Jump to content

Making own pre prepared solutions


Recommended Posts

I have recently bought some seachem "safe" with the view of making the following solutions:

1. "prime" equivalent

2. My own Malawi mix (prime, pH buffer, some calcium carbonate to raise hardness and cichlid salt)

3. My own Tang mix (as above different concentrations)

1. would be used for when prime alone is needed.

2 and 3 would be kept in solution to be added to new water before water changes. In other words, instead of messing with spoons and powders I will make a concentrated solution (1-2L at a time) and add 4-5mL per 20L new water. Nothing more to add or do - just run the water add the solution - stir and add. The solutions would be made in 1-2 L lots with deionised water and because only small volumes used should last for ages.

I don't have many tanks so mixing into 200L is not a viable option...(only ever do 20L buckets at a time) so I think this is the best method for me. I have access to precise laboratory scales (accurate to 0.001g).

Is this a sensible idea?

Anything I should add/omit from the solutions?

Any suggestions/advice/hints would be welcomed smile.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the 2L of water would become saturated with calcium carbonate and salt before you got enough in there for it to be usefull when doing waterchanges. I.E. You couldnt get enough salt dissolved in 5ml of water to cater for a 20L waterchange, if you get my drift?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fair enough...I could always change the hardness in other ways...

what about the idea of pH buffer, salt and "safe" - and I could always increase the amount of water per dose? confused.gif

Does anyone make "prime" by dissolving Safe? Or is it best just to add it to the water change as a powder?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hi Kemst

Prime or Safe, don't make no real differance, does the same job. i find it easier to use a liquid.

although i now mix large quantities of water, [i used 20ltr buckets for some time]

probably easier to measure the amount[tspns] needed to alter 20lts to the required paremeters, then do the water change as per normal.

please don't add powders or concentrated solutions directly to the tank, go slowly with the PH change.


Link to comment
Share on other sites


Here is a useful article that I use in mixing my own pre-prepared water in a 200L barrel. I don't use all of them, just the essential ones, and in proportions according to my local water.

Make you own Salt Mixtures

I notice that you said you are going to use calcium carbonate, the article suggests that it is relatively insoluble, never tried myself. i would be interested if you have any success in disolving it.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am looking using safe and making my own prime (safe is waaaaay cheaper per use it seems).

As far as I understand it - safe is the concentrated powdered version of prime. So mixing it in the right concentration in water should produce prime. I want to make about 1-2L of prime and I'd still have tons of powder left. I'd then use this "made up" solution as prime.

I have sent an e-mail to Seachem to ask. If the reply I will post it here.

The other solutions would be standardised for 20L to match what is already in the tank (fill calibrated bucket, add right amount of solution - stir and add to tank)

Does this make sense or am I getting myself tied in knots? toohard.gif

Do you know how to make "prime" from "safe" or is it not worth the bother?

BTW - I don't intend adding these solutions directly to the tank no.gif but to use it to prepare new water before adding to the tank.

Thanks for the link Clinton...I am pretty sure calcium carbonate is very insoluble- I am not a geologist but I understand that it is found in many rocks. Calcuim Sulphate is probably a better idea as far as solubility goes but the CaCO2 should dissolve slowly over time (isn't that how the marble chips work?). So as long as it isn't too fine it could work I guess... I could always just change my substrate and get the hardness to equilibrate that way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought this came up before when Gav was selling his first lot of SAFE. Check seachem FAQ section, theres a question in there about it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From seachem site FAQ section

Q: Can I mix Seachem Safe with water and store the solution to use later on. So instead of using the dry powder, I can use it pre-dissolved.

A: This is completely acceptable to do. We use the same salts that make up Safe to make Prime. In essence, Prime is a liquid version of Safe. If you stored this solution, it would last indefinitely but may require periodic shaking. The measure spoon included in the product is equal to 1/10th of a teaspoon.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is the reply I got from the Seachem Tech support:

"You are going to run into problems if you mix Alkaline Buffer and Cichlid Lake Salt. Alkaline buffer contains Carbonate ions and the Lake Salt contains Calcium ions. These two ions really like each other and will precipitate out of solution in the presence of each other. It is our recommendation that these products do not get added at exactly the same time. It is best to wait till one is fully dispersed through the tank before adding the other.

"As far as mixing safe to form prime, some people do it without problems. But chemically speaking the pH of the solution can drop and cause problems. We stabilize the pH of this product when we make it. I would just use safe as a powder or buy prime."

This either means that they are trying to discourage people from making up the prime themselves (as per their FAQ section) or there are different schools of thought.

I did not get a measure spoon with my prime and when I asked the tech support how much to weigh they told me that the measure was 1/16th of a teaspoon (???)


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...

I want to rehash this discussion.

From what i understand, from the above, by pre-mixing the two buffers together they will precipate each other out if added to the tank togther. So what would happen if you made up 200l of water, added one buffer, left for 24hours, then added the other buffer?? would the same apply?

Also, what about doing it this way..make up a super saturated solution of the buffers in SEPERATE containers and dripping the solution into the tank overnight when the lights are off? This way the PH should not b effected too much as the lower oxygen and lower PH during lights off would be balanced bythe addition of the solition. Also, by dripping you are not increasing the PH,KH and GH all in one go, but slowly raising them over the course of the night.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

interesting idea.....but i believe that you might find it hard to get the solution to be concentrated enough. Its more likely that the solution will reach a point where there is still powder left in the bottom that won't dissolve.

i had thought of that...to combat that I could use airstones or a Powerhead in the mixing chamber to ensure that the powders are mixed through..boiling water also helps to dissolve IMO.

What I am going to test over the next week is the actual concentration of the solutions being made, so when I add x amount of buffer to 1 litre of RO water, I will test the solution, test the tank water after lights out, then again in the morning after the drip to see what it has increased by, if at all.

Not even sure if this going to work but its worth a shot!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hiya all,

I used Nutrafin Liquid Cichlid conditioner in the past with really good

results - cant find a webpage for it other than a shop:


Used to get it from Auburn Aquarium. Worked wonders with my tangs.

I'll post more info if I can find it.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I see the original post started back in April, but I'm going to differ to what I have seen people write here on a point in regards to Safe and Prime.

My understanding is that Safe is the main ingredient of Prime, as has been said, but what has not been said is that Prime has other additives in addition to Safe, such as a slime coat replacement included in its make-up.

So, to me, that makes Prime in fact a better product, and one that can't be equalled by mixing Safe and water together to make a liquid solution.

I use Safe because it is cheaper than Prime, and when I buy a large container of it, it lasts me a L-O-N-G time (I change 1200 l per fortnight). In addition, I like to think I treat my fish well enough that the addition of the slime coat replacement in Prime is neither here nor there for me.

I also don't get why you want to do this, isn't safe easy enough to use as it is, and if you have only a few tanks, and you want to buff etc, just buy a commercially prepared one and due to the small amount of water you'll be changing it will last you a long time also.

I don't see you getting a great deal of benefit out of the effort you'll be going to.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the reason i want to look into this ( buffers mainly ) is that IME, when i mix the powder up in some water or the bucket thats going into the tank, the water always clouds up for a bit then settles. What I believe is happening is the powder never fully disovles in the tank so you get a build up over the months/years. which could lead to probs. similar to a reef tank where by if u keep adding chemicals they can build up over time and ruin the tank...

By doing a pre-mix solution for buffers, you are adding clear water and no sediment ( if done right ) and I dont believe you will get a build up of chemicals in the substrate. ( and i doubt vacuuming will remove it all )

again this is something that is in trial and I will post any findings on whether its worth the hassle or not.

Im a pefectionist, i hate cloudy tanks and I dont think the fish appreciate it either...

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...