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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have this stuff, and I wonder if it can be used as substrate alone or should it be mixed into a substrate. I have some in a jar of water now. It is small dark grey pellets.


 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Forget using it as substrate alone...it dissolved into muddy brown water. So the gravel sized rock that is used in road construction would be a better choice for substrate. Aragonite and crushed coral is another way to go about this from what I've heard. But dosing an aquarium with the form pictured in the first post seems possible. Dirty, but possible.
 

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I find that lime number terrifying for some reason. I have no idea what lime would even do in a tank environment. I've worked with this kind of stuff around the yard due to acidic soil and it's never pleasant. I've never used pellet form so maybe it isn't as bad, but the powder is awful.

I'm not here to tell you what to do. It does seem as though the all mighty miracle of Dolomite and the perfect formula to use is being kept secret. Crushed coral is easy. I have Aqua Clear HOB's, so I added a tiny amount to the 10 gallon in a filter bag and a slightly larger amount to the 29, also in a filter bag. If I didn't buy crushed coral, I would have bought substrate for cichlid tanks. It is made specifically to bolster pH and water hardness. It's also tank safe, so no fear of what might happen when something that typically is not found in a fish tank is introduced.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I don't know what type of resin is used to coat these pellets, but I hope it's not poison to me or my fish and plants. I poured .5 cup (I wrote 1 cup earlier, but I read the lines on the jar wrong) of the muddy water into the 20 gallon planter pond. It was already at 7.6 pH. So will it go down or up with this stuff? Will the GH be off the charts? Will the KH go off the charts too? I suspect it will.




 

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Ive used limestone in my cichlid tanks. The lime I used was large rocks from a limestone quarry that I used as decorations and caves, think Texas holey rock without the holes. The most notable effect, and the reason I used it, was a ph change from out of the tap at 7.8 to 8.6 in tank.
 

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I suspect greatly that your experiment will result in not only a rise in PH but the other mentioned GH and KH. Of course those plants could also die because of the resin coating. I'm sure the bag does not say what it is either.
 

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Be careful with the pellets as they are coated with a resin.
I was looking at the bag and missed that. I was wondering where this info comes from. Also if it doesnt harm terrestrial plants I wonder how much danger there really is to aquatic plants? If there is a resin coating then fish and inverts may be harmed but plants I have doubts. I tend to think the rise in ph, gh, and kh would be the bigger danger if overdosed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ive used limestone in my cichlid tanks. The lime I used was large rocks from a limestone quarry that I used as decorations and caves, think Texas holey rock without the holes. The most notable effect, and the reason I used it, was a ph change from out of the tap at 7.8 to 8.6 in tank.
Ouch, that is taking the pH in the wrong direction for my fish and plants, I think. My understanding is that plants do well in low pH, not high. I now have to consider using Baking Soda? Yuc, more stuff. But, didn't I see a lot of carbon in the analysis? Maybe that will keep this type of Lime from raising the pH too much. I need a chemistry tune-up.
 

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I think lime like this might be really useful to pre-charge kitty litter or safe-t-sorb.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I think lime like this might be really useful to pre-charge kitty litter or safe-t-sorb.
Or coir (coconut husk/bark). Coir binds calcium from what I have read. I really don't know what the ramifications are from calcium binding substrates. Is it available to plant roots touching it? Would there be less calcium in the water column? Was the ratio mentioned in another post as important 4-1 mg/ca or ca/mg? I'll have to check.

It is 4:1 Ca:Mg according to other posts.
 

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Or coir (coconut husk/bark). Coir binds calcium from what I have read. I really don't know what the ramifications are from calcium binding substrates. Is it available to plant roots touching it? Would there be less calcium in the water column? Was the ratio mentioned in another post as important 4-1 mg/ca or ca/mg? I'll have to check.
From what I gather and extrapolate is stability. I have read that Montmorillonite clay absorbs carbonates from the water column causing an initial kh and ph drop. Pre-charging it with dolomite would avoid that problem and give some system stability from the get go. I am going to be testing this theory on my next tank. I will be using cat litter as a bottom layer and will be pre-charging it with dolomite.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You can see three layers as it settles. The planter pond is clearing up already.

I forgot to add the recipe:
2.5 cups water
.5 cups pellet
Stir
Pour .5 cups into 20 gallon pond and wait for all hell to break loose.


 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I find that lime number terrifying for some reason. I have no idea what lime would even do in a tank environment. I've worked with this kind of stuff around the yard due to acidic soil and it's never pleasant. I've never used pellet form so maybe it isn't as bad, but the powder is awful.

Good luck!
It stinks too. I can imagine you need a respirator when using the powder. I have no clue how this will turn out, but since I had the lime on hand and the subject came up...why not?
 

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I think this is a great experiment. Dolomite is different than lime. For example dolomite will not interact with acids like limestone does. Dolomite is a much much harder stone than limestone. With that said the ph changes associated with limestone may not be as dramatic as with limestone.
 

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I was looking at the bag and missed that. I was wondering where this info comes from. Also if it doesnt harm terrestrial plants I wonder how much danger there really is to aquatic plants? If there is a resin coating then fish and inverts may be harmed but plants I have doubts. I tend to think the rise in ph, gh, and kh would be the bigger danger if overdosed.
It might not say on that bag, since it is made for gardening.

Mostly I was referring to the kind used in construction. I read about it after that giant thread about Dolomite had posted a link to another thread in regards to Dolomite.

It stood out to me and I wasn't sure if the OP knew about it or not.
 

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By my calculations, this is more like 2:1 Ca:Mg. So not hitting that magic 4:1 this way. Maybe the powder form comes in a 4:1?
I was looking at some of the dietary dolomite powders and they are about a 2:1 ratio.
I have been doing some research and where i think the benefit of dolomite comes in is the magnesium plays a role in the plant processing of nutrients and the creation of enzymes. Having the magnesium available to the roots in the substrate as opposed to free floating the water column may work nicely. This is of course assuming the magnesium in dolomite is readily processed by the plants, I havent got this far in my research yet.

How about this experiment awolf. Dissolve your dolomite in ro/di water and measure ph. Start soaking a clay source such as sts or cat litter. One the ph stops dropping and stabilizes drain the water from the clay source and dissolve another batch of dolomite in ro/di water and soak the clay source again. Do this process until the ph stays stable as that should indicate (in theory) that the clay has absorbed as much dolomite cations as possible. Use the clay as a substrate under or mixed with dirt and capped with sand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
How about this experiment awolf. Dissolve your dolomite in ro/di water and measure pf. Start soaking a clay source such as sts or cat litter. One the ph stops dropping and stabilizes drain the water from the clay source and dissolve another batch of dolomite in ro/di water and soak the clay source again. Do this process until the ph stays stable as that should indicate (in theory) that the clay has absorbed as much dolomite cations as possible. Use the clay as a substrate under or mixed with dirt and capped with sand.
I am more interested in soaking the coir in it since that is my current 'substrate'. The CEC of coir is very high, and it may be able to absorb this mud very well.
 
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