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Does Fluval Stratum leach ammonia?


Yanni
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I was going to get started on doing my crystal red shrimp tank but I wanted to know if fluval stratum leaches out ammonia. Also, what is your experience with the substrate overall? Does it really change the ph and what are your tips for using it? 

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I use fluval stratum and in my experience I have never registered any ammonia spikes at all. Also, my water chemistry never changes in the tanks I use it in. I have very hard, alkaline water though, and I have read it is difficult to drop pH in water like that unless you run it through an RO system.

 

There could be possible swings in different water parameters. Hopefully, someone with different water will chime in soon.

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  • 1 month later...

So far in my experience it has not leached any ammonia in the 6 days that it's been in my new tank. My tap water has a ph of 8-8.4 and a Kh of 4, the substrate lowered the ph to 6.4-6.6 range and kh to 0 within 24-48 hours. My main concern using it with my tap water is that water changes will cause ph swings in the tank if I don't drip change it, and it will reduce the buffering capacity of the substrate faster. I've seen a lot of people recommend using RO water to avoid this. Letting the tap water set out overnight can lower the ph some as well as putting driftwood in with it. You could also probably use the stratum itself in a bucket to lower the tap ph but I'm not sure how cost effective that would be.

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  • 1 month later...

I have noticed the exact same change in my water chemistry with stratum.

My tank water was (which is straight from the tap):
pH 8.2
KH 6
GH ~150ppm

A day after adding the stratum the the tank the pH dropped to 7.4.

Tested the water this morning  approximately one week after adding the stratum?
pH 6.0 (almost off the scale of the API test)
KH 0
GH ~120ppm

There is a handful of plants in the tank: some sußwassertang, a water sprite, S. repens, and a moneywort, and other than some hitchhiking snails, there is no other livestock.

 

It has been enough time for the water chemistry to stabilize after adding the substrate. I am not sure how long the substrate can continue to keep the the KH and pH suppressed from tap water.

Edited by DShelton
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For water changes on my 5 gallon I put a few tablespoons of leftover stratum in the bottom of some 1 gallon water jugs. This has worked well for the small quantity of water, so far the jugs have gone through about 2 months of use with tap water and the buffering capacity is still holding in them. (somewhere around 8-12 gallons of water, I forgot to keep count lol)

From others posts I've read on various forums people say you can probably expect around 6-12 months of buffering from the substrate using straight tap water. (ultimately depends on how much KH is in your tap water) Using water already stripped of the KH should give you 1-2 years.

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  • 7 months later...

well maby yall could help me out here i also have a high ph 8.4 tap water and very hard water as well iv been havin issues gettin gh ans kh test local and iv called it quits searching it local so today im ordering online but iv also using fluval stratum in my ghost shrimp tank my api liquit test kit shows a hint of green (ammonia) in my tank is this help anyone almot not even on the chart

but im tryin to bread ghost shrimp in my planted 5.5 gal  and was actually curious if the substrate was my issue iv been havin issues findin a narrow window to the parameters and like i said gh-kh i was mixin drinking water with my well/tap water to maintain a ph and it would drop to a 6.6 and hold day after day just did another water change sunday so im gonna check to see if it maintained back the water i had added was a 7.4 7.6 tryin to bring the number closer to 7 

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also is there a good simple ph tester like the tds testers? 

if you are using one could point me in the right direction tds and ph and what others you use if you do of if there is a thread already on this subject could you link or send to me please 

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@slim I just saw 3 pen-type testers on Amazon all with 4 or more stars that did ph and tds. 
I have had mixed results with stratum in terms of ammonia. When added to a tank with a seeded filter nothing - no ammonia at all, just nitrites for a couple days then they’re gone and I’m cycled. That’s been the last few tanks I’ve done. 
I did a setup from scratch last winter/spring as I was going for a Cardidina shrimp setup didn’t want anything from another tank to be in there (sad bowl part 3 I think) and did get some ammonia readings for about 3-4 days at the start with a new bag of stratum. This is consistent with Fluvals website which says not to add livestock until day 5-7 due to ammonia. I know Brightwell’s big selling point is no ammonia from the start and @Bentley Pascoedid a pretty thorough review. 

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i actually built a new tank sunday and just tested water and zero at it il keep checking 

also im steady with a drop in ph as it says it does from me micing water to make a 7.4ish i end up with 6.6 steady so its a lil more of a drop then i wanted 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Stratum has been super safe for me. I have a modular aquarium where I try new things and work stuff out. I have many terracotta pots stuffed in that tank and all are filled with Stratum and topped with gravel. So here is the good news for you. I don't know how many times I knocked over a pot and sent Stratum balls rolling all over the bottom of my tank. Never caused a problem. Shrimp, snails, corys and tetras all fine. This experience has proved it's safety to me and I am a fan. I've spilled Stratum everywhere. Zero trouble.

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