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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok I can't find any clay products (saf-t-sorb, dri something ect) in my area in a color other than grey or possibly tan.

but I did find turface mvp and turface red mound clay..

Which one is , I suppose, arguably better or the wrong turface product.
distributor insists turface mvp will break down in water.
Turface red mound clay is more uniform in size but overall smaller particle size..
 

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Hi jeffkrol,

Ideally the distributor would stock Turface Pro League products which has a smaller grain size than the MVP products. Unfortunately the Grey color was discontinued several years ago, I would look into the natural (tan) color or possibly the Champion Brown if it is colorfast.

Tractor Supply Company has several locations in Wisconsin and they carry the Safe-t-sorb #7941 for about $6.50 a bag. It as a nice natural look and the same calcined montmorillonite clay as Turface.

Safe-t-sorb #7941; 10 gallon; no CO2; EI ferts
 

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I too would be interested in a black or natural (all one color, not multi) lighter colored high CEC sub. Eco-complete doesn't seem worth the price to me. Was told Fluorite has a low CEC. I know there are some old school high CEC subs that people used (though many have been discontinued), don't know all the brand names though.

@Seattle_Aquarist Tractor Supply Co. just opened a new location in Kent, WA six weeks ago (just off a exit on 167, close to the Carpinto bros. market). I just bought some Black Diamond Blasting Sand, they carry both fine and medium grain, and they have Safe-T-Sorb as well.
 

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@Waterlife,

I live just outside of Renton and I've seen the new Kent location from Hwy 167 when driving by but haven't been in it yet, thanks for the info!
 

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No problem. Thank YOU for all the information you always give!
I met the manager at that location, pretty cool guy. He had no idea people were buying these for aquarium use haha.

Is there a all black or all one color (tan or grey) High CEC substrate you know of?
 

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@Waterlife,

I would look for the Turface Pro League natural; there are a couple of Turface distributors in the area; Ewing Irrigation in Auburn and Horizon Distributors in Renton. I have not been to either one but if you check them out send me a PM and let me know what you find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Tractor Supply Company has several locations in Wisconsin and they carry the Safe-t-sorb #7941 for about $6.50 a bag. It as a nice natural look and the same calcined montmorillonite clay as Turface.

Safe-t-sorb #7941; 10 gallon; no CO2; EI ferts
sales rep said theirs was grey................Already tried them..
That is why the color might be regional (?????)
I def would get it if it wasn't grey.. I will be mixing w/ a bit of rotten red granite..

not getting any clarity on exact type of turface.. Again rep said mvp turns to mush when wet..
 

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Hi jeffkrol,

It has been over two years since I set up a new tank with fresh Safe-t-sorb #7941 (STS) so I just went out to the garage and grabbed a handful of STS - this is what it looks like 'dry' (looks grey to me).


Then I took the same container above and sprayed it with water and this is what it looked like - notice the various grain colors? Same camera, just the difference between 'dry' and 'wet'
 

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I have been using the green bag as pictured above. #7941. Just picked up 3 more bags, from Tractor Supply.
Photos by Roy are just what I see in the bag (dry) and tank (wet).
It is a subtle blend of tans and greys, not a rainbow of different colors, and IMO looks quite natural.

I have used Soil Master Select Charcoal (not available any more). This looks black or almost black in the tank. I like it.

I have used Turface, I do not remember what the color is called, but it is too bright orange-tan. I do not like it. Too uniform, too bright. Even with a build-up of mulm, it is not a great color.

I asked the local Ewing if they had the brown, but they only had this same orangy-tan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
View attachment 613625

Same product just different weights.
Ahhh... I see.

Bump:
I have been using the green bag as pictured above. #7941. Just picked up 3 more bags, from Tractor Supply.
Photos by Roy are just what I see in the bag (dry) and tank (wet).
It is a subtle blend of tans and greys, not a rainbow of different colors, and IMO looks quite natural.

I have used Soil Master Select Charcoal (not available any more). This looks black or almost black in the tank. I like it.

I have used Turface, I do not remember what the color is called, but it is too bright orange-tan. I do not like it. Too uniform, too bright. Even with a build-up of mulm, it is not a great color.

I asked the local Ewing if they had the brown, but they only had this same orangy-tan.
The MVP is less uniform in size and, dry, is uniform and not real red..
I'm planning on mixing it w/ a little rotten red granite so that should take out the uniformity factor..
Bags still out in the truck...Had a few inches of snow today.. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)


Then I took the same container above and sprayed it with water and this is what it looked like - notice the various grain colors? Same camera, just the difference between 'dry' and 'wet'
Your wet looks a lot better than mine (matter of opinion I suppose)
Turface MVP on left. STS on right:


most of our local river gravels are feldspar/quartz so it is naturally "red"..the turface is quite natural to this area sans white/clear quartz grains and of course the rounding.. ;)



turf mvp left mix turf/sts right
Of course the 2 are similar and different enough to do some scape zoning....
 

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I'm looking at tearing down my 55 and getting rid of the dirt as I'm just not impressed. I would normally turn to just replacing it with black diamond media but after looking at this thread I'm intrigued. So I have a couple questions to those who have used this before. Is it easy to plant in and does it hold plants down fairly well?
 

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I'm looking at tearing down my 55 and getting rid of the dirt as I'm just not impressed. I would normally turn to just replacing it with black diamond media but after looking at this thread I'm intrigued. So I have a couple questions to those who have used this before. Is it easy to plant in and does it hold plants down fairly well?
Hi Nlewis,

It is easy to plant but the calcined montmorillonite clay products are much lighter than black diamond blasting abrasives; also be prepared to rinse clay products 2-3 times prior to putting in the tank and even the 3 rinse will come off 'milky'. The good news is it will clear relatively quickly.

Safe-t-sorb #7941 after rinsing 3 times and then filling tank (75 gallon)


Safe-t-sorb #7941 after filling completed



Safe-t-sorb #7941 24 hours after filling
 

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Your wet looks a lot better than mine (matter of opinion I suppose)
Turface MVP on left. STS on right:


most of our local river gravels are feldspar/quartz so it is naturally "red"..the turface is quite natural to this area sans white/clear quartz grains and of course the rounding.. ;)



turf mvp left mix turf/sts right
Of course the 2 are similar and different enough to do some scape zoning....
I like the mix - looks great!
 
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