Right way to use Seachem Equilibrium

Deep Dave

Hi,

I recently tested my pH, KH and GH.

pH is - 7.8
KH - 4
GH - Almost 0

I was trying to lookup videos on YouTube on how to dose Equilibrium but I could not find anything valuable.

I need it for my 10 gallon and 3G tanks. Are there any particular things I need to keep in mind before playing with the GH?
 

AquaBaby

I use Equilibrium. I used a jeweler scale when I first started adding it to have better control figuring out how much I needed to use to get the result I wanted. One thing I've noticed with it is that it does have some larger pieces that don't dissolve completely quickly. Kind of look like big pieces of salt. My fish try to eat the "chunks" when I dose it. Right now, I use my spoon to try and crush up the larger pieces and I use my turkey baster to try and keep the fish back while it's falling, then squeeze water to knock it off the plants and such into the gravel to finish dissolving. I'm looking at getting a mortar and pestle, to help with the larger pieces, and magnetic stirrer, to help with dissolving, soon. Hopeful it will resolve this issue. No idea if it would hurt them to actually eat some of it..... But I don't want to lose stock to find out.

(Edited for typo)
 

Rylan

Back when I was using equilibrium for my 10 gallon, the best info I found was Seachem’s own posts on it. They also have dosage calculator on their site

I just checked my recipe in bucket a few times to make sure I had it where I wanted it. TDS meter and GH test. Once you’ve got that down it’s really easy.

I did small 10 to 20% water changes over the course of a week and was able to get my inhabitants adjusted with no problem. (Betta and snail)
 

AquaBaby

YES! Great point I failed to mention. Test what it does to your water in a bucket not your tank!! Great call Rylan !!!
 

Rylan

YES! Great point I failed to mention. Test what it does to your water in a bucket not your tank!! Great call Rylan !!!
Lol it was a good thing too because I missed the mark by quite a lot on my first 2 gallon bucket.

I never noticed extra undissolved chunks in my buckets. But I was using RO water and had to warm everything up for a couple hours and by that time everything was dissolved.
 

Deep Dave

Raise it slowly over your next few water changes.
Hi,

Thanks a lot for the reply.

Do I need to dose it everyday a little by little, or once after every water change? I generally do two 40-50% water changes a week
 

Deep Dave

I use Equilibrium. I used a jeweler scale when I first started adding it to have better control figuring out how much I needed to use to get the result I wanted. One thing I've noticed with it is that it does have some larger pieces that don't dissolve completely quickly. Kind of look like big pieces of salt. My fish try to eat the "chunks" when I dose it. Right now, I use my spoon to try and crush up the larger pieces and I use my turkey baster to try and keep the fish back while it's falling, then squeeze water to knock it off the plants and such into the gravel to finish dissolving. I'm looking at getting a mortar and pestle, to help with the larger pieces, and magnetic stirrer, to help with dissolving, soon. Hopeful it will resolve this issue. No idea if it would hurt them to actually eat some of it..... But I don't want to lose stock to find out.

(Edited for typo)

Hi,

Thanks for the reply and great information. I’ll make sure I break those chunks before adding them to the bucket. Did you see any noticeable difference with your plants or snails after starting to use Equilibrium?
 

Deep Dave

Back when I was using equilibrium for my 10 gallon, the best info I found was Seachem’s own posts on it. They also have dosage calculator on their site

I just checked my recipe in bucket a few times to make sure I had it where I wanted it. TDS meter and GH test. Once you’ve got that down it’s really easy.

I did small 10 to 20% water changes over the course of a week and was able to get my inhabitants adjusted with no problem. (Betta and snail)
Hi,

Thanks for the reply.

I go test my GH and KH often but don’t have a TDS meter yet. I have ordered it and should get it in a few days.

Are GH and TDS co related? If the GH is low, does that mean the TDS will also be low?
 

Deep Dave

I would also like to know if anyone of ya’ll uses a API GH kit? With KH the water colour change on the test tube is very obvious.

However with GH, I don’t see any difference even after 20 drops. I cannot even determine if the colour On the first drop is light orange or light green.

If anyone has pics of GH test of both colours and can post pics, I would be very grateful
 

AquaBaby

Hi,

Thanks for the reply and great information. I’ll make sure I break those chunks before adding them to the bucket. Did you see any noticeable difference with your plants or snails after starting to use Equilibrium?

Well, except when I first set up the 10 gal for the 2 little crawfish I started with, I have used it. After the crawfish, I started researching to set up my tank "for real;" and before I stocked with plants or fish, I tested my water to see what might be compatible without doing a lot to my water. So, I didn't have anything in there to see if it helped or hindered my stock. Sorry I can't help on that one.
 

Rylan

I would also like to know if anyone of ya’ll uses a API GH kit? With KH the water colour change on the test tube is very obvious.

However with GH, I don’t see any difference even after 20 drops. I cannot even determine if the colour On the first drop is light orange or light green.

If anyone has pics of GH test of both colours and can post pics, I would be very grateful
If that’s the case, what are you using the Equilibrium for?

In my opinion the GH and Kh matter more than than the TDS. But the the TDS is a nice quick check once you know what your Gh and kh are supposed to be.
 

Deep Dave

Hi,

That is because my LFS told me that the water in our area is very soft. He also said that the reason the GH kit does not change colour
 

Rylan

Hi,

That is because my LFS told me that the water in our area is very soft. He also said that the reason the GH kit does not change colour
Thanks. You mentioned the API test kit. If the vial isn’t turning green after that many drops your water is hard, not soft, and equilibrium isn’t of use to you.

pulled from apI instructions :The GH value is determined by the number of drops of reagent that must be added to turn the water in the test tube green.

 

Deep Dave

How much green is it supposed to turn? Dark shade of green or light shade of green?
 

mattgirl

Thanks. You mentioned the API test kit. If the vial isn’t turning green after that many drops your water is hard, not soft, and equilibrium isn’t of use to you.
This isn't necessarily true. I have very soft water. No matter how many drops I add mine doesn't turn green. In my humble opinion a TDS meter is a better way to find out if Equilibrium will help.

My GH/KH tests weren't telling me anything so I got a TDS meter. It told me that my water was very low in minerals. I was already running crushed coral and seashells in my tanks to keep the PH up to at least 7.2 I discovered by using the TDS meter that my water was close to RO water with a TDS of 21.

I was struggling to keep plants alive. It was suggested to me that my very soft water may be why. I now add Equilibrium with each water change and my plants are finally thriving. It took a bit of experimenting to find out how much I need to add each time to keep the TDS in my tanks up to around 100.

I add 1 level teaspoon to each 4 gallon bucket when doing my water changes. Someone said something about it not dissolving well. I have noticed that too so just stir it well in the bucket until it totally dissolves. For those that don't use buckets I recommend you dissolve it in a small container of tank water before pouring it in the tank. It may cloud the tank but it only last for a little while.
 

Rylan

This isn't necessarily true. I have very soft water. No matter how many drops I add mine doesn't turn green. In my humble opinion a TDS meter is a better way to find out if Equilibrium will help.

My GH/KH tests weren't telling me anything so I got a TDS meter. It told me that my water was very low in minerals. I was already running crushed coral and seashells in my tanks to keep the PH up to at least 7.2 I discovered by using the TDS meter that my water was close to RO water with a TDS of 21.

I was struggling to keep plants alive. It was suggested to me that my very soft water may be why. I now add Equilibrium with each water change and my plants are finally thriving. It took a bit of experimenting to find out how much I need to add each time to keep the TDS in my tanks up to around 100.

I add 1 level teaspoon to each 4 gallon bucket when doing my water changes. Someone said something about it not dissolving well. I have noticed that too so just stir it well in the bucket until it totally dissolves. For those that don't use buckets I recommend you dissolve it in a small container of tank water before pouring it in the tank. It may cloud the tank but it only last for a little while.
Interesting. I had a different experience then. I still think you need both together though, as TDS only tells you what the total dissolved solids are, not what that total is made up of. It reads more than just minerals.
How much green is it supposed to turn? Dark shade of green or light shade of green?
If it turns any shade of green at all. Even a light shade would suffice.

for my RO water it turned green immediately. Which to my mind was 0-1
 

mattgirl

Interesting. I had a different experience then. I still think you need both together though, as TDS only tells you what the total dissolved solids are, not what that total is made up of. It reads more than just minerals.
I agree. The meter doesn't tell me what minerals are missing or which ones are there. It is just one more tool in my arsenal to help me try to understand the chemistry of my water. I actually thought my gh/kh testing solutions had gone bad because I never saw orange or blue and no matter how many drops I added I never saw green or yellow.

All I do know for a fact is now that I am adding equalibrium I am having a lot more success with my plants. I was adding both liquid ferts and root tabs but still lost a lot of plants. I have to think it was because my very soft water was lacking something they needed and the equilibrium added it.
 

Rylan

I agree. The meter doesn't tell me what minerals are missing or which ones are there. It is just one more tool in my arsenal to help me try to understand the chemistry of my water. I actually thought my gh/kh testing solutions had gone bad because I never saw orange or blue and no matter how many drops I added I never saw green or yellow.

All I do know for a fact is now that I am adding equalibrium I am having a lot more success with my plants. I was adding both liquid ferts and root tabs but still lost a lot of plants. I have to think it was because my very soft water was lacking something they needed and the equilibrium added it.
Ah, how very interesting. Water chemistry is such a finicky thing. I once lived in a house where GH/KH read as 0 in the way you described, but the TDS was 500ppm. That’s how I learned how much water softener was being poured into my water supply.

A TDS meter is definitely a good investment to pair with the test kit. It’s hard to get the whole picture with just one.
 

Deep Dave

Hi,

Thanks for the replies.. I was researching this topic and someone mentioned to check the Expiry Dates if the kits aren’t changing colour.

To my surprise, the Gh and KH kit that my LFS sold me was already expired 2 months back.

Will be getting a replacement soon. Will try with the new kit and report results
 

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