No, no worries...I kind of wondered if the posts were related...I kind of speed through on my break sometimes and don't look really close...
What happened to me was that I recharged the stuff per their directions (exactly) which involved:
1) 50/50 bleach/water solution for 24 hours
2) 50/50 Prime/Water solution for 4 hours (I think)
3) If using for FW
tank, some mixture of Acid Buffer or Neutral Buffer for 4 hours
4) rinsing in between ("rinse well" or something generic like that)
5) put back in filter
I got up the next morning and my guppies were all dead and pH was well off the low end of the scale, <4.0. The problem was that they have you soak it in the buffer for FW
, the idea being that you want a more neutral pH for FW
, so you have to counter the bleach's high pH. Well the Acid Buffer leached out into the tank and blammo. That combined with the 'fact' that if it had been used on a 100g tank (100mL bag, 100 gallon) the effect would not have been magnified and probably not noticed. But they reproduced the 'experiment' and saw the same thing. They said they were going to change their packaging to suggest a thorough soak/rinse before re-introducing.
I reproduced it myself, recharged the bag, using the original instructions, and found that a 100mL bag after the recharging steps dumped the pH in a 5g bucket from 8.5 to 6 in just over 45 minutes, then I emptied and refilled and it did it again in about 90 minutes. Eventually it all leached out and it was fine and I continue to use it.
But I skip the Buffer step now. I do 50/50 bleach for 24 hours or so, then 50/50 prime for at least a day, rinsing with RO
water inbetween, put it in a 5g bucket w/power head and run that for a day or so and change the water 2-3 times and it's ready to go.
I was rather surprised that it hadn't happened to anyone else. Then I found out that everyone on the planted tank site skipped the buffer step and just rinsed the heck out of it, and the buffer step is not used for SW