Stratum KH/PH - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-06-2020, 07:37 PM
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I would put my eco complete back in but that defeats the purpose of looking for a smoother substrate.
If you like the dark look, and want a super smooth, easy to plant into substrate that costs less than $20, look into coal slag (black blasting sand).

If you want stability using your tapwater, this is a good option for you.
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post #17 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-06-2020, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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I was looking at that, just can't leave the house and didn't want to order a 50# bag. That's my only glitch.
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post #18 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-06-2020, 08:30 PM
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I was looking at that, just can't leave the house and didn't want to order a 50# bag. That's my only glitch.
Check local aquarium groups, classified sections etc. Sometimes people get rid of it with an old tank or something.

50lb bags are a bit of a pain for smaller tanks but... sandblasting industry vs aquaria industry

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post #19 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-06-2020, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Will do. Thanks
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post #20 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-07-2020, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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Blasting sand: I think I found it at tractor supply. Is this the medium blasting? Do I need to add root tabs immediately? I do have some micro grass and stem plants, but mainly bucs and anubias. Thanks
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post #21 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-07-2020, 02:05 PM
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Blasting sand: I think I found it at tractor supply. Is this the medium blasting? Do I need to add root tabs immediately? I do have some micro grass and stem plants, but mainly bucs and anubias. Thanks

Thatís the stuff. In the states the brand most people use is Black Diamond Blasting sand in the medium grit. Give it a good rinse in a bucket first.

No root tabs needed at all, just a good quality water column dosing regime is all you need, especially for buce and anubias.


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post #22 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-07-2020, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, in reading and reading (multiply by 100), I get so many different stories. I've really come to the conclusion better to work with my water. Don't get me wrong, if I had space for an RO, I'd get it.
In my low tech tank I need to see how to use my water. As a note; I had eco complete in my tank for 14 months. Cons: too sharp for me. My plants melted, even Crypts (no, never came back). Not one stem ever grew roots. I did have a wisteria which lasted six months. I assumed it was my water hardness. Now I'm wondering if it's the fact that I never added nutrients until the year mark. I was told not to.
Learning experience: Just because a company tells you something, doesn't mean it's true.
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post #23 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-07-2020, 06:15 PM
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Wow, in reading and reading (multiply by 100), I get so many different stories. I've really come to the conclusion better to work with my water. Don't get me wrong, if I had space for an RO, I'd get it.

In my low tech tank I need to see how to use my water. As a note; I had eco complete in my tank for 14 months. Cons: too sharp for me. My plants melted, even Crypts (no, never came back). Not one stem ever grew roots. I did have a wisteria which lasted six months. I assumed it was my water hardness. Now I'm wondering if it's the fact that I never added nutrients until the year mark. I was told not to.

Learning experience: Just because a company tells you something, doesn't mean it's true.
That's 100% because of a lack of nutrients. Some people suggest letting fish poop essentially compost and feed your plants in coarser substrate like that, but I don't think that's really an optimal way to do it.

Is it doable? Absolutely. But it takes a long time to do it properly as the nutrients need to build up over time. I'm a fan of fertilization because it's proven to work.

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post #24 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-07-2020, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
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When I started this process 14 months ago I would call the companies who made the products and ask their suggestions. Amazing how wrong the advice was. My head has been spinning on this. It's worse than politics, what's right and what's wrong. I grow a lot of houseplants and I know they cannot live without some type of nutrients. I feel more confident now because all along I thought it was my water, not nutrient related.
Okay, so I'm going to get the black diamond tonight, wash like crazy. Biggest question: I already changed the substrate once to stratum, now to black diamond, will my tank have to recycle? Other than plants, nothing else in there for 3 weeks. I put some water from my nerite tank in it today. I did not change the filters out. Thought about going out to get another nerite for the tank but don't want to kill it. Any thoughts?
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post #25 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-08-2020, 01:09 AM Thread Starter
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Ph/gh/kh

Quote:
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Strutum is designed to strip the water of KH and lower pH into the mid 6's.

Best used with GH boosted RO water only.

You can continue to do water changes until the buffering capability of the substrate is full, and can no longer strip anymore KH.

Crushed coral would work directly against the substrate, but would speed up the process of overcoming the buffering capability of the substrate.

Test tapwater pH after it has sat out in a glass / bowl exposed to the air for at least 24 hours, that will be the tapwaters true pH reading.
I let the tap water sit in an open container, numbers pretty consistent, KH 4 GH 8 and PH 8
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post #26 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-08-2020, 03:48 AM
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Originally Posted by fishie777 View Post
When I started this process 14 months ago I would call the companies who made the products and ask their suggestions. Amazing how wrong the advice was. My head has been spinning on this. It's worse than politics, what's right and what's wrong. I grow a lot of houseplants and I know they cannot live without some type of nutrients. I feel more confident now because all along I thought it was my water, not nutrient related.

Okay, so I'm going to get the black diamond tonight, wash like crazy. Biggest question: I already changed the substrate once to stratum, now to black diamond, will my tank have to recycle? Other than plants, nothing else in there for 3 weeks. I put some water from my nerite tank in it today. I did not change the filters out. Thought about going out to get another nerite for the tank but don't want to kill it. Any thoughts?
If you have a cycled filter with sponges, squeeze a dirty sponge into the tank. The layer of scunge left on the bottom of the tank will help too.

Using only water from an established tank won't do much as most of the bacteria lives on surfaces rather than in the water column.

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post #27 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-08-2020, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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If you have a cycled filter with sponges, squeeze a dirty sponge into the tank. The layer of scunge left on the bottom of the tank will help too.

Using only water from an established tank won't do much as most of the bacteria lives on surfaces rather than in the water column.

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Okay, I am also setting up a 5 gallon to put one of my nerites in. He's in a planted 3 gallon now. I've got his future filter with the old media running in the 10 gallon, with the old filter (both HOB) and a sponge filter in the 10 gal tank. Just trying to build some bacteria. I put some Tetra SafeStart plus in there, but without fish/snails doubt there will be enough ammonia for it. I hear people talk about adding ammonia but not sure on that.
THANKS
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post #28 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-08-2020, 06:42 PM
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Okay, I am also setting up a 5 gallon to put one of my nerites in. He's in a planted 3 gallon now. I've got his future filter with the old media running in the 10 gallon, with the old filter (both HOB) and a sponge filter in the 10 gal tank. Just trying to build some bacteria. I put some Tetra SafeStart plus in there, but without fish/snails doubt there will be enough ammonia for it. I hear people talk about adding ammonia but not sure on that.

THANKS
I've done the add ammonia method. It works. Just make sure it's pure ammonia without scent or soap.

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post #29 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-08-2020, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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I've done the add ammonia method. It works. Just make sure it's pure ammonia without scent or soap.

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In the "old" days we used to add a pellet of food. Is that old school? I bought pure ammonia just need to read how much to use.
Thanks
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post #30 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-08-2020, 09:42 PM
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In the "old" days we used to add a pellet of food. Is that old school? I bought pure ammonia just need to read how much to use.

Thanks
No problem! Adding food to decay and create ammonia is still a common method too.

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