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Equilibrium/Replenish, Either or Both? New at this.

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  • Equilibrium/Replenish, Either or Both? New at this.

    Perhaps it is true that a little knowledge is dangerous:

    I have a 10G tank with a dwarf pleco and a betta. Several plants, Java Fern, Crypts, and an Anubia.

    Ammonia 0 / NitrItes 0 / NitrAtes 5-10 on the average
    PH 7.4 - 7.8
    KH 4.0 (which i think is too low)
    GH between 7 - 12 depending after water changes (25%)

    Because my Nitrates come out of the tap at 20 ppm have started using R/O water. I am still trying to figure out what I need.... Should I be using Equilibrium? Should I be using Replenish (or fresh trace), or some combination of the two?

    I feel my KH is a bit too low, went to several LFS on how to raise it, and everyone tells me something different.

    Currently Using Kent Marine's R/O Right. (Wanted Seachem Equilibrium, but no on here seems to carry it (or Fresh Trace for that matter). Don't know why, there are PLENTY of Kent Marine Products in San Antonio, but finding the same Seachem products is difficult, which is frustrating. I do not wish to order everthing on line and pay / wait for shipping.

    What should I be doing? I actually added about 1G of tap water, as my KH was so low, which brought my PH up to about 8.

    Thanks in advance...............

  • #2
    Re: Equilibrium/Replenish, Either or Both? New at this.

    Welcome to our forum!

    Thank you for the questions. The best option for restoring mineral content to RO water is going to be Equilibrium. Replenish is specifically formulated for replcing the minerals in community fish tanks, but is not ideal for planted aquarium. The chemicals used in Equilibrium are more appropriate for keeping plants.

    Honestly, I don't think your KH is too low. It will be very difficult for you to raise the KH much higher without the pH creeping up. If you implement a CO2 injection system at some pint, you could then maintain a higher KH with a low pH. Not many people choose to do this on nano tanks though.

    If you do decide to give the KH a boost (of course you will need to do so when using RO water for water changes), you should use something like our Alkaline Buffer. This is a product meant to add carbonate hardness (KH) to your water. Keep in mind though that as you add KH, your pH will also rise some. Here is a store in San Antonio who carries this product:

    Aquarium Designs
    15229 San Pedro
    San Antonio TX 78232
    tel: 210 495 7333


    • #3
      Re: Equilibrium/Replenish, Either or Both? New at this.

      Thank you for your reply. So Equilibrium has all the necessary macro and micro elements / nutrients needed for a planted tank with fish?


      • #4
        Re: Equilibrium/Replenish, Either or Both? New at this.

        You're very welcome. Equilibrium is really only meant to restore minerals and therefore general hardness for those who are using RO water in planted tanks. In order to provide micro and macro elements to your plants, you may require some of the Flourish products (Flourish comprehensive, Flourish Iron, Flourish Excel, F. Nitrogen, F. Phosphorus, F.Potassium). To read more about these products, please see the following link:

        Let us know if you have further questions, and have a nice evening!


        • #5
          Re: Equilibrium/Replenish, Either or Both? New at this.

          Is Excel Flourish Comprehensive an actual product? I did not see it.

          I use Flourish tabs in the tank substrate, but I think the rich minerals (or perhaps the bulbs themselves?) caused planaria in the tank, got rid of them easy enough with removing ferts and a huge water change.

          What about the fish, however?

          Do the fish need something in addition to Equilibrium or is that all?


          • #6
            Re: Equilibrium/Replenish, Either or Both? New at this.

            Yes, Flourish is basically the liquid version of the Flourish Tabs; (it's not actually called Flourish Comprehensive, just Flourish, sorry for the confusion.) Since you are no longer using the tabs, kt might be a good idea to use this instead. You can read about Flourish here:


            As far as your fish are concerned, it wouldn't be a bad idea to add some Fresh Trace, if you are able to locate it. Please let us know if you would like for us to try and help you find some. Fresh Trace only contains those trace elements proven necessary for fish health by the National Academy of Science.


            • #7
              Re: Equilibrium/Replenish, Either or Both? New at this.

              Yes, I have tried to locate fresh trace in the past, no one sells it and no one can order it, which is puzzling.

              I really like and prefer Seachem products whenever possible....however, it is harder to get one's hands on than a cuban cigar.

              I even emailed looking for it and someone at Seachem advised the name of a dealer who supposedly had it.

              The end result was he did not carry it and could not order it.

              Let me know pls. I live in 78238 area, San Antonio, Texas

              Last edited by michaelg210; 10-20-2010, 15:17. Reason: my zip....


              • #8
                Re: Equilibrium/Replenish, Either or Both? New at this.

                Michael, I am searching for a store in your area. I'll send you a PM when I track one down.


                • #9
                  Re: Equilibrium/Replenish, Either or Both? New at this.

                  I would like to know who, in my area, stocks Fresh Trace. I just bought myself Equillibrium or Replenish powder (I don't remember now) and the store clerk told me that they were both the same but just one is in powder form and the other is liquid. I am solely using it for my betta and Ansorgii breeding (R/O water, as I need soft water). There are a couple of Java moss, Java ferns, an some bamboo plants in there to get the infusoria and have hiding places for the female, but other than that not much needed for breeding. I live in zip code 90277. Also, can you give me your reasoning to choose Seachem Fresh Trace vs. Kent R/O Right (or any product from Kent that compares to the purpose of adding back essentials for fish water) Thanks!


                  • #10
                    Re: Equilibrium/Replenish, Either or Both? New at this.

                    Equilibrium is the powder, and Replenish is the liquid. Both will increase GH, however, the Replenish contains chlorides, which can eventually burn plants. Therefore, we always recommend Equilibrium for a tank containing plants. I could not find any Select Dealer stores near you, but Fresh Trace can be easily ordered online.

                    Unfortunately, it is difficult for us to compare our mineral supplements to the Kent mineral supplements, since Kent does not list the mineral or their concentration. Kent also does not provide how many degree 1 dose will increase GH by.


                    • #11
                      Re: Equilibrium/Replenish, Either or Both? New at this.

                      Thanks for your response. Would Fresh Trace also have the Chlorides that burn plants? Again, I have to use java moss, java ferm, and or bamboo plants for my breeding. That means they will be in the water with my soft water bettas and ansorgii. Out of the three Seachem products, what would work with my purposes. I am already assuming I can't use Replenish b/c it'll burn my plants, so I guess I only have two choices? Thanks again!


                      • #12
                        Re: Equilibrium/Replenish, Either or Both? New at this.

                        Fresh Trace does contain some chlorides. A better choice for your purposes may be Flourish Trace, which is the same idea as Fresh Trace, but includes sulfates instead of chlorides. Flourish Trace works very well in conjunction with Equilibrium.

                        Have a nice evening!


                        • #13
                          Re: Equilibrium/Replenish, Either or Both? New at this.

                          Thanks again for your response. So, for my purposes I should use Flourish Trace...but to use with Equillibrium? I need my water to be soft. The more I add these things, it get's harder, right? It's my first time to use chemicals to change my water for my bettas so I appologize ahead of time. The bettas I import from Thailand do not breed as well in hard water like California (I compare to Hawaii where I was before). Yes, they eventually do, but as a breeder, I've never had this much of a struggle to breed them. So, my conclusion was the hard water had to be changed. Now, if I do use Flourish Trace in conjunction with Equillibrium, what happens? What dosage can you recommend (ratio-wise) to add both additives to let's say a 5gallon bucket...or even a 10gal aquarium?
                          Thanks in advanced.


                          • #14
                            Re: Equilibrium/Replenish, Either or Both? New at this.

                            The elements in Flourish Trace are provided in minimal amounts, therefore will not contribute much to GH. Also, they will be utilized almost instantly by your plants. You should only need to add Flourish Trace twice a week. You should also only need Equilibrium during water changes, in order to maintain GH. If your GH is high pre-water change, of course you may not need to add Equilibrium. The amount of Equilibrium you should add really depends on the GH of your tank before the water change, and how much water you are changing out. Each dose of Equilibrium will increase your replacement water by 3dGH. Therefore, if you are trying to maintain a GH of 6, then you should double the recommended dose of Equilibrium to your replacement water, in order to maintain 6 within the tank. Make sense?

                            The recommended dose of Equilibrium per 10 gallons is 1/2 tablespoon (this will increase GH by 3dGH). Therefore, you should use a full tablespoon to set a GH of 6 within the replacement water.