20ppm Magnesium 0-10ppm Ca - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 02:01 AM Thread Starter
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20ppm Magnesium 0-10ppm Ca

Should I be concerned about using simply GH booster to raise my calc back up? Will the increased magnesium be a problem? For ever 10ppm ca. I'm adding I'm putting in 2.5ppm mg so to hit my target of ~20-30ppm ca I'll be sitting at 25ppm Mg: 30ppm Ca. Is that a problem for plants?

The water Q report shows:

only 11ppm Ca
20ppm Mg
9.7 pH
77ppm kH (4.2 german degrees)
100ppm GH (5 german degrees)

How the hell is the pH so high but the kH and GH so reasonable? Do they ad NaOH to the water?

EDIT: Now that I think about it after Cation exchange treatment the water outted is probably extremely acidic so they probably add NaOH to keep the pipes from dissolving. And then as gas is lost the pH climbs up to what's shown right now...

I don't understand how the Calcium levels are so reduced? I think they're using some kind of cation exchange system at the water plant that pulls Calcium and not magnesium. Regardless, once I run it through my treatment system I get about 5-6pH and near 0 Ca and unknown Mg (probably less than 20).
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 02:51 AM
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try using Ca sulphate and keep the Ca around 40ppm. do not add any more Mg, too much Mg results in leaves being twisted or curled up. keeping the Ca around 40ppm might solve this if you are having this issue.

Ph 9.7??? is this for real, it doesn't make any sense to me since your Kh isn't that high at all.

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 03:14 AM Thread Starter
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Sodium hydroxide added to the water during treatment. And yes the ph reading is accurate. Done using a lab grade probe.
Where would I find CaSO4 locally? I think I might just isolate it from the gh booster though...Although I think it'll be simpler to remove GH from the water using resin than to work with this...

Last edited by Jeffww; 02-25-2013 at 03:26 AM. Reason: xxx
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 04:18 AM
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CaCl2 will work and is cheap, CaSO4 is plaster of paris.

It's very rare to have no Ca and all Mg.
I would go back and make sure a few times.

I had 52 ppm of Mg in my tap water at Davis Ca, the Ca was high also.
Only a strange well water at fair deep depths might have some tap like yours.

I found no issues with higher ppm's of Mg for even the most touchy of plant species.

Here's a pic of the tank when I was at Davis:



Still, I'd check the Ca and Mg again carefully.

You can make a standard solution of Ca with CaCl2 easily also to make sure you are testing it correctly. Adding the small amount of Mg contained in GH booster will do little to any plant at those Mg levels assuming they and the Ca is correct.




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 05:22 AM Thread Starter
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I just did the Mg test again. Still around 10-20 ppm... I think the high magnesium water is because the Calcium is removed from treatment at the water plant in Austin. like .08ml of titrant with every .1ml being 20ppm. The resolution on my Ca test isn't as high but it's less than 20ppm. Water report for the area corroborates the tests...I don't really want to make reference solutions for this but imo they're decently accurate if they're reflecting what the tap water reports for the area are.

But I'll try to get ahold of some Ca only sources. Hopefully the lfs carries CaCl2 in the reef section (totally forgot this stuff existed).

But the take home message is that the Mg isn't a problem right?
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 10:48 AM
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I'm just curious if you see any side effects because of that pH. Is it just the reading or it does have a visible impact?

If the proportions are that skewed I would use a RO unit and reconstruct the water than to try and correct the tap.

I found CaCl2 as a dehumidifier reserve at a DIY shop. Used it in the shrimp and planted tank without any side effects. The SW product I bought was actually Calcium Hydroxide (slaked lime) which will raise the pH further because of the Hydroxide. Read the label carefully.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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Nah, i pretreat my water to lower the ph to near 7
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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Ordered some CaCl2. Didn't want to use sulphate because it sucks and doesn't dissolve. I still don't know why it's used in GH booster mixes. I'd at least substitute most of it for CaCl2 and only use what CaSO4 will actually dissolve.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 10:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffww View Post
Ordered some CaCl2. Didn't want to use sulphate because it sucks and doesn't dissolve. I still don't know why it's used in GH booster mixes. I'd at least substitute most of it for CaCl2 and only use what CaSO4 will actually dissolve.

if am not mistaking, i have heard calcium chloride is not good for plant in higher doses, however it can be dosed in small amounts with other Ca sources. i agree that sulphates are pain in the A** to dissolve.

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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How small is small? Why does CaCl2 affect plants? The chloride ions? For every ppm Ca I add I'm adding two x cl-. So 20ppm cl- for ever Ca? That doesn't seem like much since brackish water is on the order of 20ppt or 1000 times that amount. Oh well. It'll be good to be able to finally make a calcium solution that doesn't look like milk for once.

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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 10:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffww View Post
How small is small? Why does CaCl2 affect plants? The chloride ions? For every ppm Ca I add I'm adding two x cl-. So 20ppm cl- for ever Ca? That doesn't seem like much since brackish water is on the order of 20ppt or 1000 times that amount. \
i think we should be fine using Ca Chloride in small amounts since Aqua vitro line also uses it along with other sources. i myself will order some Ca chloride because Ca sulfate never dissolve properly.

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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 02:28 AM
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YOu can get CaCl2 bags at the hardware store for cheap. It's used to melt ice. I wouldn't worry about it affecting plants.

Normally CaSO4 would be fine but your pH is so high, it'll have problems dissolving. I use food grade CaSO4 to make tofu. It is a pain because tends to settle. I'll try CaCl2 next.


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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 03:42 AM Thread Starter
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We don't have that in texas lol. And if we did it'd be at somewhere hard to get to like the tractor supply.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 10:15 AM
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That's some funky water....

You can also dose calcium nitrate as it's much more soluble than CaSO4, but it will probably have to be your only source of N.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 11:35 PM
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CaSO4 can be mixed with water before pouring in the tank. The fine plaster powder will take a while to dissolve by itself. What I do is shake and mix the powder with water from my tank in a small bottle until the contents is milky and pour that in.

I read Chloride is good for the plants as it is a macro nutrient they need.
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