Calcium Gluconate vs. Calcium Chloride
I have some problems with low Ca and Mg.
I have decided to use epsom salts for Mg, but a cheap source of calcium seems to be hard to find. (i probably should have ordered some off aquariumferts when i placed my last order.
Either way, I found a reef supplement at petco, it is seachem calcium. It says that it's calcium is calcium gluconate. I haven't heard of this being used for planted tanks, but it is only $2.50 for a 250ml bottle will plants utilize this form of Ca?
My next option would be to use plaster of paris.. but it just sounds like it would be too impure! Reef supplies always seem to be very pure because their $200 corals are a little more sensitive than our $5 plants :P
I also found a bottle that had calcium chloride in it, but it was a little bit more expensive and was from a less trustworthy brand than seachem.
CaSO4, gypsum is hard to find?
CaCl2? Any pool place ought to be able to help you.
Tap water does not have enough Ca?
Well, the snow melt where you are at is pretty clean, not the sludge they feed to Phoenix
Try the GH booster, it's a lot of CaSO4 and the rest of the Mg, Fe, and a lot of K+.
So calcium gluconate is bad?
I looked at Ace Hardware and they say that gypsum is CaSO24 and sulfur?
Pool places might work.. i'm not sure people up here have pools lol. I will look.
Tap water here comes from ~16 different sources! Different times of the year we get different water! (depending on what is frozen) I read somewhere that the water hardness can range from 25 ppm to 325 ppm! I think the water is starting to get harder (there was actually a slight Ca film on the rim of my tank last time I let it get low enough) From what I have read, you have said too much Ca or Mg wouldn't pose a problem(within reasonable limits) and I would like to make sure I have covered all my grounds in an EI fashion.
Sludge they feed to phoenix hehe.. I will keep that in my pocket!
Many hardware/plumbing stores carry "Dri-Z-Air". It is a pelletized form of CaCl2 that you put in small containers for dehumidifying the air in basements, crawl spaces, etc. It is what I use as the Calcium source for my tanks. It is about $1-2 for a 16oz refill bag of CaCl2 pellets.
I have used it for about a year now in three different tanks with no issues. My tap water is 1 degree gH and I raise all my water change water to between 3-6 degrees gH (4:1 Ca:Mg ratio).
Have a good one, Jeremy
P.S.- Just in case you are wondering, the MSDS sheet shows Dri-Z-Air crystals as being 92% CaCl2, 5% H2O (water), 2% Potassium Chloride (potassium fertilizer source for the aquarium), and less than 1% Sodium Chloride (table salt), so although there are a few "impurities" there are no harmful components or toxins that could harm aquatic life at all.
Gypsum is Calcium sulfate.
They use an archaic chem form for fertilizers, so do let it throw you off. Very fine powder gypsum is what you want. It does not dissolve as fast as CaCl2.
I'd suggest getting some GH booster though.
I've always wondered, could I just pick up scrap drywall and scrape out the middle into a jar for gypsum? Guess I've never really wandered down the home depot drywalling aisle and seen if they have a jug of the stuff. Somehow I doubt it.
Sheetrock in the Aquarium
Not a good idea to use Sheetrock because there could be chemicals added to it to inhibit mold and mildew. Starch is added to bond the paper to it. There is a need to make drywall even more fire resistant than plain CaSO4 so a type X (ASTM standard C36) and type C use fiberglass and some silicates and the latter a form of vermiculite to increase the fire rating.
Added this to help someone out searching for this because this was near top on Google.
Can't you guys find some hydrated lime Ca(OH)2 at the hardware store? Any reason that wouldn't work?
No Chinese sheet rock
Lime shoots the pH up, Better to stick with gypsum, but it's fairly rare to lack Ca++, more likely Mg and K+.
Gh booster is 2-3$lb , so it's not going to cost much difference.