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post #1 of 10 Old 02-27-2012, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
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Premixed dosing Soup

Hi all,
I've got an idea I'd like to get some feedback on. Now this may be absolutely brilliant, or long since done by the community for years, (or yet a terrible idea) But I haven't been able to find any info on it.

To the point:
I'm correcting tap water issues for several very small tanks, and so I need to mix several chemicals that come with measurable dosages for 70 or 50 gallons, when I'm only changing 1 or two gallons at a time.
This makes it very hard to get accurate dosage, requiring the use of a druggist's scale or 1ml pipettes to measure out.
So why don't I just mix everything I need together in a bottle at a reasonable ratio for my tanks (like 10ml/gallon) that I can easily toss in the tap water with every water change?

My questions are - Will combining several aquarium chemicals cause unwanted reactions? and Are other people already doing this ? (premixing tank doses)

So - I've got several small to "nano" tanks (6, 6, 1, 1, 1, & 0.7 gallons each) and after losing a couple expensive and chemically sensitive shrimp, I finally made the leap and tried to learn all about GH, KH, their relation to PH, and general water chemistry.
I now understand that my tap water is treated with Chloramine, very alkaline (8.8 out of the tap), and heavily softened (0.1 GH).
This is an unusual combination of water chemistry, since it is so soft and yet so basic, most likely due to aggressive water treatment by the city of Boston.
I have remedied this by buying Seachem's new Premier water conditioner, Seachem Equilibrium GH raiser and Kent PH Minus acid, along with GH/KH and PH test kits. The results seem right so far: GH of 3 and PH of 7.0.
I have 3 types of shrimp, some rasborras and a lot of HC dwarf baby tears and a several other plants in my most sensitive tank. (6 Gal)
These are the three chemicals that I want to mix together in one bottle, because together they turn my tap water into perfect de-chloramined, 7.0 properly buffered stuff to add to my tanks.
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post #2 of 10 Old 02-27-2012, 12:30 AM
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I would STRONGLY advise you NOT to mix chemicals without having a professional chemist check them out.

You could be creating a mixture which could be lethal to not only your fish but to yourself as well. Even in small quantities the gases could be highly noxious.

I am basing this on the fact, that the BIG aquarium supply companies have professional chemists, and am sure would have thought of this before.

10g Fry / Hospital / QT tank (as needed)

75g Saltwater Reef, Ocellaris Clownfish, Lyretail Antias (baby), Lemon damsel, Longtail Fairy Wrasse, purple dottyback, snails, crabs and a few LPS corals.

220g Still sitting empty (come on Lottery I need the numbers to come up!)
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post #3 of 10 Old 02-27-2012, 12:48 AM
Have you left a glass of tap water out for 24-48 hours then tested it? I would suggest doing that and see what happens.
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post #4 of 10 Old 02-27-2012, 09:27 AM
I can remedy your problem without using one chemical......RO/DI.......Done, there ya go, and you don't have to worry about the Shrimp anymore using this stuff. 99.9% pure water.
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post #5 of 10 Old 03-02-2012, 06:40 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ladayen View Post
Have you left a glass of tap water out for 24-48 hours then tested it? I would suggest doing that and see what happens.
Hmm, I don't think the PH and hardness of my tap water will change by leaving it out overnight. :-/ Even putting the water in the tank doesn't help. Tank PH and GH are reflective of the tap. Except in the 20g with massive tannins issues from cheap driftwood that has nicely balanced out to 7.0 and only needed some minerals.

Originally Posted by Reefing Madness View Post
I can remedy your problem without using one chemical......RO/DI.......Done, there ya go, and you don't have to worry about the Shrimp anymore using this stuff. 99.9% pure water.
Wow. what I great idea. Except I can't afford to spend several hundred dollars building a RO system for 6 tanks scattered around my apt. that only need 5-10 gals of water a week....

I'm just going to make diluted squirt bottles of acid and GH hardener SEPERATELY so I don't kill everyone. :)
Mixing aside, that was the crux of the question: Does anyone ever make diluted solutions of their chemicals for easy tank dosing?

Thanks for the responses :)
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post #6 of 10 Old 03-02-2012, 12:27 PM
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i would still leave a glass of water out 24 hours and test it. it wouldnt hurt to see what it actually changed.

never mix chemicals directly unless you absolutely knew what you were doing/mixing.

a pretty good RO/DI unit can be found for about $100 maybe alittle more.
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post #7 of 10 Old 03-02-2012, 12:41 PM
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you could even buy distilled water in a pinch or see if your LFS carries RO/DI water... sorry to sound so negative but having lost a TON of cash in this hobby to tap water i would never risk it again..

Jumping Back into the Freshwater!!!
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post #8 of 10 Old 03-02-2012, 05:21 PM
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I've been using the Walmart RO water from the Culligans machine. Realistically though, when you compare the cost of replacing livestock to the onetime investment in a RO/DI it's well worth it. Check online, no need to make your own. I just got an awesome SpectraPure for dirt cheap ($245, but it is the upper end model) from they have some lower end models that would be ideal for your small utilization for around $100 which is probably less than you would spend on the various water conditioners over the course of the RO/DI's life. Yes, hauling 5g jugs to/from walmart once a week sucked but was better in a pinch (while waiting funds for the RO/DI) than having to screw with our crappy tapwater. Something to consider

"Going low-tech planted is liberating, a feeling similar to running through the sprinklers naked with a bottle of jack daniels." - Kangy
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post #9 of 10 Old 03-02-2012, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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Very good point about the cost savings...
I just spend $100 at the LFS on water conditioner, hardener, PH reducer and carious plant supplements.
And I'm about to spend another $50 on measured liquor bottle pourers (1 oz per pour) to make a concentrated dosing bottle for each of my chemicals (conditioner, GH up, PH down, and mixed plant nutrients).
Perhaps a cheap RO/DI would be best and I'll just make up a dosing bottle concentrated for 1 pour per gallon for my plant nutrients.
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post #10 of 10 Old 03-02-2012, 10:21 PM
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I was fighting the urge to buy 1 due to the high cost at first . but once I did the math and realized how much I was spending on bottled water, gas, and not to mention my wasted time hauling jugs to and from walmart once a week. I calculated a break even point of 12 months before it pays for itself. and that is with out conditioners and the other expenses and head ache you are incurring trying to treat tap water . The convenience and knowing it is completely pure water, the only thing going into my tank is fresh salt mix and whatever I dose is an added benefit . No junk, chemicals, etc.
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