Fuval shrimp substrate - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-18-2017, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
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Fuval shrimp substrate

Anyone using the Fluval shrimp substrate in their shrimp planted tanks? Just ordered some for my new tank.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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Got the substrate in the mail today. Bag is small, but only need a little.


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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 11:39 PM
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You will be happy with it, try and keep water change water relatively close to the buffered water from the substrate (pH wise). How long are you planning on running this tank? That substrate turns into black muck starting at about a year old. I would also invest in some root tabs, they drastically helped my plants when i used the fluval stuff even tho they classify it as a planted/shrimp substrate. Overall you should like it, easy to plant in, looks nice and keeps a stable pH.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 11:45 PM
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Petco got the 8.8lb for like $17.xx+tax last time I checked..
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-21-2017, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
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You will be happy with it, try and keep water change water relatively close to the buffered water from the substrate (pH wise). How long are you planning on running this tank? That substrate turns into black muck starting at about a year old. I would also invest in some root tabs, they drastically helped my plants when i used the fluval stuff even tho they classify it as a planted/shrimp substrate. Overall you should like it, easy to plant in, looks nice and keeps a stable pH.
I'll keep that in mind in around the year mark. I plan to have this tank for that long at least. No sure how I'll buffer the water changes though.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-21-2017, 01:03 AM
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I'll keep that in mind in around the year mark. I plan to have this tank for that long at least. No sure how I'll buffer the water changes though.


It's not a must, just keeps everything stable that's all. Don't worry about the 1 year old thing too much, just know that after a while it's turns into muck so limit moving plants and disturbing it after you have it in the tank for a while (it really makes a mess of your water, made that mistake).


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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-24-2017, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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This stuff is so different from sand.

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-01-2017, 03:11 AM
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Iíve been using this stuff for about 2 years now and I love it. The only con I have with it is that whenever the rescape bug bites you be very careful with this substrate I learned the hard way my first time and wasted about 10 lbs turned it into dust. It lasts longer than a year un-disturbed I have some in my 5 gallon shrimp tank still going strong after 2 years although Iím not sure about itís buffering capabilities anymore it doesnít really matter to me since I keep neos but it does keep my plants healthy
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-02-2017, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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Does anyone cap this stuff? I'm wondering if I should cap with some small river rock substrate as it's really affecting my pH, GH, and KH.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-02-2017, 10:55 PM
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Does anyone cap this stuff? I'm wondering if I should cap with some small river rock substrate as it's really affecting my pH, GH, and KH.
It's supposed to do that, I wouldn't cap it all. Just remember that the buffering capacity of your tank is now in your substrate rather than the KH in the water.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-02-2017, 11:23 PM
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I have it in a couple of tanks. I like the look of it. It is pretty lightweight stuff though and you may have to anchor your stem plants to keep them from popping up.

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-13-2017, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Anyone cap this substrate?

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-13-2017, 03:11 PM
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Anyone cap this substrate?

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Capping it with anything but air is impossible, it is so light and will crush under the lightest pressure that capping it will do nothing. It will simply work its way back to the surface. Why do you want to cap it?
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-13-2017, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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I was just wondering if it should be capped as I've heard it turns to dust after a year. It also float around when doing a water change.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-13-2017, 11:35 PM
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I was just wondering if it should be capped as I've heard it turns to dust after a year. It also float around when doing a water change.
It is very light, I don't doubt it will float around during water changes. When I had it I really liked it, but I had to accept the drawbacks of using it.

Yes it turns into dust/muck over time, how long? Depends how much you mess about with it. I planned on having mine a year at max, and at about 6 months it was slowly starting to break down, enough that I could tell anyway. A good way around this is to have a nice carpet of dense plants, and do not disturb if at all possible. I moved the tank, a 4 hour adventure, and when I filled it back up wow, every plant leaf was covered in a dusting of black crap. Some filter floss, 1 week and a 50% water change later and as good as new.

Now after a year, when I broke the tank down, wow, this stuff was almost half powdery muck. But still usable if you do not disturb it, and have a healthy amount of roots holding it together. But I was generally very impressed with it.

At the time I got it, it was roughly half the cost of aqua soil, now (here in Canada anyway) it's basically the same cost, so I won't ever buy it again. The price is what drew me to it before.
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