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Thread: Reef Aquarium Chemistry for Beginners Part 1

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    Reef Aquarium Chemistry for Beginners Part 1

    The How ToŁ Guide to Reef Aquarium Chemistry for Beginners,
    Part 1: The Salt Water Itself


    http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2007-03/rhf/index.php
    Last edited by Scooterman; 11-12-2013 at 07:43 AM. Reason: adjusted font
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    Hey Boomer. I see your joint EOD. What svc are you in? I work at JFCOM in Norfolk.....

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    I WAS in the Army before you were born And long before the JEODTSC. I'm just using their logo
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    bout time someone cam out with something like this, i need guidance! I think I'm doing it all wrong!

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    Hello;

    No comments ?

    I will start this off I guess. I worry about Borate in buffers and in some highly rated Salt Mixes. Also, I worry about heavy metal buildup with large frequent water changes.

    IMHO --- I dose Baking Soda to raise my Alkalinity --- no Borate --- so I do not buildup Borate in my tank.

    From Randay Holmes-Farley, Full Article: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2007-04/rhf/index.php#19

    "However, buffers are usually added to coral reef aquaria to replace bicarbonate and carbonate lost to calcification by corals. If aquarists continually supplement with a buffer containing bicarbonate, carbonate and borate, and corals use bicarbonate and carbonate, the borate is left in the water and, after the next dose, it is left again, and again and again. Eventually, borate in the aquarium may climb to toxic levels. That whole concern is just unnecessary; just say no to borate in alkalinity supplements. Baking soda, for example, contains none and is a better choice as an alkalinity supplement for a reef aquarium than a borate-containing buffer."

    I feel this same principle applies to large water changes also. If our substrate and live rock is a sink for heavy metals then large water changes will eventually lead to high concentrations of these heavy metals as with each change the heavy metals are reintroduced. Maybe, they are bound so tight in the substrate and rock that they will not leach out and pose a problem --- however, reports from some indicate the use of Copper to treat a tank leach out back into the water for some time.

    Comments appreciated !

    Enjoy!

    OFM

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boomer View Post
    I WAS in the Army before you were born And long before the JEODTSC. I'm just using their logo
    Which one the North or South?

    Don

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    Always the smart answer Donny Hey, I went to your website today. Is it new ? There is nothing there but a couple of cool pens and dishes.

    OFM

    What you have stated is not new and has brought up many times. What the casue and effect may be in the long run its not known. And that long run will be many years for that tank. Some guys have had the same tanks running for 20 years with no issues.

    By far WC , even large WC are more of a advange than a disadvantage. Some reefers just suck out an replace some of the sand bed. The use of GAC will usally take care of this heavy metal issue to include cooper.

    Ron Shimek's Tank Water Analysis Article
    http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-0...ture/index.htm


    A Chemical Analysis of Select Trace Elements in Synthetic Sea Salts and Natural Seawater
    http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issu...04/feature.htm
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    Hello;

    Now you got me worrying about COOPER! As it is I can't eat, I can't sleep, I stare at my tank, I stay up nights reading post after post, thread after thread looking for the answers.

    Maybe there should be a discussion on why large frequent water changes are needed.

    Like what is the main reason ? Goal ?

    We have the best money can buy to remove and extract DOC's, heavy metals, toxins, etc. We purchase Aragonite and live rock for their chemical, buffering, and filtering abilities respectfully. No one can answer the questions as which trace elements are needed by what species.

    Just in case ??

    Okay, round two!

    Enjoy!

    OFM

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    Hello;

    Yeah, SCOOTERMAN --- we are probably all doing it wrong!


    "When we are told something long enough, we tend to believe it!"

    "Some Athiest, Somewhere"



    Enjoy!


    OFM

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    Maybe there should be a discussion on why large frequent water changes are needed.

    Like what is the main reason ? Goal ?


    That should be pretty obvious When you add additives, such as Calcium or Magnesium Chloride/ Sulfates or baking soda, those unused ion i.e, Na+ , Cl- and SO4 accumulate in the water column. This also causes a disproportion of ions and creates an ionic imbalance which can off set reactions. This can lead at times to make it more difficult to maintain various levels, like Ca++, Mg ++ or Alk, which has been the case many times.

    As far as if they should be large or small is more of a personnel choice, which may have merit in some tanks for being large. A ~ 35 % WC / month brings back and keeps ions at more or less their normal concentration. Others my choose 5 gal or 10 gal / week etc.. which is fine .
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    Boomer, a while back I was argued that Magnesium isn't necessarily a concern as far as being in Balance, basically they said as long as you keep it within a range (forgot what that was) It was ok.
    I couldn't really find documentation on that but always thought as part of the three that should be considered when trying to keep CA, ALK in balance, you also needed to include MG?

    Does that question make sense?

    Is there information on the three together used to keep things in balance, without MG it would screw up the other two?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boomer View Post
    Maybe there should be a discussion on why large frequent water changes are needed.

    Like what is the main reason ? Goal ?


    That should be pretty obvious When you add additives, such as Calcium or Magnesium Chloride/ Sulfates or baking soda, those unused ion i.e, Na+ , Cl- and SO4 accumulate in the water column. This also causes a disproportion of ions and creates an ionic imbalance which can off set reactions. This can lead at times to make it more difficult to maintain various levels, like Ca++, Mg ++ or Alk, which has been the case many times.

    As far as if they should be large or small is more of a personnel choice, which may have merit in some tanks for being large. A ~ 35 % WC / month brings back and keeps ions at more or less their normal concentration. Others my choose 5 gal or 10 gal / week etc.. which is fine .
    For me large water changes as often as possible have shown the best results. With dosing diy two part this seems to be necessary. For me it just makes reefkeeping easier. I dont care to have the biggest badest skimmer or the newest neatest water treatment toys. Sure takes alot of the headach out of the hobby.

    Don

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    Yup Don I know you are a big WC as was I

    Scoot.

    Magnesium


    Yes, as long as it is within range. The post I gave was not on Mg++, it was on the added Sulfate and Chloride brought about by the addition of Mg++.

    If the Mg++ is to low it will be very difficult to keep up the Ca++. Low Mg++ increases the Abiotic precip of CaCO3. In short, normal Mg++ helps keep Ca++ in solution more. Randy has discussed this at length in a few of his articles on Magnesium, Calcium and those on Ca++, Mg++ Alk balance issues.

    All ions should be in balance as best can be to NSW. We know that this works. It does not mean other levels don't or can't work. For example, Chris and others have been studying the effects of elevated Ca++ on coral growth and have found that elevating the Ca ++ above NSW increase growth. Some have been up to over 500 ppm calcium. There has also been a trend in this hobby, in the last 2 years or so, to run very high Ca++ levels, such as the Zeovit and Blue-Coral Methods.
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    Hello;

    Thank you for the input.

    I believe some water should be changed --- just how much ? I get by with very little using mostly Kalk and additive to make slight corrections.

    Is there some new tests that have been made that shows some excessive DOC's, bacteria , or toxins that build up that warrant large frequent water changes that I have missed.

    Or, is it still an individuals choice ? And still open to opinion?

    OFM

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    I'm new, so I do have a few questions. I have done large and small wc, however, with the larger changes I tend to get a bloom algae everywhere, and when I do a small change, it doesn't seem to be enough. I am using distilled water to mix with my salt. My tank is a 10 gal, so maybe this is the issue? I know that smaller tanks are less forgiving... My small changes have been 10%, and my large changes have been 30%. Maybe I have too much phosphate?

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