This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.
  1. Support us by upgrading to the lifetime advertisement free version.

    Click here for more information.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. We are after as many aquarium plant images that we can get, doing so will assist us in completing the aquarium plant database.

    https://barrreport.com/threads/aquatic-plant-images-wanted.14374/
    Dismiss Notice

Using zeolite on a new setup

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Carissa, Aug 11, 2007.

  1. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,695
    Likes Received:
    736
    Local Time:
    11:23 AM
    Mollies are tough as nails, adding salt is suggested to prevent diseases namely.
    I've never seen any issues with them, they can and do move from salt to fresh after all(given enough acclimation).

    I'd suggest using marine salt, not NaCl for them.
    Their health would improve, marine salt has different ions and more traces the fish are acclimated to. I use marine salt in place of NaCl for table salt for that matter.

    Some plants are fine up to 1.005 salinity, not more than that unless they are some species that are pretty salt tolerant.

    There are no real salt loving FW plants, they all hate it, they just can deal with it better than other species, but it's a large energy expenditure.

    Given that the mollies are pretty tough, I'd just add some GH booster to get about a GH of 3-5, leave it at that.

    I've found Sailfin mollies in Florida going from a pH of 4.7 and a KH and Gh of 0, to 1.010 salinity and a pH of 8.2...........

    And everywhere in between...........

    Seemed fine in each place.
    So I'd go with the plants and not fret over the KH/pH.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  2. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Messages:
    643
    Likes Received:
    19
    Local Time:
    11:23 AM
    I managed to get 10 killed :mad: . too much CO2 (I think)

    greets,

    yme
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,695
    Likes Received:
    736
    Local Time:
    11:23 AM
    Fish killer:)

    Well, we all have killed some fish if you have been in the hobby longer than a few years.

    Fortunately I've breed far more than killed, so I am ahead there.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  4. Carissa

    Carissa Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Messages:
    678
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    11:23 AM
    Actually I just use "kosher" salt, bought in bulk at a bulk food store. It is cheap. I said "aquarium salt" to distinguish it from "table salt" which is normally iodized. I guess if I just said "salt" that would have sufficed. :) But your observation is correct, you can buy "aquarium salt" which is just simply salt, for a nice markup.

    What would "marine salt" include other than NaCl? I'm assuming this is what one would buy for a saltwater tank. Or are you referring to "sea salt" which one would buy for personal consumption? Too many fancy labels out there...

    So I add about 1 tbsp of salt per 10 gallons. Not really enough to consider the water even close to brackish, because I also have a pleco who I am told will not do well with salt in the water. I just add enough to give a little edge for disease. The only time I have had any disease in my tanks was when I stopped using salt. It could have been coincidence, but since then I try to make sure I have a little in each tank.

    I'm not sure what adverse effects I should be looking for in my plants to determine if the salt is affecting them.
     
  5. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Messages:
    240
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    11:23 AM
    Hi,
    The term "Salt" is a specific type of compound formed (as I recall from Chem 101) when a metal atom (or a positively charged ion - like ammonium) replaces one or more hydrogen atoms of an acid. So if you add say, Hydrochloric Acid (HCl) to a base like Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) the Sodium (Na) which is a metal replaces the H in the HCl to form "table" salt NaCl. Our taste buds are sensitive to this salt so folks just assume the word "salt" is only applicable to NaCl. If you were to add Sulfuric Acid (H2SO4) to Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) (also known as potash lye) the metal Potassium would replace the Hydrogen in the acid and form the salt K2SO4 or, Potassium Sulfate. Of course this probably doesn't taste very good on your food but it is still a salt.

    Seawater contains scores of different compounds but by weight, apart from the water, it's is over 50% Sodium and over 30% Chloride. Most of the remainder is composed of Sulfate, Calcium, Potassium and Magnesium - these are the other salts. The very small remainder are metals and the weird elements like selenium, bromine, selenium etc.

    The marine salt is the salt used to reconstitute freshwater to make it fit for marine tanks use. It contains the elements and salts discussed above. It simulates the solids that would be left behind after seawater dries.

    Effectively, the majority of the nutrients that we dose our plants with are nothing more than salts, or at least they are in the form of salts. I'm guessing that the ease with which these salts dissolve may explain why plants are able to assimilate them more easily than the same nutrients bound in complex organic molecules.

    If you want to know more about the toxicity effects of NaCl then it would be a good idea to study the July 2006 Barr Newletter: http://www.barrreport.com/barr-report-newsletter/2131-barr-report-newsletter-july-2006-sodium-chloride.html

    From what I gather in the newsletter, although Chloride is a desired nutrient it can have toxic effects depending on concentration. Sodium on the other hand threatens plant metabolism and affects development and growth. It can affect the uptake of nutrients such as calcium and magnesium. Sodium is bad news for humans because it's linked to high blood pressure and in plants it affects the osmotic pressure in the cells. This affects the transport/movement of molecules across the cell walls.

    Not to be a scaremonger or anything like that but it seems to me that if you are serious about optimizing plant growth you may want to consider ditching the "kosher" salt and allow the Mollies to adapt to freshwater. As Mr. Barr says in his post, an alternative would be to use the Marine Salt to achieve the max 1.005 specific gravity - but that's yet another parameter to have to measure and yet another thing to buy.

    I think that if you keep your water clean with regular changes, dose properly and keep your plants growing, keep your filters clean etc then I think your Mollies should be alright.

    Cheers,
     
  6. Carissa

    Carissa Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Messages:
    678
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    11:23 AM
    Ok, so is adding sodium bicarbonate is a bad thing too? I don't know enough about chemistry to know if it acts the same in water as sodium chloride, as in releasing sodium into the water, or if it somehow combines with something else. Another sidepoint (well I guess this whole thread is kind of sidetracked now anyway), all of the sulphates that are being added - as in potassium sulphate, magnesium sulphate; what effect does this have on the plants/fish if any?
     
  7. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Messages:
    240
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    11:23 AM
    Yes, we definitely got side tracked. I had to go back to the original post to figure out how we got here. http://www.barrreport.com/images/smilies/biggrin.gif
    :D Then your questions forced me to go open up my moldy chemistry textbook to try to figure out the truth. This is the best I can figure:
    There are probably millions of individual chemical reactions happening so I'm not really sure how to account for each reaction. We know that sodium bicarbonate raises the alkalinity (kH) so we know the bicarbonate part is reacting with the acids in the water but what the sodium does would depend on what's in the water at the time.

    Each of the elements in a compound has a certain amount of weight. Na is roughly 40% the weight of NaCl. In Sodium Bicarbonate (which is also a salt by the way) NaHCO3 the Sodium only accounts for about 26% of the weight. I figure that if you add 10 grams of table salt to the tank that's more or less 4 grams of sodium whereas if you add 10 grams of bicarbonate you're adding only roughly 2.6 grams sodium. This analysis goes out the window though because you are adding a certain volume i.e. teaspoons not weight (a teaspoon of bicarbonate may weigh more than a teaspoon of table salt depending on grain size, density etc.)

    Based on our collective experiences we can easily sum up the effects as follows:

    Sodium Bicarbonate - not really needed since the consensus is that kH doesn't seem to be a critical parameter and the pH drop brought on by CO2 addition is not really a problem either. I'm not 100% sure about the sodium issue.

    (Dosed) Sulphates/Nitrates/Phosphates et al - All goodness here. Plants need them, toxic levels to fish are WAY beyond what we would ever conceivably dose.

    Sodium Chloride - Badness for plants, badness for freshwater fish - as stated Mollies can adapt with or without, bad for freshwater parasites and protozoans but so is regular tank maintenance.

    By the way, how is that zeolite doing?http://www.barrreport.com/images/smilies/biggrin.gif
    :D

    Cheers,
     
  8. Carissa

    Carissa Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Messages:
    678
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    11:23 AM
    Well, for some inexplicable reason I feel like it's a great day in the history of my posting on forums when I've "forced" someone to get out the moldy chemistry book. :)

    Now since you have the chemistry book out and this thread is hopelessly sidetracked... would you mind figuring out something for me? I want to add calcium to my tanks (actually this relates to an earlier post in this thread). I am bust broke right now and can't afford another aquarium related item for a while. But I do have calcium carbonate tablets (meant for human consumption). What I would like to know is - if I add 250mg of calcium carbonate to 34 liters of water, how many ppm will I have of just calcium alone? If I am doing this correctly, I think I will have 7.35ppm of the full calcium carbonate. But to figure out just the calcium aspect of it I guess I need to know what percentage of that is calcium and what percentage is carbonate. If I was able to understand what I just looked up correctly, the calcium portion is about 40% of the molecular weight, so I will end up with 2.94ppm of calcium and 4.41ppm carbonate. Is this correct?

    Back to the zeolite, it is doing fine. No ammonia, and nitrites are showing up now so I know it's cycling.
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,695
    Likes Received:
    736
    Local Time:
    11:23 AM
    A simple question posed by a 5 year old can be the most challenging to answer.

    I think it's rather funny. we think we know so much relative to them, yet we cannot answer some rather simple questions. Old chem text, 3 days of looking and searching etc, merely to answer , "why to the plants grow?" or " Why does the little micro bubbles float around here and the others disappear?"

    "Why does that white gravel(zeolite) help the plants?"

    You need not be some nerdy experience scape winning aquarists to get pickled with such queries:p

    A 10 years asked me this once
    "What's the meaning of life?"
    I said " To eat, grow, reproduce and die"

    But I'm a Biologist, not a philosopher:)

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  10. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Messages:
    240
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    11:23 AM
    So true. I just hope I don't develop an allergy from all that mold!http://www.barrreport.com/images/smilies/wink.gif
    ;)

    Well we'll have to get you some kind of medal! http://www.barrreport.com/images/smilies/cool.gif
    :cool:

    Yes, this is what I figure as well. CaCO3 is 40% Ca, 48% O and 12% C so that 250 mg gives you 100mg of Ca and 150mg CO3 .

    PPM is the same as mg/L so 100mg/34L gives you 2.94 ppm Calcium and 150mg/34L gives you 4.41 ppm Carbonate.

    This assumes that your pill completely dissolves in water though. CaCO3 normally isn't very soluble in water, however I suppose if the water is saturated with CO2 it might react with the carbonic acid.

    Cheers,
     
  11. Carissa

    Carissa Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Messages:
    678
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    11:23 AM
    Ok that's great, now I know that I need to completely dissolve 4 pills in my 10g, and 12 pills in my 32g to get acceptable calcium levels. I'm sitting here with a mug of boiling water, a bottle of pills, and a fork. Wish me luck.
     
  12. Carissa

    Carissa Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Messages:
    678
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    11:23 AM
    Bowser thinks I should switch to using GH booster instead.

    100_1411.jpg
     
  13. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Messages:
    240
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    11:23 AM
Loading...

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice