Why do commercial GH boosters have such high K?

veerserif

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Is there any specific reason why commercial GH boosts (Seachem Equilibrium, NilocG GH Boost, Tom Barr's GH Boost mix) have added K2SO4? I have Epsom salts at home and just bought a pound of gypsum for tofu making and would like to save money on a DIY GH booster. Is the K2SO4 in these products serving an important function or can I just ignore it and dry dose the Epsom salts + gypsum?
 

jaypeecee

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Hi @veerserif
Is there any specific reason why commercial GH boosts (Seachem Equilibrium, NilocG GH Boost, Tom Barr's GH Boost mix) have added K2SO4?

I can only comment on Seachem Equilibrium. This is not just a GH booster (i.e. Ca and Mg). Equilibrium is supposed to "...establish the ideal mineral content for the planted aquarium". But, it only contains K2O, Ca, Mg, Fe and Mn. Oh, and SO4. Seems a bit lacking as an RO remineralizer, doesn't it?

JPC
 

alto

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K is an important element for various cellular processes (often involved in transport across cell membranes and other)

As to why the manufacturers chose certain formulations, have you emailed for information?

Why are you wanting to boost GH?

(If keeping shrimp, take care with product sources and purity - check with manufacturers of your Epsom salts and gypsum as to allowed percentage and type of contaminants at that label designation)
 

veerserif

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Yeah, there are amanos and cherries in there and I keep the tank at 6-8 dGH. I'm aware of what K does for plants, I'm just wondering if there's a reason to include them in GH boost mixes e.g. stability of the dry product, easier to calculate the GH raise if you have something else bulking out the mix, etc.

And I did double check before buying - 100% magnesium sulfate heptahydrate, and the material safety data sheet for the (brewer's) gypsum lists >90% calcium sulfate dihydrate, <10% CaSO4.1/2H20, <2% limestone, <0.025% SiO2 by weight.

I wonder if I could get away with doing it the other way around and use the 97% CaSO4.2H2O from the plant fert company for tofu? ;)
 

alto

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wonder if I could get away with doing it the other way around and use the 97% CaSO4.2H2O from the plant fert company for tofu? ;)

Depends upon the grade

(but I’m not overwhelmed with confidence by what plant fertilizer companies and Amazon etc are peddling/reporting)
 

veerserif

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Oh, alright, "100% within the definitions of whatever the US FDA allows us to label as 100%" - but given how many people here and elsewhere dose with plain unscented Epsom salts, with success, I don't feel particularly bad about it. Also, I'm not eating that one. The gypsum doesn't seem to have anything in it particularly surprising either.

To be honest, if that's the standard, wouldn't there be precious little in the way of "safe" additives to our tanks? I'm happy to take that level of risk in the name of not paying $15/lb for Equilibrium. If you really insist on safety I can probably also use a commercial GH boost product, which is indeed much cheaper. Just seems extremely wasteful to buy pounds of salts to clear shipping thresholds, if they're 95% comprised of the same stuff and I'm not using more than a couple teaspoons at a time.
 

alto

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Sorry, I’m really not suggesting that you buy from SigmaAldrich (or similar), just be aware that chemical labeling can be misleading, and regulations vary considerably
 

alto

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I'm just wondering if there's a reason to include them in GH boost mixes
By adding large amounts of only Ca, Mg, what is happening with K availability? transport mechanism? biochemical processes? etc
Elemental ratios are important

I haven’t looked at this specifically, that is just general biochemistry
 

ceg4048

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Is there any specific reason why commercial GH boosts (Seachem Equilibrium, NilocG GH Boost, Tom Barr's GH Boost mix) have added K2SO4? I have Epsom salts at home and just bought a pound of gypsum for tofu making and would like to save money on a DIY GH booster. Is the K2SO4 in these products serving an important function or can I just ignore it and dry dose the Epsom salts + gypsum?
Hello,
The addition of K2SO4 is unnecessary to raise General Hardness, as I'm sure you're aware.
Tom Barr adds it simply to help those who, for example do not use EI fertilizers, the main components of which are KNO3 and KH2PO4. If these main components are not used, in the dosing program then there may be the possibility that the tank may suffer K+ deficiency, so adding this is simply a courtesy to help avoid this deficiency.

I cannot speak for the other formulas, but | suspect the reasoning is similar.

Cheers,
 

rebel

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I use a DIy mix with only Epsom and Gypsum. I have considered selling it named EPGYP(TM) (Copyright) ;). It works fine for me but my tank is fairly lean dosed due to lower light.

You can call your mix GYPEP. :)
 
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