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RE: Complaint about Flourite

Sylvia wrote:

> Wanted to mention a major problem with Flourite.
> I had to do a major rearrangement and trimming on a tank today.
> This is a full flourite tank. Unfortunately, I have many stem
> plants in this tank, some of which root profusely. While pulling
> up cabomba and r. macranda, to replant the tips, I found I was
> pulling out handfuls of roots that had spread throughout the
> nearby area, wrapped around other plants, etc. I even
> inadvertently wound up pulling up a crispus bulb nearby, that had
> not yet rooted too well.

This doesn't sound like a problem with the Flourite - I don't think that
anyone should complain that a particular substrate fosters an extensive root
system in stem plants. From what you have written, it sounds like your
"problem", if indeed one exists, is one of tank management (i.e. how you are
rearranging your plantings). Some stem plants DO form extensive and invasive
root systems - that's the nature of the beast. If it is causing a problem,
put the offending plants in a buried clay pot which will serve to contain
the root system.

> Even my h. zosterfolia, (I'd gotten tired of those black leaves
> and stems, and just cut off clean tips about 2 weeks ago and hid
> them under some sword leaves) were spreading all over. Who knew
> they'd even grow there?
> Major problem. Maybe the CO2 is to blame.

Again, what's the problem? If you have _some_ stem plantss which either
rotted off at the base, or failed to take root in the Flourite, I would tend
to lay the blame on your planting technique rather than the substrate - it
is quite common for stem plant cuttings to fail to set root if the cut end
is crushed, either when the cutting is made or when it is inserted into the

> I'm thinking this would have been the perfect substrate for a
> slow-growing low-light tank where I have crypts, some swords and
> anubias. It's 1/2 flourite, 1/2 gravel with FL laterite and
> TerraLit on the bottom. I get nowhere near the root system on
> some of these stems.

Crypts are slow growers and take a considerable amount of time to develop
massive root systems. It is unfair to compare the root system on a recently
planted Crypt and a fast growing stem plant. Apples and oranges. Likewise,
the root system on Anubias is there more as a holdfast than anything else
(although I'm sure that they can absorb nutrients through their roots).

> I should mention that even some stems with profuse roots were not
> necessarily doing that well though. It could be the murky water
> I've been dealing with since I upped the lighting a few weeks ago.

If you are conceeding that the "problem" might be caused by other factors
not related to the substrate, why blame the Flourite?

James Purchase