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Thread: Blackwater Mineral Mix

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    Default Blackwater Mineral Mix

    If remineralizing RO water for wilds, the two commercial mineral additives, Kent Marine RO Right and Seachem Equilibrium, do not contain a realistic mix of minerals. We dont know what is in RO Right, it is probably salty as anecdotally plants don't do well with it; and Equilibrium is mostly potassium.

    I did a little research into the mineral content of Amazonian water and concocted my own mix of minerals to mimic amazon basin water. The contents are readily available and fairly cheap.

    For the mineral breakdown of whitewater and blackwater river water I am using two sources:

    http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?scri...32009000600018

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackwater_river

    These mineral concentrations have been averaged in a way to weigh more toward blackwater but with some whitewater as well. Here are the percentages of the five main ions in the mix:

    Ca 37%
    Na 9%
    Mg 8%
    K 7%
    Cl 39%

    To mix 100grams:

    CaCl 20g Calcium Chloride; food grade pellets; amazon.com
    NaCl 10g Table salt
    MgSO4 35g Epsom salt
    CaSO4 19g Calcium Sulfate; food grade gypsum; amazon.com
    Equilib 16g Seachem Equilibrium (for Potassium)

    The above amounts are calculated using molecular weights, to result in the correct percentages (I think... I hated chemistry).

    Directions:

    1. Add a dose of Seachem Discus Trace. This raises the TDS by 12 ppm. Discus Essentials could be used here as an alternative.
    2. Add mineral mix to desired TDS. One teaspoon in 50 gallons raises TDS by +/- 22 ppm.


    Notes
    1. At TDS levels below 150ppm, no measurable change in pH. At 250ppm, pH increased by 0.05+/-.
    2. At 3000 ppm, KH does not increase. (API drop test).
    3. Grinding the ingredients with a mortar & pestle helps with dissolving time. Some of the ingredients dissolve slowly.
    4. The mineral mix should be kept in a dry place (refrigerator or freezer). It soaks up moisture from the air and gets cakey.

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    Administrator and MVP Dec.2015 Second Hand Pat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blackwater Mineral Mix

    Interesting. Have you tried it yet on fish?
    Your discus are talking to you....are you listening


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    Default Re: Blackwater Mineral Mix

    I've been using it for a couple of months with Rams and Cardinals, not with Discus yet. The Rams have been spawning at their usual rate, but I haven't tried it with fry yet. I might pull some Ram eggs and raise fry, but thats so much work I'm procrastinating.

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    Registered Member bluelagoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blackwater Mineral Mix

    I can't see where it would be accurate or the same as the Amazon by adding those elements since most of us are using water from different parts of the world.We already have those elements(more or less) and a lot more in our waters only in different amounts.I'm so glad that I'm not using RO water.
    Last edited by bluelagoon; 12-23-2015 at 11:59 AM.

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    Default Re: Blackwater Mineral Mix

    You are right. This mineral supplement is only useful if you are using straight RO water with little or no tap water added back. I use straight RO for two reasons: high nitrates in the well water make it useless, and I am also trying to nudge the pH lower.

    I figure as long as I am having to mineralize the water, I might as well use the minerals that the fish are adapted to. Whether it benefits the fish or not is conjecture, but I am guessing it is better than the store-bought additives.

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    Default Re: Blackwater Mineral Mix

    Thank you for posting, this is very interesting at the least... So awesome to see another persons insightful research.
    Cheers mate!

    Quote Originally Posted by DJW View Post
    If remineralizing RO water for wilds, the two commercial mineral additives, Kent Marine RO Right and Seachem Equilibrium, do not contain a realistic mix of minerals. We dont know what is in RO Right, it is probably salty as anecdotally plants don't do well with it; and Equilibrium is mostly potassium.

    I did a little research into the mineral content of Amazonian water and concocted my own mix of minerals to mimic amazon basin water. The contents are readily available and fairly cheap.

    For the mineral breakdown of whitewater and blackwater river water I am using two sources:

    http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?scri...32009000600018

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackwater_river

    These mineral concentrations have been averaged in a way to weigh more toward blackwater but with some whitewater as well. Here are the percentages of the five main ions in the mix:

    Ca 37%
    Na 9%
    Mg 8%
    K 7%
    Cl 39%

    To mix 100grams:

    CaCl 20g Calcium Chloride; food grade pellets; amazon.com
    NaCl 10g Table salt
    MgSO4 35g Epsom salt
    CaSO4 19g Calcium Sulfate; food grade gypsum; amazon.com
    Equilib 16g Seachem Equilibrium (for Potassium)

    The above amounts are calculated using molecular weights, to result in the correct percentages (I think... I hated chemistry).

    Directions:

    1. Add a dose of Seachem Discus Trace. This raises the TDS by 12 ppm. Discus Essentials could be used here as an alternative.
    2. Add mineral mix to desired TDS. One teaspoon in 50 gallons raises TDS by +/- 22 ppm.


    Notes
    1. At TDS levels below 150ppm, no measurable change in pH. At 250ppm, pH increased by 0.05+/-.
    2. At 3000 ppm, KH does not increase. (API drop test).
    3. Grinding the ingredients with a mortar & pestle helps with dissolving time. Some of the ingredients dissolve slowly.
    4. The mineral mix should be kept in a dry place (refrigerator or freezer). It soaks up moisture from the air and gets cakey.

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    Registered Member Luke in Phoenix's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blackwater Mineral Mix

    Thanks for posting. I'll be following your results.

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    Default Re: Blackwater Mineral Mix

    Quote Originally Posted by MD.David View Post
    Thank you for posting, this is very interesting at the least... So awesome to see another persons insightful research.
    Cheers mate!
    Out of curiosity, do you measure the ingredients using a digital kitchen scale, or ? Interesting that at 3000 ppm the Kh does not move, seems counterintuitive. Also interested in following your results
    ... Born under a Bad Sign ...

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    Default Re: Blackwater Mineral Mix

    I just use a kitchen scale that measures in grams.

    As I understand it, KH (or alkalinity) is a measure of carbonate and bicarbonate anions. A salt like Calcium Chloride raises GH while having little or no effect on KH at the concentrations used in freshwater.

    If I wanted this recipe to contain some buffer, I would use sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) in place of some of the NaCl.

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    Registered Member Akili's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blackwater Mineral Mix

    This is very interesting,I am going to give it a try.
    Quote from Colin Powell
    "There are no secrets to success; donít waste time looking for them. Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty to those for whom you work, and persistence. You must be ready for opportunity when it comes"



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    Registered Member Cosmo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blackwater Mineral Mix

    Quote Originally Posted by DJW View Post
    I just use a kitchen scale that measures in grams.

    As I understand it, KH (or alkalinity) is a measure of carbonate and bicarbonate anions. A salt like Calcium Chloride raises GH while having little or no effect on KH at the concentrations used in freshwater.

    If I wanted this recipe to contain some buffer, I would use sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) in place of some of the NaCl.
    Yes, I've been told that baking soda alone makes for a great buffer - I even have a can of it sitting in my old fish room where my water storage tanks are - just never really knew what dosage would work correctly so I never tried it Think I opened the container a few years ago, but that's about as far as I got
    ... Born under a Bad Sign ...

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    Default Re: Blackwater Mineral Mix

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmo View Post
    Yes, I've been told that baking soda alone makes for a great buffer - I even have a can of it sitting in my old fish room where my water storage tanks are - just never really knew what dosage would work correctly so I never tried it Think I opened the container a few years ago, but that's about as far as I got
    It might be that PH Stable is almost all baking soda anyway...

    http://www.bcaquaria.com/forum/sales...67/index2.html

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    Default Re: Blackwater Mineral Mix

    REVISIONS TO THE RECIPE

    My chemistry is pretty rusty, and when I looked at this again I found that I had calcium chloride calculated wrong, and too much magnesium. This time, rather than scratch it out on paper, I made a little program to do it. The atomic weights of the constituent ions have to be taken into account separately.

    The target percentages of the ions are the same,

    Ca++ 37%
    Na+ 9%
    Mg++ 8%
    K+ 7%
    Cl- 39%


    The amounts to make 100 grams have been revised,

    CaCl2 20 grams
    NaCl 12 grams
    MgSO4 17 grams
    CaSO4 34 grams
    EQuilib 17 grams

    The anions (chloride, sulphate, phosphate) are usually ignored for minerals added to water, except insofar as they effect the growth of plants and algae. We know that chloride plays a role in ion regulation at the gills, so I have included it. This is why I have two sources of calcium, so that the amount of chloride can be balanced.

    Recognizing that Amazonian water is very low in minerals anyway, their proportions are probably less important than simply having them present. I used this mix to raise some Ram fry, starting at TDS 120ppm and gradually lowering it to 60ppm, which is the TDS for the adults.

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    Moderator Team LizStreithorst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blackwater Mineral Mix

    It's similar to Joe's mix. He used potassium sulfate rather than Equlib.
    Mama Bear

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    Default Re: Blackwater Mineral Mix

    It wouldn't be the first time I've reinvented some wheel or other. I just found a reference to Joe Szelesi's recipe, and its very close except for the sodium. I was surprised to find that amazonian water contains some sodium, had always assumed it didn't.

    There was some Equilibrium left here so I used it. Its got a dash of manganese in it, and I was trying not to overdo it on the sulphur.

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