Can I mix Flourite and Play Sand?

  1. BeagleSan Member Member

    So for my 55 gallon (currently barebottom) I wanna switch to flourite. I do not have the money to buy 3 bags :/ could I mix play sand and flourite and still have good results for plants?

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  2. Adam55 Well Known Member Member

    Yep. You might need root tabs, but still yes.
  3. Jake98 Member Member

    You can mix them, although the two different sized particles may separate into layers. I thought about doing this myself but never did as I worried the flourite and sand would form two separate layers.
  4. troyvsc Well Known Member Member

    Yep this and the play sand is very fine and would compact more not sure if that is good for plants. What about mixing it with pool filter sand?
  5. BeagleSan Member Member

    Is there a difference in pool filter sand and play sand?

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  6. Jomolager Well Known Member Member

    The instructions printed on Flourite bag do not recommend mixing Flourite with anything else.
  7. troyvsc Well Known Member Member

    There is quite a difference in size of the sand particals and the play sand is much dirtier to start off with. I have pics in my black sand substrate comparison in thwblinks below.
  8. BeagleSan Member Member

    So which would be better for plants?

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  9. troyvsc Well Known Member Member

    PFS imo as play sand is smaller and will compact more and that is not good for roots from what I have read.
  10. Adam55 Well Known Member Member

    Of course it says that. Then you buy more Fluorite. Sand is inert space-filler, so I don't think it will hurt anything. I know that a lot of dirted tanks will use a sand cap. Can't imagine it working in those cases and not in this one.
  11. Jomolager Well Known Member Member

    Flourite also does not recommend washing it, and with the exception of endlercollector and moi ( that I know of) everybody else washes it, and washes the nutritional elements away.

    The question is to trust or not to trust the manufacturer?
  12. BeagleSan Member Member

    So if I don't wash it, the nutrients will stay in?

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  13. BeagleSan Member Member

    Awesome! I'll also dose seachem root tabs.

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  14. Jomolager Well Known Member Member

    My Flourite guru is endlercollector, I direct all Flourite questions to her. :)
  15. BeagleSan Member Member

    Awesome! Thank you for the help too!

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  16. endlercollector Fishlore VIP Member

    You are hilarious, but I do like the idea of Flourite guru more than queen of mycobacteria.

    I can't answer the question of whether or not Flourite can be mixed with sand or gravel because I try to follow directions for a while before heading off on my own. I can do this safely in the kitchen, for instance, because I know enough not to poison my family, and my daughter can always eat a banana if she doesn't like my creation.

    As for mixing substrates, it depends on what your intentions are. Different materials will compact at different rates, and some will more likely sink to the bottom or end up on the top. With Eco complete, for example, the maker does say that the different size pieces and finer particles will end up in different layers over time. Generally, you understand, that manufacturers can do a lot more testing than most fish keepers who may only have a handful of tanks (except for some out-of-control people, whom I shall not name here LOL).

    Of course, as Adam55 notes, the manufacturer will make more money if it advises against mixing Flourite with cheaper materials. I'm watching a team may not matter as this is not a question of pure peanut butter versus cheap peanut butter made with fillers. After all, you are not going to ingest this substrate ;)

    This takes us back to the question of why do you want to use a dirt type of substrate in the first place? If you wish to plant heavily, then sand will not do your plants any good. I am from Hawaii and fresh water tropical plants do not grow in sand. It is always bizarre to me when people put sand in their tanks unless they have saltwater fish. The only reason why I ever considered sand (but decided not to use it) was because I wanted to find a way to avoid vacuuming gravel, which is difficult for me to do in my current health situation.

    Perhaps I am getting posters and threads confused, but if I remember correctly, this is a 55 gallon with goldfish that ultimately need a bigger tank. You were going to put in plants that are hardy and lowlight to eat up nitrates as per the advice of someone with goldfish who had figured out something that they would not devour too quickly.

    Since money is an issue for you as it is for many of us, let's try to think about several options, and you can see what may work for you.

    1) if this is just temporary until you can get the fish into a bigger tank, cheap and simple would be best. After all, why invest too much money in stuff that you can't easily use again? I would actually go with a bare bottom tank for ease of vacuuming, a corral full of duckweed which grows so quickly that it won't matter if the goldfish eat it, plus it needs no ferts or substrate, and a full spectrum fluorescent daylight reading lamp. I may be wrong, but I am under the impression that goldfish don't leap out casually, so a lid may not be necessary at all. I make corrals with fishing line and suction cups with plastic hooks. (I do need to keep the water level constant, so that the duckweed does not escape.) The lamp will be your biggest cost, but you might already own one. Fish use mine during the day, and I use it in the evening to read when they should be asleep ;) My only caveat is that you must track the temperature in case the lamp is too close and overheats the water.

    Here are a few pictures, please forgive the General disarray as I have been unwell


    2) if you want a lushly planted tropical tank, then I would just save up the money to get all Flourite at one time. I would not bother to do this with goldfish, quite frankly, as they are a temperate water fish in the first place and do not live naturally with a lot of plants. This may be a better route for you later on after these goldfish have moved on. You could make a nice Molly tank with this 55 gallon. There are mollies out there with beautiful koi patterns and goldfish colors. Swordtails are another possibility.

    3) sand is definitely your cheapest option for a substrate. However, I will have to tell you that I also did not choose it due to the heavy rinsing involved. I'm physically not in a place where I can do much of that, and actually this was one of the reasons why I went with Flourite and eco-complete. I would not bother with any plants that require ferts or have to be rooted from the get go but would rather go with Anubias, Java ferns, and others that you can tie to decorations or lightly anchor.

    I know this is an incredibly long post. I hope it answers some of your questions and gives you a few more details that might help you.
  17. BeagleSan Member Member

    No, this is their permanent home. I received the tank in Craigslist and it came with 4 comet goldfish (which I will rehome very soon) and I'm gonna keep my 4 fancies in there. I may just do potted plants though :) like amazon swords and possibly jungle val, I already have a lot of java fern and anubias in it right now, so maybe I will just keep it barebottom and add more rocks and wood.. Thank you!

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  18. Jomolager Well Known Member Member

    My Oranda, and yet still unknown Goldie will be moving into 40G of their own with bare bottom and lots of hornwort and the so called lucky bamboo. I have to have lots of plants due to high nitrates in my tap.

    Oranda is in a 29G now with black sand and lots of above mentioned floating plants she does not touch, but loves occasionally to tug on.

    I've read that the advice to not overfeed Goldies comes from people who know that more food=more poop, but ignore the fact that not enough food=starving goldfish that does not grow and has little or no immunity.

    The article I read recommends 3-4 small meals a day. I think my Oranda is happier and a lot more vigorous since she started getting one to two extra meals before. She now loves bananas. She has just lost a roommate. Yes, I know she needs a companion ASAP, and I know it will be easier to keep the water clean not having sand or any other substrate.

    My two cents.