Gravel vs. Safe t Sorb - The Planted Tank Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-31-2014, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: oakmont, PA
Posts: 82
Gravel vs. Safe t Sorb

I've had my 140g tank set up for 2 yrs. now and have had poor results with plants no matter what I do. Barely can keep crypts, swords, sag alive let alone grow & reproduce. Tank lighting is 4-33" T-5ho 6,500K bulbs so that should be plenty for crypts at least. Two months ago I got the dry ferts. & started EI dosing on a daily basis. That has had no noticeable effect. Years ago when I had 1200 g of water set up, I had crypts growing & reproducing in all my tanks using the old T-8 grow bulbs & never used any ferts. As a last resort; I'm going to change over to Safe-t-sorb. All things being equal; can I expect to see a dramatic improvement with my plants? Is Tractor Supply the only source for STS?
david meyers is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-31-2014, 06:06 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: California
Posts: 588
It looks like you've been using liquid ferts. The plants you listed are all root feeders and would benefit more from root tabs. As for STS, it will certainly help you grow rooted plants better since it will absorb nutrients from your water. However, I still think you need to use root tabs to dose your substrate.
rcs0926 is offline  
post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-31-2014, 06:10 PM
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Lombard, IL
Posts: 211
I am going to agree with rcs, maybe give some root tabs a shot before you completely change the whole tank around with a new substrate.

I use gravel in my tanks right now, and my crypts were very slow to grow. It wasnt until I started putting root tabs near them that they took off. And this is in low light too.

The CEC of STS is better than gravel, but if you are going to dose the ferts, you really need to get it where they can be used better (ie; near roots)
Absolut Talent is offline  
 
post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-31-2014, 06:49 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Seattle_Aquarist's Avatar
 
PTrader: (65/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 6,618
Hi david meyers,

You don't have lot of light over that tank but it should be enough for crypts and java ferns, especially in the brighter areas. All of the plants you have listed are pretty much primarily root feeders and although dosing the water should increase their growth it is not my preferred method of feeding those species. I much prefer using a root tabs (I use Seachem Flourish Tabs) to feed my crypts.

Both gravel and Safe-t-Sorb #7341 are considered "inert substrates" but they are substantially different. Gravel is basically 100% inert making no nutrients available to plants. Safe-T-Sorb #7941 is a calcined clay (fired) clay product. It contains no nitrogen or phosphorus however it does contain potassium as well as a number of micro-nutrients such as iron, calcium, magnesium, and manganese and many others. In addition, it that has a high cation exchange capacity (CEC) allowing to absorb nutrients from the water column and make them available to plant roots.

All of that said, if it were me I would first try using root tabs placed near the base of the plants before I changed out my substrate.

45 gallon tall with natural gravel substrate

Roy_________
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

75 Gallon, 2X55W AH Supply CF 8800K, 1X 59W Fluval Plant (3.0); 45 Gallon Tall, 1X 46W Fluval Plant (3.0); 30 Gallon Long; Fluval F&P 2.0; 20 Gallon, 1X26W AH Supply LED; all with CO2 & (Calcined) Montmorillonite Clay
Seattle_Aquarist is offline  
post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-31-2014, 08:39 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
AGUILAR3's Avatar
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Los Angeles 626
Posts: 1,137
Since we really don't have a need for Tractor Supplies, I searched and found that Grainger carries the 40lb bag for $12.

http://www.grainger.com/product/6RKH...140331203911:s
AGUILAR3 is offline  
post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-31-2014, 10:19 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
AGUILAR3's Avatar
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Los Angeles 626
Posts: 1,137
Grainger is 5 min away so I decided to get myself a bag.David, If you decide to walk in, don't go by the MFG #7941. Use Safe T Absorbent Item # 6RKH9. It'll be a lot easier.


Grainger Industrial Supply
120 Beta Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15238


BTW, I'm a gravel cap/dirt guy but now that I have STS, would I benefit from dirt or root tabs?(Crypts/Vals)
AGUILAR3 is offline  
post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-01-2014, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: oakmont, PA
Posts: 82
Thanks for your advice. I'll try the root tabs first. Maybe will set up a smaller tank and try the Safe t Sorb. I might as well discontinue the dosing with liquid ferts as I see no effect. Since most plants are planted in the substrate; what's the purpose of liquid ferts anyway? Would they be better placed in dry form?
david meyers is offline  
post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-01-2014, 05:04 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Seattle_Aquarist's Avatar
 
PTrader: (65/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 6,618
Quote:
Originally Posted by david meyers View Post
Thanks for your advice. I'll try the root tabs first. Maybe will set up a smaller tank and try the Safe t Sorb. I might as well discontinue the dosing with liquid ferts as I see no effect. Since most plants are planted in the substrate; what's the purpose of liquid ferts anyway? Would they be better placed in dry form?
Hi david meyers,

I think that is a good choice, especially with a tank that size. I recently started a 75 gallon with Safe-T-Sorb #7941 where I screened the substrate to remove the "fines"; here is the journal covering that tank.

Although many plants are anchored in the substrate their methods of extracting nutrients for growth vary greatly. Some species primarily gain nourishment through their roots from the substrate. Other species use their roots primarily to anchor the stem and get their nourishment from the water column through their leaves. Most plants utilize both methods but may be more efficient using either their roots or their leaves.

Roy_________
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

75 Gallon, 2X55W AH Supply CF 8800K, 1X 59W Fluval Plant (3.0); 45 Gallon Tall, 1X 46W Fluval Plant (3.0); 30 Gallon Long; Fluval F&P 2.0; 20 Gallon, 1X26W AH Supply LED; all with CO2 & (Calcined) Montmorillonite Clay

Last edited by Seattle_Aquarist; 04-01-2014 at 08:14 PM. Reason: ..
Seattle_Aquarist is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome