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.
Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist
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