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Poor man's SeaChem EQ

Discussion in 'Advanced Strategies and Fertilization' started by Tom Barr, Aug 25, 2005.

  1. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Greg is offering free PMEQ + the cost of shipping to folks in the USA/Canada for BarrReport subscribers.

    3:3:1
    K2SO4, CaSO4, MgSO4
    This will provide a fair amount of K+ relative to Ca/Mg.
    Most folks have enough Ca relative to Mg.
    What will get folks into trouble is thast these are hydrated forms, Eg

    MgSO4 . 7H2O
    CaSO4 . 2H2O

    Since so much of the MgSO4 is water, adding more than the 4:1 is a good idea.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gypsum
    http://www.bambooweb.com/articles/e/p/Epsom_salts.html

    You can vary and make your own, but this about close to what SeaChem has.
    Greg also sells CaSO4 if you need it.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  2. Jeff Bodin

    Jeff Bodin Junior Poster

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    Re: Poor man's SeaChem EQ

    Just an FYI - you can also get CaSO4 at Home Depot or Lowes as "Plaster of Paris"...

    - Jeff
     
  3. Urkevitz

    Urkevitz Junior Poster

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    Re: Poor man's SeaChem EQ

    Is CaSO4 superior to CaCl2 in any way?
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Poor man's SeaChem EQ

    I'm not sure, but I've never had any issues with SeaChem's EQ that usdes it, in some cases, there may be some issue with Cl, not sure, but rather than doing all that, simply using a SO4 based Ca product salt will address that.

    SO4 I know at fairly high levels does no harm from extensive test with K2SO4.

    The same could be argued with KCl which is also widely used.

    I've always used only a little CaCl2 while I've gone hog wild with CaSO4/K2SO4 etc.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. Spar

    Spar Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Poor man's SeaChem EQ

    what section? what is plaster of paris used for anyway (non-planted tank use)?
     
  6. Greg Watson

    Greg Watson Administrator
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    Re: Poor man's SeaChem EQ

    Actually only $3.85 to help partially offset the cost of shipping for US residents and $7.00 for Canadian residents ... anyone interested can PM me your username, name, and address ...

    International inquires can PM me and we will work something out ...

    This is a custom mix designed exclusively by Tom just for our subscribers ...

    Actually right now I do not ... this is currently an offer only available to subscribers of the Barr Report ...

    But considering that Equillibrium is about $8.95 plus shipping for 600 grams, this free offer is almost like getting the Barr Report for FREE ...

    Thanks,
    Greg
     
  7. Jeff Bodin

    Jeff Bodin Junior Poster

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    Re: Poor man's SeaChem EQ

    Check over by the "Drywall Repair".

    I used to use CaCl as well to recon discus water years ago. Lost the recipie :( but it was something like (from faded memory):

    1Tbls CaSO4 (Plaster of Paris)
    1 tsp CaCl (Driveway Salt)
    1 Tsp MgSO4 (Epsom Salts)
    1 pinch borax (tetra-bora-hydrate)
    and something else....
    ... or something like that. ;)

    - Jeff
     
  8. Spar

    Spar Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Poor man's SeaChem EQ

    went and bought some of this stuff today. It has both Gypsum (CaSO4) and Limestone (CaCO3) in it. I am going to do some tests to see what effect it has on KH first. I hope not much.

    I googled "plaster of paris" and it came up as one of the uses being vacation feeders for fish. The white stuff that surrounds the food particles and disolves over time. I guess that ensures Plaster of Paris is aquarium safe!
     
  9. Greg Watson

    Greg Watson Administrator
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    Re: Poor man's SeaChem EQ

    In a private message you asked me whether Plaster of Paris is aquarium safe and you asked that I respond here ... your question asks first whether I have any experience with it ... well, my tap water comes out with a GH/KH both of about 11 ppm ... so for all practical purposes no ...

    That said ... I have a lot of experience "putting stuff" into my aquariums ... both intentionally and not ...

    For example ...

    - Super Glue is not something that is good to put into an aquarium ... I know this first hand thanks to a son of an employee ... I was never able to salvage this aquarium and officially declared it a toxic waste site ...
    - Cats are also usually not good to put in an aquarium ... they will get out and usually break something in the process ... I know this first hand thanks to a son and daughter of a visiting guest ...
    - Biscuits and Gravey make a mess, but don't actually hurt anything ... nor do those orange colored Cheetoes, breakfast cereal, waffles, chewing gum, oatmeal, or any of dozens of other food items that unrully children of uncaring parents have thrown into my aquarium in the breakfast area of our hotel ... no apparent long term harm but it does effectively piss off my front desk staff which are responsible for taking care of the aquarium ... and plecos are of absolutely no help in cleaning up this type of mess ...
    - Grapefruit Juice and Orange Juice can cause your fish to go a little bit wacky, I think that the acidity of those drinks just really are not very good for your fish ...
    - Copper pennies which are not totally made out of copper any more also seem to cause no harm when contributed by our guests, however, in a very modest manner, they are beneficial to me ... I'd really like to experience a long term study of the effect of people throwing Susan B Anthony and Sacagewea dollar coins in though ...

    But that wasn't what you really were asking about ... there is nothing wrong with using Plaster of Paris in your aquarium ... I personally prefer to vigorously pre-mix it, because it does not really want to disolve very well ...

    So I would say ... go for it ...

    Greg
     
  10. Spar

    Spar Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Poor man's SeaChem EQ

    i tested this product out on a 5g bucket and got the following results:
    1t increased the GH by 6.75 degrees (121 ppm).

    This implies that 1 teaspoon in 20g's of water will increase GH by 1.7d (30ppm).

    When I use the Fertilator to compare results, I am way off. It comes up at at increase of 11.3ppm. So I am almost 3x off from their calculation.

    A possibility is that I am assuming the 2 compounds are the same. Fertilator uses (CaSO4)2.H20. Am I not comparing apples to apples here? The box of PoP just says Gypsum and Limestone. Although there was no affect to KH when testing, so I assume the Limestone is very limited in this product.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plaster
     
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Poor man's SeaChem EQ

    CaCO3 adds a lot more Ca etc.

    I'd stick with the CaSO4, that has no impact on the KH.
    Baking soda works very well and have a long track record.

    CaCl2 is likely fine, I've been a little squirrlely about it though, but potassium carbonate is a good alternative to Baking soda also if you want to reduce Na and Cl, a fair amount is okay though.........

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  12. defdac

    defdac Lifetime Members
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    Re: Poor man's SeaChem EQ

    *loooooooooooool* This is the first time av laughed out loud to a humorous planted-tank-post =D Wonderful post Greg. Just plain wonderful post.
     
  13. Jeff Bodin

    Jeff Bodin Junior Poster

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    Re: Poor man's SeaChem EQ


    Which brand did you test? I'll have to look, but the PoP I have is 100% CaSO4 (from the Manufacturer). The missing item in my forgotton Discus Recon was the NaHCO3 (think I go that right, baking soda) for GH...

    - Jeff
     
  14. Spar

    Spar Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Poor man's SeaChem EQ

    i am not sure why it said Limestone on the box, unless it has an extremely small portion in it (< 1%). Testing it showed absolutely no increase to KH, so obviously no CaCO3 (Limestone) in it.

    There is another thread that was started to help gain an understanding of the Ca effect of PoP.

    Baking soda is actually Na2CO3 and is for KH :) but close enough :D
     
  15. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Poor man's SeaChem EQ

    Good for brushing your teeth also(baking soda).

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  16. turbomkt

    turbomkt Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Poor man's SeaChem EQ

    OK...it looks like Greg has started shipping this out. How do I know? I got it the other day!!!

    Thanks, Greg!

    Now to figure out dosing.

    Tom,
    Is this going to be along the lines of Seachem EQ dosing or different?

    --Mike
     
  17. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Poor man's SeaChem EQ

    Should be about the same.

    GH as long as you have added 1-2 degrees or so, should be enough to rule out any deficency. Yes, GH test kits are fairly decent and you can test with those if you so chose.

    But test kits tell us if we are out of something and need to add it or not mainly.

    If you test extremes in the upper ppm ranges, well, I know few do that to begin with, they assume it's bad and set arbitary ppm ranges without really looking into the maxmum ranges tolerable.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  18. Jon Rupprecht

    Jon Rupprecht Junior Poster

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    Re: Poor man's SeaChem EQ

    I got mine also this week. I added the same amount as I do EQ, 2 tablespoons to 40 gallon ro/di water. I checked the GH and it was right in the ballpark at 5 dgh. I dipped some water out of my holding tank to store some clippings while I pruned and noticed the water had a very distinct brown tint? It was very noticable in the white pans I use to store plants in. Anyone else experience this? I did a 30 % wc on my 46 gallon tank and the whole tank now has this brown tint to the water.
    Tom, did you notice this at all when you used it? The water I mixed it in is 100%ro/di water with0-kh and 0-gh 2ppm tds. Any ideas?

    Thanks,
    Jon
     
  19. Jon Rupprecht

    Jon Rupprecht Junior Poster

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    Re: Poor man's SeaChem EQ

    Nobody else noticed the brown tinting of the water after useing this???
     
  20. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Poor man's SeaChem EQ

    Probably from the iron.
    The batch I have does not do this.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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