Stalite - I found a new product - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-10-2009, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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Stalite - I found a new product

I have been doing some research on substrate. What I have found is called Stalite Perma Till.

Size 0 is roughly 1.5mm to 3.0mm.
Size A is roughly 3mm to 6mm.

Stalite is rotary kiln fired expanded slate heated to 2100 degrees F. It has 50% more surface area than typical gravel or sand.

Chemical Composition can be seen here:
http://www.stalite.com/uploads/ChemicalComposition.pdf

Stalite is:
Sterile and Inert.
50% porous.
26.9meg/100g CEC.
PH of 7-9.
Durable, will not decompose or degrade over time.
Color is a vary dark gray when under water.

It comes in .75 cu ft bags (40 Lbs) for $9.00 each. In a 48x12 inch tank, one bag will fill it to 2 1/4 inches. 2 bags will fill the same size tank to 4 1/2 inches.
Compared to Flourite, it would take 3 bags of Flourite to make up .75 cu ft. (45 Lbs).
As you can see the weight of Stalite is very close to Flourite.
I received a sample yesterday and after rinsing, I am soaking it in some water for a couple days and then testing the water.

What I am thinking is putting a layer of peat with Jobes plant sticks at the bottom and then cover this up with Stalite.

Please let me know if you see anything that would make Stalite not usable in a fish/planted tank.

It has been used in Horticultural, Nurseries, greenhouses, Landscape applications, Bioretention applications, Root Bridging to protect and preserve existing tree root systems, Structural soil for planting urban trees, Structural soil for turf fire lanes, service roads, compaction reduction, Wastewater treatment, and Structural concrete, Masonry and Geotechnical applications.

Stalite web page is http://www.stalite.com/

Joe

10 gallon hospital tank.
29 & 50 gallon - High Tech C02 enriched.
50 gallon Pond - Natural.

Last edited by Joetee; 02-19-2010 at 04:53 PM.
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-10-2009, 06:11 PM
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this looks to be a nice alternative to pool filter sand and based on the laboratory reports it looks to be very stable, and contain trace minerals but being a slate is will be difficult to get them into solution

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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-10-2009, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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From what I've seen, pool filter sand is mostly white to off white. I believe a white substrate would show off the detritus and dirt etc more. Stalite has a dark gray color when under water which may look a little better and hide crap etc better.
I understand that the mineral content may be slow, if any, a source for the plants. It is very porous with a lot of surface area, like carbon, so it can also house a lot of good bacteria. The roots may be able to get some of the nutrients but I think using Jobes or equivalent may be the answer like so many other substrates. I'm going to be testing this more to see how it works. But first I need to do a water test on the soaked sample of Stalite I have setting in a glass of water. I made the mistake before not testing some paver leveling sand that I tried and it made my water extremely hard.
I don't have enough tanks to set up two identical tanks with plants, one being with Jobes, and the other without. If anybody would like to help out with this task, it would be much appreciated to all of us in the hobby.
I know there has to be something that is much cheaper than the designer substrates that will work good that is really easy to use. Stalite rinses real easy and quickly too. And if needed, Jobes are so easy to add when needed with a pair of tongs or tweezers. Also, as far as I know, not all plants need root fertilizers.
I am hoping that Stalite will prove to be an outstanding substrate that does not cost an arm and a leg. $9.00 versus $50.00 for a .75 cu ft is in my opinion a very good deal. I know people can use plain old sand at a lower price. Some compacts and the color is light. Stalite doesn't compact and has a dark color and if the minerals are available to the plant roots this would be a plus.
Joe

10 gallon hospital tank.
29 & 50 gallon - High Tech C02 enriched.
50 gallon Pond - Natural.
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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-10-2009, 08:24 PM
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This looks extremely promising. I use play sand in my main tank - and the sight of detritus is annoying.

Please post your results of the water testing. I will switch in a heartbeat if there are no changes.
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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-10-2009, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wondabread View Post
This looks extremely promising. I use play sand in my main tank - and the sight of detritus is annoying.

Please post your results of the water testing. I will switch in a heartbeat if there are no changes.
Stalite company says it is inert, but I'm checking it anyway. I'm going to give it three or four days to make sure, steering it daily.
I post my findings.
Joe

10 gallon hospital tank.
29 & 50 gallon - High Tech C02 enriched.
50 gallon Pond - Natural.
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-10-2009, 10:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joetee View Post
From what I've seen, pool filter sand is mostly white to off white.
the pool filter sand i get is a medium tan but i have seen the white stuff and passed on it.

being that the material is slate it should be innert unless it is a calcarious slate (rare) im looking forward to your results since i will be looking to set up a 75gallon low tech in the next 6months. im hoping i will be able to find this in my area seing that it is being used primaroly as a agrogate and up here in the northeast we have a large suppy of local agrogate.

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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 04:23 AM
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Can you put a small amount on a white plate, lay a dime on it and take a picture? That will show us what it looks like. Then add water so we can see it wet. The only problem I can see that you might run into is the very light weight, which might make it hard to keep plants in place. But, SMS has that problem too.

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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 06:53 PM
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can we get this stuff local?? if so where please?
thansk
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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-14-2009, 04:37 PM
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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-14-2009, 05:57 PM
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There's a place near me that carries it

I couldn't find pics of what it looks like out of the bag, anyone got any info?
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post #11 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-14-2009, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
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OK, On Sat 5/9/09 I placed lightly rinsed Stalite in a glass of my tap water, and also filled another glass with the same tap water to age along with the Stalite for comparison.

Now it is Thur 5/14/09. This is my first attempt at doing a test like this and I am not sure how to interpret it, but it seems to look ok to me. I would like all you experienced people to comment on my results please.

Stalite:
PH - 7.4
P04 - 0 to not measurable
KH - 50 ppm
GH - 180 ppm

Aged tap water:
PH - 7.4
P04 - .5
KH - 40 ppm
GH - 100 ppm

I find it very interesting that the PO4 went down in the Stalite water sample and the KH\GH went slightly up but I imagine that the difference is probably within a acceptable limits. What do you think?

Joe

10 gallon hospital tank.
29 & 50 gallon - High Tech C02 enriched.
50 gallon Pond - Natural.
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post #12 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-14-2009, 08:06 PM
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I don't like that kh and gh went up. With even the smallest change in kh, wouldn't pH change accordingly?

I would buy a bag and test my results myself (to add to your tests) - but the nearest retailer is 25 miles away and not answering their phone right now.

My tap is liquid rock. I will wait to make any judgements until I see some more comments.
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post #13 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-14-2009, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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I should probably explain the glass of water with the Stalite.
I put into the glass about 3 inches of Stalite. I filled with water and poured this back and fourth between two glasses a few times to rinse it out and it became clear. I refilled the glass to about 1 inch above the Stalite and let it set on top the refrigerator along with the other glass of water. Two days later I pour the stalite into another glass back and fourth and let it set until today.
I'm thinking in this very concentrated Stalite with very little water, the KH\GH readings would not be so different in a 18 inch tank with only 3 or 4 inches of Stalite. Especially when we do weekly water changes.
What do you think?
Joe

10 gallon hospital tank.
29 & 50 gallon - High Tech C02 enriched.
50 gallon Pond - Natural.
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post #14 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-14-2009, 08:36 PM
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I think the readings are fine, and like Hoppy suggested, you should take a picture with some of it on a piece of paper to give us an idea of the color and granularity.


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post #15 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-14-2009, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Wasserpest View Post
I think the readings are fine, and like Hoppy suggested, you should take a picture with some of it on a piece of paper to give us an idea of the color and granularity.
I might be able to get a photo this weekend.
In case your wondering, the test kits I used was:
PH Aquarium Pharmaceuticals
P04, KH/GH was Nutrafin.
Nothing special, but these work good enough for me to see about how thing are going.
Is there any other test that I should do? I wish I could test for FE. But after reading that the FE test kits aren't very reliable I never bought one.
Joe

10 gallon hospital tank.
29 & 50 gallon - High Tech C02 enriched.
50 gallon Pond - Natural.
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