Safe T Sorb V.S. Black Diamond Blasting Sand - Substrates - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 01-17-2017, 05:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Safe T Sorb V.S. Black Diamond Blasting Sand

I'm wanting to get a few opinions on substrate. I'm getting ready to set up a 150 gallon c02 planted tank. I am looking for a substrate that won't break the bank since it is a larger tank and I'm leaning towards either Safe T Sorb or Black Diamond Blasting Sand 20/40 med. I wanted to see if anyone has used both and had pros and cons on each. I am a little worried the STS will break down overtime and almost become mud so to say. Any thoughts on either would be greatly appreciated.

150 gallon tank
c02
2 48 inch zoo med 5K bulbs
2 48 inch zoo med 6,500k bulbs
plants will range
S. Repens
L. Red and a few others
Bylax Japanica
Bylax Alternifolia
R. Pearl
Adotis Acrmminifolia
Viscidula
Vals
Swords
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Old 01-17-2017, 05:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Safe T Sorb V.S. Black Diamond Blasting Sand

Hi Mark,

I have not used BDBS but all of my tanks are calcined montmorillonite clay. I have used Soilmaster Select, Turface, and now use Safe-t-sorb #7941 (on sale $5.00 / 40# @ Tractor Supply).

STS is very 'dusty'. I did a 75 gallon (48X18.5X21) a few years ago. I wanted to get rid of the 'fines' so I pre-screened it with hardware cloth and although I lost about 1/3+ of the product out of each bag the tank cleared much more quickly than tanks where I didn't screen. Here is the thread I did at the time.

I should add I have had absolutely no 'breakdown' in the integrity of the substrate with any of the types of calcined montmorillonite clay that I have used....the oldest tank has been set up since December, 2009....so 7 years last month.

Did it grow plants well? Here it is about five (5) weeks after fillling.
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Old 01-18-2017, 06:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Safe T Sorb V.S. Black Diamond Blasting Sand

Hello Mark:

Pretty much agree with @Seattle_Aquarist.

I have used inert substrates just not BDBS.
Much improved growth over using inert substrates.
SafeTSorb does not break down like cat litter products.
(reading somewhere the clay is fired in a different manner)
On the scale it has a good CEC rating also.

Recently performed an in tank change out to SafeTSorb.
Being really worried about cloudy water, 30 minutes all clear.
Now I have an approved method for this one.
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