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Onyx Sand Surprise

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  • Onyx Sand Surprise

    I have a 29 gal tank and just added a bag of Onyx Sand to my long-established Flourite. I was expecting an increase in KH (which I got) since your website states: has a “slight buffering capacity.” However, my GH more than doubled from 4 dGH to 9 dGH! This is not buffering, this is hardness. Can you please advise as to what part of the hardness is being increased? Is it the Mg or Ca, or both and by how much? If it is all Ca, then I’ll need to watch my Mg to make sure it is high enough. Also, how long will the GH be affected by the Onyx Sand?

  • #2
    Thanks for the post Deanna! The Onyx sand actually contains higher levels of Calcium and Magnesium than other substrates. This is where the slight buffering capacity comes from - increased Magnesium will stop Calcium and Carbonates from binding and falling out of solution, while the Calcium Carbonate present buffers the water upward. Usually this increase in GH is temporary, and with regular water changes you should start seeing the GH go back down after about a month.

    I hope this helps!

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    • #3
      Ok, thanks. You really should advise potential customers, in your product information page, to expect a sudden surge in their GH when first using this product.

      Can you tell me what the Ca:Mg ratio, generated by the Onyx Sand, is during this 'break-in' period?

      Can this GH problem be resolved faster by placing a bag of the Onyx Sand in a bucket and changing the water, perhaps daily?

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      • #4
        Hi there Deanna, thanks for the follow-up! The Onyx Sand will have a calcium content of 197500 mg/kg and a magnesium content of 115400 mg/kg. As far as the amount of calcium and magnesium you will see in your tank, that will differ widely so I cannot provide a set ratio. Pre-soaking the substrate should help alleviate the potential surge in GH, and I'll definitely make a suggestion to put that somewhere on our website! :)

        I hope this helps!

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