GH Booster - how to dissolve it
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:13 AM   #1
sowNreap
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GH Booster - how to dissolve it


I prefer to mix my dry ferts with water and dose that way. If I dose dry my fish get all excited thinking it's food and then are very disappointed when they take a taste and find out it's not. Also, in the case of the GH booster is doesn't seem to dissolve very quickly leaving white spots & chunks all over the aquarium and plants. I've tried crushing it as good as I can but doesn't seem to help much. I'm not sure if GH booster can "burn" the plants or not if it sits on the leaves until it dissolves. Also noticed some of the white powder stuck on my fish. I know it will eventually dissolve but I just don't feel very comfortable with it that way.

I've tried boiling water first then adding the powder to the water but it still doesn't dissolve. Even boiled the water again and still didn't dissolve. Let sit for a couple days and still hadn't dissolved. And 1 tsp doesn't seem to dissolve very quickly in 60 or so gallons of water in the tank.

So .. does anyone know how to get the GH booster to dissolve? Or how much water is takes to dissolve 1 tsp?

Also, does it hurt anything dosing more GH Booster than is recommended using EI method? For example, in my 75 gal lowish light, low tech tank, it's recommended to dose tsp 1x weekly. I was experimenting with doing water changes every 2 weeks instead of weekly. However, I found my GH drops from 6 degrees to about 2 degrees in 2 weeks. I'm not sure why that is but thought I could dose GH booster 2x/week to see how that works out if there's no adverse effects in doing so. Just FYI, I'm using a modified EI dosing regime based on lower light and water changes less often .. EXCEPT for the GH booster.
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Old 11-08-2012, 04:21 AM   #2
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It is quite unusual that your GH booster is not dissolving in hot water (or even water that is reboiled).

Have you tried stirring it vigorously while heating it? It should dissolve then.
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:37 PM   #3
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I went to Walmart and bought a tea strainer with a fine mesh. I just dump the GH booster in there and swish it around the water. It isnt dissolved but it comes out in a fine white cloud that settles on the gravel and disappears withi an hour.

The stuff that doesnt fit through the strainer, I kind of manually smoosh it through with my finger, and the stuff that doesnt even go through then, I just dump in and it dissolves within a few hours. But thats usually only a trivial number of clumps.
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:42 PM   #4
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I grind mine with a pestle and mortar into a fine powder. Then I mix into room temp water. Very little particulate remains and if I pour it into the tank it disappears very quickly.
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:01 PM   #5
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I've tried mashing some of the bigger particles before and after putting it in boiling water. Still has some fairly big particles and some smaller particles left. And yes I stir it vigorously, mash some more, then put it back in the microwave and still has particles remaining. I usually try to pour the water mixture in the tank and then when I get to the bottom of the container pour it into the HOB filter but for some reason it doesn't usually come out and then when I add more water from the tank to the container the big chucks fall out.

I may try the stainer and/or mortar pestle options.

Appreciate all the relies. At least I know other people do get it more dissolved than I do so there's hope. LOL

EDIT: I should add that the GH booster is kept in my basement apartment which is kept pretty cool. Temps running around 60 degrees right now, so don't know if that might have anything to do with it not dissolving quicker even when boiled. I couldn't believe it didn't dissolve when boiled AND reboiled. I know the cold temps affect my Nitrate test kit solutions ... instead of shaking it for 30 seconds I have to shake it for almost a min. or even longer when it gets colder. I can tell if it's too "thick" when I put the first drop in the tube.

Last edited by sowNreap; 11-08-2012 at 09:12 PM.. Reason: more info
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:50 AM   #6
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I think the humidity might affect it more than the temps.
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:58 AM   #7
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CaSO4 is not very soluble naturally, it will still be in powder form at best, for a while
(overnight perhaps). I pour it into a cup and feed it to the filter intake.
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Old 11-09-2012, 03:44 PM   #8
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I put the full dose in a pint canning jar with a good lid and shake it with tap water. Then I drain off the cloudy water into the tank, being careful to reserve the undissolved bits. Then refill the jar with more tap water, and shake it a lot, again. Repeat the draining/refilling until almost all the GH booster has dissolved. If I am treating a lot of water (lots of GH booster) that can be half a dozen times. Then I go ahead and dump the rest into the tank where there is good water movement.
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:01 PM   #9
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I use ro/di and had this problem, i finally went to goodwill and got a 1980's blender, works great. I also add baking soda for kh, a little bit more mg and bacter 100 when i reconstitute.
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:26 AM   #10
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Appreciate all the responses. So it's not just me that has problems with it dissolving ... that's good to know.

I just got concerned when some settled on the body of my fish and took a little while to go away. That was the first time that happened probably because they thought I was dumping in some food and swam right into it.

I'll keep trying different things from all the very good suggestions provided. Especially since I'm going to try dosing it 2x/week ... my GH seems to be dropping now during the week. It used to stay stable.
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:08 AM   #11
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If you have a HOB filter you could drop it in there. The constant water movement will dissolve it, though it might take all day. That is actually good. Slower change in hardness is easier on the fish.
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:31 AM   #12
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Even if you get some clumps into the water, it'll sit at the bottom, but eventually dissolve. Whenever I make a white mix (KNO3, KH2PO4, GH Booster, and sometimes KSO4), I shake it a whole lot and then put it down. And whenever I pick it up, I shake it a bunch. Eventually, all the solids dissolve. But in the meantime don't worry about adding too much to the tank at once (due to clumps) - in the long run, assuming you do regular water changes, it all evens out over time.
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Old 11-10-2012, 07:54 AM   #13
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I think I'll just put in all into the HOB filter then I won't have to worry about it. I wouldn't even have to pre-dissolve then if I didn't want to.

The tank water being so cool probably makes it takes longer to dissolve too.

Good point about slower change being easier on the fish. Hadn't really thought of it that way.
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:00 AM   #14
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I put my seachem equilibrium in a food proccesor to break up the big chunks when I first got it now it's a fine powder which dissolves easier. LOL
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:08 PM   #15
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About the pH dropping, I suggest testing your KH (buffer). Mine is 3, but that might be too low. You use baking soda (very little at a time) to increase the buffer.

I use Seachem Equilibrium, but it probably about the same as GH Boost. I mix it in my 5g new water bucket with 2-1/2 gallons and there is always a precipitate and white grains in the tank, and the water is a little bit cloudy for about 1/2 hour. It all dissolves.

You should find out what's eating the Equilibrium. My guess is bacteria and/or plants, especially if they're showing good growth.
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Last edited by Django; 11-12-2012 at 12:19 PM.. Reason: info
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