What is this buildup in my macro fertilizer solution reservoir ? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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What is this buildup in my macro fertilizer solution reservoir ?

I made this marco solution two weeks ago. The solution had KNO3, KH2PO4, K2SO4, GH booster, some MgSO4, and some CaSO4. The buildup doesn’t feel slimy… it is more like a dry sandy texture. There is no smell or mold in the solution. What is causing this buildup?

Too much Ca and Mg in the solution?




Last edited by n00dl3; 02-27-2013 at 01:25 PM. Reason: update
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 01:26 PM
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Hi n00dl3,

I have a quick question, you are using GH Booster and MgSO4 and CaSO4? The ingredients in GH Booster would depend upon your source but most contain some variation of: 3 parts K2SO4, 3 parts CaSO4 and 1 part MgSO4. Are you monitoring your dGH in your aquarium?

In answer to your question, it looks like excess minerals/chemicals have precipitated out of solution; possibly the solution was mixed with warmer water and has now cooled. It is impossible to determine the exact chemicals without analysis. You could try mixing the same quantity of ingredients in a larger volume of water and see if the problem persists.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
Hi n00dl3,

I have a quick question, you are using GH Booster and MgSO4 and CaSO4? The ingredients in GH Booster would depend upon your source but most contain some variation of: 3 parts K2SO4, 3 parts CaSO4 and 1 part MgSO4. Are you monitoring your dGH in your aquarium?.
Yes, I was tinkering with my GH formula. I was getting some Mg and Ca deficiencies in my tank. So figured to add more some additional Mg and Ca into the formula. No, I'm not monitoring my dGH.

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Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
In answer to your question, it looks like excess minerals/chemicals have precipitated out of solution; possibly the solution was mixed with warmer water and has now cooled. It is impossible to determine the exact chemicals without analysis. You could try mixing the same quantity of ingredients in a larger volume of water and see if the problem persists.
Yes, it was mixed with hot water. I was using the hot water to mix the CSM+B so I used it for the macro solution too. I didn't know it would precipitated like that. Can I still use the solution or do I need to mix a new one?


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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 02:06 PM
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Looks like Calcium Sulfate precipitate...but if you have some NaOH kicking around in solution form you could combine that with some of your unknown and based on what color precipatate is caused you could tell for sure, white milky = calcium. Looks like the quantity of the salt added in solution exceeded its disolve rate so it leeched back out in its original form. Like adding a bunch of sugar to boiling water till its saturation point and cooling it with a string in it to make rock candy.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-28-2013, 01:55 AM
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As mentioned, it is impossible to tell what the chemical composition of the precipitated salts are, without access to analytical equipment.

In any case, you are likely trying to dissolve too much solute into your particular volume of water (super saturation), and upon cooling, the salts will begin to precipitate out of solution.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-28-2013, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by VAtanks View Post
Looks like Calcium Sulfate precipitate...but if you have some NaOH kicking around in solution form you could combine that with some of your unknown and based on what color precipatate is caused you could tell for sure, white milky = calcium. Looks like the quantity of the salt added in solution exceeded its disolve rate so it leeched back out in its original form. Like adding a bunch of sugar to boiling water till its saturation point and cooling it with a string in it to make rock candy.
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Originally Posted by Darkblade48 View Post
As mentioned, it is impossible to tell what the chemical composition of the precipitated salts are, without access to analytical equipment.

In any case, you are likely trying to dissolve too much solute into your particular volume of water (super saturation), and upon cooling, the salts will begin to precipitate out of solution.
I thought I was under the saturation point for the formula. But I didn't take a point with extra Mg and Ca. I guess I will remix the solution and get a separate container for the GH.


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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-28-2013, 08:12 PM
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I thought I was under the saturation point for the formula. But I didn't take a point with extra Mg and Ca. I guess I will remix the solution and get a separate container for the GH.
Were you looking at the solubilities of each chemical individually? With a mixture of salts, the common ion effect is likely causing the least soluble of salts to precipitate out.

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