Calcium Sulfate To Raise Calcium In Freshwater Tank

opinewv
  • #1
Can I use calcium sulfate (food grade) to safely raise calcium levels in a freshwater tank? I have a nerite snail that is leaking through its shell. We have a water softener. What amount should be used in a 65 gallon tank and a 30 gallon tank. My calcium test is for salt water and it doesn’t get the correct test colors.
 
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AquaticJ
  • #2
Yes that’s safe, but I’m not sure of the measurements. Honestly it would be much easier to just feed the snail a Tums once a week.
 
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opinewv
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
You also need magnesium... I would go with the Seachem Equilibrium...

Equilibrium was the first thing I tried but it raised the KH to 13 degrees. I have it down to 9 degrees since I stopped using Equilibrium. Thanks for the thought.

Yes that’s safe, but I’m not sure of the measurements. Honestly it would be much easier to just feed the snail a Tums once a week.

I have multiple nerites over 2 tanks. Would I just add a tab per tank and see how long it will last? What is the flavor preference?
 
Zka17
  • #5
Equilibrium was the first thing I tried but it raised the KH to 13 degrees. I have it down to 9 degrees since I stopped using Equilibrium. Thanks for the thought.

Equilibrium, by itself does not raise the KH... it does stabilizes existing KH though... - it increases the GH. KH does not affect fish, it only stabilizes pH - which is good for fish. More KH you have, more stable the pH will be. GH, on the other hand provides essential minerals for both animals and plants.
 
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fa4960
  • #6
Yes it is safe to add Calcium Sulfate, typically in the form of CaSo4.2H2O Calcium Sulfate dihydrate (popular name is Gypsum) to your tank. I do that together with
MgSO4.7H2O Magnesium Sulfate heptahydrate (popular name is Epsom Salt) as GH/KH boosters.

You can use rotalabutterfly.com Nutrient calculator to calculate the amount needed for your tanks, based on their recommended ppm, or you can set a ppm target yourself and calculate how much you need.

Both chemicals are dirt cheap to buy, typically < USD 1 - 2 per kilo.

In my tank I have a target of 5 ppm for Calcium Sulfate and 15 ppm for Magnesium Sulfate.
 
Cichlidude
  • #7
Yes that’s safe, but I’m not sure of the measurements. Honestly it would be much easier to just feed the snail a Tums once a week.
Which flavor?
 
AquaticJ
  • #8
Which flavor?
Honestly my Shrimp like all the flavors, I’m sure it’d be different for everyone
 
opinewv
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Yes it is safe to add Calcium Sulfate, typically in the form of CaSo4.2H2O Calcium Sulfate dihydrate (popular name is Gypsum) to your tank. I do that together with
MgSO4.7H2O Magnesium Sulfate heptahydrate (popular name is Epsom Salt) as GH/KH boosters.

You can use rotalabutterfly.com Nutrient calculator to calculate the amount needed for your tanks, based on their recommended ppm, or you can set a ppm target yourself and calculate how much you need.

Both chemicals are dirt cheap to buy, typically < USD 1 - 2 per kilo.

In my tank I have a target of 5 ppm for Calcium Sulfate and 15 ppm for Magnesium Sulfate.

What size tank do you have? Would Equilibrium work just as well? It has the calcium and magnesium. I wasn’t testing for KH when I started using Equilibrium but when I first checked it was 13 degrees. Since I stopped using Equilibrium (about 2 months ago) my KH has dropped to 9 degrees which I understand is okay for most fish. I don’t know about Angelfish but Angels are what I would like to have. And dream of having Rams.

Yes it is safe to add Calcium Sulfate, typically in the form of CaSo4.2H2O Calcium Sulfate dihydrate (popular name is Gypsum) to your tank. I do that together with
MgSO4.7H2O Magnesium Sulfate heptahydrate (popular name is Epsom Salt) as GH/KH boosters.

You can use rotalabutterfly.com Nutrient calculator to calculate the amount needed for your tanks, based on their recommended ppm, or you can set a ppm target yourself and calculate how much you need.

Both chemicals are dirt cheap to buy, typically < USD 1 - 2 per kilo.

In my tank I have a target of 5 ppm for Calcium Sulfate and 15 ppm for Magnesium Sulfate.

How do you test for calcium and magnesium for a freshwater tank?
 
opinewv
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
Honestly my Shrimp like all the flavors, I’m sure it’d be different for everyone

Thanks, I’ve heard that snails prefer strawberry.
 
fa4960
  • #11
How do you test for calcium and magnesium for a freshwater tank?

Well, I believe very few freshwater people invest in expensive test kits to test individual elements of their water as it is far less important than in saltwater tanks. We typically test
GH (General Hardness) and KH (Carbonate Hardness). GH gives you an idea of Ca and Mg but not any information about individual amounts, it just measures the total amount of Ca/Mg ions in the water (and other divalent cations). Unless you order a water report from your local water authority you don't know how much Ca and Mg is in your tap water. Most tap water contains Ca but not necessarily Mg. A GH value of 5 could be made up solely of Ca with no Mg present. That why Epsom salt is more important that Gypsum but both are often used together for increasing GH in soft water, but it is not the only option for increasing GH.

GH can be raised with:
Limestone & Coral chips (will also raise KH and your PH)
MgSO4
CaSO4
CaCl2
Other Mg/Ca compounds, often solutions available to buy like some of those mentioned in earlier posts

Maybe you can get a water report from your local water authority, and if Ca is low use one of the options above to raise it? My preference is CaSO4 because it is very cheap, especially compared to all the commercially available solutions (I paid USD 14 for 25 Kg and I only use about 100 gallon per dose). However I have a very large tank so of course the amount of water you need to treat should also play a role in your decision.

What size tank do you have? Would Equilibrium work just as well? It has the calcium and magnesium. I wasn’t testing for KH when I started using Equilibrium but when I first checked it was 13 degrees. Since I stopped using Equilibrium (about 2 months ago) my KH has dropped to 9 degrees which I understand is okay for most fish. I don’t know about Angelfish but Angels are what I would like to have. And dream of having Rams.

Yes, it would work fine but cost me an arm and a leg, partly due to my location (import taxes) but mainly due to my tank size of 330 Gal / 1250 L plus another 50 Gal / 200 L in the sump.

Secondly, my KH is currently 5 and since I have discus and my PH is around 8 I do not wish to raise my buffer capacity further. I currently inject CO2 for the plants but also hope it will lower my PH a little, so no interest in increasing the buffer capacity.
 
opinewv
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
Yes, it would work fine but cost me an arm and a leg, partly due to my location (import taxes) but mainly due to my tank size of 330 Gal / 1250 L plus another 50 Gal / 200 L in the sump.

Secondly, my KH is currently 5 and since I have discus and my PH is around 8 I do not wish to raise my buffer capacity further. I currently inject CO2 for the plants but also hope it will lower my PH a little, so no interest in increasing the buffer capacity.

After learning the size of your aquarium I am suitably impressed. I had a full blown water test done on 10/31/18 so it is dated. At that time I had no calcium, magnesium or hardness, but did have alkalinity as CaCO3 at 230 mg/L. pH was 7.2. I need to have another test run but I could buy a lot of test kits for that money. I wish I understood water chemistry. I’m a little fuzzy on buffers and I am trying to read all I can but learning comes slowly. How do you test for calcium and magnesium in freshwater. I see that Salifert, a company out of Holland has test kits for salt water but I have not run across any tests for freshwater. Thanks for taking some time with me.
 

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