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CaCl2&MgSO4

Discussion in 'Aquatic Plant Fertilization' started by deucebiggss, Feb 4, 2010.

  1. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Lame I Know

    Hi Left C, deucebiggss, All,

    No Left C really, there is no preceding thread as such, my opening was, editorial license. When possible I like to replicate situations described. The “Wait a minute, Wait please...” is a device I occasionally use to indicate I am doing something in the time I am replying, lame I know… :eek:

    I thought I knew what I was going to say, I wanted to double check the ease of getting CaCl2 into solution. The way deucebiggss prefaced his question, triggered something in what passes for my brain, which I guess made this thread part of the ongoing conversation.

    Therefore, while the proximate answer to deucebiggss’ question is that he needs to avoid mixing CaCl2 and MgSO4.7H2O. Use more water or better water if it was his intention to make a stock solutions, I think this was the bias in my answer. The assumption that deucebiggss made that the CaCl2 was the ‘problem’ was and is interesting, that lends it to the larger conversation. :gw

    I ended up hijacking the thread, because I really did not know as much as I thought I knew. Left C and Dan provided clarifying technical information. :)

    I suspect deucebiggss thought my questions to him were a ‘setup’ or somehow poking fun at him, I assure deucebiggss and everyone else they were honest questions.

    Then Jonny caught a fundamental error in my intermediate conclusion. I then jumped to an incorrect conclusion that Neil Frank, supported (independently) but in his logic, Neil brought me to what I regard as my ‘correct’ conclusion. :)

    So now, courtesy deucebiggss question, the help of folks here, I have a better understanding of what and how accomplish my twin goals of increasing the calcium and chloride availability to my fauna and flora. :cool:

    Biollante
     
  2. Neil Frank

    Neil Frank Lifetime Charter Member
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    Biollante,
    Can you please summarize what you believe is your "current understanding," and also, what do you think are needed levels of chloride concentrations. The Cl- that my tanks currently get may only come from water changes and fish food.
     
    #22 Neil Frank, Feb 8, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2010
  3. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    If you're dosing from CaCl2 you're getting 70.9/40 or about 177% more cl- than calcium; more than enough.

    Given .2% dry weight (lets say .02% wet) as per the newsletter on Na/Cl-, this means the average plant needs to provide .2mg per gram of wet growth. The remaining questions would be the concentration of Cl- in your food, the quantity you feed, and the efficiency of transport.

    Odds are your food won't give that level, and tracking down the required ppm of Cl- in the column won't be easy.
     
  4. deucebiggss

    deucebiggss Guru Class Expert

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    Biollante, I want to apologize "Messieurs Barr and Watson. I simply ‘knew’ that it was incorrect. I recall no such statements offhand." I misread the statement in this Thread: The Estimative Index of Dosing, or No Need for Test Kits

    Have hard water?

    Great, you do not have to add any baking soda and GH builder to your tank. Adding enough GH to bring the levels to 3-5 GH degrees will address higher light tank needs over a week's time. You can use SeaChem Equilibrium for this or a mix of CaCl2 (or CaSO4 although it is not as easy to dissolve into water) and MgSO4 at a 4:1 ratio to increase GH. You can add this without knowing what your GH is by adding 1 degree's worth after a weekly water change (or slightly less with less frequent water changes)

    I hadn't read it in awhile and thought he meant both CaCl2 and CaSO4
    Sorry for that
     
  5. Neil Frank

    Neil Frank Lifetime Charter Member
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    Just checked the reported concentrations for my tap water: Chloride, 14.3 mg/L (ppm).
    With 50% water changes per week, I am thinking that 14.3 ppm Cl- is enough.

    An interesting aside:
    The measured NH3 concentration is 0.2ppm! Raleigh treats its water with Chlorine and ammonia to produce chloramines. Aside from lots of dissolved O2, this is what helps cause the tank to look like alka seltzer after a water change.
     
  6. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    I did some more thinking and reading. Your post helps.

    14.3ppm Cl means that whether you use sodium thiosulfate or formaldehyde bisulfite (probably what prime uses) then you're going to end up with chloride. If you gas off through aeration, you'll probably get something like 6-8ppm retained through solubility. If you charcoal prefilter, you'll be ripping it all out.
     
  7. Neil Frank

    Neil Frank Lifetime Charter Member
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    14.3 Chloride in the exchange tap water plus a few more ppm from detoxified chloramine with Prime (I dont use charcoal prefilter). Reported residual Chlorine is 3.5ppm and chloramine ( NH2Cl ) is estimated to be ~2-3ppm. Aside from the residual Cl2, why would the Chloride "gas off"? In fact, excess Na+ from the NaOH which the city uses to raise pH from 7 to 8.4 might even tie it up. The reported tap water Na+ (30.4ppm) doesnt quite balance with 51ppm SO4= and the mentioned Cl-.
     
    #27 Neil Frank, Feb 8, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2010
  8. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    The chloride wouldn't gas off; I read that as chlorine. I figured the .2ppm was to convert some to chloride, not residual from complete conversion. So you've got 100% Cl- and you don't need to dose.

    Sounds like you've got nasty water either way; loading in both ammonia and sodium must make for rather NH4 heavy tap when it isn't treated. Ever run into sodium toxicity issues? I could see something messing up at the water department and getting a dump of NaCl.

    *EDIT*
    Isn't 14.3ppm Cl- WAY over EPA max? They state 4ppm of chlorine, but apply this to the chlorine content of chloramine as well. Where are you located?
     
    #28 Philosophos, Feb 8, 2010
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  9. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    No Cosmic Insights

    Hi All,

    I wish I had some great cosmic insight to the role and amounts of chloride required to be ‘non-limiting’ as well as non-toxic. :eek:

    My conscious use of Calcium chloride began because of culturing live food. A nice lady who studies copepods and arthropods and such like, mentioned that Calcium was something that many missed and that she used Calcium chloride as the chloride provided additional benefits to the critters, I assume that was osmotic regulation, I do not really recall, that was back in the last millennium.:gw

    As I have lived in places that because of either the purity or nastiness of the water I have needed to supplement Calcium. As I started to use Calcium chloride, I noticed an improvement in the plants. I noticed a somewhat healthier critter populations. Since that was the only significant change it seemed to me that the Calcium chloride had some magic. Correlation is not causation and in no way was it a controlled test, simply subjective observation. :)

    The LoudCreatureWhatSharesMySpace has a cousin with fancy-schmancy advanced degrees in chemistry and microbiology and is a big-time water shed management type, suggested that it was probable the chloride was providing significant benefit to the flora and fauna. The LoudCreatureWhatSharesMySpace’s cousin suggested a target of around 40-50-ppm chloride, though really did not see a problem upward of 70-ppm.

    Some of my immature copepods show some failure to thrive at around 320-ppm chloride which is also listed as a point for certain [FONT=&quot]Daphnia larvae[/FONT]. At something over 800-ppm I note some of my rotifer populations decline. Around 1600-ppm I started losing shrimp. :(

    Edit: I have read and I think Tom Barr notes generically some ‘chloride sensitive’ plants, I have not run into those plants as far as I am aware. Nor have I found a listing of such plants.

    I really do not have any deep insights, just my observations. I have read that North American rivers tend to have something about 70-ppm chloride while some South American rivers run closer to 7-ppm chloride. I really do not know what it means. :eek:

    I aim my dosing for around 35-ppm chloride, I figure I get another 7-ppm or so from food and other sources, I also assume some is bound-up in other reactions. I figure that my newer tanks have much higher chloride due to my (highly?) enriched substrates. :)

    I also inoculate many of my tanks with copepods, rotifers and such for what that is worth. :cool:

    Biollante
     
    #29 Biollante, Feb 9, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 9, 2010
  10. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    No Problem

    Hi,

    No problem, I kind of assumed that was not right, but did not bother researching that aspect.

    It did start me thinking, always a painful, dangerous and usually futile effort. :eek:

    It has been a fruitful exercise! :cool:

    Now if Dan can just get his "ides and ines" straight, I know from other threads he knows better. ;) :D

    Biollante
     
  11. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    So you've got some nice numbers for testing toxicity; way in excess of anything we'd intentionally dose. Anything for the minimum? I'm honestly suspecting something on the low side given an EPA max of 4ppm Cl and a large quantity of people who don't use anything with Cl- in it. It's that or food is carrying a large load. Either way, we just aren't seeing chloride deficiencies happening as a common issue.
     
  12. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    No

    Hi Dan, All,

    No, it is a lot easier to test toxicity than limiting amounts. One of the reasons I have not mentioned chloride, other than in passing, is simply I do not know what the rates are, my experience is subjective. :)


    I suspect part of the problem is the chloride is not Chlorine, since every discussion seems to require explaining the difference between chloride and Chlorine. I dose chloride, the ionic form, commonly found in nature associated with salt, not Chlorine, the poisonous, toxic, corrosive gas used in the manufacture of bleaching agents and disinfectants. http://www.alcanada.com/get_tech_bulletin.php?tech_bulletin_ID=82

    Without looking it up, I am sure you are correct for people “EPA max of 4ppm” for Chlorine as opposed to chloride’s Daily Recommended Intake of 3400 mg with no information on overdose.


    From here on, I am not referring to Chlorine or any of its derivatives except chloride. :gw


    As to chloride, there is good information available on the affects of chloride starvation or extreme limitation. I have reasonable information for hydroponic and gardening purposes of “chloride sensitivity” terrestrial vegetables such as spinach. I have not found any, credible or otherwise, information on “chloride sensitivity” in aquatic or bog plants. :confused:


    My suspicion is that chloride is going to turn out to be something like iron, where we were providing just enough iron that our highly adaptive plants survived, but were not nearly what they could be. Many of us have gotten over our fear of increasing iron to find much richer heavier growth and that our “Bristlenoses” [FONT=&quot]Ancistrus[/FONT] [FONT=&quot]triradiatus, Ancistrus[/FONT] cf. [FONT=&quot]cirrhosus[/FONT][FONT=&quot], stopped eating our [/FONT]Echinodorus spp. :D


    Remember I had been growing plants for many years before increasing the chloride, and I was generally happy with my plants, the folks that bought or traded for my plants were always happy.



    There was no ‘magic’ moment. I started using Calcium chloride for the benefit of my live food cultures. Over time, two or three years I came to recognize, first, more robust critter populations, including my fin fish. Along the way I began to associate more robust plant growth in those tanks, I was inoculating with principally rotifers, copepods, blackworms and some friendly nematodes. :)

    It really took my LoudCreatureWhatSharesMySpace’s cousin with fancy-schmancy advanced degrees in chemistry and microbiology to recognize and put in context what I was seeing, and suggest a range that made me comfortable. I have expanded that range into the 70-75-ppm range without any observable (subjective) improvement in either plant or critter populations. :eek:


    I also suspect that the association of chloride with sodium (as in sodium chloride) is a problem. I have heard stories of hobbyists increasing chloride via sodium chloride and my suspicion is that many of the negative experiences with chloride are actually the result of sodium not chloride. :)


    I am not trying to become an advocate of chloride, I really do not know. :(


    Biollante
     
  13. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Sounds like it's time to wait for a study to come out then.

    Most of us end up dosing chloride the minute we use dechlorinator anyhow, so it's safe to assume we're at least tossing in 1-4ppm. At .2% of a plants dry weight it's not my biggest concern, but like all nutrients and varaibles, it's something to keep an eye on.
     
  14. Neil Frank

    Neil Frank Lifetime Charter Member
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    I am located in Raleigh NC. Our treated water chemistry changed around 1990 to reduce its corrosivity in order to limit the amount of dissolved Lead (Pb) from pipes and solder. First the city added lime which bumped pH from 7 to 7.4. Subsequently they started to add Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH ) to bring pH to 8.4. You bring up a good question about Na toxicity or should we say negative effects on plants.. and honestly, i dont know. I never thought i had a problem, but actually dont always get my plants to do exactly what i would like. I suppose i could neutralize the extra Na+ with some HCl, but then someone suggested that Cl- with Na+ is may not be good. I cant think of anyway to get rid of the Na+ without doing RO.

    I have never really thought about negative effects of the Na in my tap water. I just did a quick calculation and 30ppm of Na is the equivalent of 11 grams of Na or 38.5 gms of NaCL. Guessing 5 gm /tsp, this is the equivalent to adding around 8tsp of table salt to a 100g tank. Alot or not?
    I wonder if using CaCl2 instead of CaSO4 for me would allow the unused Cl to bind with the extra NA+. Also seems that higher Ca levels may prevent Na problems. Hmmm..

    Regarding the EPA limit, that is for chlorine gas (Cl2), not the ion. The std for Cl- is 250ppm. See:Safe Water.

    While my tap water is not perfect it is probably better than most. Infact, before i got hooked on some of Tom's methods, i used to primarily deliver nutrients thru biweekly water changes to supplement minerals in the substrate. Higher concentrations is partly insurance and partly a way to control appearance.
    Although i MUST treat my tap water with PRIME to handle the chloramines, i think the plants love burst of added NH4 (or whatever ammoniated compound results) .
     
  15. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Well Salted Fish

    Hi Neil,

    No real hard data but I do not think 8 teaspoons in a 100 gallons amounts to much. I think more like 50 or 60 teaspoons would be pushing the limit of safe for plants.

    Though I recall reading an argument for something like 60 teaspoons to a hundred gallons for minimum electrolytes, of course they might well be nuts.:)

    I wish I would have paid attention the five years I was in the 8th grade. I think you are correct about calcium and sodium.

    Jonny knows about this stuff, I wonder if he could drop back in.

    Biollante
     
  16. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Once again, I'd say head for the EPA ecotox database and punch in the CAS# for NaCl or whatever other Na based compound (bicarb, sulfate, nitrate etc.), crunch the moles and figure out toxicity/NOAEL for some hobby related species.

    I'd do it myself, but it takes a couple hours and I've got other things to do today. Maybe if I get time later.
     
  17. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    Hi Biollante

    Sodium toxicity is well studied but chloride toxicity is not because less frequent I imagine. Chloride in our life is mainly driven by sodium, so sodium will usually constitute a toxic point before chloride. More then that, my knowledge stops.

    I tried to look on the net, but most studies on chloride and plants talk about it as a limiting factor, not a toxic one. Probably, with the few calcium we need to add, Cl- shouldn't cause issues
     
  18. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    40-ppm Chloride, I Think

    Hi Jonny,

    That is about what I have found only information on the limiting, the best I can find for plants is 140, 240 or 250-ppm chloride.

    Even the copepod population that I reported problem at 320-ppm have recovered, my guess is that it was abruptly raising the chloride level that affected them; 40 something hours later they look as if nothing happened.

    I think I am seeing some 'burn' and 'bleaching' of plant tips in the 800-ppm chloride jar, possible the tips are starting in the 320-ppm jar.

    For now I think 40 or so ppm chloride is non-limiting for plants, though possibly a bit low for fin fish. :)

    Biollante
     
  19. Neil Frank

    Neil Frank Lifetime Charter Member
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    the chloride that AquariumFertilizer.com sells

    Julia informed me that they sell the dihydrate (CaCl2*2H2O). I am not sure that this has been previously mentioned in this forum. Useful information for dosing calculations
     
  20. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    CaCl2 Or CaCl.H2O

    Hi Neil,

    Yeah I had heard that, I have been using some anhydrous Calcuim Chloride purchased from an online chemical place. :eek:

    I suspect I really end up with CaCl2.2H2O as well, once you break the seal and it has been wet here (by our standards). Another one of those things I never thought much about. I think I will order one more anhydrous CaCl2 and do a little before and after weighing. ;)

    I sent a number of water, substrate, fish and plant samples of for testing a while back when I get the results, I should be able to see a little better what is happening. :)

    I'll "blog" it. :gw

    Biollante
     

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