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Hi.

As some may have figured by now, i'm a great fan of Easylife and it's siblings. Trying to understand it has become almost something of a past time. To that end, i have a new curiosity. I am wondering about the use of Easylife in tanks with salt. Now before someone jumps on me, yes, right on the front of the bottle it says it's suitable for both freshwater and marine aquariums, of which i have no doubt. I've always had the nagging feeling however that something is missing to this. Unsurprisingly, the exact ingredients in Easylife are a trade secret. In spite of that, many have giving into speculating, some with better reasoning than others, that a key ingredient may be powdered zeolite. I'm not looking to debate that point, for the purposes of my curiosity i'm taking it as a given. Now, aquarium chemistry 101 tells us that zeolite is useful for helping reduce ammonia, and Easylife certainly exhibits a similar helpful benefit. Great, nice and simple! It's not until around aquarium chemistry 202 that it slips out that salt re-releases ammonia back out of zeolite. Ouch. What then, assuming Easylife does have some zeolite in it, does that mean in terms of Easylife use with salt? Theoretically it'd be toxic in marine environments. And yet it's not. I've heard first hand that corals can respond particularly well. I'm not up on the ins and outs of marine, but something i read recently jumped out at me. It's the assumption/presumption that marine environments should have 0 ammonia at all times. (Did i read that right?) That being the case, if Easylife is predicated on 0 ammonia in marine at all times, it makes perfect sense that zeolite would not cause an issue. But what about in mildly salty to brackish freshwater, where ammonia can very definately be an issue? Would zeolite potentially be absorbing then re-releasing ammonia? I realise that part of a counter mechanism to this would be one of Easylife's properties as a flocculant, presumably helping the zeolite to be more easily removed by mechanical filtration. Even so, the question remains - when using Easylife with salt in a non-marine environment, is ammonia potentially going to peak and trough? Or is the absense of peaks and troughs (as opposed to the absense of ways to feasibly measure the changes) perhaps evidence enough that isn't actually zeolite in Easylife?

Any thoughts?

Cheers.

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nice thinking ,

i regularly use easy life when doing my water changes with local town water , i also heavily dose my *freshwater* tanks with salt with every water change , haven't ever noticed an ammonia spike but it's not often that i even ever use a test kit that's only something i look at if a fish or fishes are acting or looking strangely.

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Very interesting, cheers! I wouldn't actually expect so much of an ammonia spike, more it going up and down over and over. The only way to feasably test for it would be with continuous digital readings, probably with double digit accuracy. I am sort of envisionaging it a bit like i see pH buffering, a battle acidic and alkaline acting then reacting until a medium is reached. I know that's simplistic, but sometimes ever i like simple! lol Just curious, how many grams per liter salt do you use? Is it marine, turtle, sea or rock salt?

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I have moved on from easylife, now using kasuri Klay from AOA. Much more economical as its a dry powder as compared to the liquid easy life. One table spoon dose 500l I think or gallons can't remember. And was 30-40ish for a kg

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Bentonite of some form is a key ingredient. If you think back to geo-liquid, salt was an ingredient of the potion.

Zeolite is widely used in super high end marine. It is not a cheap system but it does create a unique looking colour exploit on many sps.

http://blog.marinedepot.com/2009/06/zeolite-filtration-in-reef-aquaria.html?m=1

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Donny! Your you again! Great to see! :D

I'm not overlooking the bentonite component, it would be critical to clumping zeolite particals into large enough funk that it was picked up by a filter for manual removal. Would the bentonite coating these clumped particles be enough to stop a zeolite/salt interaction? I don't know so much. Slow it, sure. But stop it totally? Geo-liquids popularity is a bit before my fish keeping times but i gather they where to precursors to Easylife type formulas with not disimilar outcomes? It is interesting to see zeolite being used for corals and such. But it still leaves open the question of freshwater + salt. I'm not suggesting the zeolite in itself is harmful, merely that it's ability to absort ammonia and release it with salt, could be feasable. I was thinking how it'd be practically possible to test the possibility, measuring equipment aside. There'd be absolutely no point testing on a water change or in a healthy cycled tank. There's just not going to be the ammonia there to start with. It'd need to be tested in a cycled tank that is spiked beyond its biofilter capacity. A couple bodys should do it. Allow sufficient cooking time before applying Easylife, and go from there. I wouldn't expect waves in readings, but maybe rumbles, if not ripples.

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I have moved on from easylife, now using kasuri Klay from AOA. Much more economical as its a dry powder as compared to the liquid easy life. One table spoon dose 500l I think or gallons can't remember. And was 30-40ish for a kg

Thanks for this info.

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99.9% of marine tanks have zero ammonia so the zeolite becomes a flocculant to bind fine particles and other minerals.

Kusuri clay is good but it's only one part of the easylife story.

I'm experimenting with making my own easylife and I reckon I have the mix pretty much spot on.

It works as good as easylife and is butt load cheaper, i have tested it with a cannister I turned off for a month and left full of water. I turned it on and everything spiked and stunk, i added my mix and 24hrs later all parameters were back where they should be and the smell was gone.

I didn't have fish in the tank as i didn't want them dead but I added fish after the 24hr period I added some peppermint bristlenose and keyholes, the keyholes bred that night.

Cheers mick

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99.9% of marine tanks have zero ammonia so the zeolite becomes a flocculant to bind fine particles and other minerals.

Kusuri clay is good but it's only one part of the easylife story.

I'm experimenting with making my own easylife and I reckon I have the mix pretty much spot on.

It works as good as easylife and is butt load cheaper, i have tested it with a cannister I turned off for a month and left full of water. I turned it on and everything spiked and stunk, i added my mix and 24hrs later all parameters were back where they should be and the smell was gone.

I didn't have fish in the tank as i didn't want them dead but I added fish after the 24hr period I added some peppermint bristlenose and keyholes, the keyholes bred that night.

Cheers mick

Sounds interesting would love to know what ingredients ours playing with.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I'm normally a caring and sharing kinda guy but even I need some secrets lol.

I have spoken about the ingredients on live chat, some of the subjects and conversations on there are amazing and helpful, more people should get onto it to make the conversations even more amazing and helpful.

Cheers mick

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I'm normally a caring and sharing kinda guy but even I need some secrets lol.

I have spoken about the ingredients on live chat, some of the subjects and conversations on there are amazing and helpful, more people should get onto it to make the conversations even more amazing and helpful.

Cheers mick

That's fair enough I haven't figured out the live chat yet still new to the whole forum thing.

Question: I'm looking at converting a cycled 120L fresh water tank to brackish and I've been told If I'm using easy life conditioner I can just use pure salt and don't need to worry about marine salt is that true? Sounds a bit far fetched.

Also I'm buying white sand and heard about gas pockets after a while would putting a 3ft air tube under the sand prevent that by keeping air flowing through it?

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Ohhhh smicko, now your just teasing us with your secret sauce! lol I have no clue on the live chat thing, i'll have to have a hunt.

I am still fundamentally stuck on the question of Easylife + salt in freshwater. I have found (the hard way) that as little as 4g/L is enough to cause at least some ammonia release from zeolite. That being the case, it seems like using Easylife in such situations would be problematic. I know everyone is thinking, well its okay, fish are hardy, they can ride the wave. To that end i would agree. But some critters are extremely sensitive to micro variations with even amounts barely registering during testing being enough to cause them issues. Sometimes small things matter to small critters!

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[MENTION=16995]Pineapples[/MENTION] I would use marine salt, just the normal stuff you won't need a reef mix.

Most have instructions to mix to a salinity of 1.025at 25 degrees so you will need to adjust and test.

Pay the money and get a refractometer with temperature compensation to make mixing easier.

For waterchanges I have a mark on the tank that tells me when I have removed 60 litres so I can weigh and mix to the exact salinity every time.

When you do top ups use freshwater as salt doesn't evaporate.

Cheers mick

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[MENTION=12417]fishfriendzzz[/MENTION], the only thing I can think of is that there isn't enough ammonia to fill the zeolite.

Zeolite will only leach after its adsorbed it's capacity of ammonia. I've used it in sumps and haven't had any ammonia leaching from it.

Cheers mick

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That's fair enough I haven't figured out the live chat yet still new to the whole forum thing.

Question: I'm looking at converting a cycled 120L fresh water tank to brackish and I've been told If I'm using easy life conditioner I can just use pure salt and don't need to worry about marine salt is that true? Sounds a bit far fetched.

Also I'm buying white sand and heard about gas pockets after a while would putting a 3ft air tube under the sand prevent that by keeping air flowing through it?

You would be better off buying coral sand to help maintain the high pH that brackish species require. To prevent gas pockets you can just run fingers through it every few weeks.

Its always recommended to use marine salt with brackish to get the GH where it needs to be. Easylife falls out of suspension, so it does not create the chemistry required. You really need something that dissolves into the solution.

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[MENTION=16995]Pineapples[/MENTION] I would use marine salt, just the normal stuff you won't need a reef mix.

Most have instructions to mix to a salinity of 1.025at 25 degrees so you will need to adjust and test.

Pay the money and get a refractometer with temperature compensation to make mixing easier.

For waterchanges I have a mark on the tank that tells me when I have removed 60 litres so I can weigh and mix to the exact salinity every time.

When you do top ups use freshwater as salt doesn't evaporate.

Cheers mick

Thanks mate I'll do that I'm doing it for bumblebee gobies so from what I've read I need between 1.002-1.005 is that correct? They are currently doing well in freshwater I just want to set it up so that they breed.

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[MENTION=885]smicko[/MENTION] I'm not entirely sure where your coming from. I've used zeolite a bit and i understand that zeolite by itself only leaches when saturated. But salt causes zeolite to release it's stored ammonia, saturated or not. I have a tank using 4g/L. I knew about salt and zeolite but totally forgot about it before adding the salt! The result was, consistant, 0.5ppm ammonia, until the zeolite was removed. There was well over half a kilo of zeolite so it would've easily absorbed more than 0.5ppm ammonia. I know when recharging zeolite more salt is traditionally used. What i don't know is whether the levels i was seeing where due to that being all the zeolite had absorbed, or whether the amount released was due to the fairly low level of salt. I suspect the latter as some zeolite had remined hidden, tucked away in a canister filter, and yet still released the same level of ammonia. I had discontinued using Easylife in this tank some time earlier for unrelated reasons. I am very much left however with the question, that had i not had zeolite in place, and i was still using Easylife, would i have seen something similar? If we accept the Easylife has zeolite in it, until such time as it clumped, was caught in the filter and removed by cleaning, the answer, at least on paper, seems like it must be yes.

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Ok I've done some reading and learnt a few things that may help.

Zeolite adsorbs heavy metals, ammonia and salt ions.

It will exchange ammonia ions with salt ions if salt is added.

It takes a ratio of 1kg salt to 10 litres of water to recharge zeolite or 10% salt, 4 grams to 1 litre of water that your tank runs is 0.04% salt so the ionic exchange would be so low it shouldn't be measurable.

There is over 150 types and quality levels of zeolite, all zeolite from America, Europe and Asia contains dissolved salts but Australian zeolite doesn't, if we accept that easylife has zeolite we need to know where it's sourced and what quality it is.

1 gram of zeolite adsorbs 9mg of ammonia, we would need to know how much is in easylife to work out how much it can remove.

If there is zeolite in easylife and easylife is added to water with salt it won't leach ammonia because if salt is present the zeolite will adsorb the salt before the ammonia.

Hopefully this is helpful

Cheers mick

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[MENTION=204]mbunamad[/MENTION]thinkshecorrectedme,

ADSORBS is the right word, the same as purigen and macropore ADSORBS tannins.

You should gurgle the meaning of adsorb then come back and thank me for teaching you something lol.

Cheers mick

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