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safeTsorb + Pool filter sand?

1092 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  TekWarren
I have PFS in my main tank and despite my learning and adjusting, plants do pretty well but some tend to get really thick roots high up in the water column. To me, they don't look the greatest and trimming them is a pain as when I trim before water changes each week, a lot of roots may have formed.

Would providing/adding a better substrate decrease this at all? I have contemplating adding some safeTsorb so that it can help feed the roots from absorbed nutrients (EI dosing).

I did recently make some root tabs and add them. I do also think that at least some mulm is making it's way down into the sand and plants I have removed generally have really prolific root systems.

Would there be any potential issues from doing this? My sand isn't super deep, I used one 40# bag in my 40b and I have one bag of safeTsorb I picked up a few weeks ago. I don't know if that would end up being to much substrate or not... I could try to vacuum out some of the sand but I don't really want to uproot the whole tank.

Not too concerned if it will look odd as I don't have any real "open" areas of just substrate.
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Sand and Safe-T-Sorb are different weights. You might start with them mixed, but they will separate. Sand on the bottom, STS on top. It will take a while to separate.

STS by itself will hold a lot of nutrients for the plants if it has a source of those nutrients.

Sand has no cationic exchange capacity. So it does not hold nutrients.
The mulm that is in the sand might hold the nutrients. Organic matter that is very well broken down has cationic exchange capacity.

Whether any of this will help with plants that tend to grow aerial roots, I have no idea. I think some plants tend to do this a lot, and the substrate does not make a difference.
Thanks for your thoughts. I guess the mixing isn't an issue to me personally, mostly concerned if there would be any potential issues to have an inert substrate below the STS. I have a few MTS...they haven't multiplied yet in numbers that I have seen. I might add the STS this weekend unless someone thinks it is not a good idea.
So I added some STS this weekend. Not a ton but a good ground covering to start. I might need to help some lower plants breach the new substrate surface to they continue to grow right. I used a noodle strainer so I mostly adding the larger pieces. I rinsed/sifted in the strainer and used the plastic (2liter) bottle method to add into the tank, no water clouding at all. I rally like the look of it, my sand lost its bright white some time ago the safeTsorb gives it a new refreshing natural look.
pictures would be nice. I want to see how sand and STS look when mixed.
Can do. It's not really mixed though it's just layered on top. My sand wasn't all that deep so it's barely noticeable. I'll let it mix naturally since I'll have the majority of it covered with plants anyway.

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