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Strontium Levels in Oceanic Salt mix

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Illusion

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Apr 8, 2004
Messages
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Does anyone or has anyone tested the Strontium levels in a fresh mix Of Oceanic.. The reason I ask Is 1)- I cannot afford a test kit myself at this time 2)- Since switching over to Oceanic Salt Corralin has and extremely hard time growing in my tank... To the point that It hasnt covered my base rock that is in the middle of 2 heavilly covered pieces of LR as well as not growing on the glass at all... I have 2 tanks setup and its the same way.. I was thinking at first maybe too high of light.. 2x250w mh on a 55g.. But after setting up my 55g agressive 2x55w PC lights Its the same way... I used CS, Kent, and IO and got alot better coralin growth.. Its just happened since the switch 3 or 4m ago...

My levels that I have tests for are as follows and are all stable day to day

Sg 35ppt
Temp 79-81F
Ca 480
Alk 10.9
ammonia, nitrite, nitrate 0
Po4 0
Mg 1500


Most all my levels are maintained Via a Korallin 1502 Ca reactor... Temp is controlled by a 1/2hp PCI chiller


TIA,
James
 

mattseattle

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Location
Seattle, WA
interesting and i've had the exact opposite happen on my tank. i have a 55 gallon with 2 x 250w and using Oceanic and I have amazing coralline growth.

I keep my calcium levels and alk on the lower side but i try to keep it in alignment with the natural levels of seawater at the salinity I keep my tank at which is 1.025.

I don't have a test kit for Strontium either so I can't answer your question. I can say I am having the exact opposite issue with coralline algae though. I recently switched to XM 10k bulbs and my coralline algae has turned to a maroon and lavendar color versus the purple i used to have.

weird how we all have such different results.
 

Illusion

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I am running 10k Ushio bulbs.. All but about 20lbs of my LR is Florida Aquacultured and the 20lbs is Fiji... I have tried scraping it and it doesnt help... the only thing that Likes to get coralline on it is the CPR overflow box... I have been tempted just to get some Seachem Sr and dose the tank once and see if things pick up.. The Reactor media should keep everything in place once its at NSW values if its below... Reading on RC there was a few others that had experienced no coralline growth after changing over to Oceanic... Would be real interesting to see if the levels are at, Above or below NSW values.. I just dont want to hurt my precious inhabitants... I already for the life of me cant get an ORA tort to survive in my tank.. Tried twice already both died... But from the same company (Etropicals)

James

James
 

mattseattle

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i don't have a calcium reactor but i use esv b-ionic 2 part additive to keep my alk and calc up. i did have 6.5k's on my tank and i had coralline growth but since switching to xm 10k's i have a ton more of the maroon and lavendar colored coralline. definitely colored up my tank especially the back tank wall. all my live rock and base rock have thick coralline on it.
 

big t

tankless
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Oct 21, 2003
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Denver
I have not had much corraline growth either here w/ Oceanic on my new system. I am out of salt again, and was considering switching back to IO. Hmmm what to do.
 

kevinpo

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Jul 1, 2003
Messages
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Spokane Valley, WA
I have had lots of coraline algae growth using Oceanic salt on all my tanks. Slightly more than with Instant Ocean. I have not measured the strontium levels.

Regards,
Kevin
 

DonW

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Dec 15, 2003
Messages
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Tacoma, WA
Up until three weeks ago the backof my tank grew coraline like mad. Now it has stopped and is bleaching. I've made no changes what so ever. I did have a period of low dkh this past week but the bleaching started before the low dkh.

What would cause this?

CA 450
dhk 10
sg 1.025
temp 80

Don
 

Illusion

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Messages
610
I am really inclined to blame the Coralline growth on Strontium levels in the Oceanic... I cannot test it but What else could it be... With CS, IO and Kent I had no issues with Coralline and since the switch its been very little growth if any in the last 3 months... I did add the Ca reactor in Feb. of this year and figured the Coralline would explode but it didnt... Strontium is the only thing I havent tested so thats why I seem to want to blame it on that LOL..

James

James
 

Illusion

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Apr 8, 2004
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I took the chance and got some Bio Strontium from the LFS that just opened up here in town... Its Tropic Marins and according to the instructions it says to add 1 spoon (provided) every 2 weeks per 50g... I figured I had 70g total water and I think my level is low so I added 2 spoons for the total water.. I will give it a month and see how everything does... If someone really gets a chance to test it that would be much appreciated... all the other levels have been tested and seem pretty consistent so I would really Like to know as I have heard mixed reports about the Coralline and oceanic.. Some say it stops growing Others say no difference... I will let you know if the Coralline takes off Or if I just nuked my tank.. I would think that It should be safe to add just a little amount..

TIA,
James
 

DonW

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Tacoma, WA
I really do not think its the Sr levels. I dosed two bottles of the kent stuff with no improvement (growth) what so ever on my old tank. I got the best growth just by doing small water changes. My guess is the light spectum is off somewhere. I think supplimenting with actinics will respur coraline growth.

Don
 

Illusion

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I run actinics on my tank.. On the main tank there is 2x250w Ushios 10ks and 2x55w hamilton actinics.. No Coralline growth.. On tank # 2 same oceanic salt.. 2x55w PC lights 1x 10k and 1 hamilton actinic.. They are both 55g tanks... There really was no issues with it prior to the switch to Oceanic which is why it leads me to believe that there is something in or not in Oceanic salt that is causing this issue.. Now in a study that Randy holmes Farley did it stated that Strontium in IO was at 15ppm which was twice NSW.. Now since Oceanic has only been out for a few months now alot of people who used IO before the switch would just be slowly removing the Strontium from the tank until its noticably disappearing..

James
 

mattseattle

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Seattle, WA
i think it has more to do with flow and lighting than strontium. like i stated before i've had intense increase in growth since i went from 6.5k's to XM 10k's in maroon and lavendar coralline algae. nothing else has changed. i've been using oceanic since it first came out. the other difference is i am not using a calcium reactor but dosing 2 part additives. i don't dose strontium seperately because all i've read is that it doesn't really help coral growth.
 

Illusion

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Apr 8, 2004
Messages
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All my bulbs are approx 2-4m old depending on the bulb.. The ushios are approx 2m old and the Actinics are approx 3-4m old.. (Hamilton Actinics kept breaking under warranty for some reason) They seemed to have resolved that issue now (thank god LOL)... I have a 10g fuge that has 2x55w pc lights on it with about 20lbs of LR and it has the same issue... they lights there are 10k and 1 actinic as well...

James
 

NaH2O

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I think it is too easy to blame something like a salt mix for an issue like coralline algae growth (It is possible....I have seen and read some amazing/weird things). I do find it interesting that my tank....even in the algae riddled state it is in being 6 weeks old.....is starting to see some coralline algae growing in areas on the live rock. These aren't bleached areas, but new areas. They are small, but are there all the same. I used Oceanic salt mix, fwiw. I also wanted to make a comment that I'm not a big fan of dosing without testing. If you don't know what your levels were prior to the dose, then how do you know you aren't adding too much, and creating a chemical imbalance?
 

Witfull

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Jan 27, 2004
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New Jersey
something that i have noticed on many different boards, there is a lot of bandwagon jumping...one person says something like i just bought XYZ halide bulbs and my tank glass broke the next day, next thing someone else says ,,yeah i heard that happened to a guy over at reefsRus.com...all of a sudden every broken tank is blamed on XYZ bulbs or halides in general...i know this analogy is far fetched, but i have read this senario oh so many times.

i agree, dont add without knowing where you stand to begin with,,,for example...would you add salt without knowing your current salinity?
 

Illusion

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Apr 8, 2004
Messages
610
After a few Emails with Oceanic (Matt).. The first Reply came back when I asked about the SR levels and this is the email I got back
"Strontium is not a stable element to add to a dry salt mix, so you will not find it in any capacity in any salt preparation on the market. It is a trace element that is best added in liquid form to your tank (i.e. Kent Marine brand Strontium)."

So I responded with "So are you stating that your Salt does not contain any Strontium and that one should be dosing as per instructions on the strontium bottle??"

And The reply I got back from Oceanic was "That is correct."

I find that its very odd that they would not add Sr to their salt and would like to find out how true this is... I still plan to take this issue farther.. I am going to be checking with some universities to see If they can have the Salt tested more extensively.. Anyone have any good resources on the inside that could possibly help..

Thanks again,
James
 

NaH2O

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I'm not trying to be argumentative, however, I have learned over the past year or so, when dealing with a salt manufacturer (one in particular - lol) it is important to know who you are discussing things with. I would question what position Matt holds in the department...because if he isn't in the technical side but with customer service, I would seek the answer elsewhere with the company.

Another point I would like to make is to TEST the Sr levels. Test a new bucket, test your tank....that will tell you what the Sr levels are in your system.

Trying to find an independent source to test a batch of salt is something every reefer would like to have. An unbiased answer as to what salt is better than the other. Let's face it....they all have downfalls. Asking a lab to extensively test a salt mix would probably be expensive.

Here is a quote from Randy Holmes-Farly in Water Parameters

Strontium

My recommendation is to maintain strontium levels in reef aquaria in the range of 5-15 ppm. That level roughly spans the level in natural seawater of 8 ppm. I do not recommend that aquarists supplement strontium unless they have measured strontium and found it to be depleted to below 5 ppm. Measuring and supplementing strontium is not a critical activity for most aquarists, and is not a trivial exercise since the available test kits can be difficult to use (see below).

In some recent tests, I found that in my reef aquarium, without any recent strontium additions, strontium was already elevated above natural levels (to 15 ppm due to elevated strontium in the Instant Ocean salt mix that I was using). I would not like to see it get any higher. Consequently, adding a supplement without knowing the aquarium's current strontium level is not advisable. Scientific evidence indicates that some organisms need strontium, albeit not the organisms that most reef keepers maintain. Certain gastropods, cephalopods, and radiolaria, for example, require strontium.18-34 It is, however, clearly toxic at elevated concentrations. In one reported case, 38 ppm was enough strontium to kill a particular species of crab (Carcinus maenas).34 No evidence indicates that 5-15 ppm strontium is harmful to any marine organism, although it is not known what strontium levels are optimal. Finally, anecdotal evidence from a number of advanced aquarists suggests that strontium that is substantially below natural levels is detrimental to the growth of corals that many aquarists maintain, but this effect has not been proven.

How can we maintain natural strontium levels? Doing so, of course, necessitates a suitable strontium test. Some test kits are perhaps suitable for this purpose. If not, sending a sample out to a lab might be a reasonable alternative for some aquarists. If the result comes back in the 5-15 ppm range, no action likely need be taken. If the level is higher than 15 ppm, the best reduction method may simply be water changes with a suitable salt mix, without abnormally high levels of strontium. If strontium levels are below 5 ppm, adding a strontium supplement may be in order.

Overall, water changes with a salt mix containing a suitable level of strontium may be the best way to keep strontium at appropriate levels.
Also another article by Randy Holmes-Farley: Strontium and the Reef Aquarium

I know that this doesn't address the issue of Oceanic Salt's Strontium issue, but maybe if we get an understanding of this element it will help.
 
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