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Tips, Techniques, and Questions -- Technical questions or tips

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  #1  
Old 2017-01-02, 5:36pm
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FosterFire FosterFire is offline
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Default Water for diluting your bead release

I have been making FosterFire Bead release since 2001 but most bead releases have similar ingredients so this will work for all bead releases.

I have been advising for about 5 (6?) years now for beadmakers to use distilled water. When I made bead release in AZ the water was hard and perfect for bead release. I moved to Texas and my bead release had to be made with distilled water or it would be ruined. When ruined it goes as thin as skim milk and stays that way. It's the result of chemicals added to the water to make hard water "softer", meaning less calcium, magnesium and other minerals.

I have had sporadic reports of my bead release going thinner and although it's not ruined it can be hard to work with. It gets too brittle. This happens some months after having used the bead release and it usually starts some days or weeks after diluting the bead release.

I finally tracked down this fact: distilled just means it's been through a process of distillation. They are not promising that it hasn't been cross-contaminated or that it is free of the chemicals that are added to break down the minerals. So if there is a small amount left of those chemicals in the distilled water it will very slowly break down the bead release. Since there is a much smaller amount in distilled water, and distilled waters very considerably from company to company, it's hard to say f any one distilled water is safe to dilute release and if it will stay safe.

Fast forward to the solution: I figured out how to add calcium back to the water int he form of calcium carbonate. Essentially, I make hard water out of distilled water. The added calcium will use up any of the leftover softeners and make the water safe to use to dilute bead release. And get this: it's cheap and only takes a half teaspoon for a gallon of water. A whole teaspoon if you're feeling crazy. I have now tried and tested it and it works great. No weirdly thin brittle bead release! The downside is that it won't fix already contaminated bead release.

Please feel free to tell your fellow beadmakers. I have researched this very carefully, contacted the manufacturers of the materials, verified the results of hours of testing. So then how do I get the calcium carbonate into your hands? You don't need much. If you want you can buy it from Amazon or it's used as a dietary supplement. I am thinking I could send it out in a 1st class envelope in a little zip-lock bag for a dollar to cover postage and the envelope. All you do is sprinkle the powder into the water and shake it up. Done!
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Last edited by FosterFire; 2017-01-02 at 5:40pm.
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  #2  
Old 2017-01-02, 7:44pm
ESC ESC is offline
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Robin, per the 'Bathroom' discussion, just have people grind up a Tums and add it to a gallon of distilled water or whatever they're getting from the tap. It adds the required calcium carbonate and is much cheaper than shipping a teaspoon of the powdered mineral to everybody on your list.
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  #3  
Old 2017-01-02, 7:45pm
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FosterFire FosterFire is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ESC View Post
Robin, per the 'Bathroom' discussion, just have people grind up a Tums and add it to a gallon of distilled water or whatever they're getting from the tap. It adds the required calcium carbonate and is much cheaper than shipping a teaspoon of the powdered mineral to everybody on your list.
Genius.
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  #4  
Old 2017-01-02, 7:54pm
ContrarianReefKeeper ContrarianReefKeeper is offline
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Thanks for the tip!

Another helpful tip from the reef aquarium hobby: Pickling lime (aka slaked lime) will do the same job (possibly better, since it is much more soluble). It is calcium hydroxide, which rapidly converts to calcium carbonate in the presence of carbon dioxide.

If you want to experiment with adding magnesium as well, check out Epsom salts. I've saved a ton of money over the years using those two additives to maintain the calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium in my aquariums instead of the pricey supplements from the fish store.
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  #5  
Old 2017-01-02, 11:46pm
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Speedslug Speedslug is offline
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I learn something everyday here.
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  #6  
Old 2017-01-04, 1:30am
Ravenesque Ravenesque is offline
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Interesting!
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