Potassium chloride questions - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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Potassium chloride questions

I'm looking to change up my RODI remineralization to see if it resolves some stunting in plants I'm experiencing, and also to cut cost over the long run. I'll potentially be starting a separate thread on the stunting issue in a couple weeks after I see affects of new micros.

My current question is - my planned change is to start remineralizing GH with MgSO4 and CaSO4, and KH with NaHCO3. I would no longer have the chloride I'm getting from nilocg's reGen, so I was considering swapping K2SO4 in my regular EI dosing with KCl. To get the target 7.5ppm recommended by rotalabutterfly, I'd also be adding 2.63ppm Cl. I do not know the ppm of Cl I'm currently getting with reGen, but I'm wondering if there is an upper threshold for Cl?

@Greggz, burr told me you run RODI on your tanks. Maybe you'd have some idea on whether this is fine? Appreciate any input.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 11:59 PM
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I'm looking to change up my RODI remineralization to see if it resolves some stunting in plants I'm experiencing, and also to cut cost over the long run. I'll potentially be starting a separate thread on the stunting issue in a couple weeks after I see affects of new micros.

My current question is - my planned change is to start remineralizing GH with MgSO4 and CaSO4, and KH with NaHCO3. I would no longer have the chloride I'm getting from nilocg's reGen, so I was considering swapping K2SO4 in my regular EI dosing with KCl. To get the target 7.5ppm recommended by rotalabutterfly, I'd also be adding 2.63ppm Cl. I do not know the ppm of Cl I'm currently getting with reGen, but I'm wondering if there is an upper threshold for Cl?

@Greggz, burr told me you run RODI on your tanks. Maybe you'd have some idea on whether this is fine? Appreciate any input.
Yes I use 100% RO water (no DI).

I use MgSO4, CaSO4, and K2CO3 to remineralize.

I've never dosed CL. I'm not sure why you think you need to???


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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-12-2018, 12:48 AM Thread Starter
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Yes I use 100% RO water (no DI).

I use MgSO4, CaSO4, and K2CO3 to remineralize.

I've never dosed CL. I'm not sure why you think you need to???
I keep hearing the importance of chloride, I'm using RODI so there's nothing in that water.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-12-2018, 12:55 AM
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I keep hearing the importance of chloride, I'm using RODI so there's nothing in that water.
Grab some potash, push a few granules into the substrate, enough Cl will leach out over time...
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-12-2018, 01:00 AM
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Chlorine is a essential plant nutrient and plants like about as much Cl as iron. That means in most cases you only need between 0.04 and 0.1 ppm of Cl. Since RO systems remove chlorine and chlorides from the water, fish food and the substrate will be the only source in a tank. That may or may not be enough in some tanks. So to be sure you have it I feel it should be added. It is apparently used by plants to help move nutrients to were they are need in the plant. Some people use Chloride GH boosters and 1degree of that can push chloride lives of about 30ppm per degree of GH. Which is a lot higher than what we are talking about here. So high doses of Chloride are safe. but there is no reason to push it that high in this case.

In Rotalabutterfly.com. you are probably selecting "estimative index" for the "I am dosing for" setting. Instead select the dose to reach a target. If you do that and put 1ppm in it will calculate how much should be added to reach 1ppm of K (no way to change that) and for Cl it says you get 035ppm Cl. you adjust target in the calculator to get 1ppm Cl for your tank. I think 1ppm should be all you need to insure CL is adequate.

I believe the EI calls for K2SO4 to insure adequate sulfur is present in the tank (sulfur is another plant nutrient). If you are dosing potassium nitrate and potassium phosphate for NPK you already should have more potassium than plants needed. The calcium and magnesium sulfate will supply all the needed Ca, Mg, and S plants need

Chlorine is a essential plant nutrient and plants like about as much Cl as iron. That means in most cases you only need between 0.04 and 0.1 ppm of Cl. Since RO systems remove chlorine and chlorides from the water, fish food and the substrate will be the only source in a tank. That may or may not be enough in some tanks. So to be sure you have it I feel it should be added. It is apparently used by plants to help move nutrients to were they are need in the plant. Some people use Chloride GH boosters and 1degree of that can push chloride lives of about 30ppm per degree of GH. Which is a lot higher than what we are talking about here. So high doses of Chloride are safe. but there is no reason to push it that high in this case.

In Rotalabutterfly.com. you are probably selecting "estimative index" for the "I am dosing for" setting. Instead select the dose to reach a target. If you do that and put 1ppm in it will calculate how much should be added to reach 1ppm of K (no way to change that) and for Cl it says you get 035ppm Cl. you adjust target in the calculator to get 1ppm Cl for your tank. I think 1ppm should be all you need to insure CL is adequate.

I believe the EI calls for K2SO4 to insure adequate sulfur is present in the tank (sulfur is another plant nutrient). If you are dosing potassium nitrate and potassium phosphate for NPK you already should have more potassium than plants needed. The calcium and magnesium sulfate will supply all the needed Ca, Mg, and S plants need

Last edited by Darkblade48; 02-12-2018 at 11:14 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-12-2018, 01:23 AM Thread Starter
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Grab some potash, push a few granules into the substrate, enough Cl will leach out over time...
Interesting. I've got root tabs, Osmocote +, a bunch of them in my 29 gal and I know they contain potash. You believe that would be enough Cl to take care of plants?
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-12-2018, 01:26 AM
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Interesting. I've got root tabs, Osmocote +, a bunch of them in my 29 gal and I know they contain potash. You believe that would be enough Cl to take care of plants?
Should be plenty, you'll get some Cl from other sources like food too.

potash is KCl after all

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-12-2018, 01:32 AM
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I keep hearing the importance of chloride, I'm using RODI so there's nothing in that water.
Curious where you keep hearing that?

I follow quite a few very successful plant keepers. And by that I mean people where I have seen many pictures of their tank, enough so that I feel that I can learn from their experience.

And I have never really heard it mentioned. Not saying it can't help. But would really be curious as to who is mentioning this and where.

I mean if it would really help, I would consider dosing it myself.


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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-12-2018, 01:44 AM Thread Starter
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Should be plenty, you'll get some Cl from other sources like food too.

potash is KCl after all
No, Osmocote's potash is K2O, potassium oxide. Potash can be several different potassium salts apparently, so my Osmocote isn't going to add any Cl.
@Greggz, I've seen it mentioned several times in the micros thread. I've also seen quite a few discussions on here about the importance of it in the aquarium. I was under the impression that Cl was an essential element for plants.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-12-2018, 01:48 AM
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No, Osmocote's potash is K2O, potassium oxide. Potash can be several different potassium salts apparently, so my Osmocote isn't going to add any Cl.
@Greggz, I've seen it mentioned several times in the micros thread. I've also seen quite a few discussions on here about the importance of it in the aquarium. I was under the impression that Cl was an essential element for plants.
Ah, Yes I see now... I was on thier website and they don't list Cl anywhere.... Too bad you weren't closer to me, I would ship you some for free
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-12-2018, 02:02 AM
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@Greggz, I've seen it mentioned several times in the micros thread. I've also seen quite a few discussions on here about the importance of it in the aquarium.
Well I'll have to go back through the thread and see who mentions it, as I always try and consider the source. Who knows, maybe there is something to learn there.

But in general, keep in mind there are loads of things more important than dosing to specific numbers.

In my opinion, concentrate on the basics first (light, CO2, tank maintenance, etc.), then fool around with fine tuning ferts. There isn't any magic formula that will work if you don't get the rest right first.


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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-12-2018, 02:03 AM Thread Starter
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Ah, Yes I see now... I was on thier website and they don't list Cl anywhere.... Too bad you weren't closer to me, I would ship you some for free
Appreciate that, no worries though. Cl is pretty cheap
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-12-2018, 02:50 AM
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The top 4 or 5 ingredients in Seachem Flourish are chloride based fertilizers so I've added a small dose of Flourish once a week to the tank to hopefully cover CL since its not in anything else I'm adding other than fish food, and I dislike the lack of predictability in expecting fish food to act as fertilizer when I have so few small fish.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-14-2018, 02:16 PM
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you could add KHCO3, CaSo4, CaCl, MgSO4 for better combo, try to keep the Cl less than 5 ppm during water changes.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-14-2018, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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I may just dose 110mg NaCl(table salt) into my 29gal to get ~0.61ppm Cl and call it a day. Would give me ~0.39ppm sodium, pretty insignificant, not enough salt to mess any of my fish or shrimp up. Anyone see a problem with this?

I could do 200mg and get 1.11ppm Cl and 0.72ppm Na...
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