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Seachem Flourite Black Sand

Discussion in 'Product Reviews' started by MOD_Dawn, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    ai55.tinypic.com_2vamedw.jpg

    I purchased a bag of this at Oddballs Pets for $29.99 for a 7kg bag, this was an impulse buy as the kiddo was anxious to get his shrimp tank up and running so to speak and I had store credit so gave in which was a HUGE mistake.

    First, as I knew when I stood there looking at the pricetag I highly overpaid (coulda had it shipped to my door for less). I know, I know about the markup and smallish stores needing to charge more so I figured I was helping a smallish store stay in business and sucked up the pricetag and the fact that it was more.

    Homeward bound and open the bag to rinse it per the recommendations of the store owner, spent well over an hour (5gal. bucket, fill, drain, fill, drain, fill, drain) and no matter how many times it still would rinse "dirty".

    Followed the mfr. recommendations of allowing it to "settle" for a couple hours (I think it said 2-12h) and waiting for 2 days and the entire tank looked like someone poured mud in it and swirled it. Couldn't see a darn thing!

    Major water change...well actually about 3 back to back figuring this would surely clear it up. Well it didn't. So per the mfr. recommendations off it would be in the morning to pick up a bottle of Seachem Clarity.

    3.4 fl oz. of Seachem Clarity at Petsmart = $4.99. Dose the tank during the evening and by morning the tank was crystal clear..only thing that remained was the "dusty" appearance of the inner tank walls and top layer of the substrate where everything appeared to "settle". No biggy, a couple of paper towels and partial solved that right quick.

    Downfall, upon doing the partial I quickly learn that anytime anything disturbs this substrate that it quickly becomes "murky" yet again. I do a quick search online and learn this is a clay based substrate...my first experience with one and I'm quick to say it's not a positive one.

    Re-dosed with Seachem Clarity and the tank sits in front of me crystal clear, but I fear once I attempt to do my routine partials that I will deal with a cloudy/murky mess. Hoping that once the filter arrives (running a Penguin 660R sponge now, until the eheim comes)...that if I toss some carbon in that the carbon should finally do the trick..or at least I'm hoping so :rolleyes:

    And if this all isn't bad enough, it doesn't appear the "crystal" black that I was looking for...it appears to have more of a greyish mixed with black cast. UGH!!!! facepalm

    I WILL NEVER RECOMMEND THIS PRODUCT TO ANYONE FOR THE ABOVE STATED REASONS!

    http://www.seachem.com/Products/product ... kSand.html
     
  2. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    Here's 2 pictures that I took today displaying the tank with the substrate in it. You can clearly see the substrate appears to have a greyish cast.

    ai54.tinypic.com_1zfud0y.jpg

    ai55.tinypic.com_r29cb9.jpg
     
  3. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    I did contact Seachem in regards to this product, wondering if the possiblity exists that I simply got a "bad" bag.
    Waiting to hear back.

    http://www.seachem.com/Contact/Contact.html
     
  4. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    I was quite happy to receive a prompt reply and actually was able to speak with someone regarding this.
    The gentleman I spoke with told me being it's a clay based substrate that it may have been jostled more during transit causing the extreme cloudiness that I experienced/am experiencing and said he would need to speak to their chemist as it could possibly have something to do with the water chemistry/pH (even though the product says it doesn't alter the pH, it sounded like pH can alter the product?). Then he went on to tell me he had it in his own personal planted tank on top of flourite (mainly for accent color) and that it is a VERY dark grey and not black (what the heck?). It was suggested that I pull the substrate out of the tank and rinse it more (placing it in a bucket and quickly spilling off the water and not giving it a chance to "settle" per say)..I will definately NOT be going through this and I even informed him that I would toss it before going through more of a headache with this substrate as I feel after all I've done that it should be crystal clear without additional "dust" or "residue" as they call it...and to achieve what- a grey product and NOT a black one. Ugh! Why me?!

    When asked what I would like them to do, simply enough I stated I'd like a substrate that's actually black as the bag stated..BLACK substrate. He said they don't do monetary damages, but maybe he could speak to someone to see about getting out a "care package" of products that I use/may use.

    Don't get me wrong, I love Seachem products...just NOT this particular one. Live and learn I guess, but if it's going to be dark Grey once it's placed in water it shouldn't be allowed to be labeled as a "BLACK" substrate don't ya think?
     
  5. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    Well the Seachem rep quickly called back and after viewing my pictures and checking the tanks at work that contained this substrate agreed that the color is different that what he is seeing in their tanks. He double checked with me that the bag did in fact say flourite BLACK sand, which I assured him it did and even remarked that it wasn't even the color of their ONYX sand and went on to offer me one of two things...either a replacement bag of the same size of Flourite Black sand (which I declined being he stated that it wasn't black, it would be actually moreso a very dark grey when in the water and that is NOT what I wanted) OR to receive a Seachem "care package" which would more than likely contain various things like Prime and plant stuff.

    I opted for the latter of the two choices so it looks like I'll be receiving a "Care package". The gentleman I spoke with was extremely nice and apologized numerous times for the inconvenience and said he will try to personally get it together and have it hopefully arrive within 2 weeks which I said would be perfectly fine being I'm in no hurry :)
     
  6. Ben

    Ben New Member

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    Seachem seems to be a well run company Im glad to see they were able to atleast get a care package together for you.

    It is really wierd they admit it isn't black but sell it as black sand.
     
  7. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    That's exactly what I thought, maybe it's because they carry the onyx sand which is grey and they figure this is darker and didn't want to call it dark grey?
     
  8. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    Seachem Care Package Arrived Today

    Well the "care package" arrived today and consisted of the following:
    [*]250ml Seachem Prime
    [*]250ml Seachem Trace
    [*]250ml Seachem Flourish
    [*]250ml Seachem Flourish Excel

    ai54.tinypic.com_157cbki.jpg
     
  9. HBIC

    HBIC Need help??? That's what we're here for :)

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    That's a darn good care package if you ask me :)
     
  10. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    Yep, I was satisified :)
    Better than getting another bag of grey substrate...and I'll use the plant goodies up in the 90g to see if we get any improved results.
     
  11. Robin Milford

    Robin Milford New Member

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  12. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    Hmm..now the onxy I seen at the lfs was more grainy like .. sand.
    That looks more like a gravel rather than sand?
    weird huh Robin.
     
  13. HBIC

    HBIC Need help??? That's what we're here for :)

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    I have had nothing but problems with all the designer substrates, I will use pea gravel in all my tanks from now on. I actually prefer it to sand even.
     
  14. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    I'm with you on that one, but I prefer the sand (tightly packed so no muck get's between it like gravel).

    Three substrates I will use and recommend will be Pool Filter Sand, Eco-Complete Planted Black, and Tahitian Moon Sand 2cents
     
  15. HBIC

    HBIC Need help??? That's what we're here for :)

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    I hate TMS and wouldn't recommend it to be used for anything but throwing away....LOL
     
  16. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    Really? I know you said you had bad experiences with it but I'm loving it in the shrimp tank and had good experiences with it in past setups too.

    Just goes to show you every BAG of substrate can be different I guess.