considering replacing Flourite with Safe-T-Sorb - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
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considering replacing Flourite with Safe-T-Sorb

Hello all -

I am converting from high-tech to low-tech, partially due to an epic battle with BBA but mostly just to reduce maintenance in general.

It was suggested today that Flourite was, for whatever reason, a magnet for BBA certainly I have been surprised about the amount of BBA on the substrate. I am also enjoying the tank 'reset' so changing the substrate might not be such a bad thing!

Safe-T-Sorb is really attractive to me - it looks nice and is cheap. More natural appearance than the flourite. But, I'm wondering if anyone has opinions on it. This is a perfect time to change subsrate, if I am ever planning on doing it!

thanks, Dave



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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 07:07 PM
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This may not solve the trouble. It is clay based and porous also. The high CEC stuff is what you may want to look out for. Go for something inert like aquarium gravel or blasting sand. You can probably cover the flourite with something else and not have to remove all of it. I would make sure and get rid any of it with BBA though.
I am sure people are going to say I have Flourite and don't have BBA Blah, blah blah. The thing is though, if you already have BBA on the Flourite it is hard to get rid of and I think it gives the BBA a base to spread to the aquarium from.
If you get everything right and the BBA will no longer survive in your aquarium then the Flourite will be OK. As soon as conditions change the BBA will be waiting to take over.
Whatever you do, a source of nutrients in the substrate is a major plus.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
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Hi,

Thanks for your input. Of course there will be many anecdotal opinions and blah blah like you said

But, what is 'high CEC' I guess I should understand the comment

When you say that a source of nutrients in the substrate is a major plus, are you saying that Flourite or Safe-T-Sorb does or does not have such a source? I have been doing root tabs from time to time, and I am switchign to low light plants so I wonder if this will be less of a concern moving forward.

thanks! DAve



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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 07:20 PM
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From an extreme layman, CEC is cation exchange capacity. It describes the amount of cations (ions) can be held by the material. I think of it as the higher the CEC the more nutrients a material can hold, NPK, micros. When plant roots attach themselves to the material they can withdraw those nutrients from the substrate through the roots. That's my understanding. Something like SafeTSorb I think is inert to begin with, but it will hold nutrients very easily.


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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 07:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fish h20 View Post
As soon as conditions change the BBA will be waiting to take over.
It's always lurking.


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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5BodyBlade View Post
From an extreme layman, CEC is cation exchange capacity. It describes the amount of cations (ions) can be held by the material. I think of it as the higher the CEC the more nutrients a material can hold, NPK, micros. When plant roots attach themselves to the material they can withdraw those nutrients from the substrate through the roots. That's my understanding. Something like SafeTSorb I think is inert to begin with, but it will hold nutrients very easily.
Correct. The statement I made about nutrients in the substrate being good, I meant that having a substrate that holds nutrients (high CEC) is good, you just don't want it exposed to light where BBA can use the nutrients.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 08:33 PM
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5BodyBlade's explanation of CEC reads pretty solid (imo)

Flourite vs Safe-T-Sorb
sts is fired to a lower kiln temp and thinking I also read for a shorter duration.
Soaked some in water for a month 'testing it' as we have pallets of the stuff in the warehouse at work. It seem lighter than flourite so it's less dense but I didn't bother to weigh it and scooping up a handful it can be broken into powder with medium effort rubbing the granules together but the dust settles. Didn't leach anything into RO water that I was soaking it in and didn't turn to mud staying wet for the month either. What I have in tank is in a mixture with flourite original and sand making up the balance for a grow out tank but it works I guess.

HTH


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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, so back to the layman understanding: would Flourite and STS be considered approximately the same as far as their ability to store/provide nutrients to the plants?

I am starting to like the idea of changing just for the sake of changing. My tank is barely stocked and mostly torn down still, so it would be so easy to make this change, even without removing the fish!



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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 08:51 PM
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imo yes, Like I posted all and all I would say it's just a lighter version of the same thing.
Used without mixing it with other stuff I think it will move around a little easier than what you are use to with the crushed brick.


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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 09:33 PM
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I cant put my finger on the link I read but it basically said that Flourite has a CEC around 10. STS and other low temp fired clays have CECs around 30.

So STS has 3 times the CEC of Flourite.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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Hmm.. now I'm having trouble finding where to buy it. I'm starting to see that it's not really marketed for aquarium use!



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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 05:04 PM
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Hi All,

I got my Safe t Absorbent 7941 (discussed here and APC) from WW Grainger @ $8.98 plus tax per 40# bag. No charge to freight it up from CA. for pick up at the local branch.

Safe t Absorbent 7941

I provided some to a fellow hobbyist; here is what his tank looks like (Jubs post dated 7/20/12).

Hope that helps!

Roy_________
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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Ahh yes, Grainger can do a ship-to-store and that's pretty convenient for me. I wonder if a 50# bag would be enough for a 54g corner tank? This stuff looks like it's lighter than Flourite so 50# should go a long way!



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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 05:16 PM
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Hi Dave,

I would say that a bag would cover about 6 square feet to a depth of 2+". BTW, it is a 40# bag.

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave-H View Post
Hmm.. now I'm having trouble finding where to buy it. I'm starting to see that it's not really marketed for aquarium use!
If you have a Tractor Supply close by they have it for 4.99/40bl bag: http://www.tractorsupply.com/safe-t-...40-lb--0800989
Edit: Looks like they have one in Greeley but not sure how far that is from you if you're in Denver.
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