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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There were a couple recent threads about people using teaspoon measuring rather than the little plastic scoop that comes with the package and always seems to get gunked up - it does for me, anyway. So, I thought I would do a few measurements with teaspoons just for a bit of fun. I am sharing this as just what I recorded. I don't mean for this thread to be a "what is the right level for my shrimp" type thing as we have a good number of those. This is just purely the raw data that I measured, and folks can maybe make use of it in determining their own recipes.

I took these measurements based on 5 gallons of RO/DI water that came out of my BRS 150 gal/day RO unit. The starting water measured 0 TDS on the BRS unit, as well as my HM Digital AP-2 handheld pen. I measured level spoonfuls, poured the powder in, capped the 5 gallon jug, shook vigorously for about 45 seconds or so. The temperature of the water was 72 degrees.

SS GH+
  • 0.5 tsp gave 97 TDS and a GH of 5
  • 1.0 tsp gave 185 TDS and a GH of 9
  • 1.5 tsp gave 287 TDS and a GH of 12.5 to 13

I also have this for a bonus measurement. I took 1/8 of a firmly packed, level teaspoon of Mosura TDS UP and added it in at the end. I chose to do level, firmly packed, because the stuff smells and looks like brown sugar to me. Trying to level the spoon without packing it wasn't easy to do as my pouch of this stuff is a bit "tacky". So, packing it like one does for brown sugar ensured I got a nice level amount. Anyway, the 1/8 firmly packed, level teaspoon raised my TDS by 51 points.

I may do the SS GH/KH+ tomorrow night as I also keep Neos, and I want to have that data for myself as well. If I do, I'll post those results here.
 

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I also use the BRS 5 RO unit. I love the TDS meter built in.
Anyways. A great thread!

I should do a test with the Shirakura liquid mineral and see what numbers I get.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I also use the BRS 5 RO unit. I love the TDS meter built in.
Anyways. A great thread!

I should do a test with the Shirakura liquid mineral and see what numbers I get.
Thanks! Yes, by all means, feel free to add your numbers. I'd love to see what comes out.
 

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Well not only that, but your SS could vary from month to month. I got a different reading of TDS when I was near the bottom that when I first opened it.

It's not foolproof, but it's a nice general idea to go off of. Kind of like the knowledge ~20TDS SS = 1 gh Not exact, but it's nice to go off of.
 

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This.

It's why I always mix water up based on TDS and not by volume of product I use. Takes a few more minutes but it's worth it to me.

Stick pump in bottom of reservoir. Add minerals until I hit TDS. Sometimes it's X amount of product, sometimes Y amount.

I also keep a regular handle on hardness to make sure I'm not messing things up.

There is a range not a set figure. Using SS to get GH 5 could get you anywhere from TDS 95-125. It also matters if you shake up the SS before you use it. Folks have had ranges quite broad because if that.
 

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If you are using the drop tests could you be off by almost an entire degree? I mean what if your drop 4 was just barely enough to not change the color you add one more drop and you think your GH is 5 (5 drops = 5GH) but your likely closer to 4. I could see how your TDS would vary by almost an entire degree. I test my GH the first few times I used it and now just target a TDS of around 100.


There is a range not a set figure. Using SS to get GH 5 could get you anywhere from TDS 95-125. It also matters if you shake up the SS before you use it. Folks have had ranges quite broad because if that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If you are using the drop tests could you be off by almost an entire degree? I mean what if your drop 4 was just barely enough to not change the color you add one more drop and you think your GH is 5 (5 drops = 5GH) but your likely closer to 4. I could see how your TDS would vary by almost an entire degree. I test my GH the first few times I used it and now just target a TDS of around 100.
I hadn't experienced this before until I did my testing last night. I had pretty much the exact experience that you describe here. Hence why my last GH reading, I state 12.5-13. When I was doing the drop test, that 12th drop started to turn the water green, but it didn't fully make it. Looking at the water, it was like suspended smoke. You could see the green swirl of color suspended, and it was surrounded by orange. It really caught me by surprise. Even after shaking it an additional time, it wouldn't fully change to green. Once I added the 13th drop and shook the sample, it turned green just like you'd expect and just like the previous tests had done. So, what was eye opening for me here, was just how "in-between" you could really get. Fascinating - I love this stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This.

It's why I always mix water up based on TDS and not by volume of product I use. Takes a few more minutes but it's worth it to me.

Stick pump in bottom of reservoir. Add minerals until I hit TDS. Sometimes it's X amount of product, sometimes Y amount.

I also keep a regular handle on hardness to make sure I'm not messing things up.
This is how I had been doing it for a while as well. What I caught myself doing, and what was really helpful from my testing last night, was how I need to be more careful in using this method. I generally mix 20 or 25 gallon batches in a Brute tub with a powerhead, so having a fixed pattern to go by is pretty handy. What I found myself doing was mixing by TDS to get me to near my target range, then final adjusting by adding TDS UP. What happened was that in using the TDS UP on a large volume of water was tedious. I was using their little scoop, mounding it up high, and dropping it in. Well, on 20-25 gallons, that made a small, noticeable impact, but the process was slow. So, I would cheat a bit by using just an extra bit of SS to bring me just a bit closer to my target TDS before adding the TDS UP at the end. Well, from my testing, I learned how that while that does help bring the TDS closer to the target range, it really swings that GH as well too. This got lost on me because I was tricking myself on the large volume of water I mixing up. It didn't feel like it would swing the GH so much because it was such a large volume of water, right? :icon_roll It was a good lesson for me to re-learn.

The most important takeaways that I have learned from this, and hope to share so that others might benefit:
  • The range of GH swing when using SS powder is strong. Being tempted to use just a little bit more to target your TDS can really move your GH. No more "just a little bit extra" when adding for me.
  • Testing the TDS UP by using known and measured quantity. It seems silly now that I didn't do it earlier, but knowing how much it adds (or roughly, at least) per unit of repeatable measure, is much nicer than having to drop heaping mounds in until you're on the TDS mark that you want. This was just laziness on my part. Since TDS UP doesn't affect GH, and I have an idea how much it will adjust, I am more prepared in using it as a part of my water routine.
  • Measuring GH samples - don't be fooled by the intensity of the orange coloring in the sample. This one is probably not surprising for maybe other folks, but it really registered for me last night. I had been measuring GH for a while now, and I had gotten used to seeing the water get a deeper and deeper color of orange as each drop was added and the sample shook. I could almost tell that the next drop was going to make the sample pop over to green by how intense the orange color was getting. Well, when measuring on the low end for GH, I was at drop 4, and the orange tint to the water was still pretty light. Having been used to checking for Neos, I just assumed I was still going to be a ways away, even though water chemistry wise, I should have been very close. As it turned out, that very next drop turned it green. I thought I must have made a mistake there, and so I tested again with the same result. In my GH testing for Neos, I had gotten lulled into using the intensity of the orange color as a rough visual guide. When measuring on the low end, however, you don't get that same behavior. I knew this information before, I just let the repetitiveness of some of these processes put me into a rut.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
1 TSP in my ro that reads 0 tds I get 100-110 tds and it is gh5
So, this is pretty interesting. It is only taking 1/2 of a tsp of my SS GH+ powder to get approximately the same results as a full 1 tsp of your SS GH+ powder. I wonder if there was a reworking of the formula they use at some point or if it can just vary from batch to batch that much. My container is one of the 1000g ones, and I am probably about 20% the way through it. I don't stir it from top to bottom at all. The only stirring or mixing that it gets is when I put the scoop through the middle of it to take some out.

Thanks for posting, this was surprising to see.
 

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So, this is pretty interesting. It is only taking 1/2 of a tsp of my SS GH+ powder to get approximately the same results as a full 1 tsp of your SS GH+ powder. I wonder if there was a reworking of the formula they use at some point or if it can just vary from batch to batch that much. My container is one of the 1000g ones, and I am probably about 20% the way through it. I don't stir it from top to bottom at all. The only stirring or mixing that it gets is when I put the scoop through the middle of it to take some out.

Thanks for posting, this was surprising to see.

That's why I posted. What I posted wasn't from my own data solely, I always got TDS 105-115 with a GH of 5. But what OTHERS have posted for a GH of 5 has been anywhere from 90 TDS to 135 TDS. So either the mix isn't 'mixed' or its inconsistent batch to batch. REGARDLESS it will always be a range, not an exact number, but my point was the range was quite large depending on HOW it was mixed. This is why I tested every time I used it. I got tired of testing over and over an went back to liquid formulations. They are more expensive sure, but my tanks are small and the time I Save NOT having to test every time I do a water change is worth it to me.
 

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curious on others opinions on this....

Do you think the inconsistencies are because its a powder vs a liquid say like Shirakura liquid mineral?
 

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curious on others opinions on this....

Do you think the inconsistencies are because its a powder vs a liquid say like Shirakura liquid mineral?
I think a important question to answer this question in this thread is:

What is goal for reproducibility in preparing a X TDS/ X GH solution per 5 gallons?

What is our target and range of GH and TDS for the purpose of this experiment? Personal targets will vary based on types of shrimp kept.

Having said that, I would say yes. The inorganic salts in GH boosters are hygroscopic and depending how old and storage conditions, water content values may vary.

Dilutions from a less concentrated formulation, are inherently more accurate.
 

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Can someone post the formulation of SS+? And other GH boosters used?

I have been using the DIY GH booster formulation: 3 K2SO4: 3 CaSO4: 1 MgSO4

I will perform a preparation tomorrow in grams and teaspoon and report back.

I would guess there is some level in variability in the accuracy of our reported numbers. I think, as noted above, some are packing tightly 1tsp; also I know when I prep I use slightly less than 5 gal and up to add 180 TDS.
 

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I measured level spoonfuls, poured the powder in, capped the 5 gallon jug, shook vigorously for about 45 seconds or so. The temperature of the water was 72 degrees.
GH booster can be difficult to dissolve. Have you ever retested again a couple hours later?
My prep conditions are as follow X booster into X gal with a heater, air stone, and powerhead. Allow to mix for 1-2 hour.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So, that is one of the benefits I have found to SS GH+ is that it dissolves easily. Now, the SS 7.5 stuff (I think its their specialty mix for Cardinal shrimps) that was hard for me to dissolve. I toyed with it a while ago, and I had a heck of a time dissolving it. Their GH/KH for neo mix has been super easy to dissolve. Any rate, I just checked my 5 gal jug that has been holding the water since I started this thread, and the TDS reading went down by 2 points is all. It isn't being agitated, though, just in the jug.
 
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