Making seachem equilibrium solution - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-10-2016, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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Making seachem equilibrium solution

I am thinking of making large quantity of seachem equilibrium solution so I have it ready for future water changes and dose it in liquid form.

I was wondering if someone ever tried this and what would be the best formula. Equilibrium doesn't dissolve well and need quite a bit of water to dissolve completely.
Does anyone know what is minim water needed to dissolve completely 1 tbs (16g) of equilibrium?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-10-2016, 08:48 PM
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I recommend you browse the following threads:

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/8-...ted-tanks.html
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/88...-ro-water.html

My 29g high tech aquarium

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-11-2016, 02:56 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply.
I couldn't find information I am after in those threads.
I am gonna run an experiment and dissolve 1tbs with various quantities of water to see how much it's needed to completely dissolve it.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-11-2016, 03:02 AM
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I would suggest to use one gallon of water, and dissolve one gram (maybe only 0.5 grams) of equilibrium at a time, until you can no longer dissolve any more.

You will then end up with X number of grams per gallon of water, and can easily scale as needed.

Feel free to edit.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-11-2016, 03:18 AM
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I think it is far better to add the Equilibrium as a solid and let it slowly dissolve in the water in the tank. That will slow the change in water parameters rather than suddenly changing them. I have never heard of anyone trying to dose Equilibrium as a pre-mix.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-11-2016, 04:50 PM
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The solubility of Equilibrium or most GH boosters for that matter is very low, you will never be able to get enough of it dissolved to be effective.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-11-2016, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
I think it is far better to add the Equilibrium as a solid and let it slowly dissolve in the water in the tank. That will slow the change in water parameters rather than suddenly changing them. I have never heard of anyone trying to dose Equilibrium as a pre-mix.
I use 100% RO with equilibrium, I have a horrible well for planted tanks. I always thought when doing large water changes if it wasn't all pre dissolved in the RO, the straight RO would cause more of a swing than if it was pre mixed. Until it is 100% dissolved, the water you are adding won't match your tank parameters..... Or at least that's my opinion on it. I pre dissolve my 5gallon dose of equilibrium in 1 litre bottles with RO, I then have them ready to use at WC time. I add it to a 5g bucket of RO, then pump to tank. It is always completely dissolved.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-11-2016, 05:13 PM
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I put a couple of tablespoons in a gallon jug of RO water and let it sit. It doesn't come close to dissolving it but when I do water changes and need to increase gh I just add a capful at a time as I'm adding the replacement RO water as needed. It's a large tank and I usually refill it over a period of 3-5 hrs so there are no sudden swings. As I use the pre-mix(which is very little) I simply replace what I've used with more RO water. That couple tbs in the jug lasts a long, long time. I just monitor with a TDS meter while I add the replacement water and I come out pretty close.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-11-2016, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
I think it is far better to add the Equilibrium as a solid and let it slowly dissolve in the water in the tank. That will slow the change in water parameters rather than suddenly changing them. I have never heard of anyone trying to dose Equilibrium as a pre-mix.
Do your fish try to eat the Equilibrium? And is it bad for them? I was going to add mine this way but I am worried about the fish.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-11-2016, 09:38 PM
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Do your fish try to eat the Equilibrium? And is it bad for them? I was going to add mine this way but I am worried about the fish.
The fish only eat what is good for them. They just spit out granules of fertilizer, including Equilibrium. If you are starting with distilled or RO/DI water then I agree that you should bring up the GH before adding a large amount of it to the tank. That is one of the reasons for not starting with distilled or RO/DI water for big water changes. Off the top of my head, if I was doing that I think I would use a gallon jug, add Equilibrium to it, shake it up, pour it in, and go on to the next gallon. That would also slow down the fluctuations in GH. But, it would cause me to be very reluctant to do 30 gallon changes in my 65 gallon tank.

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2016, 01:14 PM
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This might be a topic for a new thread but I'll mention it here and see what happens. I've got a 125g tank and do about 30% water changes every 2 weeks. I will vary the amount/ frequency at times if nitrates start to creep up. It's very low tech, no CO2, gravel mixed with aquariumplant.com AquaDert substrate. The only ferts were root tabs until about a year ago I started adding potassium sulfate and Flourish. Phosphate/nitrate ratio has been pretty good so none added, but I admit I don't test often.

Before I started adding the potassium and Flourish I would use Kent RO RIGHT
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2016, 01:28 PM
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This might be a topic for a new thread but I'll mention it here and see what happens. I've got a 125g tank and do about 30% water changes every 2 weeks. I will vary the amount/ frequency at times if nitrates start to creep up. It's very low tech, no CO2, gravel mixed with aquariumplant.com AquaDert substrate. The only ferts were root tabs until about a year ago I started adding potassium sulfate and Flourish. Phosphate/nitrate ratio has been pretty good so none added, but I admit I don't test often.

Before I started adding the potassium and Flourish I would use Kent RO Right to bring gh up at water change. I have since switched to Equilibrium. Basically measured with TDS meter, occasionally confirmed with a gh test. The water is soft/acidic. 3-4 dgh, 2dkh, about 6.5 ph.

Since I started adding the potassium and Flourish I find that the gh slowly goes up enough between water changes enough that I'm staying in the gh range I want without adding very much or any Equilibrium etc.

I guess I'm worried that the tank is 'missing' something by only adding the potassium and flourish but that seems to keep my gh where I want it. Any thoughts?
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2016, 02:56 PM
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I would not bother making a batch of Equilibrium. Prep it with each water change.
Put a measured amount of Equilibrium in a sealed jar (1 pint canning jar works well).
Add water. Shake.
Pour the milky water into the prep container, add more water to the jar.
Repeat until the Equilibrium is dissolved. There may still be a few granules in the jar, just dump those in, too.

Making a larger batch would work as jr125 says: The Equilibrium settles out. You can shake it prior to using it, but then you are shaking 1 gallon of water instead of 1 pint, and need to test it to see how well it has dissolved. Plus you need to find storage for a gallon instead of a couple of small jars (1 is Equilibrium, the other is the mixing jar, which is part of my tool kit, be used for other aquarium chemicals, too)

jr:
Fish food has reasonable amounts of N, P, most traces. If your NO3 and PO4 are good, you can assume the traces are OK, too.
Fish food is low in K, Fe, Ca, Mg.
Equilibrium has K, Ca, Mg, small amount of Fe. But if you no longer add it, because the Ca and Mg (GH) are OK, then supply other K and Fe. I would switch from Flourish Comprehensive to Flourish Iron (and continue with the Flourish Potassium), if you want to use a liquid, or to chelated iron and K2SO4 if you want to use dry ferts. Continue to monitor the GH and probably just dose the new water when you prep it for a water change.

Sources of GH:
Could the substrate tablets be entering the water column? Do they have Ca or Mg?
Are there any rocks in the tank that could be adding to the GH? (Note that substrate tends to remove the carbonates, so the KH would probably not rise, even if the rocks were calcium or magnesium carbonates)
Are you adding any other source of Ca or Mg? Cuttlebone, Epsom salt, other?
Are you topping off with water that has Ca or Mg?
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2016, 03:55 PM
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jr:
Fish food has reasonable amounts of N, P, most traces. If your NO3 and PO4 are good, you can assume the traces are OK, too.
Fish food is low in K, Fe, Ca, Mg.
Equilibrium has K, Ca, Mg, small amount of Fe. But if you no longer add it, because the Ca and Mg (GH) are OK, then supply other K and Fe. I would switch from Flourish Comprehensive to Flourish Iron (and continue with the Flourish Potassium), if you want to use a liquid, or to chelated iron and K2SO4 if you want to use dry ferts. Continue to monitor the GH and probably just dose the new water when you prep it for a water change.

Sources of GH:
Could the substrate tablets be entering the water column? Do they have Ca or Mg?
Are there any rocks in the tank that could be adding to the GH? (Note that substrate tends to remove the carbonates, so the KH would probably not rise, even if the rocks were calcium or magnesium carbonates)
Are you adding any other source of Ca or Mg? Cuttlebone, Epsom salt, other?
Are you topping off with water that has Ca or Mg?
Thanks for your reply.

Substrate pellets are from aquariumplants.com. They are placed as deep as possible but I could be disturbing them if new plants are added etc.

TOTAL (WITH PHOSPHATE) PELLETS

AquaFertz.com Total (With Phosphate) Pellets provide Phosphate and all essential macro and micronutrients for luxuriant Aquarium Plant Growth. Iron and other essential micronutrients are chelated to assure effective uptake by plants. All aquarium plants need phosphate, however, most aquarium plants get adequate phosphate from fish foods and natural water sources. Use Total With Phosphate for Amazon Sword Plants, TemplePlants an other plants known to benefit from addition phosphate. Discontinue adding additional (phosphates) pellets if algal growth is observed to develop or accelerate. .

Directions: Inject one pellet under a single plant or group of plants within an area of 3in by 3in square. Inject no more than 1 pellet per each 6in by 6in area of aquarium bottom per month in heavily planted tanks. Plants should be growing in at least 3in of substrate. With the injector angled at least 30 degrees off vertical, inject pellets into the substrate to about 1/2in under the plant root area.

Chemically Active Ingredients: Diammonium Phosphate, Hydrated Magnesium sulfate, Potassium nitrate, Potassium sulfate, also trace amounts of; Cobalt EDTA, Copper EDTA, Iron EDTA, Magnesium EDTA, Zinc EDTA, Manganese sulfate, Sodium Borate, Sodium Molybdate, (Chelating Agent: Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid)

Physically Active Ingredients: Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3) Magnesium Carbonate (MgCO3) Calcium Carbonate Equivalent (CaCO3) Calcium Sulfate (CaSO42H2O)
Substrate pellets are aquariumplants.com Total(with phosphate)

I just got done testing GH and KH. GH 4.5, KH just under 2. TDS reading 0.27ppt. Scheduled water change is this Friday. When I do a water change TDS drops to about 0.18-0.20. If it's lower(usually not) I add Equilibrium to bring it up to about that level. This is the range the tank stays in very consistently.

I haven't added any new rocks or made any substrate changes since the tank was set up about 6 years ago.

Nothing else being added except Excell. Currently using K2SO4. I've wondered about additional iron.

Replacement water is RO.

Phosphates tested at .25-.5. PH was about 6. I need to test later in the day for comparison, I think it will be in the 6.4- 6.5 range then. That has been my experience in the past. I really don't test very often as this tank stays very stable. If I make any changes I'll test more often. As mentioned I use the TDS at water changes as a quick way to see where I'm at generally for GH. I've got a new NO3 test kit coming as my current one is to old to be reliable.

I appreciate your input.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2016, 09:30 PM
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Just be aware that TDS of a running tank has very little to do with GH and KH. The GH and KH are not changing much between water changes. They increase very slightly if you are topping off with tap water or re-mineralised water but the big increase you see in the TDS after a week or so is due to fish poop and rotting vegitation. Leaves fall off and begin to dissolve, fish waste is dissoved, fertilizers are disolved. But just because the TDS meter says you have 170 PPM it does not mean you have 10 DGH. You could have 3 DGH and alot of fish waste.

As an example, when you add enough Equilibrium to RO water to raise it to 3 degrees, and add baking soda or alkaline buffer to raise the KH to the same 3 degrees you will measure roughly 170 PPM on the TDS meter because it is measuring everything that is dissolved in the water, not just the minerals we associate with general hardness or calcium hardness.

It is a good tool for understanding general trends and can give you an idea of when you need to perform a water change but it cannot really tell you how hard your water is unless you start with pure water and add one mineral at a time. Not very practical.
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