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Fluval Stratum & Alkaline Buffer, high gh low kh/ph

Allie Girl

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Hi, I’m currently cycling with plants & Fluval stratum. I’m about entering week 2. I just dosed with easy green fertilizer for the first time since I saw some growth on the plants. My

KH 0

PH 6.0-6.5

GH 300

ammonia 0

nitrites 5 ppm 

nitrates 20ppm

*just dosed with easy green prior to testing*

My question is: does anyone else use Fluval stratum in a betta fish tank with snails? & Has anyone had any luck or experience using Fluval Stratum & Seachem Alkaline Buffer together? What were your results? 

My Ph seems really low and I don’t have any KH after 24 hours from adding water after my water change. I want to try and raise the ph so I can cycle my tank more efficiently. But
from what I was reading I can’t use crushed coral to increase KH & PH because my hardness is already 300 so then I saw Seachem alkaline buffer. I do understand that the FS has buffering but I’m trying to wear it down faster or stabilize the ph. FDEE8A83-D360-4A75-BC67-5E181143F2DC.jpeg.5bc84dfc3c46657bfb334a5f6bfe75fb.jpeg

My tap water has nitrates 20ppm, ph 7.5, kh 40, GH 300. 

Edited by Allie Girl
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First your tank looks really good! Very happy betta! 

From what I understand with fluval stratum since it’s a volcanic clay it will be rich in calcium and magnesium but poor in bicarbonate and carbonate ions (kh) so people commonly have issues with it absorbing the kh ions out of the water, which subsequently lowers their pH. You shouldn’t in this case need to use seachem alkaline buffer (it’s also just really expensive baking soda).


Your betta should enjoy these parameters quite well!

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Yeah I’m hoping he’ll be happy once it’s all cycled up 🙂 and The plants have adjusted and all. Ok sounds great then, I read that bettas can live is more acidic environments but it’s always stressful because I just don’t want it to drop below 6! I’m still a newbie & have a lot to learn about the aquarium and planted tank life. Lots of people say that cycling tanks with a more acidic ph can take even longer, but who knows? I watch YouTube and ghost forums everyday haha to get ideas and educated. Chasing ph, from what I read can be a never ending nightmare. 

Edited by Allie Girl
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I have fluval stratum in my 60 litre planted betta tank, I have snails skunk corydoras and glowlight tetra. My pH sits between 6 - 6.5 depending on the time of day I test the water. Kh is 0 but have not had the PH crash and the tank has been running for nearly 8 months. I do top up the tank every few days to replace the water that evaporates. I have never used the seachem buffer so I don't know what effect it would have. 

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