How to use equilibrium - The Planted Tank Forum
 3Likes
  • 1 Post By RollaPrime
  • 1 Post By pauld738
  • 1 Post By en7jos
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-14-2020, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
okapizebra's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 133
How to use equilibrium

Hi everyone. I want to increase my GH a few degrees to make my tank healthier for my platies. My current params are:

29 gallon planted tank
pH 7.8
gH 9
kH 4

It was recommended to me in my other thread to use equilibrium to accomplish this. However, on the instructions on the bottle it says to add it to RO water. Can I still just mix it in with my new water during water changes? Is it going to dissolve when I already have a high-ish pH and GH? How much do I need to add?

Thanks!
okapizebra is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-14-2020, 01:47 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
RollaPrime's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 328
I've recently started using equilibrium myself and would advise against adding it to regular new water. It's designed to reintroduce the minerals that the ro water filtration process strips out. And the parameters you've listed are already ok for Platies.
DigityDog70 likes this.
RollaPrime is offline  
post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-14-2020, 02:11 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
pauld738's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Modesto
Posts: 315
Since Platys prefer Gh in the 12 to 18 range it definitely is ok to add Equilibrium to your existing water.

That's what it's designed to do. Bring your Gh up to desired levels. :-)

Just go slowly, add enough to raise your Gh by 1 dGh each time. Follow the directions in the bottle.

Equilibrium will not affect your pH.

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
DigityDog70 likes this.

Last edited by pauld738; 07-14-2020 at 02:12 PM. Reason: Clarity
pauld738 is offline  
 
post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-14-2020, 03:36 PM
Algae Grower
 
en7jos's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Singapore
Posts: 60
Also note that Equilibrium does not dissolve instantly, at least not completely. There will always be undissolved "crumbs" left in the bottom of whatever you mix it in which should be added to the tank. Better to pre-mix before adding to tank so you can stir / shake to help mixing. I find the GH readings increase by about 1 degree when comparing measurements made immediately after mixing to those the next day, so be aware of this so you don't add too much!

16g will increase 80 litres of water by 3 dGH (as per instructions on tub)

So 1/15th gram will increase the hardness of 1 litre by 1 dGH

Therefore work out your volume of water (in litres) and multiply this by 1/15 (or 0.06667) to calculate how many grams you need to add to increase hardness by 1 degree.

To begin with, raise the water in the tank to your desired hardness, but do it slowly (over days / weeks). So calculate how much to add based on tank volume.

Once your tank is at desired hardness, just add Equilibrium to the water change water (based on water volume to be added, not whole tank) to match hardness to that in tank. Keep an eye on hardness in tank as it may drift over time and adjust by under or over dosing w/c water to correct.

Top up evaporated water with soft water (i.e. no Equilibrium added) as minerals don't evaporate, so no need to re-add them. Ideally top up with RO / distilled water as your tap water will still be adding addition minerals, but you can correct for this by adding less Equilibrium at next w/c.

Hope this helps, James
pauld738 likes this.
en7jos is online now  
post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-16-2020, 02:39 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
okapizebra's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 133
Ok, my plan is to increase by 1 degree per week. I will work on those calculations when I have some more time. I don't have the equilibrium yet anyways. Should I aim for 12 GH?

So would you all agree it's necessary for my fish? Is higher GH bad for plants?

All your advice is much appreciated!!
okapizebra is online now  
post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-16-2020, 04:35 AM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
pauld738's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Modesto
Posts: 315
Well now you're complicating things, lol!

What else do you have in the tank? Fish and plants?

Plants prefer 6-8dGh. Doesn't mean they won't grow well in 12 dGh. If you had 25 dGh, well...

As @RollaPrime mentioned, 9 dGh is not the worst, I've definitely kept them in softer water than yours but if you have the means, and you don't have any inhabitants that want truly soft water I say give them what they want.

I don't keep live-bearers in my tanks these days precisely because I don't cater to their preferences. Even though they are beautiful fish.

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
pauld738 is offline  
post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-16-2020, 07:08 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
DaveKS's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: 67212
Posts: 2,343
Optimized for those fish IMHO would only be about a 1GH increase total, remember only thing your GH test is measuring is Ca/Mg levels, Equilibrium is mostly K.

I would get some potassium bicarbonate and some sodium bicarb (baking soda) add 4 parts K bicarb to 1part Na bicarb to slightly adjust change water KH higher (1) then add a small bag of 2 parts oyster shell grit and 1 part crushed coral to filter for a slow release Ca/Mg source. In a 29gal that bag would be about size of roll of nickels. Oyster grit is very slow to dissolve, its bound up in Ai/Si compounds, crushed coral will dissolve much faster and needs replenishment more.

Main important elements oyster shell dissolves into is a tad extra Ca + Strontium. Strontium has been shown to enhance biological functions of most hard water fish and inverts. Its one of those micro-micro nutrients that is there in very small, almost undetectable amounts but has a very big effect on other biological functions related to tissue/shell development, especially in harder water organisms. In freshwater clams etc it has shown to be a important part in preventing shell degradation.
DaveKS is offline  
post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-16-2020, 02:08 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
pauld738's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Modesto
Posts: 315
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveKS View Post
Optimized for those fish IMHO would only be about a 1GH increase total, remember only thing your GH test is measuring is Ca/Mg levels, Equilibrium is mostly K.
Just a note on Equilibrium, it's widely available and easy to administer. The K that it introduces is really only an issue if you are adding a bunch of it elsewhere say in EI dosing of plant fertilizers. Which is why I switched to dry Ca & Mg.

It is a Seachem product though and as is the case with the majority of their products, you pay for a lot of stuff you don't really need. Lol!

And I'm not endorsing 10 dGh for optimal platy parameters :-) :-)

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
pauld738 is offline  
post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-16-2020, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
okapizebra's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 133
Ok, now you guys are confusing me lol.

Other inhabitants of my tank are brilliant rasboras, zebra danios, pearl danios, and some juvenile guppies.

Plants are crypts, java ferns, dwarf sag, and anubias.

Sooo which do I want. Equilibrium or the oyster shells and all that? If I can throw it in my filter and forget about it that sounds easier than having to dose and mix every water change.

The only fertilizer I add are root tabs.

Soooo one degree of gh is enough? That seems like a lot of work for only degree. Will that even make a difference?

Sent from my SM-A505U using Tapatalk
okapizebra is online now  
post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-17-2020, 07:51 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
DaveKS's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: 67212
Posts: 2,343
Here is figure for using equilibrium to raise your tank 1GH (figured on 27gal actual water in tank).



Not only is it adding a high amount of K for a low tech tank its also adding a good dose of iron as well. See the Ca/Mg levels its showing on chart, that will convert to a 1GH rise in your tank. If this a low tech tank with those simple plants thats about twice the amount of K you could possibly need per week. If your adding ferts they are also usually adding K and Fe to tank already. If you mix to that ratio for a 1 rise in your volume of change water youll be alright on those levels but if you do say a 25% water change the GH in your tank will only rise .25.

Anyway there is a dosage calc on Seachem Equilibrium webpage under the directions tab that allows you to enter in gal, current GH and desired GH and it will tell you how much to add to reach that goal.

I guess Im old school, yes Im old, but to accomplish what you want I would just add some coral/shells in bag to filter and just give it a few weeks to reach desired effects, not hitting it just add more to bag.

You truthfully have great water parameters for Platy as it is. What is it your trying to fix? Platy are super simple to keep fish. Give them water with good circulation patterns, lower DOC levels (hit tank with a bag of carbon once a month), good trace mineral levels and maybe get some Boyd VitaChem to add to food and give them a good varied diet and they should thrive in your current water conditions.
DaveKS is offline  
post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-18-2020, 04:04 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
pauld738's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Modesto
Posts: 315
Yeah, I wouldn't do anything if all your doing is going for a 1 degree bump. Equilibrium would come in handy if you were wanting a larger bump up and targeting a specific number.

And honestly the oyster shell/crushed coral trick would be the easiest low maintenance approach. Almost a set it and forget it kind of thing. :-)

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
pauld738 is offline  
post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-18-2020, 07:37 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
okapizebra's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 133
Oysters shells and crushed coral would be easy enough then. Honestly I just really want these platies to thrive. I've never had long term success with them, but they're like my favorite freshwater fish to keep. I went years without them because I gave up basically, and now that I'm trying again I really want them to make it.

Now I need to look into where to buy oyster shells. Do I need to worry about these increasing my ph or kh too? Is that a problem?

Everyone's advice is very much appreciated!

Sent from my SM-A505U using Tapatalk
okapizebra is online now  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome