Fluval Stratum or Dirt? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-30-2012, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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Fluval Stratum or Dirt?

ok so my experiment of finding out if im a natural plant killer has come to an end since I managed to grow moss . Now I want to move on to the real plants! I was wanting to plant dwarf baby tears but im still on the fence about the dirt i want to use. Ive watched alot of videos about this Fluval Stratum stuff and it seems alot of people like it but I also hear alot of good things about plain potted plant dirt miracle grow stuff so I was wondering what dirt you guys would suggest for my first rooted plant either the fluval or the regular dirt. Oh and I have a ten gallon and i wasent sure how many pounds of dirt i would need? the cheapest smallest bag of fluval is 4 pounds and i wasent sure if it would cover the bottom or not suggestions are wanted!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-30-2012, 03:50 PM
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You'll probably need at least and 8lb bag, maybe another 4lb bag of stratum.


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-30-2012, 08:18 PM
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The amount of substrate you'll need will depend upon the dimensions of your tank and the depth you're aiming for.

Just keep in mind that both Plant and Shrimp Stratum from Fluval aren't going to provide much in the way of plant nutrition. You'll need to supplement with root tabs or does fertilizers into the water column.


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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-30-2012, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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i was planning on setting up co2 injections since i heard moss doesnt like excel. I was wondering though alot of people said fluval fills the water with stuff if you disturb it too much so how long im between would i have to replace root tabs? compared to regular dirt? or is it about the same?
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-30-2012, 08:24 PM
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personally i find the fluval stratum very difficult to work with regarding plants. Its awesome with shrimp but even they manage to uproot my stem plants since FSS is very light. you will either need to plant very deeply or use anchors for plants using that substrate.

I wouldnt mind trying a dirt tank for my next planted tank. its inexpensive and does great for plants. if youre concerned with dirty cloudy water by gently stiring the substrate, you can consider others like You can also try lava or some inert rock. They come in a variety of colors and granual sizes and are relatively inexpensive as well.

If you want some really awesome plant growth research Aquasoil and akadama. i hear its nearly impossible to kill anything using those soils and whatever goes in there usually thrives... which likely accounts for the high demand and price. You can pretty much use anything if you intend since dosing in the water, or planting root tabs in the substrate really offer plenty of ways we get fertilizers to plants.

well food for thought. Let us know what you decide on.


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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-31-2012, 12:17 PM
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Akadama doesn't contain much in the realm of plant nutrition. It's just volcanic clay. It's used by shrimp keepers (it's now a bit of a fad in the states) because it tends to offer buffering capability, not so much for planted tanks.

And lots of people use Fluval Shrimp/Plant Stratum with no problems when it comes to planting and uprooting. In my experience, it's no more light than Azoo Plant Grower, Mr. Aqua, UP Aqua, Brightwell, et al. Though, ADA Aquasoil is my top pick.


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-31-2012, 12:53 PM
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I used about 1 and a quarter to 1 and a half 8 pound bags of Fluval Plant Stratum in my 10G. I do like it a lot. As far as things coming up, I don't have a problem with that once the plants are rooted. Initially, I get some pop-ups especially with my vals which I can't seem to get rooted in any substrate (I think it's a personal thing!). I used the Fluval Plant Stratum in that particular tank because I like the nice soft edges for my habrosus corycats. I also have one shrimp tank with the Shrimp Stratum. I don't have any problems uprooting plants in this substrate; I just pull them up very slowly and it isn't too bad.

I have one small dirt tank that is capped with Eco-Complete. I don't know if maybe my cap wasn't deep enough, but that soil leached for several weeks. The water eventually cleared, but it was light brown for quite some time. I'm not sure if that is normal or if it was something that I didn't really do correctly, but I am not sure if I will try that again. I don't like moving plants around in that tank either as it makes a mess.

All of my other planted tanks have Eco-Complete because I like how it looks and it is easy to plant in.

I use root tabs in all my planted tanks except the dirt tank. I also dose ferts.

The next tank I set up is most likely going to be with Aquasoil.

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Fauna: Chili Rasboras, Blue Velvet Shrimp, Amanos, Nerite

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-02-2012, 12:55 AM
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Aquasoil all the way, the nutrients are there in abundance, it buffers the water around 6.2pH very nice and consistently, and isn't as light weight as stratum. The only issue with aquasoil is removing plants because the root systems tend to really adhere to the granules, and it tends to release ammonia initially for quite some time.

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