WaterLife

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Trying to make my own GH and KH booster.
My specific use is to remineralize R/O water for some shrimp tanks.

So I've done some searching and came across these threads on the same topic, but I only know a small amount on chemistry so I just wanted to get some clarification.
http://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/dissolving-gh-booster.22428/
http://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/a-few-qs-about-gh-booster.12368/

Here is an idea on water parameters for some shrimp that I keep in case you are unfamiliar with dwarf shrimp params
http://www.discobee.com/blogs/news/17030569-shrimp-water-parameters

So I'm thinking I should use Potassium Bicarbonate (KHCO3) for raising KH
and use Calcium Chloride (CaCl2) and Magnesium Sulfate (MgSO4) for raising GH with proper ratio of Ca:Mg

What is the proper Ca:Mg ratio? I think I've heard 1 part Ca to 3 parts Mg (1:3), or was it reverse? haha

I would prefer not to use Calcium Sulfate since it's less soluble and I don't want to use Calcium Nitrate since I don't want the nitrates, so I will go with the next up water soluble form, Calcium Chloride.

Does anyone know if Chloride from Calcium Chloride, would cause any issues? Does it disassociate in solution and become Chlorine? I do use Seachem Prime/Safe as a dechlorinator. If it stays as Chloride, does it have any negative effect on fish, inverts or plants?

I'm not the best with the math aspect either, so can anyone write down the correct amounts to use to treat X amount of water (again, using R/O. Preferably, would like to know how to increase by 1 dGH/dKH). Or just verify if/what calculations are correct on the linked threads.

I was just looking on eBay (US sellers).
I did come across different grades of the chemicals, so I would like to clarify which grade I should get. I assume %/potency would be different depending on the chemical grade, so that would be important for calculating dosage.
Grades I saw were Food Grade/USP, Reagent/ACS, then I see some others like Technical, NF, Lab, and Purified.

The recommendations were Potassium Bicarb for KH, but I also see Potassium Carbonate for the same price. If I am not mistaken, it's just like Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate) vs Baking Powder (Sodium Carbonate).
I read up on the difference a while back, but forgot the differences. Which would be better/safer to use?

How do you find the ratio of the chemical compound?
Such as MgSO4, how do you find out how much Mg there is and how much S there is, etc.? I've seen the atomic weights, but I bought some "100%" Epsom Salt USP, but it says "9.87% Magnesium.....12.98% Sulfur). Based on atomic weights, that's not a match.
How do you know the ratios, would it go by the formula? For instance MgSO4 = 1:1:4? (4 parts oxygen)
Is there a specific name/term that I could enter on searches to find the % or ratio of each chemical?

Any USA (not UK) sources to buy the meds from, online or local? If online, I was just going to buy through eBay.
Local I know there is Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate). I've read Calcium Chloride is de-icer/ice melt, but don't think that is stocked any longer since it's out of season in my area. Any other sources of CaCl2? I don't know what product Potassium Bicarbonate is of. Anyone?

Sorry for the long thread and all the questions. Just trying to gain some knowledge from others and be sure I do it all correctly.

Oh and, are any of the cheap digital weighing/scale spoons or "stands"/scale, like seen on eBay, accurate? Was thinking of getting a bunch of cheap digital scale spoons, or one Seachem digital scale spoon, and probably a bunch of measuring teaspoons (1/8 or even smaller if need be).

By the way, I am new to this forum. Came here as I saw there were some people who really know their chemistry @ceg4048 and @dw1305
Thank you to all in advance!
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Does anyone know if Chloride from Calcium Chloride, would cause any issues? Does it disassociate in solution and become Chlorine?
No, it is the chloride ion Cl- from CaCl2, it remains as Cl-, potentially for all eternity which is why the sea is salty with NaCl (Na+ and Cl- ions).
So I'm thinking I should use Potassium Bicarbonate (KHCO3) for raising KH and use Calcium Chloride (CaCl2) and Magnesium Sulfate (MgSO4) for raising GH with proper ratio of Ca:Mg
Sounds fine. Have a look at <"James' Planted Tank:Water Hardness">, I don't think the exact ratio matters, but plants need more magnesium (Mg) than calcium (Ca).
Grades I saw were Food Grade/USP, Reagent/ACS, then I see some others like Technical, NF, Lab, and Purified.
Food grade is fine.
The recommendations were Potassium Bicarb for KH, but I also see Potassium Carbonate for the same price. If I am not mistaken, it's just like Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate) vs Baking Powder (Sodium Carbonate). I read up on the difference a while back, but forgot the differences. Which would be better/safer to use?
You can use either. Potassium bicarbonate is KHCO3 and potassium carbonate (K2CO3), so you add different amounts of potassium (K).
Such as MgSO4, how do you find out how much Mg there is and how much S there is, etc.? I've seen the atomic weights, but I bought some "100%" Epsom Salt USP, but it says "9.87% Magnesium.....12.98% Sulfur). Based on atomic weights, that's not a match.
It is because of the <"water of crystallisation">, "Epsom salts" is a heptahydrate MgSO4.7H2O and if you add together the RAM of the elements Mg = 24.3, H = 1, O = 16 etc. you get an RMM of 246.5 g/mol of which 24.3 g is magnesium (Mg), 24.3/246.5 gives you ~10% Mg.
Oh and, are any of the cheap digital weighing/scale spoons or "stands"/scale, like seen on eBay, accurate?
You can just use the tea spoons.

cheers Darrel
 

ian_m

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You can just use the tea spoons.
I am a fan of tea spoon. Spoons are far superior to any scales, don't need batteries, can be dish washed, survive dropping on the floor and for price of one of one set of scales you can get many many spoons. Biggest downside is in any teaspoons go missing in my house I am always blamed....
 

WaterLife

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Try this.
http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/RO.htm

Going from your info you should never add any sodium based compounds. Plants & animals have no use for it and it will just build up, this is why the sea is salty, there are no plants or animals consuming the sodium chloride in nature.
Thank you both so much for the info! I really appreciate you guys sharing your knowledge with everyone (I have learned quite a lot of things from older posts)

Ian, what salts are you referring to? Is the Calcium Chloride and Magnesium Sulfate considered salts? Or is it just Sodium (Na)? When I was talking about Sodium Carbonate/Bicarbonate, I was just using it as an example of Potassium Carbonate/Bicarbonate, to compare the bi/carbonate forms, I wasn't actually going to dose Sodium. If the other elements are salts, I don't think I'd have much issues since other branded GH boosters use them as well (more so Calcium Sulfate).

So far, for dosing plant fertilizers, I have just done teaspoons, but just wanted to be more precise with getting more accurate weights of the dosages, since with teaspoons, it's flat/leveled or heaping or inbetween, so not as precise. Guess it's not necessary to be so precise with weighing out DIY GH/KH booster though? Fine with me, since there is a fair sized margin/range for acceptable water params.

My question on Food Grade/USP vs Reagent/ACS, was I was not sure if these two/"four" grades contained different percentages/potency of the chemicals, which might in turn have different calculations for dosing.

Regarding Potassium Bicarbonate (KHCO3) vs Potassium Carbonate (K2CO3), I know from a glance at the formula, the carbonate form has 2 Potassium (K) ions compared to bicarbonate only having 1. The potassium isn't what I am after though. Primarily just wanting the bi/carbonates to boost KH.
I've read Carbonate (CO3) will interact with CO2/carbonic acid in the water, changing it into two bicarbonates, which makes it twice as KH boosting in comparison to the already Bicarbonate (single) form. Is that correct? I'm not injecting any extra CO2 in these shrimp tanks, I just have the natural (equilibrium) dissolved co2 levels from atmospheric exchange.
 

WaterLife

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Hi roadmaster, nice to see you here.
I have not yet been testing everything, waiting till after I get the minerals. My tap water comes out at 3 dGH, 3 dKH, 7.4 pH, can't remember the TDS right now. I still would need, or at least would like to know about doing my own DIY GH and KH booster though, whether I use it or not. These Caridina shrimp I'm going to be keeping are pretty pricey, and I already have a R/O unit, dry/powered minerals are fairly cheap (not branded boosters), so for me, with these Caridina shrimp being pricey and sensitive, I would like to remineralize R/O and not risk any possible toxic substances (to shrimp. I do have copper pipes too) from the tap water.
 

ian_m

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I do have copper pipes too
Its a myth that copper leaches into the water in quatities that may cause issues. Think about it, if copper dissolved into the water supply, within a couple of years pipes would dissolve away and our houses would be flooded.

Just remember to dechlorinate your RO (or test), if keeping sensitive shrimp, as RO units do not guarrantee chlorine and/or amonia removal.
 

WaterLife

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Thanks for the tips. I attached my local water quality report. Still a little worried about using tap water with the sensitive shrimp.
Though I do plan on adapting the shrimp strains to become more hardy/less sensitive by keeping them if tap water and varying water conditions (more basic/alkaline), which some breeders already do with good success (common in Germany). But for now, I want to be sure I keep the shrimp alive, and then once I have more offspring/shrimp, I will start adapting them.
water.jpg

water2.jpg


If anyone has answers to my questions in post #5, that would be much appreciated. Trying to order the correct minerals today.

Thanks all!
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Ian, what salts are you referring to? Is the Calcium Chloride and Magnesium Sulfate considered salts?
All these compounds are <"salts">.
Guess it's not necessary to be so precise with weighing out DIY GH/KH booster though? Fine with me, since there is a fair sized margin/range for acceptable water params.
Yes, no real need for precision.
My question on Food Grade/USP vs Reagent/ACS, was I was not sure if these two/"four" grades contained different percentages/potency of the chemicals, which might in turn have different calculations for dosing.
Yes they are different levels of purity, but they are all pure forms. "Analytical grade reagents" are ultra-pure (you can think of this as they have less than 1 grain of sugar in a rail car load of salt)
Regarding Potassium Bicarbonate (KHCO3) vs Potassium Carbonate (K2CO3), I know from a glance at the formula, the carbonate form has 2 Potassium (K) ions compared to bicarbonate only having 1. The potassium isn't what I am after though. Primarily just wanting the bi/carbonates to boost KH.
The derivation is a bit odd, but 1dKH = 10.7145 ppm CO3.
I've read Carbonate (CO3) will interact with CO2/carbonic acid in the water, changing it into two bicarbonates, which makes it twice as KH boosting in comparison to the already Bicarbonate (single) form. Is that correct?
Carbonate compounds are always as bicarbonate HCO3- in solution, which is soluble in equilibrium with CO2.

3.6g potassium bicarbonate (KHCO3) in 100 litres of water will raise the dKH by 1
2.4g potassium carbonate (K2CO3) in 100 litres of water will raise the dKH by 1

cheers Darrel
 
Last edited:

WaterLife

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Hi again. Sorry to revive my older thread, I didn't see a Private Message option.

Well the dry minerals I have chosen to use for my GH/KH booster are:
Potassium Carbonate (K2CO3)
Calcium Chloride (CaCl2) flakes
Magnesium Sulfate (MgSO4)

I am pretty bad with math so I'm hoping someone could tell me proper dosages.
I have seen some dosages for raising 1 German degree GH/KH for 100 liters of water (26.4172 U.S. Gallons), but I'd much appreciate it if someone could calculate the dosage for raising 1 dGH/dKH for 10 U.S. Gallons (37.8541). I tried calculating them myself, but I'm not too confident in my math skills, then all these conversions make even less confident.

I would be using these formulas for remineralizing R/O water for my 10 gallon and 20 gallon shrimp tanks.

So I'd be really grateful if someone could write out the dosages for me to raise 10 U.S. gallons of water by 1 dGH/dKH respectively.
The calculations for Calcium and Magnesium can be done separately (only Ca or only Mg to raise 1 dGH by themselves, not combined). I can figure out the Ca:Mg ratio/dosage I want to use from there (likely 3:1).

Any help is much appreciated. Thanks!
 

gabriel.basso

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Brazil
Hi again. Sorry to revive my older thread, I didn't see a Private Message option.

Well the dry minerals I have chosen to use for my GH/KH booster are:
Potassium Carbonate (K2CO3)
Calcium Chloride (CaCl2) flakes
Magnesium Sulfate (MgSO4)

I am pretty bad with math so I'm hoping someone could tell me proper dosages.
I have seen some dosages for raising 1 German degree GH/KH for 100 liters of water (26.4172 U.S. Gallons), but I'd much appreciate it if someone could calculate the dosage for raising 1 dGH/dKH for 10 U.S. Gallons (37.8541). I tried calculating them myself, but I'm not too confident in my math skills, then all these conversions make even less confident.

I would be using these formulas for remineralizing R/O water for my 10 gallon and 20 gallon shrimp tanks.

So I'd be really grateful if someone could write out the dosages for me to raise 10 U.S. gallons of water by 1 dGH/dKH respectively.
The calculations for Calcium and Magnesium can be done separately (only Ca or only Mg to raise 1 dGH by themselves, not combined). I can figure out the Ca:Mg ratio/dosage I want to use from there (likely 3:1).

Any help is much appreciated. Thanks!

If you need 2.4g for 100 litres or 26.4 US Gal

So 2.4g / 26.4 = 0.09g for 1 US Gal

So 0.09g x 10 = 0.9g for 10 US Gal


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