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Is Mgso4 Harmful To Shrimps And Snails?

Discussion in 'Lighting, CO2, Ferts & Flow' started by Ch4rlie, Apr 26, 2016.

  1. NickAu

    NickAu Member
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    I also do this in my tank to stop shell erosion on my Mystery snails and my shrimp breed like crazy, If I didn't scoop up a bunch every month or so my 2 foot tank would be a red mass with nothing moving in it by now,  My LFS has asked me to start selling them Red Cherry shrimp $1 each, They sell for up to 5,99 each around here.
     
  2. Ch4rlie

    Ch4rlie Unlicensed Moderating Moderator
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    This sound ideal.
     
    Do you happen to have a link for what or similar to what you buy. Just so that i know what to look for and to get to ensure i do not purchase the wrong type of shells if there are choices.
     
    Much obliged.
     
  3. eaglesaquarium

    eaglesaquarium Life, Liberty & Pursuit of the perfect fish tank
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    I don't believe there are different types of shells.  I think they are all the same.  A cheaper solution would probably be the introduction of a bit of crushed coral to your water.  If you get 'aragonite' that's primarily calcium carbonate, 'dolomite' is primarily calcium magnesium carbonate.
     
  4. Ch4rlie

    Ch4rlie Unlicensed Moderating Moderator
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    Thats good, Eagles, thanks. I did wonder if all shell swere the same but was unsure, hence why i asked.
     
    Its not the price of the shells that worries me, its where to get shells from as I have never purchased this before. And wonder if you have an idea how long does these shells last for in the tank roughly before having to 'top up' the shells.
     
  5. eaglesaquarium

    eaglesaquarium Life, Liberty & Pursuit of the perfect fish tank
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    The acidity and hardness of your water will determine that.  The lower the pH and the softer the water, the faster it will happen.  There are a lot of complicated formulas you could work through, or you could just keep an eye on your water parameters and shells weekly.
     

    The reason I brought up the crushed stuff is not just because of the cost (though this would be a consideration) but also because of the ease of sourcing it.  Generally, the cheaper something is, the easier it will be to locate!  :D   Your LFS should have bags and bags of crushed coral readily on hand all the time, shells... not so much.
     
  6. Ch4rlie

    Ch4rlie Unlicensed Moderating Moderator
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    Perfect. Absolutely perfect.
     
    Though you say its crushed coral, not shells unless they serve the same pupose.
     
    As for the water, its moderately hard, 13dG if remember right, with a pH of around 7.6 in the tank.
     
  7. eaglesaquarium

    eaglesaquarium Life, Liberty & Pursuit of the perfect fish tank
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    Crushed coral will be either aragonite or dolomite.  And it can serve the same purpose.  If you are looking for magnesium specifically, go with the dolomite.
     
     
    You can even use the 'garden lime' sold at gardening supply stores, if you trust the ingredient list.  It should say dolomite and limestone.
     
     
    Espoma Organic Garden Lime would be a brand to look into.  I believe the ingredients are just dolomite and limestone, but you might want to verify that.  
     
  8. Byron

    Byron Member

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    Keep in mind that using any calcareous substance will raise your pH, and before the GH/KH.  I went down this road.
     
  9. Ch4rlie

    Ch4rlie Unlicensed Moderating Moderator
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    Ah, of course it does. I must admit I forgot about that occuring.
     
    A timely reminder I have to say.
     
    Well, that puts a small wrench into the works in that case, as my tank water is around 7.6 pH, this is basically about the limit for the celestial pearl danios (Celestichthys margaritatus) and also for the Harlequins (Trigonostigma espei) I think the red cherries should be ok up to 8.0pH, going to have to research to confirm that to be sure.
     
    Would pushing the tank water to a higher pH, even if its a gradual process via using crushed shells/coral be of any harm on these species?
     
  10. eaglesaquarium

    eaglesaquarium Life, Liberty & Pursuit of the perfect fish tank
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    Higher pH for those fish is not good, the shrimp wouldn't care.
     
  11. Ch4rlie

    Ch4rlie Unlicensed Moderating Moderator
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    Yes thats what i was hoping would not be the case [​IMG]
     
    Think will not treat with any crushed coral or shells due to the fact it may alter the pH, as well as gH, would rather not go down that road as I am in no way, in any shape or form, knowledgeable at all about science and would be dabbling into the unknown for me.
     
    Also have not treated with Mgs04, have not had the courage to add any of that actually.
     
    Rather than making things worse, will leave things as they are.
     
    In fact I actually got a good tip, to try feeding foods to the shrimps and snails with calcium instead. That may be a good course of action to take.
     
  12. eaglesaquarium

    eaglesaquarium Life, Liberty & Pursuit of the perfect fish tank
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    Yup.  Here in the US, kensfish offers some algae wafer with added calcium.
     
    And if you are worried about the plants, add some root tabs and put it under the substrate for the plants to find - far less of a concern of it getting into the water column.  A good all around fertilizer for terrestrial plants like Osmocote+ placed inside some empty gelatin capsules is what I do.  Works fantastically.  Lasts about 3-6 months.
     
  13. StevenF

    StevenF Member

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    I use fertilized RO water in my tank.  PH is typically about 7.4.   The limited solubility of calcium and magnesium carbonate limit the effect it will have on PH and GH.  In my experience with carbonates is that there is no real risk.
     
     Also calcium and magnesium are weak bases and as a result won't have anything like the effect of sodium and potassium.  In fact I have seen PH go as high as 8 when the tank has excess potassium from the use of  nitrate and phosphate fertilizers. Both of  which contain potassium.   I have had blue dream shrimp (they are closely related to cherry shrimp) in my aquarium and they were fine with higher PH.
     
    note the sulfate ion is the key ingredient of sulfuric acid  (a strong acid).  So if your plants and shrimp use all the calcium and leave sulfate you  could have a significant ph  drop.  In comparison Carbonate ion is CO2 and when that is mixed with water becomes weakly acidic.  If you get an excess of CO2 the plants will use it and the rest will evaporate.  Sulfur in comparison will not evaporate and will only be removed through a water change.  
     
    Keep in mind anything you add to an aquarium will affect PH.  Although I have not used calcium sulfate, its high solubility and strong acidic sulfate ion has the potential for significant PH affect.  Carbonates in comparison have a weaker base and acidic ions and are self limiting in the water.  So Carbonates will have a limited effect on PH.
     
    When I first tried shrimp they kept dying  slowly.  I concluded it was probably because may RO water did not have enough calcium or magnesium.  So I went online and purchased some calcium carbonate powder and magnesium carbonate powder.  It is often sold as a food supplement and a 1 lb bag will not cost much.  In fact I will probably never use up what the amount I have.  At the time I didn't realize how insoluble it was. My shrimp are doing fine now. 
     
    I have since concluded that using snail shells, crushed coral, or argonite. is a better way and you might be able to find a years supply while waking on the beach.  Just be sure to remove the salt  before adding it to the aquarium.  I wouldn't use just calcium carbonate or just magnesium carbonate.  Typically plants and animals need both and shells will have both and the ratio of calcium to magnesium will stay constant in the aquarium.
     
    Solubility comparison (data from www.wikipedia.org at room temperature)
    Magnesium sulfate MGSO4:     350  grams per liter 
    Magneium carbonate MGCO3:  0.11grams per liter
    Calcium Sulfate CaSO4:            2.1  grams per liter
    Calcium barbonate CaCO3:   0.013  grams per liter
     
  14. eaglesaquarium

    eaglesaquarium Life, Liberty & Pursuit of the perfect fish tank
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    Incidentally, "harlequins" are generally T. heteromorpha, and T. espei are called "lamb chop" rasboras.
     
  15. Ch4rlie

    Ch4rlie Unlicensed Moderating Moderator
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    Indeed quite correct, for some reason I keep calling them harlequins and the name has kinda stuck with me, though I know I should be more specific when referring to my fish in my tank but somehow in my head they are lambchop rasboras but in heart they're harlequins!
     
    Yep, am silly that way [​IMG]
     
    These little rasboras are a beautfiul specie and much underrated imho.
     
     
    StevenF - much obliged for your detailed post and will study this in further detail when I am not at work. Appreciated.
     

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