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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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?
 

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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.
 

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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)
 

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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
 

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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)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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?
 

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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.
 
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