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Re: Epsom Salts

Greger Lindstrand asks:

> Whats the cemical formula for epsom salts?

MgSO4 Sometimes also listed as MgSO4+7H2O, which means it has water in

> Should one add it to a planted Discus tank and if so, what does it do
> (is good for)?

Epsom salts can be used in conjunction with CaCl, Calcium Chloride, (1
to 4) to raise the general hardness of the water. Many thanks to Tom
Barr for that tidbit. Some hardness in the water is important for a
planted tank, but I understand that Discus like soft water. You should
contact Discus specialists about just how soft is important for Discus.
I think about 3-5 degrees is all you want with Discuss. You can purchase
a general hardness test kit for this. Also pick up a Carbonate Hardness
test kit as well. 

> If one adds MgSO4 and / or K2SO4, how do one test that the levels in
> the tank is ok?

K2SO4 adds potassium (K), and sulphates (SO4). This is generally used as
an important nutrient for plants (K). Many folk use K2SO4 as an
important ingredient in PMDD, Poor Man's Dosing Drops. You should read
about that in The Krib:


Also read about carbonate and general hardness in the Krib:


There is also lots to read about in the archives here on the APD.

Good luck!

Ed D.