Safe T Sorb substrate ... - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-21-2015, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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Safe T Sorb substrate ...

Planning on switching my substrate from pool filter sand to safe t sorb but I have a few questions about it first. Does it need a cap? And if I'm dosing dry ferts do i NEED root tabs for heavy root feeders? I'm having problems with the osmocote root tabs causing ammonia spikes in my 10 gallon and the osmocote balls always seem to come up to the surface of the sand (I hate seeing it lol)

If I do still need root tabs will the safe t sorb help keep the osmocote balls buried better than pool filter sand?

Also is there different types of safe t sorb? If so which should I get?

If you have pics of your tanks with just safe t sorb for substrate (no cap no dirt) I would love to see it and how the plants are growing in it.

Thank you
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-21-2015, 08:37 PM
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Montmorillonite clay(safe-t-sorb, kitty litter,turface pro etc) are very, VERY light. You can use it as a stand alone substrate but you still would want to treat it like any other substrate like eco-complete, floramax etc. It has no nutrients so you'd want to add nutrients first or, before adding livestock(O+, root tabs). However, Montmorillonite clays are especially good at both absorbing and adsorping nutrients(high CEC). One problem I've read and been told about us the tendency for these products to kill your kh. So manual buffering on your part is a must. Or, you can use a Gh increasing agent BEFORE adding livestock.

Stock lightly and carry a big filter. - I don't have aquariums. I have ecosystems in a glass box. - Hygrophilaholic and hoarder of Anubias.
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-21-2015, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you!!
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-21-2015, 08:51 PM
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I'll see if I can find a picture real quick with my newest dirt set-up that has a kitty litter cap and post for you.

Bump:

Stock lightly and carry a big filter. - I don't have aquariums. I have ecosystems in a glass box. - Hygrophilaholic and hoarder of Anubias.
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-21-2015, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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I'll see if I can find a picture real quick with my newest dirt set-up that has a kitty litter cap and post for you.

Bump:
Heyyyy I said no dirt or cap hahaha jk it's ok I just wanted to see if anyone had used it by itself and had success!! It's still nice to see others tanks though and yours is very nice!!

I don't know what my gh and kh levels are :/ I don't have a test for them but would my water company be able to tell me the info? Aren't those tests expensive? Ugh why can't having a pretty tank be simple lol
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-21-2015, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
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Montmorillonite clay(safe-t-sorb, kitty litter,turface pro etc) are very, VERY light. You can use it as a stand alone substrate but you still would want to treat it like any other substrate like eco-complete, floramax etc. It has no nutrients so you'd want to add nutrients first or, before adding livestock(O+, root tabs). However, Montmorillonite clays are especially good at both absorbing and adsorping nutrients(high CEC). One problem I've read and been told about us the tendency for these products to kill your kh. So manual buffering on your part is a must. Or, you can use a Gh increasing agent BEFORE adding livestock.
What would you recommend for a gh increasing agent?
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-21-2015, 10:57 PM
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pure saf-t-sorb 125g tank




saf-t-sorb will eventually equalize with your source water, it affects kh more than gh.


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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-21-2015, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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pure saf-t-sorb 125g tank

Awesome!! Thank you so much!! Beautiful tank by the way!! Did you have any problems with it?


Edit: sorry didn't see the text under the pic lol so even if I don't add a gh increasing agent it will be ok?
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-21-2015, 11:05 PM
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No problems at all. I do use seachem root tabs and jobes house plant fertilizer sticks in the substrate. Saf-t-sorb will lower your Kh and ph for awhile. I just let it run its course. Plants and fish have done just fine.


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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-21-2015, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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No problems at all. I do use seachem root tabs and jobes house plant fertilizer sticks in the substrate. Saf-t-sorb will lower your Kh and ph for awhile. I just let it run its course. Plants and fish have done just fine.
Thank you!!!!!!
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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-22-2015, 02:18 AM
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Here's a thread I started about using Montmorillonite clay and Laterite combined to create an ultimate substrate. It may answer a few questions or, cover some things you didn't think about.

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=859697

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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-22-2015, 10:14 PM Thread Starter
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Where can I get laterite? Anyone know?
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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-23-2015, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
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Nvm got some ... and if anyone else is wondering petsmart has it!
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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-23-2015, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
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Ok here's a pic (cloudy)



So what I ended up doing was mixing laterite, osmocote +, crushed limestone, and some safe t sorb for the bottom layer. Then added another layer of safe t sorb on top. Still a little hard to keep the plants planted but I'm thinking if I added a little more safe t sorb on the top layer it might help!

Thank you HDBenson for all of your help!!!!

I will be posting updates with hopefully some progress lol
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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-23-2015, 07:37 PM Thread Starter
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Added more safe t sorb on top and it actually helped!!

Also fixed the sand part because it looked a little too silly and wide.

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