Tropica Substrate and pH - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-02-2020, 06:44 AM Thread Starter
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Tropica Substrate and pH

Hi all,

My new planted tank is in the week 4. For the starting 2 weeks the de-gassed pH was consistent at 6.25.
I did not track pH much in week 3 (was fighting algae and doing massive water changes).
Week 4 the pH in de-gassed state is at 6.75.

My KH is about 2-3 and GH is around 10. My tap is TDS ~ 1000, I use RO water mixed with Tap to get 170-200 TDS.
Is this expected behaviour with Tropica substrate where the week 1-2 the pH gets pulled down further?

Should I be worried? No animals yet in this tank.

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-06-2020, 12:59 PM
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Since no one has replied yet, I'll take a stab.

I haven't used Tropica, but it seems all these "soils" share some similarities. ADA Aquasoil lowered my pH to 6 and it sucks out my KH and some GH. From what I have read, this starts to stabilize a little around a month out and improves greatly around month 3.

So I'd say this is normal. Since you don't have animals in your tank yet, I think you are fine.

Good Luck!
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-06-2020, 02:32 PM
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Hi @sudhirr

Out of interest, why are you using tap water to remineralise your nice "pure" RO water? Wouldn't you be better using a remineralising product such as Seachem Equilibrium so you know what exactly you are putting back in? The tap / RO mix might give you the desired GH / KH, but I wonder what other "nasties" you might be reintroducing too?

I have no experience with Tropica, but if it's like Amazonia as Ben suggests above, then adding KH is quickly going to kill the buffering capacity of the soil, in case that is a concern.

Regards, James


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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-09-2020, 07:27 AM Thread Starter
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Tropica Substrate and pH

I was unable to source both equilibrium or salty shrimp gh+ given the covid situation.

Anyways I am going to try some diy GH boosting with calcium sulphate and magnesium sulphate to boost the GH for my water changes.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-09-2020, 07:39 AM Thread Starter
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Referring to https://skfaquatics.com/forum/forums...or-rain-water/


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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-09-2020, 02:38 PM
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Be sure to add some potassium. It doesn't contribute to GH but is one of the main nutrients. It is part of GH Boost products.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-09-2020, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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Yes. I have also taken potassium sulphate just like how the article has mentioned.

Will be doing some tests with samples of 200 ml and checking for both TDS 140-160 and testing for kh and Gh as well. Hopefully this will extrapolate to 20L water changes for my 50L tank and 10l water changes for my 30l tank.


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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-10-2020, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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Tried the diy remineraliser mix using calcium, magnesium sulphate and potassium sulphate in 500 ml of RO water. The calcium sulphate I used is dihydrate and has poor solubility in water, so will need to give a good shake before drawing out the mix for remineralising.

I tested with a 200 ml sample. Added the remin mix drop by drop till the TDS was at 150. I checked the GH and it was at 10 dH and as expected the KH was at 0.

Then I repeated the experiment to remin RO water to TDS of 100 and the GH was 5-6.

Since the mix is not completely solvent in water, the correlation between ml of the solution to the TDS increase is not very reliable. An approximation is that for 20L of water, 2.5 ml of the remix solution raises the TDS by 25.

I would need calcium and magnesium test kits to test the ratio of CA to mg. But that will take some time to order in.


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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-10-2020, 12:59 PM
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Wow, you can get all those chemicals, ca + mg test kits, Co2 injection, Tropica substrate, etc, etc - but not a tub of Equilibrium or similar?

I mean fair play and good luck to you for going the DIY route, much more interesting and opportunities for learning and new understanding. Just seems a lot of hard work and room for throwing up additional unknowns when you're trying to get a new tank setup!

Regards, James


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-10-2020, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by en7jos View Post
Wow, you can get all those chemicals, ca + mg test kits, Co2 injection, Tropica substrate, etc, etc - but not a tub of Equilibrium or similar?

I mean fair play and good luck to you for going the DIY route, much more interesting and opportunities for learning and new understanding. Just seems a lot of hard work and room for throwing up additional unknowns when you're trying to get a new tank setup!

Regards, James

Yep. All the regular folks who stock equilibrium are all sold out. Imports are impacted due to covid, that’s what I am hearing from the offline stores.

Online stores are showing “not available” ever since covid started.

I have access to laboratory grade chemicals online. Test kit for CA and mg I need to check if they are currently available online.

Compared to remineralising with tap water which I was doing, I consider this diy arrangement to be cleaner.


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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-10-2020, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sudhirr View Post
The calcium sulphate I used is dihydrate and has poor solubility in water, so will need to give a good shake before drawing out the mix for remineralising.
The products we get here are not very soluble here either. They have lots of chunks that take much of the day to dissolve. If you are making your mix with the recipe in the article you referenced, you should be able to dump it in and not worry about it.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-10-2020, 04:38 PM
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I had this problem with aquasoil, RO water and remineralization. The water even turned yellow the ph was so low. I assume this had some type of chemical reaction that let tannins from the soil out more. All in all I waa dumping in 4x the amount of gh and kh I should have needed to, and it still wasn't enough.

The fix was to simply use my 500 tds tap water. The water cleared up, the ph went up and the gh/kh did not get fully soaked up.
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