Advice for charging/preparing SafeTSorb - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-28-2014, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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Advice for charging/preparing SafeTSorb

I just recently got a 40lb bag of SafeTSorb, and it will be a little while before I actually use it in a setup.

I've heard reports of it stripping the GH/KH out of the water due to the high CEC, and that a lot of people recommend preparing it with something to load it up and prevent this.

Just looking to see what people recommend. I can do this with plain tap water, old tank water, and I've got some dolomite I can stick in with an airstone.

I imagine almost anything will work if I just want to reduce the amount of hardness it strips out of the water, but I was thinking certain compounds might make it slightly more beneficial for plants.

For what it's worth, I plan on using it as the cap for a dirted substrate in a small low-tech paludarium.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-31-2014, 01:41 AM
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I didn't prep mine (other than rinsing) before I put it in tank. I think it took 1-2 weeks then the KH starting dropping. I started adding baking soda to keep it up otherwise the PH wouldn't stay stable.

You can soak it in ferts to "pre-charge" it. This thread I found: talks about adding coral sand or oyster shell grit to the substrate. I put some oyster shell grit in a nylon stocking & put it in the filter. It seemed easier to use baking soda though since I didn't know how much grit to use & could adjust my dose of baking soda easier. Oyster shell grit can be bought from Tractor Supply if you want to go that route & if that's where you're getting your SafeTsorb.

This thread is a long read but contains lots of useful info:

I know there's probably more threads talking about pre-charging it but I didn't find them in my quick search.

Maybe someone else will chime is with additional info.

edit: Just FYI .. I didn't use it as a cap.. just the STS by itself.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-01-2014, 12:40 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the response, I had actually read those threads back when they were active.

I don't really deal with ferts much, just low-tech dirted tanks, so if I'm going to charge the safeTsorb, I'll need to pick up some stuff.

I'm just trying to decide if the dolomite I have will be sufficient, or if I should try something with potassium or phosphate in it, or some other elements/ions.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-27-2015, 02:53 PM
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Sorry, I know this is an old thread but it's a relevant question for it. My tap water has a dKH of about 10 or 11. If I throughly rinse STS in it and let is sit and soak etc. Am I effectively reducing the impact it will have on lowering KH/PH overtime?
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-30-2015, 05:25 PM
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STS will reach a point eventually in which it will stop stripping the water. It does not permanently strip the water but it takes a few weeks typically to stop. At that point, it will be just like any other substrate. This is why people pre-charge it so that the stripping/soaking up of nutrients or what ever, is done prior to setup. When I setup my 125g plant only growout, I laid down Osmocote all over the bottom glass for charging. Then I laid in my thoroughly rinsed STS and let in set in about 4-6 inches of tap water. After about 3-4 weeks, I made my plant order to populate my tank. I add dry fertilizers to this now as well as Osmocote in capsules for the heavier root feeders. I never tested my water so I have no idea what the parameters are. The plants hold up fine though. I can always adjust my fertilizers as necessary when I see deficiencies.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-30-2015, 10:44 PM
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Older worthy thread IMO.
I am thinking of charging a batch of STS myself.
When done I will surely post comments.

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Growing is not that difficult.
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