FSS actually worked in our super hard water! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-17-2012, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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FSS actually worked in our super hard water!

I tested the pH in one of the tanks I put the FSS into and it's down!!! Like, really down! It was off-the-charts high prior to the FSS, and now it's 6.8! I'm really happy, since we have incredibly hard water with a very high pH. I just thought I'd throw that out there, since it's a less expensive and almost instant alternative to AquaSoil and Akadama. I'm still not sure I'd use it with expensive shrimp, but for my neos it's perfect!
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-17-2012, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by HighDesert View Post
I tested the pH in one of the tanks I put the FSS into and it's down!!! Like, really down! It was off-the-charts high prior to the FSS, and now it's 6.8! I'm really happy, since we have incredibly hard water with a very high pH. I just thought I'd throw that out there, since it's a less expensive and almost instant alternative to AquaSoil and Akadama. I'm still not sure I'd use it with expensive shrimp, but for my neos it's perfect!
Congrats!

I was thinking of doing this bc my pH is 7.8-8 out of the tap.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-17-2012, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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I think it's really worth it! I was skeptical, but since FSS is pretty, I figured it couldn't be any worse than anything else I have. I'm eager to move my shrimp over now, but I'm still waiting for it to cycle a little more -- I think my bacteria took it on the chops when I moved the filter. It sat for about two hours, but it was kind of hot in the house, so I think it may have been damaged.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-17-2012, 04:13 PM
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The question is how long will it buffer for you. I had success with hard water for a bit, but it seems to die out quickly. The best results come from using RO water with it.

20g platy, , 2 x 10g shrimp, 3 x 20g shrimp, 7.5g shrimp and 1 great dane/mastiff puppy.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-17-2012, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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That is a good question. It's a 10 gallon, so maybe I'll switch over to RO from here on out just to keep my pH lower. My neos seem to do fine in the treated tap water, but I'd prefer to have a tank where it's less stressful for them.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-17-2012, 04:15 PM
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Hi HighDesert,

Another tank or a re-do?

Any substrate with a high CEC will remove carbonates from the water and lower the PH. Did you check your hardness as well? It is probably down. I have used various types of heat treated montmorillonite clay as a substrate for the last 3 years because they have a very high CEC and yet are inorganic so I can control my nutrients through water column ferts with supplemental root tabs for heavy root feeders like crypts. Currently I am using Safe T Sorb #7941 from WW Grainger. I can get 40# bags @ $8.64 per bag plus tax if I pick it up at the local WW Grainger branch (even if they have to ship it in).

BTW, how are your crypts doing?

Safe T Sorb #7941 in 10 Gallon 2 weeks after planting; no CO2

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-17-2012, 04:29 PM
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How active is the Safe-T-Sorb? Does it lower the ph and carbonates much?

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-17-2012, 04:30 PM
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Yep, im a FSS fan as well. I notice it will keep the water around 6.5 with my naturally acidic NYC water.


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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-17-2012, 04:39 PM
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Hi rodcuda,

Yes, high CEC substrates absorb carbonates from the water which lowers dKH and the corresponding PH drops as well. The effect lasts until the substrate becomes saturated which is dependent upon how much carbonate is in the tap water and how often water changes occur.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-17-2012, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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I did one of each -- I had an extra 10 gallon that I wanted to make into a shrimp-only tank, since my neon yellow neos were not reproducing well in a community tank. That's the one I'm cycling. The other is a re-do that had old, gross aquarium gravel in it (blue, at that! Bleh!). It's a semi-community tank. Both seem to have good pH now. I haven't tested my water hardness yet -- I think I can take it down to the local water company, though, and they'll do a full series on it. I just have the API test kit.

I should try the Safe-T-Sorb. They carry it at Sam's. I used it all the time at the garage and it's pretty neat stuff! I have Turface in several of my tanks and the pH doesn't seem to have come down significantly, but I think that's due to the fact that it's probably a combination of clays. The cholla seems to help, too, but I'm just really impressed with the FSS. I got it on major sale, so I'm not too freaked out about the price, but I think I will stick with cheaper substrate when I redo the big living room tank (also lots of vile aquarium gravel).

That tank you have in the photo is gorgeous! what is that off to the right? Is that some kind of Hygro? It's really pretty! I'm impressed that everything is that nice and green in just two weeks! Do you use Osmocote caps, or some other type?

The Crypts are doing great! I have them strategically placed throughout the tanks in the house. I have one the pleco keeps uprooting, but I think I've figure out how to keep him off of it. The Florida Sunset is in the new shrimp tank -- it seems to really be digging the FSS and hasn't melted at all. I got some melt on the others, but I totally expected that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
Hi HighDesert,

Another tank or a re-do?

Any substrate with a high CEC will remove carbonates from the water and lower the PH. Did you check your hardness as well? It is probably down. I have used various types of heat treated montmorillonite clay as a substrate for the last 3 years because they have a very high CEC and yet are inorganic so I can control my nutrients through water column ferts with supplemental root tabs for heavy root feeders like crypts. Currently I am using Safe T Sorb #7941 from WW Grainger. I can get 40# bags @ $8.64 per bag plus tax if I pick it up at the local WW Grainger branch (even if they have to ship it in).

BTW, how are your crypts doing?

Safe T Sorb #7941 in 10 Gallon 2 weeks after planting; no CO2
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-17-2012, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by acitydweller View Post
Yep, im a FSS fan as well. I notice it will keep the water around 6.5 with my naturally acidic NYC water.
Wow, that's really pretty amazing! Oh, how I long for acidic water...
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-17-2012, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighDesert View Post
I did one of each -- I had an extra 10 gallon that I wanted to make into a shrimp-only tank, since my neon yellow neos were not reproducing well in a community tank. That's the one I'm cycling. The other is a re-do that had old, gross aquarium gravel in it (blue, at that! Bleh!). It's a semi-community tank. Both seem to have good pH now. I haven't tested my water hardness yet -- I think I can take it down to the local water company, though, and they'll do a full series on it. I just have the API test kit.

I should try the Safe-T-Sorb. They carry it at Sam's. I used it all the time at the garage and it's pretty neat stuff! I have Turface in several of my tanks and the pH doesn't seem to have come down significantly, but I think that's due to the fact that it's probably a combination of clays. The cholla seems to help, too, but I'm just really impressed with the FSS. I got it on major sale, so I'm not too freaked out about the price, but I think I will stick with cheaper substrate when I redo the big living room tank (also lots of vile aquarium gravel).

That tank you have in the photo is gorgeous! what is that off to the right? Is that some kind of Hygro? It's really pretty! I'm impressed that everything is that nice and green in just two weeks! Do you use Osmocote caps, or some other type?

The Crypts are doing great! I have them strategically placed throughout the tanks in the house. I have one the pleco keeps uprooting, but I think I've figure out how to keep him off of it. The Florida Sunset is in the new shrimp tank -- it seems to really be digging the FSS and hasn't melted at all. I got some melt on the others, but I totally expected that.
Hi HighDesert,

There are several varieties of Safe-T-Sorb; #7941 (green bag; # on the bag) is the one that seems to have the best grain sizes and the color pictured.

Safe T Sorb #7941 (#7941 lower left side of green bag)


Good job I.D.'ing the plant on the right, it is a hygro; Hygrophila lancea. I am only dosing Seachem Flourish Comprehensive and Seachem Excel, I put part of a Flourish root tab under the crypt in the foreground and that is it.

I grew all of the plants pictured emersed and I planted them in the 10 gallon because I wanted to see how they would transition to submerged....nothing melted and they seem to be doing well.

Here is a picture I took this morning. I have removed 1/2 of the Pogostemon erectus, the H. lancea is almost due for another trim, the crypt has a new leaf, and the S. repens (left foreground) is starting to take hold.


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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-17-2012, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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I really love the way that Safe-T-Sorb you used looks. I may do that in the 55-going-up-to-80 I am supposed to pick up this weekend. I know I can't afford anything fancy, but I LOVE the way the stuff you used has multiple colors in it! I like the larger grains, too. I like the Turface, but it's kind of small and a lot of stem plants seem to slip out of it easily until they're rooted. Did you do anything aside from rinsing it?

I love that Hygro! It almost has a bamboo look to it. Are the other singular stems to the left of it Bacopa? I'm starting to learn to ID water plants. I still laugh about my "Java fern" I got very early on in my planted tank addiction (which was only last Spring!). I got a miscellaneous trim package and was super stoked to have gotten a couple of Java ferns. I carefully glued them to a rock and set it in the tank. They started growing well and sent roots down into the substrate. Then they got bigger... and bigger... and bigger. It was about a month after I'd done this and they'd rooted well that I figured out they are most definitely NOT Java ferns and instead some kind of Hygro. I actually just trimmed them for the first time a couple of weeks ago and now have new "Java ferns" growing in the bedroom tank. ;-)

It looks like the plants all transitioned from emersed to submersed really seamlessly! I'm impressed! I get melt with a lot of the tender-leafed ones. I grew some Bacopa out, though, and it really did well making the transition. Did you grow all of those emersed???
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-17-2012, 08:13 PM
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Hi HighDesert,

Quote:
what is that off to the right? Is that some kind of Hygro? It's really pretty!
Bacopa salzmannii - seems like a really s-l-o-w grower!

All I did was rinse the Safe T Sorb (STS), multiple times. I use Turface Pro League Grey in a couple of my tanks and the STS is a little heavier than Turface.

Yep, I grew all of those species emersed, here is a pic and a thread if you are interested.


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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-17-2012, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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I think I have a stem of the Bacopa salzmannii -- I have a really slow-growing Bacopa with a similar leaf shape. It probably came as a freebie. I'm glad it's not just an under-achiever. ;-)

Your plant bank is incredible! I love it! I need to go get some of the Scott's potting mix now. I couldn't find it at the Ghetto Walmart, so I may need to try the Less-Ghetto Walmart. I have some Glosso I'm trying to grow out emersed -- it's kind of leggy, though, so I think I need to up the nutrients AND the light. I just don't want to deal with the algae that seems to like to grow in my emersed tanks.
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