calcium sulphate

hellohefalump

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I think I have a calcium deficiency because i have deformed leaves on my c.wentii and my nesaea crassicaulis. None of my other plants appear to be affected though.

So I'm going to get some calcium sulphate from aqua essentials.

I'm currently using PPS pro mixtures:
Macro Solution

In 1 liter bottle:
59 grams K2SO4 (Potassium Sulfate)
65 grams KNO3 (Potassium Nitrate)
6 grams KH2PO4 (Mono Potassium Phosphate)
41 grams MgSO4 (Magnesium Sulfate)
Fill with distilled water and shake well. Let sit overnight.

Micro Solution

In 1 liter bottle:
80 grams of CSM+B or equivalent trace element mix
Fill with distilled water and shake well. Let sit overnight.
And I'm dosing a bit extra to what it recommends (10mls of each daily for my 100gal tank) I'm dosing 15-20mls macro daily and 10mls micro daily.

How much calcium sulphate should I add into 1 litre of water? And since it contains sulphur, is that bad? Because I'm already adding potassium sulphate and I don't want to add too much.

I'm doing a third to half, water change weekly.
 

ceg4048

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Hi,
The first question is what is your GH? If it's higher than about 3-5 degrees then you probably have enough Ca although it's theoretically possible to have that reading due to mostly Mg as well. It might be worthwhile to check your water report. I would then look at CO2 which is probably the more likely culprit. You can test that most safely by adding Excel for a few weeks and noting any improvement. In any case you'd only need to add enough CaSO4 to raise the GH a couple of degrees. I'd be more inclined to add GH Booster instead since that has a lot more useful stuff like sulfates of Potassium, Iron and Magnesium in addition to CaSO4.

Cheers,
 

Nick16

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just a quick question,

How do you test for GH? is there a special kit as mine only does PH, Ammonia, Nitrites and nitrates.
 

ceg4048

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Hi,
There are test kits like this Typical GH Test Kit but they are really nothing special as they can be found at any LFS. Since I abhor all test kits generally, I wouldn't even bother to buy one of these. I mean, you can tell if your tap water is higher than 5. Does you kettle heating element get white chalk deposits? If yes you have plenty of calcium in your tap and therefore your problem is not a Ca deficiency. You should also have a water report online from your water supplier which will list typical GH values for your area. See that? I just saved you £6.49. :D

Cheers,
 

Nick16

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thanks, i belive we do have a good amount of calcium in the water as i know we have hard water where i am. also we get limescale quite bad and that is another indicator. also, nitrate is 50 and nitrite is 0.5. are these high?
 

hellohefalump

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thanks for taking the time to reply to my post :)

I get limescale in my kettle, but I'm diluting my tap with RO. I'm using half and half tap and RO, because I'm keeping more softwater fishes (angels, tetras etc). diluting half and half, also brings my kh down to 4.

I will bear in mind the CO2 theory, but my tank is 100gals, and to use excel or easycarbo for two weeks would get expensive!

I have two JBL kits running on the tank, one at either end, both with diffusers positioned next to the filter outlets (I have two filters). I also have two drop checker tests - one at each end. They are usually both light green with 4dkh solution. My filters are 1200lph and I think 1000lph and I also have a 2000lph powerhead running. Do you think I might benefit from an extra powerhead?

My CO2 levels DO drop at night due to water surface agitation (which I like to keep my fish happy and stop surface film). Could that be having an effect? Obviously lights are out at this time.
 

ceg4048

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hellohefalump said:
My CO2 levels DO drop at night due to water surface agitation (which I like to keep my fish happy and stop surface film). Could that be having an effect? Obviously lights are out at this time.
Well, CO2 levels are irrelevant at night, but if you take extra measures to drive off the residual levels at night then it takes a lot longer to saturate the water with CO2 in a big tank when you most need it at lights on. To compensate you'll need to turn the gas on even earlier before lights on. Remember that you can then turn the gas off earlier than lights off as well. 3 or 4 hours before lights off does no harm.

The fact that you are having bouts of surface scum in a way corroborates that you have a marginal CO2 issue as well as possible marginal nutrient levels. It's up to you what method you choose to dose but these symptoms appear to me to be the early warning of malnutrition. These issue worsen as the plant biomass increases and the demand rises. Nutrients are easy to fix - just double everything. CO2 is problematic, but if you turn it off earlier, you can then increase the bubble rate a little bit more to get better saturation. Folks who worry about adding too much nutrients often wind up not adding enough which causes many more problems. I like the idea of dual diffusers but large tanks are difficult to get good even saturation. You might wish to consider external diffusers some day which work better.

Also, unless you are trying to breed angels or tetras there is no real reason to cut the water with RO. The fish care much more about having clean water than they do about KH/GH. They usually adapt very well to tap. Again, that's a personal choice but I found that it gets very tedious. I have no trouble with tetras in high KH/GH.

Nick16 said:
thanks, i belive we do have a good amount of calcium in the water as i know we have hard water where i am. also we get limescale quite bad and that is another indicator. also, nitrate is 50 and nitrite is 0.5. are these high?
I really doubt the accuracy of both these numbers. A 0.5 ppm NO2 would cause a lot of problems and 50ppm NO3 sounds like the EU allowable limit. If you measured these values with test kits I would immediately throw the test kits in the tip. If you read these values from your water report then it's likely your were reading the allowable limits not the average for your area. If you actually do have 50ppm NO3 in your tap then you wouldn't need to buy KNO3 but you also wouldn't need to worry about it either.

Cheers,
 

ceg4048

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Well those numbers sound more realistic, certainly, but again I don't really trust the accuracy of the kits regardless. Really, the best policy id to start your dosing according to EI or PMDD standard levels and then if you wish, slowly reduce the dosing levels to see how little you can get away with if that's your goal. When it comes to C, N, P and K I don't trust any readings or reports because these 4 elements are crucial to plant health. Trace elements and minerals are a completely different story though, and I'm more inclined to accept the mineral content numbers listed in a water report simply because the plant uses much less of these. So for example a plant needs 100X more Nitrogen than Calcium, so the Nitrogen content needs to be very high while the Calcium level just needs to be non-zero. See the EI dosing article in the Tutorial section for more details.


Cheers,
 

hellohefalump

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I've changed my method of diffusion on one of my CO2 systems. I'm not using a tiny filter and it's being chopped into tiny bubbles by the impellor. I can actually SEE CO2 bubbles in the tank now (up to 4' from the diffuser!) and it's getting caught in the plant leaves and it's all over the place. I'm going to see if it makes a difference. My drop checkers are definately a bit more yellow than they were before, so I think it's a better method of diffusion and I'm going to get another tiny filter on ebay and replace my other JBL diffuser.
 

hellohefalump

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Newhaven, east sussex
ceg4048 (I don't know your name!) you are a true genius!!!!

I've now had my new diffuser (small internal filter with CO2 line running into it) working for a few weeks and new growth from my Nesaea Crassicaulis is normal looking. The leaves are now straight, healthy looking and a lovely colour - it's made a huge difference!

I've bought another little filter for the other end of the tank, but I'm waiting to buy some more CO2 tubing before I can get it set up in place of my other JBL diffuser.
 
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