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Which is better Substrate or PFS

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Which is better Substrate or PFS

Post  chiclidlover on Fri Jan 31, 2014 11:37 pm

Which is better gravel ( substrate ) PFS ?
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Re: Which is better Substrate or PFS

Post  williemcd on Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:42 am

This vote goes for PFS.. Real PFS not play-sand.... Bill

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Re: Which is better Substrate or PFS

Post  Amp2020 on Tue Feb 04, 2014 3:35 am

PFS definitely! But I've recently tried Safe-T-Sorb and like it better. I like the color better, and the plants do well. Haven't seen any problems with gas pockets forming and creating deadly gas. A little hard to plant stem plants into, but I've figured it out.

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Re: Which is better Substrate or PFS

Post  kat12 on Tue Feb 04, 2014 4:00 am

I use black diamond blasting powder, similar to PFS but black

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Re: Which is better Substrate or PFS

Post  williemcd on Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:52 am

Kat, what is the screen size of the sand you are using?....  If it's too fine, it can create an anaerobic pocket that can be fatal to your charges.  PFS on the other hand is sieved to a uniform size of .45 - .55 mm which allows the passage of water through it's mass.... Anything smaller would inhibit that capability and create those pockets...Here's a chart that may help....I'd love to find some black sand that meets the requirement of a benign substrate and look great!;;; Chart:






















[th]Screen Number[/th][th]Size in MM[/th][th]Size in Inches[/th][th]Nearest Fraction*[/th]
44.75.1873/16"
54.00.1575/32"
63.35.1321/8"
72.80.111 
82.36.09373/32"
102.00.07875/64"
121.70.0661 
141.40.0555 
161.18.04693/64"
181.0394 
20.85.0331 
25.71.02781/32"
30.60.0234 
35.50.0197 
40.425.0165 
45.355.01391/64"
50.300.0117 
80.180.0070 
100.150.0053 
120.125.0049 
200.075.0029 
325.045.0017

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Re: Which is better Substrate or PFS

Post  williemcd on Tue Feb 04, 2014 6:03 am

Amp... I'm a big proponent of Safe-T-Sorb for the following reasons: 
$4.50 for 50 lbs?... enough to do a 55G... how can ya beat that?
My plant growth is phenomenal without the addition of any ferts or upscale lighting... I suspect that due to it being based upon a clay based material, it carries a lot of trace minerals that are beneficial to plant growth... Someone on here will surely take up the task of ID'ing those properties.. but me?... I'll just go with what's working.

CON'S?  Rinse and rinse and rinse some more... 
Transplanting plants?.... Expect a brown cloud for an hour or so... The particulates as it breaks down, does have the capacity to wreak havoc in the tank for a short period of time... 

I'll live with the benefits of STS as it promotes plant growth, hides the detritus to the casual observer and looks 100% natural.  Bill

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Re: Which is better Substrate or PFS

Post  Amp2020 on Tue Feb 04, 2014 3:07 pm

Also, there's no reason you couldn't just cap one substrate with another. You could even use dirt if done right. You can use very fine sand, just be sure to keep it less than 1.5" deep. Adding MTS (Malasian Trumpet Snails) will help keep it stirred up and prevent pockets from forming.

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Re: Which is better Substrate or PFS

Post  kat12 on Tue Feb 04, 2014 3:46 pm

black diamond comes in different sizes and is about the same price as Safe-T-Sorb for the same size bag.

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Re: Which is better Substrate or PFS

Post  neogeo20041 on Tue Feb 04, 2014 4:03 pm

I like the look of pfs and very easy to keep clean compared to a substrate. I don't like food getting stuck at the bottom of substrate that can only be cleaned through gravel vacuuming. STS is great if you are into plants but in my opinion a little too dirty but I still like the color and look of it. There is also high grade gravel that are suppose to have the minerals for plants can't remember the name though.
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