Aquatic Plant Science

The science of submerged aquatic plants in the aquarium hobby


    DIY magnesium without sulfates

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    Lawrence So

    Posts : 21
    Join date : 2016-07-20
    Location : San Francisco, CA

    DIY magnesium without sulfates

    Post by Lawrence So on Wed Jul 20, 2016 9:54 pm

    I just made soluble magnesium using magnesium metal and acetic acid.  Citric acid could also be used.  I placed the metal into the acid and it immediately began to release hydrogen gas indicating that it was reacting and dissolving.

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    1 gram of pure magnesium in 100L of water results in 10mg/L (ppm) of Mg.

    Here's the math if you need to calculate:
    Weight in grams × 1000mg/g ÷ tank volume in L = mg/L

    I bought a 25g Mg ribbon from eBay for $2.  MgSO4 costs $1-3 per pound and contains 45g/pound. So DIY Mg isn't cheaper but it doesn't add any unnecessary sulfates which may interfere with nutrient uptake.

    Positron

    Posts : 3
    Join date : 2016-07-21

    Re: DIY magnesium without sulfates

    Post by Positron on Thu Jul 21, 2016 6:02 am

    Very nice. Mg from sulfate is the number one source of SO4 added to my tank. I think I can actually get some Mg fairly easily.

    Were you adding enough acetic acid to full dissolve the metal? How long did the reaction take?

    Lawrence So

    Posts : 21
    Join date : 2016-07-20
    Location : San Francisco, CA

    Re: DIY magnesium without sulfates

    Post by Lawrence So on Thu Jul 21, 2016 7:04 am

    I partially filled the shot glass and then put the magnesium in and it fully dissolved in 30 minutes. I was expecting it to take much longer.  Then I added more Mg to react the remaining acid.  Heat would obviously speed up the reaction.

    I'll be using this method to turn zinc oxide, which is poorly soluble in water, into zinc acetate which would dissolve easily.  Zinc oxide has a higher purity than zinc sulfate, 99.9% vs 99.3%. It's the remaining percentages which probably consists of lead, arsenic, and other undesirable elements that I'm trying to avoid by using this method.

    Lawrence So

    Posts : 21
    Join date : 2016-07-20
    Location : San Francisco, CA

    Re: DIY magnesium without sulfates

    Post by Lawrence So on Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:48 pm

    Caution adding acetate. Add too much and it will cause a very dense bacterial bloom which will remove all the oxygen and suffocate the animal.
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    This picture was taken after a 50% water change.

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