Chlorides vs. sulfates...? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-08-2009, 06:26 AM Thread Starter
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Chlorides vs. sulfates...?

Hi guys,

I'm working up to dry-dosing, and I'm going to start with boosting my soft GH & KH, but I have some questions. (at the end)

Just on my basic knowledge of GH and KH, I figured I would start with:
magnesium chloride
calcium chloride
sodium bicarbonate
But then I looked up Seachem Equilbirum, and found they use sulfates instead:
potassium sulfate
calcium sulfate
magnesium sulfate
ferric sulfate
manganese sulfate
I wasn't expecting to find the iron & manganese, but it makes sense.

So, my questions...

Why the sulfates instead of the chlorides...?

Would potassium chloride fit in at all..?

Wouldn't the sulfur compounds impart a rotten egg smell to the water, and increase the risk of H2S production if the chemistry goes sideways...?

Last edited by spinjector; 01-08-2009 at 11:02 AM.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-08-2009, 01:23 PM
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The sulfates are likely cheaper than the chlorides. Plus the anhydrous chlorides (Ca and Mg) are difficult to keep anhydrous (esp if you imagine the amount they use) and the hydrated forms still absorb water making them difficult to pour (again on the scale they use). Sulfate salts don't do this as badly.

I believe at least one competitor product uses some potassium chloride as well.

Sulfate by itself has no smell - only when it is used as an oxygen source in an anaerobic (anoxic?) environment do you get H2S production - not something to worry about.



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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-08-2009, 03:12 PM
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plants need small amount of sulfur too... Not sure it needs chloride.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-08-2009, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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Ok thanks.
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