Calcium Chloride + Epsom Salts Question - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-06-2009, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
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Calcium Chloride + Epsom Salts Question

This has probably already been discussed, but there are just waaaay too many posts about CaCl and Epsom Salts for me to look at...

The question is, where do you get the two? I'd prefer local, but online is ok. I mean I have a bag of CaCl in my garage that I use to melt the ice in the winter, and that surely cannot be safe for the tank....can it? Same thing for Epsom Salts, I can get a bottle from CVS, but I bet its loaded with harmful things that can hurt the fish. Like I said, there are many posts about these two, but all fail to mention the obvious....

The only product sold online (DRF&S & BigAls) is Equilibrium, which seems to come close to what I need....but it'll break my bank considering our water is very soft...

Thanks in advance!!!
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-07-2009, 12:06 AM
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For CaCl2 (plaster of Paris or gypsum) check your local brewer supply, arts/craft store, you also get plaster of Paris or gypsum from your local hardware store or asian market (ask for tofu coagulant).

The cvs epsom salt will be just fine
http://www.cvs.com/CVSApp/catalog/sh...ump&navCount=3
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-07-2009, 12:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrafael View Post
For CaCl2 (plaster of Paris or gypsum)

Those are a hydrate of calcium sulfate!
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-07-2009, 01:15 AM Thread Starter
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Lol James, so are they what I should use or not? Elaborate for us regular non - chemical major folk!
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-07-2009, 02:49 AM
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Plants are more likely to use sulfates than chlorides. Based on that I would expect that plaster of Paris would be preferable to deicing salt. But, Epsom salt is as pure as you need, and from my checking, is more expensive at the local stores than the same thing called Magnesium sulfate from aquarium fertilizer places on line.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-07-2009, 02:54 AM
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My Wal-Mart has Epsom Salt. Its $2 for a 4 lb bag.

John



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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-07-2009, 03:12 AM
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Plaster of paris is made from calcium sulfate (CaSO4), not calcium chloride (CaCl2). Some brands do contain calcium carbonate (CaCO3). Technically you can use it but make sure you find a product that doesn't have extra additives in it.

About the hydrate part, some compounds like CaSO4 and MgSO4 attract water to themselves so you'll have to take that into consideration when you make your measurements.

Last edited by SleepySin; 05-07-2009 at 06:05 AM.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-07-2009, 05:59 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies! I'll try to get me some Magnesium Sulfate. Any pointers as to where? (will it be just easier to pick a bag of Epsom Salt at Walmart?) In addition to this I'll be adding Baking Soda. For Calcium, I still don't know what to add though.... Remember though, this is primarily to condition my soft water during WC.

I found a couple of CaCl2 products aimed at reef systems online:

http://cgi.ebay.com/4-POUNDS-HIGH-PURITY-CALCIUM-CHLORIDE-REEF-AQUARIUM_W0QQitemZ270337379539QQcmdZViewItem#ebayp hotohosting


https://www.dtpetsupplies.com/catalog/product_info.php?language=en&currency=USD&products _id=154


It seems this stuff is very cheap, but when placed in a bottle with a fancy name, it suddenly appreciates 5000%. Also, readily available? I think not... So far the only place I found it is on ebay, and 1 jar at DrF&S (400g for $17). Perhaps I'm better off using plaster of paris... Lol obviously I'm still not sure of difference between using chloride and sulfate.... Like i said this is basically to raise the hardness of my tapwater.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-07-2009, 06:39 AM
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You could take a look at fertilizer shops:
http://www.aquariumfertilizer.com/in...ditU=1&Regit=2
http://www.bestaquariumregulator.com/ferts.html

Chlorides and sulfates don't affect hardness. Hardness is basically a measure of carbonates/bicarbonates for kH, magnesium and calcium for gH.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-07-2009, 07:57 AM Thread Starter
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Oh geez sleepy, you're killing me! Now you give me 20 choices to choose from lol!

Ok so what is ideal for our tanks? Ca and Mg Sulfates? In other words should I just get the GH mixes, or opt out for CaCl2 and MgSO4 separately?

Thanks for the site! Its just what I was looking for!
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-07-2009, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesQuall View Post
Those are a hydrate of calcium sulfate!


@ Ukrainetz

I'm talking from personal experience, plaster of paris will work just fine. I have used plaster of paris (DAPģ Plaster of Paris) for over a year in my tank with no negative effects on plants, fish (mollies, tetras, corys, pleco)or inverts (pond snails, red cherry shrimps)

Don't get yourself crazy about something as simple as this.

Here is the link to the one I use
http://www.dap.com/product_details.a...33&SubcatID=22

And the MSDS
http://www.dap.com/docs/msds/00071008_english.pdf

And for the reluctants here is an old thread at Tom Barr's forums talking about plaster of paris (gypsum)

http://www.barrreport.com/co2-aquati...magnesium.html

Quote:
Hi sir. I wish I could simple make an online order for GH booster, problem is that I lived in a different country and the shipping cost would cost a fortune. If making a pre-mix will be troublesome, can I just dose them separately to achieve the same effect of GH booster? thanks again!
Quote:
You folks have agriculture there right?
Most countries have that. So they generally sell things like Gypsum, Epsom salt, potash of sulfur etc.

Mix some up, add to the tank.
Tracking it down might be an issue, but once you do, you'll have a life's supply.

About 50% of the folks here are from somewhere other than the USA.


Regards,
Tom Barr
http://www.barrreport.com/estimative-index/3209-want-more-accuracy-want-daily-pmdd-style-ei-dosing-8.html

Quote:
Tom, you have been very helpful. BTW can I safely use this chemical called Plaster of Paris ? Someone told me it's Calcium Sulphate, CaSO4∑0.5H2O , Plaster - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia .

If your answer is yes, then I figure it will be 1/2 tsp of that CaSO4∑0.5H2O and another 1/2 tsp of MgSO4 after a 50% water change?



Roger Thomas
Quote:
I believe the pp is CaSO4.
I also know it as gypsum, I'm more inclined to get it via that way, but if it's 100% CaSO4, or close, then use it, especially if very fine ground.

It does dissolve but takes more time than say CaCl2, but it's a lot more soluble than CaCO3.

Yes, that amount should relieve most any issue you have with GH, dose that amount 2x a week.

Since this thread is about using the PMDD liquid dosing method, generally daily, add 2 teaspoons of CaSO4+ 1 tsp of MgSO4 per week's worth of dosing.

Note, since it's less soluble, as is K2SO4, plus you have a larger tank.......you may consider using a larger volume, say 2-5 liters at a time for a 2-4 week batch for the macro's, and 500mls for the traces.

The confusing thing and at the same time the flexibility here is that you can customize the solutions to meet any goal or demands you desire for the tank.

This is one reason I went to EI type of dosing suggestions for folks, simple made it easier for folks.

There are trade offs, but not that many relative to the usefulness.
Same with any approach.

Regards,
Tom Barr



www.BarrReport.com

Last edited by jrafael; 05-07-2009 at 03:03 PM.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-07-2009, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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YES! Someone is speaking my language here !!!

It is all clear like night and day now!

Thank you for all the help!
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-07-2009, 08:41 PM
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The MSDS on the plaster of paris says that it is 75-85% CaSO4, and 15-25% CaCO3. That means in addition to raising calcium levels, it will raise carbonate levels as well.

While in many cases that shouldn't cause any problems, for anyone keeping softwater plant species, trying to breed certain fish such as apistos, or running a pH controller for their CO2, there very well could be negative affects.


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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-13-2009, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks again! I went out and got them locally, and it seems to be the cheaper way: 4lb PP ~ $4.99, and 4lb Epsom Salt ~ $3.99. Carbonates won't be a problem for me, since I'm only conditioning change water. The only thing I would be concerned about is the Silica. Other than that, I cannot believe I'll be messing with GH and KH again! I remember being scorned by Naja about messing with water chemistry
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