JamesC's remineralising recipe

davideyre

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Just been looking at JamesC's remineralising recipe on his site -

http://theplantedtank.co.uk/RO.htm

A few questions about it if anyone's able to help -

1. presumably when magnesium and calcium sulphate is sold it is usually in the heptahydrate and dihydrate forms?
2. why add chloride, why not have all your GH from sulphates?
3. presumably K2CO3 contributes twice as much alkalinity as KHCO3 for a given number of mmol?
4. where are good places to get potassium bicarbonate and calcium chloride from?

thanks very much, as always!
 

JamesC

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Hi,

To answer your questions:

1: Yes normally they are sold in those forms but not always though. Plaster of Paris is CaSO4.0.5H20 and Gypsum is CaSO4.2H2O.
2: Because plants need chloride
3: Yes, the carbonate ion can neutralise 2 protons (H+) whereas the bicarbonate ion only neutralises 1 proton.
4: I get mine from a lab but they often come up on eBay or from a lab supplies company. They are fairly common so shouldn't be hard to get hold of.

HTH
James
 

JamesC

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UPDATE:

It seems quite difficult to purchase potassium bicarbonate in small quantities so I have changed the formulation on my website to now use potassium carbonate instead. Potassium carbonate is easily available from Aqua Essentials and Fluidsensor Online.

The only chemical they don't sell is calcium chloride but this is easily available from places like eBay as many reefers add it to their tanks as a source of calcium.

James
 

chris1004

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Hi James,

I am starting to become seriously interested in this remineralising recipe of yours following on from conquering using dry ferts. Are you yourself still using this mix and how is it fairing? Also what trace element mix are you using alongside this and in what prortions?

Regards, Chris.
 

JamesC

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Yes, I use the remineralising recipe except I use calcium chloride anydrous and potassium bicarbonate. The other forms I have listed are the commonly available ones. Makes no difference. It's doing very well, actually it's doing great. I used to cut my RO water with tap water but there were a few plants that never really thrived. There is something about London tap water that I've never been able to suss out, even when diluted. Hence the reason I gave up with it and made my own remineralising recipe.

I'm currently using Micro+ ProFe from Haack's PMDD website. It's a high iron content trace mix that uses HEEDTA as the chelator (same as TPN). More info about this trace and others - http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/traces.htm.

James
 

chris1004

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JamesC said:
I used to cut my RO water with tap water but there were a few plants that never really thrived. There is something about London tap water that I've never been able to suss out, even when diluted. Hence the reason I gave up with it and made my own remineralising recipe.

James

WOW!!! thats a turn around that I didn't expect from the our earlier discussions on this thread just a few months ago:-

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=4971



Anyhow thanks for the quick reply James looks like I will have to invest in some digital scales for measuring grams of powder (hope the police don't call round, LOL) and the powders themselves. I had a look at the Haak's website but found it somewhat confusing as it appears to be partly in sweedish not certain how to proceed with this I may have to invest some time to decifer the bits of info I need and how to order it. Did you have any trouble ordering from them?

In your opinion is the following link any good to me? It looks to me that it is pottasium bicarbonate (just googled it) but I'm not sure about the info on the the product sheet.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/control ... &A=details

Regards, Chris.
 

JamesC

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chris1004 said:
WOW!!! thats a turn around that I didn't expect from the our earlier discussions on this thread just a few months ago:-
Yeah, changed my mind. Wasn't because of any potential nasties in the water but because I wanted more control over the water parameters.

chris1004 said:
I had a look at the Haak's website but found it somewhat confusing as it appears to be partly in sweedish not certain how to proceed with this I may have to invest some time to decifer the bits of info I need and how to order it. Did you have any trouble ordering from them?
None at all. Peter is a really friendly guy and writes good english as well. You will have to email him to arrange postage. I paid via paypal which made life easy. The Micro+ ProFe is the one I went for as it's got the extra iron.

chris1004 said:
In your opinion is the following link any good to me? It looks to me that it is pottasium bicarbonate (just googled it) but I'm not sure about the info on the the product sheet.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/control ... &A=details
Regards, Chris.
Yes it's potassium bicarbonate, but you might as well just go for the potassium carbonate. Yes it strips out some of the CO2 from the water and raises pH quickly but the small amounts used shouldn't cause a problem. I always add the chemicals to the water in 25 litre containers and leave them standing for a while so everything is dissolved in.

James
 

chris1004

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JamesC said:
I always add the chemicals to the water in 25 litre containers and leave them standing for a while so everything is dissolved in.

James

Same as that mate I also hang preset heaters into my barrels prior to use to avoid thermal shock and airstones to both add o2 and help to mix everything up.

Thanks again for your quick reply James much appreciated.
 

plantbrain

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You might see Steve Dixon's comments dating back over a decade ago for SF tap water.... very similar to RO......
www.sfbaaps.com under "references".

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

JamesC

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Tom, thanks for posting the link. I found some very interesting bits in the article and I quote
Potassium and Nitrate; Supplement with KNO3 (Potassium nitrate, which is available from Dave Gomberg). 1/8th to 1/4th teaspoon per 50 gallons (total tank size) per week. Tanks with very high growth rates may benefit from up to twice this amount, but it is quite important NOT to let NO3 levels build up much over 10 ppm. Several of our favorite species (Rotala macrandra and Eusteralis stellata, for example) do not do well at higher NO3 levels.
Myself and many others have also noticed this with a small handful of plants. Rotala Macrandra being one of the main ones that I have problems with when NO3 levels become high.

James
 

JamesC

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They look quite good. I just brought a set off ebay with an accuracy of 0.1g. Got them pretty cheap if I remember. The important thing is that you can calibrate them so also add in the cost of the calibration weights if you don't have them. Every now and again I just check that they are accurate by weighing the calibrated weights.

James
 

chris1004

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Hi again James,

Been thinking (ouch :wideyed: :lol: ).

On your website under the remineralising recipe bit I noticed that 8ppm magnesium and 16ppm pottasium are added via the remineralising mixture. When I start to use your recipe (after I have run out of my current remineralising agent) am I right in thinking that I can reduce my EI fert dosing mix accordingly?

Also what sort of quantities should I be looking at adding of Peter Haaks trace mix (250 litre tank) so I can get a rough idea how much to order. As it will be coming from sweeden I don't want to have to reorder every six months or so but will be looking to buy a couple of years worth in initially, assuming that it doesn't detereorate with time that is.

Regards, Chris.
 

JamesC

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chris1004 said:
On your website under the remineralising recipe bit I noticed that 8ppm magnesium and 16ppm pottasium are added via the remineralising mixture. When I start to use your recipe (after I have run out of my current remineralising agent) am I right in thinking that I can reduce my EI fert dosing mix accordingly?
No because the potassium you add is part of the nitrate and phosphate which you don't want to change for the time being. Once settled you can then change the amounts to suit your tank. Magnesium isn't added with standard EI but if you do add it then yes you can drop it.

chris1004 said:
Also what sort of quantities should I be looking at adding of Peter Haaks trace mix (250 litre tank) so I can get a rough idea how much to order. As it will be coming from sweeden I don't want to have to reorder every six months or so but will be looking to buy a couple of years worth in initially, assuming that it doesn't detereorate with time that is.
I would go for the 500ml bottle. 25ml is added to 500ml of water to make a standard strength solution that is similar to TPN. I think people who dose EI and TPN add 1ml trace to 20 litres tank water daily. This is the level at which I dose anyway. From this you should be able to work how much you need. I keep my concentrate bottle in the fridge so should keep for a good year I'd thought.

James
 

chris1004

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Thanks James that helps a lot, I am looking foward to getting stuck into this.

Regards, Chris.
 

chris1004

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Hi James,(if you read this that is)

I ordered the trace element mix from Peter Haak last night (micro+profe) it ended up costing £21 for 500ml delivered but if that lasts me a year or so then its not bad seeing as how it has to come all the way from Sweeden.

After discussing the merits of equilibrium on that other thread that were both following at the moment I am going to bring using your recipe foward and just chuck the equilibrium that I have left in the bin. Are there any further developments since we last discussed it?

Regards, Chris.
 

plantbrain

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JamesC said:
Tom, thanks for posting the link. I found some very interesting bits in the article and I quote
Potassium and Nitrate; Supplement with KNO3 (Potassium nitrate, which is available from Dave Gomberg). 1/8th to 1/4th teaspoon per 50 gallons (total tank size) per week. Tanks with very high growth rates may benefit from up to twice this amount, but it is quite important NOT to let NO3 levels build up much over 10 ppm. Several of our favorite species (Rotala macrandra and Eusteralis stellata, for example) do not do well at higher NO3 levels.
Myself and many others have also noticed this with a small handful of plants. Rotala Macrandra being one of the main ones that I have problems with when NO3 levels become high.

James

And yet I have no issues at all:)
E stellata gets a full dime(2 cm+) in dia and huge, weedy like growth.

I think this is due to some growth reduction at lower N and dependency on CO2 supply.
With good non limiting CO2, I observe no such issue.
Also, the best R macrandra I've ever grown and ever seen has been with low light, nothing over 2w/gal or 1.5w/gal with T5 etc.

Light and CO2, not nutrients.........provide much better and easier management, and also explains far more no matter what type of dosing routine you chose. :idea: Nutrients by and large are rather easy and simple.

Regards,
Tom barr
 
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