Cap or no cap Fluval Stratum?

treesap

Member
So I was thinking of changing my 5-gallon aquarium substrate into a more nutrient-rich substrate but I don't know if I should cap it or not. If I'm going to cap the substrate, I'm thinking of using white sand. Also, if I do decide something else like all sand substrate, how would root tabs compare to Fluval Stratum when trying to grow carpet plants? What are your thoughts?
 

Chanyi

Member
I would not cap it. It's not designed to be capped, and the sand will work it's way to the bottom (sand is more dense than Stratum).

As to root tabs vs Stratum, Stratum would likely be better at supplying plant roots with nutrients.

As to which substrate would grow a carpet easier - they would grow a carpet equally as well, but it might be easier to establish a new carpet in sand (it's easier to plant into). All plants will pull nutrients from wherever is convenient (water column, roots, or both). You do not need a nutrient rich substrate to grow a carpet.
 
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treesap

Member
Chanyi said:
I would not cap it. It's not designed to be capped, and the sand will work it's way to the bottom (sand is more dense than Stratum).

As to root tabs vs Stratum, Stratum would likely be better at supplying plant roots with nutrients.

As to which substrate would grow a carpet easier - they would grow a carpet equally as well, but it might be easier to establish a new carpet in sand (it's easier to plant into). All plants will pull nutrients from wherever is convenient (water column, roots, or both). You do not need a nutrient rich substrate to grow a carpet.
Thank you! I didn't know that carpet plants didn't have to be grown in the substrate. I'm about to start low tech carpet, would you recommend Monte Carlos or pearl weed as a beginner carpet? (and how long would it take to achieve a full carpet?)
 

AcornTheBetta

Member
treesap said:
Thank you! I didn't know that carpet plants didn't have to be grown in the substrate. I'm about to start low tech carpet, would you recommend Monte Carlos or pearl weed as a beginner carpet? (and how long would it take to achieve a full carpet?)
You could do a pearlweed carpet. Honestly, if you are going for a carpet, I would just convert to a dirted tank.
 
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treesap

Member
AcornTheBetta said:
You could do a pearlweed carpet. Honestly, if you are going for a carpet, I would just convert to a dirted tank.
I thought of that too since I have a lot of nutrient-rich dirt outside, but I'm changing the substrate of an already established tank...so as much as I want to try the Walstad method, I can't :(
 

AcornTheBetta

Member
treesap said:
I thought of that too since I have a lot of nutrient-rich dirt outside, but I'm changing the substrate of an already established tank...so as much as I want to try the Walstad method, I can't :(
Ok. Cool!
 

Bryangar

Member
Fluval stratum is a good substrate for low tech tank. It doesn’t need a cap. It’ll be a little hard to grow a carpet but should work.

From my experience though..I’ve had better luck growing carpets in sand than stratum.
 
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treesap

Member
Bryangar said:
Fluval stratum is a good substrate for low tech tank. It doesn’t need a cap. It’ll be a little hard to grow a carpet but should work.

From my experience though..I’ve had better luck growing carpets in sand than stratum.
Thanks! Looks like aquarium sand will do!
 
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