Aquarium Chemistry Question? Ask the Doctor!

Discussion in 'Reef Chemistry by Randy Holmes-Farley' started by revhtree, Mar 22, 2016.

  1. BigJohnny

    BigJohnny Valuable Member

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    Nice thanks again
     

  2. BigJohnny

    BigJohnny Valuable Member

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    @Randy Holmes-Farley

    I mixed 1.36g strontium chloride anhydrous with 8.53g potassium chloride/sulfate anhydrous in 16oz of RODI water, and the solution is very cloudy, is this due to strontium? Ive never used it before but when i mix up my potassium solution it is normally clear after mixing. I just want to make sure there was no reaction or precipitation or anything like that.

    It is worth noting that i used brightwells strontion-p and brightwells potassium-p, but they say they are strontium (54% by weight) and potassium (49% by weight). I know how you feel about brightwell (me too) but they were easily available with free prime shipping on amazon so i just grabbed em.
     
  3. BigJohnny

    BigJohnny Valuable Member

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    Let the solution sit overnight and there is white powder on the bottom so something isn't dissolving or something precipitated out. Maybe some impurities in the strontium caused this or im just not using enough water for the amount of powder, however I've dissolved the same amount of potassium in the same volume of water with no issues. I will try prepping the strontium separately and see what happens.
     
  4. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor

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    Oops, sorry, strontium sulfate isn't soluble, just like calcium sulfate wouldn't be soluble. You could just switch to potassium chloride only. The sulfate lack wouldn't be problematic, IMO.
     
  5. BigJohnny

    BigJohnny Valuable Member

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    Ok, so here's my confusion. My brightwell potassium is potassium chloride and potassium sulfate, it dissolves very quickly on its own. I tried dissolving the brightwell strontium (strontium chloride) on its own and it wouldn't dissolve no matter what. What's going in here? Is it because I was trying to dissolve it in bottle of tank water instead of RO? Or is brightwell a joke and there must be a lot of impurities. See pic of undissolved solids below.

    Would this seachem option be a good alternative?

    It says it's contained in a gluconate complex at the following purity:
    Guaranteed Analysis
    Amounts per 1 gram
    Strontium (Sr)(min) 30 mg
    Ingredients: strontium chloride

    Thanks![​IMG][​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018
  6. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor

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    Strontium is chemically similar to calcium. If you try to dissolve too much into tank water, you'll precipitate strontium carbonate. Use RO/DI for that purpose. :)
     
  7. BigJohnny

    BigJohnny Valuable Member

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    Ah gotcha, I'll give that a go, thanks boss
     
  8. mch1984

    mch1984 Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Hub City Reef Club

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    Not sure if this is the right place to ask but I feel like it might be. I want to combine my tanks RO system and my drinking water. I am going the lazy way and renting an RO system from a local company, they said they would change all filters every 3 months. with that being said at the end of the three months the water shouldn't be above 15 tds. Is it worth putting DI on there to take out the 15 TDS? They recommend not using DI for drinking water, my though is we can plumb a by bass some how . Use the DI only when making tank water. Is it worth it?
     
  9. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor

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    My concern with drinking RO water is bacterial contamination downstream of where the carbon filter removes any disinfectant. If they regularly sanitize the system, then it may be OK.

    My concern with using Ro water is that it may have a lot of ammonia in it (if your tap water has chloramine) and silicate (often present naturally or added to boost pH to reduce copper and lead release from pipes). Generally, I do not recommend using RO only water, and TDS is not a great gauge of what is in it.
     
  10. mch1984

    mch1984 Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Hub City Reef Club

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    Ok, thanks for answering.
     
  11. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor

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    You're welcome.

    Happy reefing. :)
     
  12. brawthy

    brawthy Member

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    Hey Dr Farley, apologies in advance if this isn't the right place to ask, but I wanted to ask about nitrates in the aquarium (or more specifically, if you have seen anything new that has modified the stance of the expert position). I've read quite a few of your articles and try to learn as much as I can from the aforementioned-and as of present have always tried to drive my levels down to "undetectable" using the API Reef Master nitrate test kit ( I assume there is some test error no matter what the indicated level and the level itself can be misleading due to the rate of consumption by the microbiome-but my background is in statistics, not chemistry, so I do not consider myself knowledgeable enough to quantify that bit of uncertainty, nor disagree with your expertise in matters related to chemestry/biological chemistry).

    My Regimen is pretty straightforward-I feed my fish and target feed with Targeted Red Sea reef energy A and B daily, and target feed Reef Roids twice a week (Every mornings I dose Seachem Fusion A and B). I follow the recommended dosing guides-with exception to reef roids where I add a bit extra. I test my water three times a week and have a running document that tracks my test readings ( I aim to test nitrate/calcium/phosphate/karbonite hardiness around noon everyday-but sometimes I miss the deadline because said tank is on my office desk-which I'm sure biases my readings a bit). I run chemipure blue, macroalgea, and skim 'round the clock except for feeding times and do 20% water changes weekly.

    My LPS and Soft coral growth seems good (so others in the hobby tell me-but I have no proper control group and an insufficient sample size so I cannot possibly begin to make any rigorous or even worthy observations on my behalf). My nitrate levels are stable at "0 ppm" using the previously mentioned test kit (my water is usually clean and I don't really have algea problems-I might have a small one that happens infrequently). When I stop into my LFS and talk about what they are trying/get their opinion on matters related to the aforementioned, they suggest moving my nitrates up (In fact- they recommend "dirty", but stable water with nitrates as high as 30 ppm-as a potential caveat-they don't feed said specimens anything but light). Their stock look fantastic and I trust them, and I'm always looking to improve my tank ( Especially since I've been adding anenomes and SPS). However, as you are the expert, I defer to you. Could you please shine some light on this subject? I know there are quite a few free variables at play here (the water parameters, feeding, stability, lighting, etc etc) and they have a complex set of interactions, so anything you can share with me is super appreciated!
     
  13. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor

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    I would say that the tools for reducing nitrate (organic carbon dosing, high surface area media, etc.) have become so effective that it is now reasonably common for folks to drive nitrate excessively low, and I'd suggest a target level of a few ppm is better than risking it getting too low.

    Phosphate also falls into this idea that too low is not desirable. A level like 0.01 or 0.02 ppm phosphate seems optimal for most systems.
     
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  14. mch1984

    mch1984 Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Hub City Reef Club

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    I'm going to interrupt their conversation lol. With that being said, my plan is use RO/DI water, with a micro algae in my refugium and skimmer. I know all tanks are different and there is no perfect answer to this question, but do you think adding the zeofit program would be too much? Or just see if with everything I'm still battling high nutrients and then decide? I'm kind of going with the ounce of preventive and pound of cure method by considering adding it early.
     
  15. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor

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    Zeovit walks the line between starvation of corals and supplying just enough nutrients using their products like amino acids. I don't typically prefer the pastel look some SPS corals get with this system, but some folks do.

    Aside from that I've never used it and don't have much opinion on it.
     
  16. mch1984

    mch1984 Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Hub City Reef Club

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    Fair enough, funny enough I was doing some more research after I posted that and read something about the pastel colors. I don't think I would like that either. The vivids are a lot more attractive in my opinion. So I'll keep doing some research and see if I want to try anything else. thanks again for all the answers!
     
  17. brawthy

    brawthy Member

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    thank you so much! do you have a recommendation for a sensitive low range test kit as an alternative to API?
     
  18. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor

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    Although I have not used it, my preference for phosphate is the Hanna ULR phosphorus checker (HI 736). :)
     
  19. brawthy

    brawthy Member

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    I really appreciate your time! I'll pick one up later today from LA
     
  20. brawthy

    brawthy Member

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    Also, in the event I need to begin raising my Nitrate and Phosphate levels, how do you recommend the most effective and controllable way?
     
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