Saf t sorb. How many are using it?. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-21-2012, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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Saf t sorb. How many are using it?.

Please let me know your applications and results
Thanks,
Tim
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-21-2012, 07:06 PM
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Hi Tim,

I have had a 10 gallon set up with Safe-T-Sorb #7941 (green bag) since the end of July. Actually it is not an 'aquascaped' tank, I use it for two purposes. It houses my breeding pair of Apistogramma cacatuoides 'Triple Red' and I have been using it to experiment with transitioning some of my emersed grown plants and stems to submerged. The tank has no CO2, a HOB with sponge media, 2 X 10 watt cfl, and I dose with Seachem Flourish Comprehensive and Seachem Excel.

10 Gallon 8/1/12


10 Gallon 9/10/12

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-21-2012, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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Nice looking plants!, would you recommend it for a high light, co2, EI dosed farm tank??
Thanks,
Tim
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-21-2012, 08:41 PM
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Hi Tim,

That is why I tried Safe-T-Sorb (STS), it is basically the same heat treated Montmorillonite clay with a high CEC that I use in my CO2 / high light tanks. In those I use Soilmaster Select Charcoal and Turface Pro League Grey. However, since both of those are discontinued I needed to find a suitable alternative that didn't look like Kitty Litter. I find STS to have a natural color, multiple grain sizes, and it may be just a little heavier that the other two I just mentioned. I found my first bag to by 'dusty' and it needed multiple rinses.

-Roy

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-22-2012, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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Did you fertilizer load it prior to use??
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-22-2012, 02:44 PM
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Hi Tim,

No, I do not 'load' any of my substrates it prior to aquarium use. I like to maintain a degree of control over the nutrients in the tank. That is why I dose a variation on EI in my high tech tanks.

That said, I do 'load' the heat treated Montmorillonite clay that I use for the top dressing of my emersed growth pots.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-23-2012, 06:35 AM
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I'm using it in a 75 gal tank that has Bluegills. They do get rambunctious sometimes chasing each other and will kick up some "dust" but not enough to cloud the water.

However, I've been re-arranging things .. moving some plants, propping up driftwood, etc and if I disturb the substrate a lot it will cloud the water a lot. The filters will usually clear it in a few hours but the filter pads will get very dirty afterward requiring a quick rinsing. If I just move a plant or 2 it's no problem and usually doesn't even cloud the water.

I seem to have a hard time keeping my hands out of the aquarium and not re-arranging things. I've only had the STS and driftwood in there just about 1 month now so I'm still trying to get it set up so my fish feel they have their own separate little areas to hang out in. Which might mean moving a tall plant from one area to another to create a "break". It's amazing how just one plant can seem to make them feel separated. LOL

So far I like it I .. like the way it looks and I don't have too much trouble planting in it. But I'll reserve final judgement until next spring when the Bluegills start nest building and REALLY kicking up the substrate.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-24-2012, 03:19 AM
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I used a 40 pound bag in a tank 5' x 16".
It was cloudy (read: Muddy) when I first partially filled the tank (6" deep) so I did 2 partial fill/make a mess/ drain cycles then filled for real. Basically rinsing it in the tank.

I then did the fishless cycle.
This, and its related products, remove the carbonates so fast I was having a little trouble growing the bacteria. I was adding baking soda every few days to give the bacteria enough carbonates.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-24-2012, 07:18 PM
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I use it to cap soil in a 30g Walstad tank since May. I rinsed several bucketfuls and was able to remove fine particles, but not some heavier ones.

When I first filled the tank it was cloudy, so I did a few water changes and refined my siphoning/filling technique to not disturb it. It was still a little foggy when I finished but the filter took care of it.

If I disturb it, it will kick up dust and the filter took care of it. Several months later though, the particles seem to fall back down very quickly. I would not recommend extensive rescaping though.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-24-2012, 08:42 PM
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I've been using it since this summer in a 57 gallon, pressurized CO2, EI dosed tank running 2x39 Watt T5HO lights. It was originally filled with Flourite that would get BBA attaching to it. I would suck out the affected flourite and replace with handfuls of the STS. I realized that the STS looked better than the flourite so, before every water change, I would replace several handfuls of flourite with STS. I find that the STS rinses clear faster than the last batch of flourite that I bought. Anyway, the tank is mostly STS now. I did find that the KH dropped a little initially but that diminishes after several water changes.

I don't think I will use anything else since it works at least as well as flourite and costs me about $8.00 for 40 lbs. I wouldn't completely replace the substrate or completely rescape the tank at one time anyway. Whenever I did, I would have green water issues. I don't change more than 1/3 at any one time.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-24-2012, 08:55 PM
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I use Oil-Dri which is basically the same thing, looks the same as the initial pic in this thread. Gentle initial rinsing is imperative, but mine doesn't cloud after that. I even recently took some oil dri that had been in a tank for over a year, rinsed it over a screen to separate the mineralized top soil, and then added the oil dri to a new tank, and it's still in good shape.


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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2012, 04:33 AM
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anybody have any ideas as to the longevity of STS? ive been thinking about capping my existing substrate with STS and rescaping my tank. i dont want something thats going to turn into mush six months down the road, thats why i ask.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2012, 11:34 AM
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I use this under a different name Shultz's Aquasoil. I have it planted in my new 4ft long tank and I now have berried BKK, WR and Crystal White Bees in it. My plants are growing like crazy including Downoi, and a couple of other hard to grow plants. I keep all of my shrimps on this soil...I use peat moss sandwiched in between layers of it and it keeps the tank at below PH 6
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2012, 03:06 PM
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I have only just started with STS, but have several tanks with Soil Master Select that have been going for several years, and a few tanks with Turface that are about 3 years old. I have moved some of these, and the substrate needs to be rinsed when it is disturbed that much. I have one each Turface and SMS that have not been moved, and these are just fine.

The particle size is not breaking down, and finally these materials stop removing the KH from the water.

While I know these are not exactly the same products, they are very similar so I would predict a good long life for STS whether it is kept in one set up, or if you take it down and reuse the material. It should hold up just fine.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2012, 03:29 PM
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I use and couldn't be more impressed with it compared to similar tanks w/ different substrates.

I think it's funny that these tanks far out perform those with the more expensive "specifically designed" plant substrates. I won't mention their names but I'm sure everyone knows what they are.
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