View Full Version : Seachem root tabs increasing EC?

12-18-2013, 04:43 PM
Beginner here, just started my 125g recently. I have some rooted plants (giant anubias, etc) to which I've added some Seachem root tabs. I've noticed that the EC is going up faster than I'm normally seeing (baseline tap water EC here is about 70 microS/cm at room temp by my experience, which corresponds with the published data of 40 mg/L TDS by the municipal report). My water in my other established tank runs around 80-90 microS/cm after regular partial water changes, with little change after 2-3days.

Scenario: on my new tank, the EC runs around 85-90 after a water change, but two days following, I've noticed that it's gone up to 100. GH/KH unchanged (as far as the API master kit can discern within its limits), no exogenous salts or minerals added. The only thing I can think of is the Seachem root tabs and I wonder if trace minerals and mineralized salts from the tabs get in the water, which to me is the likeliest possibility. Can't discount an alternate, but not mutually exclusive, hypothesis that the sand gravel is still equilibrating and may take a few months before ion exchange/trapping stabilizes. Curious to see if others have noticed this phenomenon with root tabs in established aquaria, and if so, how significantly these root tabs may affect EC. I have heard these root tabs may sometimes act like peat and chelate cations...so maybe global EC changes are not so predictable.

Not super worried about it as the changes and magnitude are not great, but just curious. (Maybe potentially more problematic if I have to leave town for a week, but I suspect the water would still be within reasonable limits and likely not as important parameter as others...)


12-18-2013, 05:40 PM
pretty much anything you add to the water is going to raise TDS/EC. The root tabs are dissolving so that seems normal. Also even if you weren't adding anything, just through feeding your fish and the waste they produce will increase these to a degree.

12-18-2013, 06:02 PM
Absolutely. Other factors (including feeding, organics, etc) that one finds in an aquarium will affect the reading as you point out. It is, rather, the rate and magnitude of change others have experienced with these root tabs that I'm curious about. Thank you though!