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Analytical Grade Additives

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NaH2O

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
I think Collin is on holiday, but while I have this on my brain, I need to post it.

I am going to be switching to a salt where I will need to add some supplements. I want to use Analytical Grade materials, but I'm curious to know what the difference is? I understand that analytical grade materials do not contain the quantity (if any?) impurities that food grade materials do, but is it that big of a deal? What types of impurities are introduced with food grade products, and would these have a "build up" effect over time? For supplements that will be frequently dosed, is it better to go with higher quality?
 

Scooterman

Administrator
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
10,943
Location
Louisiana
I once did the research for buying my salt separately & adding only what I needed, the problem came into cost for one, I had talked to Spanky at TRT. Somehow we figured it wasn't practical but a subject worth looking into for sure. I'd like to hang around and see if we can get some more thoughts on the subject. Nikki, where & what would you be adding to the mixture, also how would you mix the additives before or after adding to the tank?
 

aquariumdebacle

electrolyte addict
Joined
Jul 4, 2003
Messages
613
Location
Seattle
Main difference is price

My understanding of the "anylitical grade chemicals" is that they are refined to a higher level of quality than non-anylitical. What this means to us in terms of value is that you basically get what you pay for. The higher quality reagents are more expensive but last longer and or don't need as much additive. An anlogy is the premium gasoline versus regular. The regular is cheaper but the gas mileage is worse. So it probably is a wash. I would pick two or three brands that you feel comfortable with and show some brand loyalty. Return service for good quality products. I wouldn't limit it to one single brand but more that a few could be problematic. Some brands are designed to work in conjuction with other products within that paticular brand. Long term effects can be countermanded by routine water changes.
 

ScottT1980

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 19, 2004
Messages
129
Location
Raleigh, NC
The actual chemicals might need to be known. However, just looking at a data sheet on Calcium sulfate (probably not something you would add, but just a point of reference), impurities included calcium carbonate and forms of silica. Both of these things could have an impact on your system. I would imagine the impurities you would encounter would be derivatives of the chemical in question. So, if you are using say CaOH, you might also find calcium chloride, calcium carbonate, or something similar.

This is a website by the USDA with the calcium sulfate example. Perhaps the USDA or FDA has listings of all food grade additives and their potential impurities...

http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop/NationalList/TAPReviews/CaSO4.pdf

I will , of course, defer to people who actually know what the heck they are talking about...

Take er easy
Scott T.
 
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cwcross

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 18, 2004
Messages
250
NaH2O said:
I think Collin is on holiday, but while I have this on my brain, I need to post it.

I am going to be switching to a salt where I will need to add some supplements. I want to use Analytical Grade materials, but I'm curious to know what the difference is? I understand that analytical grade materials do not contain the quantity (if any?) impurities that food grade materials do, but is it that big of a deal? What types of impurities are introduced with food grade products, and would these have a "build up" effect over time? For supplements that will be frequently dosed, is it better to go with higher quality?
You can't go wrong with purity. However, in my opinion, the different is not worth the extra effort, much less the additional cost. I buy baking soda (very seldom need) and pickling lime. The impurities in these additives are largely water soluble and non-toxic. The effect of the impurities will be self limiting to some level dictated by the frequency of your water changes etc. Even if you add the pure stuff, you will eventually reach this same level. The only question is time here.

Here is a link that shows how water changes can self limit some impurities.

http://home.houston.rr.com/crosspatch/

However, that said...purity is purity.

Sincerley...Collin
 

dgasmd

Fragologist Magnus
Joined
Nov 30, 2003
Messages
473
Location
Florida
I personally have gone to both extremes and I am not sure the extra expense is warranted to some degree. I have used Mrs wages pickling lime with a kalk reactor made by myreef creations that was more than mediocre. Since it did not work as advertised, it did not dissolve much of the kalk into solution. That actually allowed me to see more of the impurities in the kalk, lots of which was metals shaving attached to the magnetic stirrer. I since have changed to a "brand name" kalk and that probem has completely disappered. Then again, it could be they are the same but now since my kalk reactor works as it should, they get dumped in the tank instead. I know get TLF kalk, but I refuse to buy "analytical grade" kalk like the Warner Marine stuff because I don't believe the extra price is worth for the minor difference there may be between TLF and it.

A lot, for me at least, has been trial and error to find things I am very confortable with even if they cost a little more and are not the perfect product by popular concensus.
 
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