Should I add Seachem Equalibrium? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-25-2018, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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Should I add Seachem Equalibrium?

I tested my tap water and was surprised to see that it came out as 2.0 for general as well as carbonate hardness. I tested my tank water prior to a water change and the general hardness was at a 3.0 (carbonate hardness didn't change).

My pH is 7.0 out of the tap and 7.2 in the tank.

I do a half dose of the PPS-pro since I'm using the SpecV (newer version) stock light. So I am adding magnesium sulfate which would account for the small change in general hardness. I'm doing 50% water changes weekly (about 2 gallons).

I plan on adding co2 shortly - just need to hook it up.

I have Seachem Equalibrium on hand so should I be adding it in to prevent any pH crashes or should I just not fiddle with my tap water?
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-25-2018, 09:55 PM
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Should I add Seachem Equalibrium?

Equilibrium only adds GH(as well as some trace elements), it wonít increase KH which is what affects pH.

Your water is likely very soft, so watch your plants carefully. If you notice leaves that are curled or wavy on plants where theyíre not supposed to be curled or wavy, you likely have a calcium deficiency and Equilibrium would be necessary to remedy that issue.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-25-2018, 10:14 PM Thread Starter
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I do see some curling on some of the stem plants I have. I thought it was because I hadn't hooked up my co2 yet so it wasn't absorbing the fertilizers efficiently. The tank is only 8 weeks old and has just finished cycling. I wasn't expecting my GH/KH to be so low since the pH is at 7.2.

Does low GH/KH and higher pH = more likely to have a pH crash?

For adding Equilibrium - since I would only be doing a 2 gallon water change is there a way I can make an aqueous solution and then add say 1 ml per gallon (or any other convenient ratio) to the new water? It's been a while since I've taken chemistry so I don't trust my math.

What level should I be aiming at for GH?
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-25-2018, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by rosyrobyn View Post
Does low GH/KH and higher pH = more likely to have a pH crash?
KH @ 1 or above should prevent a pH crash.

GH you may want to raise some. GH Booster of some type.
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Growing is not that difficult.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-25-2018, 10:20 PM
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You likely have a calcium deficiency and you should add some Equilibrium. You should shoot for a 2-4 degree increase, start lower then build up until signs of deficiency go away.

A KH of 2 degrees is enough to keep your pH stable, I wouldnít worry about that.

Insofar as creating your own solution, Iím not entirely sure what formula youíd use for that. Iím sure someone much better at this will chime in.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-25-2018, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
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So we're good with the KH - excellent.

Here's what the bottle says:

To raise mineral content/general hardness by 3dH, add 16 grams per 20 gallons.

So if I wanted to do a 2 gallon water change, I would use 1.6 grams. That would be for 3dh and for 1dh it would be 1/3 of that so 1.6 / 3 = 0.53 grams for 2 gallons or 0.26 grams for 1 gallon.

Did I get that right? It seems like such a small amount for dry dosing. Maybe someone can help me with math for a more accurate solution?
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-25-2018, 10:42 PM
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So we're good with the KH - excellent.



Here's what the bottle says:



To raise mineral content/general hardness by 3dH, add 16 grams per 20 gallons.



So if I wanted to do a 2 gallon water change, I would use 1.6 grams. That would be for 3dh and for 1dh it would be 1/3 of that so 1.6 / 3 = 0.53 grams for 2 gallons or 0.26 grams for 1 gallon.



Did I get that right? It seems like such a small amount for dry dosing. Maybe someone can help me with math for a more accurate solution?


Consulting my bottle, that is accurate. Itís actually extremely simple to dose that low amount if you get a gram scale. Very affordable on Amazon and eBay. American Weigh scales tend to get decent marks. I reload my own ammunition so I already have accurate and sensitive scales for small measurements.

All you need to do is measure out the proper weight according to the bottle and add it to the water. Dry dosing works perfectly fine, Iíve done it before without issues. But I usually like to add it to a blender and premix it, itíll make the tank cloudy temporarily but it clears up quickly. I like to think it ensures the minerals dissolve quickly preventing stress on the livestock.


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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-25-2018, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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I do have a little scale for when I'm making small batches of soap. I weighed out enough to add 1dh to the 5 gallons of water in the tank (it wasn't too bad to measure so I think I can stick with dry dosing) and I'll add that slowly to the tank over the next few hours.

After today, I'll watch to see if the new leaves coming out are wavy and add more as required.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-25-2018, 11:06 PM
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I do have a little scale for when I'm making small batches of soap. I weighed out enough to add 1dh to the 5 gallons of water in the tank (it wasn't too bad to measure so I think I can stick with dry dosing) and I'll add that slowly to the tank over the next few hours.



After today, I'll watch to see if the new leaves coming out are wavy and add more as required.


If youíre dry dosing you can add it all at once since itíll take a couple hours to dissolve anyway. Good luck and keep us posted!


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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-25-2018, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, I'll add it all in! My plants and I thank you. Tonight I work on the co2 and hopefully the tank will balance itself out.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-25-2018, 11:19 PM
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Ok, I'll add it all in! My plants and I thank you. Tonight I work on the co2 and hopefully the tank will balance itself out.


Indeed! What is your set up? Just out of curiosity. Light, substrate, planting, etc.


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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-26-2018, 01:23 AM Thread Starter
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I've got a Spec V with the stock light (it seems to be about 'medium' lighting but I have no par info).

I had great intentions for this little tank but had to scale back due to budget constraints so I boxed up my ADA amazonia and expensive rocks for another time. I'm using an inert fine gravel with no additives and some free river rock for decor. I got some cheap plants from local hobbyists and just today added a betta and some neon tetras. I may have to add root tabs if the stem plants don't do well with just adding fertilizer (PPS-pro) to the water column.

I'm going to be using a paintball set-up so I've got an Aquatek CO2 Regulator Mini and a 20oz paintball tank.

Flora:
Microsorum pteropus 'Trident' - this one is slowly melting away, I hope the co2 will help it perk up
Hydrocotyle tripartita
Vesicularia dubyana 'Christmas'
Hygrophila polysperma 'Rosanervig' - with wavy leaves
Hydrocharis morsus-ranae (frogbit)
and another plant I don't know - it started out with quite round leaves and has morphed into a more narrow leaf shape (Update - it's Rotala rotundifolia)

There's been a little algae battle over the past weeks but nothing too terrible. I just re-scaped and re-planted everything so it should fill out in time.
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Last edited by rosyrobyn; 09-26-2018 at 03:27 AM. Reason: Plant identified
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-26-2018, 02:27 AM
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It looks good!

Two things Iíve noticed about java fern is 1) when it propagates itself, the plantlets will consume the leaves while the rhizome is attached to the mother plant. If youíre not looking to get more, itís best to knock off the baby plants as you see them and 2) they love potassium, going a bit heavy handed on it will keep them green and healthy, and generally wonít effect the other plants providing youíre not significantly overdosing.


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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-26-2018, 02:46 AM Thread Starter
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I've got the java ferns attached to lava rock including some rhizomes that have no leaves. I'm hoping they regenerate. Thanks for the potassium tip. I'll definitely up my dose.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-28-2018, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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I did a 50% water change today and added 0.53g Equilibrium to maintain the increased GH. Prior to the water change I tested the water and it came out pH - 7.2, KH - 2.0, GH - 5.0. When I added Equilibrium it increased the GH by 3.0dh, but some of the increase may be caused by my fertilizer dosage which I add daily.

It's too early to see if the h. polysperma is improving and I still haven't hooked up the co2. This weekend if I can find the time.
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