorite, I believe) and fuzzy brownish algae.
> I had an algae problem to begin with (too many fish and too much leftover
> food resulting in nitrates of 50 mg/l) but it seems to have become worse
> with the Fluorite. Is this possible?