General Aquaria Discussion • Epsom salt - GH buffering

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Epsom salt - GH buffering

Postby Galc » Mon Jun 05, 2017 3:03 pm

Today I tried to buffer GH from 6dGH to 15dGH to water with this parameters:
PH: 7.6
KH: 14 dKH
GH: 6 dGH

I made some calculations and I expected 90gram of epsom salt will be enough for 60l (15.8G) to buffer GH from 6dGH to 15dGH.
And because I did this first time, I divide it to 45g in 1st try but result was not expected:
1. try I added 45gram of epsom salt to 60l (15.8G) or 15.8 gallon of water and GH increased to >21dGH - at least this is what my tester says.
2. try I added 20gram of epsom salt to 60liter (15.8G) or 15.8 gallon of water and GH increased to >21dGH - at least this is what my tester says.

I am confused now. Could someone tell me why GH increase that high? What am I doing wrong? How much of Epsom salt should be enough to buffer 6dGH to 15dGH?
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Re: Epsom salt - GH buffering

Postby Aaron S » Mon Jun 05, 2017 5:40 pm

Lets start with the first, most important question... Why do you think you need to change the GH?
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Re: Epsom salt - GH buffering

Postby DJRansome » Mon Jun 05, 2017 7:31 pm

Yes, I agree. I would not change the GH.

And the reason not to add chemicals (unless you have to, and you don't) is partly because of what happened to you...results are unpredictable and can be worse than the original parameters.
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Re: Epsom salt - GH buffering

Postby Galc » Tue Jun 06, 2017 12:42 am

I keep Tanganyikans and would like to get water as close to nature. I also heard fish get healthier and look better in hose conditions - So I think this is good enough reason to increase GH.

I don't think it is that hard when you figure it out - but it can be long way or short way. I just need to figure it out how much of epsom salt I need to increase GH for +1dGH. And because there is many misleading infos on the internet I try to hear some input from someone who is already doing it because this could save me time, epsom salt, water and as well nerves :) .
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Re: Epsom salt - GH buffering

Postby Aaron S » Tue Jun 06, 2017 4:10 pm

I think most of us do not change the salt loads of our tanks because the risk of error is too great. I unfortunately can not help you with the calculation at this time and will let the thread be in case there is someone on the forums who does.
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Re: Epsom salt - GH buffering

Postby judyok » Tue Jun 06, 2017 5:29 pm

I do buffer my water with Epsom salt to raise the gh because I have wild caught tropheus. I started by purchasing a 5 gallon bucket and experimenting with adingd epsom salt (starting with a 1/4 tsp) and letting it set for 24 hours and then taking a measurement. After you attain the correct gh range your done with that. The other thing I did, which is a pain, but you only have to do it once is to drain the tank and fill it with 5 gallon buckets of water. I made a tick mark on the side of the tank with a magic marker for each 5 gallon fill. Now I know exactly how much water I'm draining and how much epsom salt to add. Of course your going to have to put your fish elsewhere while your doing this and when they're back in the tank slowly change 5 or 10 gallons at a time with the predetermined amount of epsom salts once a day. Once the tank water has gone through a 100% water change over a course of a few days you will never have to go through it again. You'll know exactly how much water your changing and how much epsom salts to add.

I've been doing this for a couple of year now and the tropheus responded very well to the rise in gh. I've also had to do the same procedure to raise the kh with baking soda. When it comes time to change water. I determined how much water I'm removing by the tick marks on the tank and mix the predetermined amount of epsom salt and baking soda in a small bucket and set it on top of the taking, start draining it with an airline tube while simultaneously filling the tank with the python. It only takes a 15 or 20 minutes now to change the water and the fish show no signs of stress during the water change.
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