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GH - Ca:MG Ratio


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I overheard from my friend who is also a shrimphobbiest in Japan that high GH disturb shrimp's molting and that could lead to death.

Has anyone has any info on this? :confused-new:

Yes, high/low GH causes moulting issues. GH of 4-5 is ideal.

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Thanks mate, but this forum has all the information I know, so just keep reading, sharing and asking ! Too much information is a bad thing too…. :-)

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  • 5 weeks later...

I got myself the test kits, GH - Api, Ca - Salifert and tested a new tank that my black cherries will soon be going into. I filled the tank with RO water. Added enough Sulawessi 7.5 to bring my GH up to 6 (and KH 2) TDS was at about 170 then tested Ca and it was only 10ppm? So I added Calcium Sulphate (from Aquagreen) half a teaspoon at a time (3 times) and that put me at 40ppm calcium, GH 9, KH 3, and TDS 205. this gives me a ratio of 2.7:1. What am I doing wrong? If I keep adding Calcium sulphate my GH will be 11+ and I dont even like it at 9, rather have it at 6-8. I dont see how I could get a GH of 6 with a ratio of 4:1 or is it not possible for cherries/Sulawessi 7.5 ? not to mention achieving a Ca of 100ppm with a resonable GH level for shrimp. Am I miss calculating something?

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You only need to get Ca to 45ppm for a close to perfect ratio.

But why are you using Sulawesi minerals?

That's for sulawesi shrimp, and it seems to be doing the right thing with the water parameters. That is, making it suitable for sulawesi shrimp with the high GH.

I don't use Sulawesi minerals, so not sure what is in it. But maybe there is a higher Magnesium content and is causing confusion with calculations.

When we talk about Salty Shrimp minerals on SKF, it's usually 99% of the time Salty Shrimp Bee Shrimp GH+ Minerals.

That's what you should be using, even for Cherries.

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SaltyShrimp has a cherry specific mineral GH/KH+, which should get the targeted ratio. The GH+ works will with cherries, but I add Bicarb Soda to increase the KH…

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SaltyShrimp has a cherry specific mineral GH/KH+' date=' which should get the targeted ratio. The GH+ works will with cherries, but I add Bicarb Soda to increase the KH…[/quote']

Won't the Bicarb Soda raise the Ph as well?

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Won't the Bicarb Soda raise the Ph as well?

Yeah, of course it will. But you will need to counter act that rise in pH with something else, like peat moss, or IAL or driftwood, etc.

BB seems to want to achieve a specific KH for his mad scientist experiments ;)

Adding Bicard of Soda isn't for everyone. Only if you want to raise your water to a specific KH.

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Won't the Bicarb Soda raise the Ph as well?
Yes' date=' +1 on jayc's comments, plus they tank referred to was a cherry tank.
Yeah, of course it will. But you will need to counter act that rise in pH with something else, like peat moss, or IAL or driftwood, etc.BB seems to want to achieve a specific KH for his mad scientist experiments ;)Adding Bicard of Soda isn't for everyone. Only if you want to raise your water to a specific KH.
You're 100% correct, in one of my Area 51 tanks, I couldn't get a particular shrimp variety to breed, until I raised the KH by adding bicarb……. !
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Great read, a bit over my head!!!! I was about to purchase Sulawesi minerals for my cherries, but see most people would use Salty Shrimp Bee Shrimp GH+ Minerals for cherries, is that rigth

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Keego,

Bee Shrimp GH+ or

Bee Shrimp GH/KH+ can be used for Cherries.

But GH+ is probably best for all other shrimps like Crystals, Blue bolts, Pandas, etc.

You can always make the cherries get used to using GH+. So I'd pick GH+.

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GH/KH+ is the recently released minerals specifically designed for cherry varieties, we used to use Sulawesi minerals for cherries before the GH/KH+ was released about 6 months ago. :encouragement:

Cherries are so tolerant of different parameters that they can handle living with Caridina varieties & the GH+ minerals. :victorious:

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GH/KH+ is the recently released minerals specifically designed for cherry varieties' date=' we used to use Sulawesi minerals for cherries before the GH/KH+ was released about 6 months ago. :encouragement:

Cherries are so tolerant of different parameters that they can handle living with Caridina varieties & the GH+ minerals. :victorious:[/quote'].

Thanks Jayc & Squiggle, wasn't trying to hijack the tread, but also didn't what to buy the wrong minerals. Ok, I understand now Sulawesi minerals were the norm for cherries, before Bee shrimp minerals came along.

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Thanks guys, I did not know about the new release of Bee Shrimp GH/KH+. I got a huge 1kg tub of Sulawessi 7.5 back about a year ago when it was recommended for cherries (by dean I think) I will get some GH/KH+. As for the tank I ended up getting it right by removing 20L of water and refilling with RO water until my GH has down to 5, then added more Ca until my GH got to 6 and Ca to 30ppm giving me a ratio of 3.8:1 witch I'm happy with. I should have started out with less Sulawessi as I think it has very little Calcium in it.

Thanks for the help!

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  • 4 months later...

Hey eh guys I'm bit confused I think I'm doing the calculation wrong , when I do it based on a gh of 7 and ppm of 150 calcium it gives me a negative number in bb equation it's something like ( gh x 17.85) - ( ca x 2.5) / 4.1 in the example he had the following roughly(4 gh x 17.85) - (15ppm ca x 2.5) /4.1 =5.3 or something similarwhich is magnesium when put next to calcium gives a ration of near 4:1 can an someone tell me what I'm doing wrong in figuring out my ca-mg ratio??

As jayc stated, you'll need to ensure the Epsom Salts hasn't got any additives. I bought mine from Bunnings....EPSOM SALTS (Magnesium Suplphate)It will raise TDS, depending on dosage/tank size...best to conduct your own experiment.100ppm = 100/17.9 = 5.6dH, sounds perfect. Between 4-6 is ideal. I had my tanks @4 dH, but increasing to 5-6 over the next few weeks.Just repeating ... this thread is not intended to create "Mad Scientist" out of us, it's intended for use as a reference. Salty shrimp, and other remineralise products would have the Ca & Mg ratio/level. Although they do get depleted, regular WC with remineralised water etc, would get this ratio balance. I check my ratio's every 3-4 months ONLY, and will make the neccesary adjustments, usually 1/2 a pinch of Mg in a 200lt system, so not much at all....
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You're almost there dude, 4 x 17.85 = 71.4, 15 x 2.5 = 37.5, 71.4 - 37.5 = 33.9, 33.9/4.1 = 8.2, so your Mg is 8.2. Then with your Ca @ 15 & your Mg @ 8.2 the ratio is 15:8.2 or 1.8:1. From this I can see that your calcium level is a bit lo, ideally with a GH of 4 you want a Ca of 20ppm as this will give you a ratio of 3.8:1 :encouragement:

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You're almost there dude' date=' 4 x 17.85 = 71.4, 15 x 2.5 = 37.5, 71.4 - 37.5 = 33.9, 33.9/4.1 = 8.2, so your Mg is 8.2. Then with your Ca @ 15 & your Mg @ 8.2 the ratio is 15:8.2 or 1.8:1. From this I can see that your calcium level is a bit lo, ideally with a GH of 4 you want a Ca of 20ppm as this will give you a ratio of 3.8:1 :encouragement:[/quote']

Sorry Squiggle, your calculations are correct, but you have used the incorrect values for GH and ca.

From Dable's post above, he has GH = 7 and Ca = 150ppm.

7x17.85 = 124.95

150x2.5 = 375

124.95-375 = -250.05

-250.05/4.1 = -60.99 Mg

150:-60.99 Ca:Mg ratio

Which means not enough Mg by a lot! Unless of course Ca was measured incorrectly to start off with.

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All good dude, I was just using the values in his example, not the actuals, lol. :D I have since spoken to him & found out that his Ca is 25ppm & his GH is 6dGH, which means that his calcium is a little low.

I have crunched a lot of numbers in this formula & have found a pattern arise, I have found that for every 1dGH of hardness you need 5ppm of Ca to get a ratio of about 3.8:1, bear in mind that this is a quick generalisation to be used as a quick guide only. :encouragement:

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Sweet. I found it particularly difficult pointing out that you were wrong on something. You're almost always never wrong. You are one of the masters afterall. :worthy:

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  • 4 months later...

GH/Ca/Mg calculator - now with a dosing calculator for MgSO4 and CaSO4.....Thank Oli...

http://www.aquotix.com/advice/management/gh-general-hardness/

 

I realise I'm coming in a year late on this... but I think the dosing part of this calculator is wrong (note I am not a chemist - if my calcs are shown to be wrong we can just delete this post.  :D

 

 

From the Dosing section of the excel calculator: for a 1GH increase in 100L you would add:

3g CaSO4.2H20 (dihydrate)

4.3g MgSO4.7H20 (heptahydrate)

 

 

Now...

 

CaS04.2H20 molar mass = 172.2 g/mol

Ca molar mass is 40 g/mol

therefore CaS04.2H20 is 23.2% by weight Ca

...so from the calculator adding 3g CaS04 is adding 3*0.232=0.7g Ca

 

 

MgSO4.7H20 molar mass is 246.5 g/mol

Mg molar mass is 24.3 g/mol

therefore  MgSO4.7H20 is 9.9% by weight Mg

...so from the calculator adding 4.3g MgSO4 is adding 4.3*0.099 = 1.8g Mg

 

Which is a Ca:Mg ratio of 1:2.6   which is a far cry from the desired Ca:Mg ratio of 3.8:1 that is discussed in this thread, ... (or the 4:1 desired ratio in the top part of the calculator)

 

FWIW - using these two powders  for whatever weight of MgSO4 you have you should add 1.6 x this amount of CaSO4  to get the desired Ca:Mg of 3.8:1

 

 

I make my own GH booster mix for planted tanks that has a  Ca:Mg of 2.5:1  so for my shrimp tanks I upped the Ca as I had lots of shrimp hatchlings that were not making it to juveniles (chameleon shrimp and cherrys)

 

100g MgSO4

160g CaSO4

100g K2SO4

 

mixed together and just add enough to rainwater until I get the desired TDS  (approx 1/2 teaspoon in a 20l bucket). Note I don't keep any sensitive shrimp - mainly natives.

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From the Dosing section of the excel calculator: for a 1GH increase in 100L you would add:

3g CaSO4.2H20 (dihydrate)

4.3g MgSO4.7H20 (heptahydrate)

 

 

 

From the dosing Calulator, you EITHER add CaSO4 OR MgSO4 - NOT BOTH to get 1GH increase.

 

Sorry for the apparent confusion - I have edited it now to show that more clearly.....

http://www.aquotix.com.au/advice/management/gh-general-hardness

http://www.aquotix.com/wp-content/uploads/GH-Ca-Mg-Conversion.xls

 

also, if you try to mix the MgSO4 in the Hydrated form with CaSO4  and keep it in its dry form - then you will get a hard lump in the end (give it a few weeks) - you will have to either add them separately, or try to find the anhydrous or drier forms of those ingredients - but to make it easy for everyone, if you want a ready mixed, truely dry form - try our GH Booster

 

 

 

Edited by Mr_Docfish
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  • 1 month later...

I have a question for the Gurus here. I'm trying to get my water perfect for my cherries (I know its not all that critical for Neocaridina) so I have a tub of salty shrimp GH/KH+ witch has been recommended for cherries (I have been using Sulawesi 7.5 as I got a huge tub of it back before the GH/KH+ was released). I have mixed up my water in a 100 litre barrel from RO with 14 level scoops and attained these parameters: PH 7.6, GH 8, KH 4, TDS 200 witch is all to my liking but after testing calcium I found that it came out at 30ppm, giving a ratio of 1.8:1. A far-cry from the 3.8:1 ratio recommended in this thread so.. Would you guys add 10ppm of Calcium Sulphate to it to bring it up to 40ppm and a ratio of 3.8:1?

 

Btw this is water change water so I have not added it to my system yet.

 

Here is my math just in case I made a mistake:

 

1. GH is 8 dKH
2. Ca is 30 ppm (used high resolution salifert calcium test kit)
3. Mg = (8 x 17.86 = 142.88) - (30 x 2.5 = 75) = 67.88 / 4.1 = 16.55ppm of magnesium
Therefore - Ca:Mg is 30:16.55 or approx. 1.8:1
 
 
Opinions?
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Opinions?

 

 

That would be the best method of raising Calcium levels.

However!! My only concern is the already high GH value. At 8dKH, adding more Ca will only raise it higher.

 

I'm thinking Sulawesi 7.5 has probably got more Magnesium in it than Ca, thus giving you that ratio. Mg will raise GH without altering KH.

It's not the right product for Cherries or Crystals.

It is perfect for Sulawesi though, as they like the high GH values of 8 or 9.

 

High GH values like that might cause moulting issues.

 

Might be time to bite the bullet and set that tub aside (unless you have sulawesi <-- in that case, pics!!)

This is the problem with premix products. It can't be altered.

 

If you want to do it cheap, buy CaSO4, MgSO4 and K2O (potassium sulphate) at Aquarium Online Store (AOS) our sponsor, and mix your own RO remineraliser. I have a post somewhere with the ratio I am using. This will cost you a fraction of the price of another tub of salty shrimp, and it will last you two lifetimes. Or you can sell the excess. 

 

See if you get any other opinions, but I'm pretty sure you don't want GH that high. 5s - 6s would be best for Neocaridinas and Caridinas.

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