Fluval stratum that bad?
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:33 PM   #1
Option
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Fluval stratum that bad?


Was at my LFS today asking about their substrates for sale. The old man showed me two kinds he had (one of which was Fluval stratum). The Fluval stratum was actually more expensive than the other one....I think the other substrate was similar to a black fluorite.

Despite the stratum being more expensive he old man actually advised against it saying that stratum was clay-like and eventually with time w/ decentigrate into dust-like sized particles rendering it useless. And then the substrate will have to be completely replaced.

Can anyone comment on this? What other substrates will degenerate over time like this and which substrates keep it's integrity (as far as size of the particles)??
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:44 PM   #2
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I have been using fluval stratum for some time now and I'll give you my two cents..

It won't break down as quickly as you think. It will take some time, probably 2 years or more (I noticed after 1.5 years parts of the stratum were disintegrating but 90% of it was still intact). It is also relatively inert so you will have to add some substrate tablets to fertilize your plants. It is also not recommended to mix with sand or other substrates because they won't mix well since the stratum is relatively light. It will not float but its dust will settle quickly which is nice if you have to disturb the substrate. I wouldn't recommend this substrate for bottom sifting fish like corys. My shrimp certainly enjoy sifting through it!

Let me know if you have any other questions
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:48 PM   #3
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doesnt aqua soil do the same thing? i've kept stratum and yes some of it will break down over time but i've had it in a tank for over a year and i havent had a problem with it. eco complete and flourite doesnt break down, and they have a high cec so they'll absorb nutrients from the water.
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:52 PM   #4
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The substrate sticky lists stratum as:

Fluval Stratum-
Pros: contains some nutrients, doesn't leach ammonia, good particle sizes
Cons: Cost, Must Be Rinsed (This is debatable as some suggest not rinsing to keep water clear.)

(In my experience, i have both rinsed and not rinsed the stratum and i definitely recommend not rinsing to avoid super cloudyness)
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarbyte View Post
The substrate sticky lists stratum as:

Fluval Stratum-
Pros: contains some nutrients, doesn't leach ammonia, good particle sizes
Cons: Cost, Must Be Rinsed (This is debatable as some suggest not rinsing to keep water clear.)

(In my experience, i have both rinsed and not rinsed the stratum and i definitely recommend not rinsing to avoid super cloudyness)
So this raises another question I've always had, why does rinsing the substrate before adding it cause it to be increasingly coudy??
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:18 PM   #6
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Because it's dirt. Vigorous water flowing over it will cause it to break down more quickly. That's why you don't rinse it.
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:58 PM   #7
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I have this in my 5 gallon and I've grown to hate it.

Pretty much small balls of dirt that will break down. You can pinch one ball of it and it turns to goop. Rearranging things in the tank is a pain because of how cloudy it gets.
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Old 11-17-2012, 04:56 AM   #8
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I have fluval stratum and I've actually haven't had problems with clouding my tank at all. How are you guys cleaning your Stratum BTW?
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Old 11-17-2012, 06:01 AM   #9
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its not "bad", just depends on what you use it on. IMO its perfect substrate for Neocaridina shrimps.
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Old 01-20-2013, 05:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DannyDapper View Post
I have fluval stratum and I've actually haven't had problems with clouding my tank at all. How are you guys cleaning your Stratum BTW?
How are you cleaning it?
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:13 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Option View Post
So this raises another question I've always had, why does rinsing the substrate before adding it cause it to be increasingly coudy??

I haven't used it, but maybe it contains something, or the finer particles act as a sort of flocculant, and help to clear up the water quicker?
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:13 AM   #12
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I do not rinse stratum. It is a low nutrient, clay based susbtrate. I bought it on release day (1-2 yrs) and only got rid of it a month ago. Did not turn to powder at all.

The way to use stratum is like this:

1. pour the dry soil into your tank.
2. spray it with water with a spray bottle and mix it at the same time
3. contour it however you want
4. Do planting.
5. Put a paper plate down and then fill VERY slowly like only a trickle of water until you get like 3-4" on top of the substrate then you can start filling faster.

To be honest I had better success with stratum then eco comp.
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