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Re: Seachem equilibrium and Alkaline Buffer counter-ions

>So, alkaline buffer adds carbonates without sodium. someone on the 
>list mentioned it did so with pottasium and calcium carbonates? but 
>the exact ratios etc.. are not officially stated on the seachem web 

 From the product label " [Alkaline Buffer] contains sodium, 
potassium, magnesium, and other bicarbonate salts." We do not make 
any claims or market on the point of how much is present because the 
product is not, and should not be used as a supplement product for 
those ions. Our product for increasing and maintaining GH and 
potassium is Equilibrium (along with Flourish Potassium for potassium 

>Equilibrium re-mineralizes but again I don't know what the counter 
>ions are. SO4? CO3? Cl?

If you read the description on our website or bottle you'll know you 
can rule Cl- out ;-) Again, the anions are not a selling point, but 
we do make a marketing and formulation point of not including anions 
known to be detrimental at high levels (i.e. chloride).

>I would imagine that Equillibrium also raises the KH and Alkaline 
>Buffer also raises the GH a bit.

No (to both).

>Is this true? If so what is the major advantage in using both 
>products? For example could I use Acid Buffer and Equilibrium to 
>maintain a pH of 6.0?

No, Equilibrium does not provide any buffering that would counter the 
buffering of the Acid Buffer. The main advantage to using both 
products, especially when starting from RO or DI water, is that you 
have direct control on the levels of both the KH and GH and potassium 
as well as final pH (when used with Acid Buffer as well if you want a 
pH below 7). The general hardness levels (magnesium and calcium) as 
well as potassium and sodium levels all influence the pK of the 
bicarbonate buffer system and consequently at what pH the buffer 
system will be most stable. Without calcium and magnesium the 
bicarbonate buffer will tend to want to buffer quite high (above 8). 
With adequate levels of calcium and magnesium the buffer system pK 
will shift downward, closer to the 7.6 region which is easier to 
control with either Acid Buffer or the natural organic acids produced 
in every tank. And of course the plants need the calcium and 
magnesium as well for their own biological processes.


Gregory Morin, Ph.D.  ~~~~~~~Research Director~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Seachem Laboratories, Inc.      www.seachem.com     888-SEACHEM