Fluval Stratum - New Rant(3-13) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
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Fluval Stratum - New Rant(3-13)

So just used 18lbs of fluval stratum on my 20L and I have to say, the stuff is pretty neat. It's a clay based substrate that looks and feels (but doesn't smell, interestingly) like ADA AS. No ammonia spike either. However the substrate is insanely light. In water its weight is immaterial. I really suggest planting using tweezers with this stuff. Tank is still clearing up...I'll keep you guys updated.

Anyone else using this stuff?
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 12:46 AM
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i use it on my 5.5. I love it as well!! yes its light but once the plants take hold its all good


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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 12:58 AM
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I've been using it in my 10gal nano for a few months and have been using ADA for a few years. It is a bit more black than ADA and smaller granuals. I also noticed the lack of ammonia spike compared to ADA. Time will tell if it can grow plants as well as ADA.
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 01:40 AM
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I have it in my Ebi and I'm currently do DSM HC in it right now.


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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 04:37 AM Thread Starter
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Still waiting for this to clear...it clears like batteries charge. It clears really fast at first then exponentially petering out til almost nothing.....it just looks a bit hazy now.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 05:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffww View Post
Still waiting for this to clear...it clears like batteries charge. It clears really fast at first then exponentially petering out til almost nothing.....it just looks a bit hazy now.

Patience is important not only in this hobby, but in life!!!
Stay patient, my friend~!
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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Quick update : after 10 hours of set up. My ph has gone from over 7.6 to 7.0.
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 05:09 PM
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Im a big fan of this substrate. Both the Shrimp and Plant versions of Stratum are awesome. Im using the Shrimp version in a 30c for a few months now and my plants love it. (Blyxa and E. Belem). I have 80lbs of the Plant version. 15lbs of it went into a GLA tank Im dry starting with UG currently and the rest will go into a 40B Im working on. It can be a little expensive but well worth it IMO...
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-22-2011, 08:20 AM
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OH YES! Finally someone that is also using the Fluval Stratum!! I just purchased a bag and is still waiting for it to clear up. I have some questions that i would like to ask every one here thats using this,if you dont mind .
-How did you cycle your tank and how long?
-Will I speed up the cycling process if i used an established tank water?
-&Hows the ammonia level in the substrate?
THANK YOU!!!
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-22-2011, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
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There is no ammonia in the substrate. Cycling will not be helped with old tank water no matter what substrate you use. I didn't cycle my tank this time. I had a filter running on another tank and I used media from it....

Cycling will generally take 3-5 weeks going the fishless route which is dosing ammonia to 4ppm and keeping it there until you get some nitrites and less ammonia then redosing to 4 ppm when ammonia drops to ~1 ppm and repeating until cycled. Afterwords before adding stock you should do a water change.
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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-22-2011, 10:47 AM
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Why didnt you cycle your tank? & I dont get the part "Cycling will not be helped with old tank water no matter what substrate you use"? What do you mean by "no matter what substrate you use"? I also have an overhead filter that i used in my established tank,will that help a bit? And Thank You so much for replying btw!
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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-22-2011, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevinguyen View Post
Why didnt you cycle your tank? & I dont get the part "Cycling will not be helped with old tank water no matter what substrate you use"? What do you mean by "no matter what substrate you use"? I also have an overhead filter that i used in my established tank,will that help a bit? And Thank You so much for replying btw!
Tank water doesn't have much in the way of beneficial bacteria in it. It's better to use filter media from an established tank. That part won't change if you use Stratum, Flourite, AS, or just plain old gravel. The great thing about Stratum is that, unlike AS, it doesn't generate tons of ammonia. In fact, it doesn't kick out ammo at all, which is really nice IMO.

As for cycling tanks, there are several methods that work. Established filter media/substrate being a top choice.

I've started using this in my BTOE tank, and the shrimp look happy, the blyxa looks very happy! It took it forever to send down roots in Flourite, and already the cuttings that I took from my 29g are rooting down well in the Stratum. So far I'm fond of this substrate, it's soft, nice to work with, and grips cut stems FAR better than the Flourite I'm used to. I'm not fond of the uniform little balls in the form of looks, but the color is extremely natural and pleasing to the eye, so it's easy to forgive. I could care less about it's buffer ability (I don't test pH), but so far the plants seem fond of it, so that's all I ask.

It's not cloudy. I completely failed to rinse it out, and even after I filled the tank it was completely clear.

I'm buying the large bag of the shrimp substrate for my 10g. The smaller grain is more pleasing to my eyes than the larger stuff.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. - Rita Mae Brown


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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-22-2011, 04:01 PM
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I started using Stratum in a 45 gallon low light tank about a week ago. I rinsed it as recommended, but it was still pretty cloudy right after filling the tank. In 2 days it was completely clear. Planting in it has been very easy, using tweezers. It seems to grip the stems and help hold them in - for sure the weight of the particles doesn't do the holding. When I disturb the substrate moving a plant or adding a plant, a puff of "dust" comes up, but very quickly clears up.

I don't do a specific "cycling" process on any tank. I used a filter pad from another welll established tank in my canister filter on this one, and I planted very heavily from the start, as I always try to do. That will be sufficient for "cycling". When I add fish, in about another week I will add only 2-3 to start with, then add more the next week, and each following week until I have as many in the tank as I want.

I'm using MTS under my Stratum, just to save money, but it has been no problem in any case.

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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-22-2011, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Captivate05 View Post
Tank water doesn't have much in the way of beneficial bacteria in it. It's better to use filter media from an established tank. That part won't change if you use Stratum, Flourite, AS, or just plain old gravel. The great thing about Stratum is that, unlike AS, it doesn't generate tons of ammonia. In fact, it doesn't kick out ammo at all, which is really nice IMO.

As for cycling tanks, there are several methods that work. Established filter media/substrate being a top choice.

I've started using this in my BTOE tank, and the shrimp look happy, the blyxa looks very happy! It took it forever to send down roots in Flourite, and already the cuttings that I took from my 29g are rooting down well in the Stratum. So far I'm fond of this substrate, it's soft, nice to work with, and grips cut stems FAR better than the Flourite I'm used to. I'm not fond of the uniform little balls in the form of looks, but the color is extremely natural and pleasing to the eye, so it's easy to forgive. I could care less about it's buffer ability (I don't test pH), but so far the plants seem fond of it, so that's all I ask.

It's not cloudy. I completely failed to rinse it out, and even after I filled the tank it was completely clear.

I'm buying the large bag of the shrimp substrate for my 10g. The smaller grain is more pleasing to my eyes than the larger stuff.
Thank You for your very descriptive reply! I have a question, so does fish waste from a sponge in an established tank would help?
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-22-2011, 11:11 PM
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Thank You for your very descriptive reply! I have a question, so does fish waste from a sponge in an established tank would help?
Yup, that counts as filter media.

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