Ca and Alk in the same supplement? How does this work?

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recci

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You can take 140 g of Carbocalcium Powder fill it up with R/O water to 800 ml and dissolve as much as can be dissolved. Then add 100 ml of each, A- and K+ Elements, and dissolve the remaining Carbocalcium Powder completely. At last add 12 g of Bio-Magnesium and dissolve it. This solution comes closest to our All-For-Reef and will add all major, minor and trace elements necessary for good coral growth.
Of course you can also premix 140 g of Carbocalcium Powder and 12 g of Bio-Magnesium.
The 12 g is an empiric quantity. We added more Bio-Magnesium at first and noticed increasing magnesium concentrations in the tanks. So we reduced the magnesium concentration. However magnesium consumption may vary for example with coralline algal growth.
Will this work out cheaper than just buying the All-for-reef liquid?

I also noticed it quite hard to get carbocalcium powder in the uk and costs a fortune to ship it from Germany.
 

recci

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You can take 140 g of Carbocalcium Powder fill it up with R/O water to 800 ml and dissolve as much as can be dissolved. Then add 100 ml of each, A- and K+ Elements, and dissolve the remaining Carbocalcium Powder completely. At last add 12 g of Bio-Magnesium and dissolve it. This solution comes closest to our All-For-Reef and will add all major, minor and trace elements necessary for good coral growth.
Of course you can also premix 140 g of Carbocalcium Powder and 12 g of Bio-Magnesium.
The 12 g is an empiric quantity. We added more Bio-Magnesium at first and noticed increasing magnesium concentrations in the tanks. So we reduced the magnesium concentration. However magnesium consumption may vary for example with coralline algal growth.
I got my batch of carbocalcium and A and K elements today. Going to try mixing in 100ml of each as suggested. My only concern is that the A and K elements might react badly together? If not why are they sold in separate bottles?
 

recci

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I just mixed up a batch with the A and K elements and can confirm it does appear to make a stable liquid.
 

Hans-Werner

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It are the organic ions that kind of isolate the trace elements ions from each other and avoid the reactions of for example iodide with iron(III). We also had to run trials to see whether it works and are glad it works well.
 

recci

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I have noticed that if I let the bottle sit for a while a darker sort of brown color forms on the bottom quarter of the container. What could be causing this? If I shake it up it goes away for a while. I'm starting to think maybe mixing both trace elements was a bad idea.

Another thing I have noticed is that it is definitely having a carbon dosing effect. On my red sea max nano it takes 7ml per day of the liquid all for reef to maintain alkalinity of 8dkh and the tank has a 0.5dkh daily drop if I don't dose anything at all. This has caused my nitrate to drop to nearly undetectable levels and my phosphates to 0.02.

On my larger 450 Litre tank which I have started to dose the carbocalcium mixed with the trace elements, I have also noticed my nitrates have plummeted from 5ppm down to 0.25 and my phosphates from 0.1 to 0.06. I'm not complaining about this but I can imagine it becoming a problem on sps heavy tanks that require a lot more carbocalcium to maintain levels.
 
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Hans-Werner

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The brown color is iron(III). It does not affect the efficiency of the dosing. We meanwhile have reduced the iron(III) concentration in both, K+ Elements and All-For-Reef by 75 % since the actual need of corals for iron seems to be very low.

Did you dose trace elements in general or our K+ and A- Elements previously? I suspect that the drop in nitrate and phosphate concentrations is mainly an effect of the trace elements dosage. I repeatedly watched the same when starting trace elements dosage. According to Liebig´s law of the minimum the nutrient with the lowest availability limits growth. If one of the trace elements (= trace nutrients) limits growth phosphate and nitrate accumulate since they cannot be incorporated by further growth. If this trace element limitation is overcome this initiates further growth i. e. of corals which incorporate nitrate and phosphate. Nitrate and phosphate concenctrations drop.

Maybe there is a small proportion of nitrate and phosphate reduction by the organic compound but I am convinced it is of minor importance since I did not see any signs of increased phosphate limitation when starting with Carbo-Calcium or All-For-Reef although the concentrations have been already low. I dosed the K+ and A- Elements previously already with the Balling method.
 

recci

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The brown color is iron(III). It does not affect the efficiency of the dosing. We meanwhile have reduced the iron(III) concentration in both, K+ Elements and All-For-Reef by 75 % since the actual need of corals for iron seems to be very low.

Did you dose trace elements in general or our K+ and A- Elements previously? I suspect that the drop in nitrate and phosphate concentrations is mainly an effect of the trace elements dosage. I repeatedly watched the same when starting trace elements dosage. According to Liebig´s law of the minimum the nutrient with the lowest availability limits growth. If one of the trace elements (= trace nutrients) limits growth phosphate and nitrate accumulate since they cannot be incorporated by further growth. If this trace element limitation is overcome this initiates further growth i. e. of corals which incorporate nitrate and phosphate. Nitrate and phosphate concenctrations drop.

Maybe there is a small proportion of nitrate and phosphate reduction by the organic compound but I am convinced it is of minor importance since I did not see any signs of increased phosphate limitation when starting with Carbo-Calcium or All-For-Reef although the concentrations have been already low. I dosed the K+ and A- Elements previously already with the Balling method.
I wasn't dosing trace elements K+ and A- before but I was dosing some Salifert all in one here and there which does have trace elements in it, along with kalkwasser . I was also doing bi-weekly water changes with red sea salt. It was more the smaller tank that has me thinking it has a carbon dosing effect since I have been dosing all for reef longer and never did a water change for a month so I was expecting the nitrates and phosphates to have risen a bit but they remained rock bottom. I'll see how it goes over the next few months and report back.
 

TexasTodd

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Hi Hans, what are all of the elements included? I see it advertised as all major and minor, but then see distributor sites saying just Alk, Cal, MG, Iron. Does it also include all that are say in Red Sea Colors?
Thanks!
Todd
 

Hans-Werner

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Hi Todd, All-For-Reef contains the essential trace elements that are also in our K+ and A- Elements: iodine, fluorine, bromine, lithium, molybdenum, selenium, vanadium, strontium, barium, iron, manganese, copper, zinc, nickel, chrome and cobalt. All these elements are involved in enzyme functions or skeletal formation and hardening.
 
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recci

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Thank you for your further explanations. I am looking forward to your next report.
Tropic Marin Pro-Coral Mineral should be a powdered version of both K+ and A- elements?
Can this be mixed with CarboCalcium and what would be the advised amount so it would be equal to mixing K+ and A- as a liquid form?
 

Bpp124987

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So carbo calcium and all-for-reef are both formate, but the later also has all trace elements and magnesium? Is that the difference?
 
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TheHarold

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There are a bunch of products like this. Most (like Salifert All in One) are Calcium acetate, and the acetate, when metabolized, produces the alkalinity (see below).

The Tropic Marin product is probably calcium formate (which is very like acetate (CH3CO2-) but a little smaller of an organic molecule (CHCO2-)).

I discuss calcium acetate here:

The Many Methods for Supplementing Calcium and Alkalinity - REEFEDITION

One-part balanced additive systems: Calcium Acetate

Calcium acetate is a product that has gotten relatively little publicity despite its apparent ease of use and the commercial availability to aquarists. In some ways it is similar to the combination of limewater and vinegar. When dissolved in water (fresh or salt), you have calcium ions and acetate ions. The acetate is rapidly metabolized by tank organisms to form bicarbonate, carbon dioxide, and water:

CH3CO2– (acetate) + 2 O2 → HCO3– + CO2 + H2O

This equation suggests that pH of such tanks may stay near the low end of normal, because of the excess carbon dioxide, but the practical experience of people using calcium acetate suggests that this is not a big concern.

Calcium acetate will also facilitate the growth of bacteria and the reduction of nutrients in systems, similar to that with folks dosing vinegar or vodka for that purpose. It will also facilitate conversion of nitrate to nitrogen gas (N2) in anoxic regions of live sand and rock by providing the carbon source necessary for the process. The equation below shows the process that could take place:

5 CH3CO2– (acetate) + 8 NO3– → 10 CO2 + 4 N2 + 13 OH– + H2O

One of the sources of calcium acetate available to aquarists is Salifert’s All in One (a product that also contains some strontium, amino acids, and some trace elements). It is a liquid product that can be poured directly into a tank with no immediate concerns about pH. The current version of their commercial product is 250,000-mg/L calcium acetate, so it contains the equivalent of 3,160 meq/L of alkalinity. This product sells in the US for about $45/L. Consequently, it costs about $14 per thousand meq/L of alkalinity. That price makes it very expensive for an aquarium with a large demand for calcium and alkalinity, but the zero equipment cost (unless you automate it with a dosing pump) makes it attractive for small aquaria, especially nano-reef tanks.

I have no information on the purity of the material, or the exact nature of the “trace elements” in it. Everything in the bottle will be delivered to the tank. It poses no unusual safety concerns. The upper limit to how much calcium and alkalinity can be supplied to a tank in this fashion depends on two factors. If the metabolism of acetate is rapid and the dose is very high, oxygen might be depleted. If the conversion is slow then acetate can build up in the tank (not itself a significant concern except perhaps at very high levels where it might confound an alkalinity test). Habib Sekha of Salifert has indicated that using the doses recommended on the bottle will not lead to either of these issues being problematic.

Overdosing is not expected to be an unusual problem, but if one makes significant additions in this fashion, the alkalinity will take time to show up completely in the tank because the acetate takes time to be metabolized. Consequently, I’d wait a day after adding it to measure alkalinity. Calcium measurement won’t be similarly impacted. Tank salinity will not increase over time using calcium acetate.
R2R is so lucky to have you :)
 

Bramzor

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So carbo calcium and all-for-reef are both formate, but the later also has all trace elements and magnesium? Is that the difference?
Yes, so you can create your own all for reef. And doing that using all tropic Marin products so it’s identical and price wise more than ok.
I mixed carbo calcium liquid and bio-magnesium yesterday and mixes just fine. Had some small parts floating in it but was probably my mistake as dosing container had other chemicals in it before.

I noticed however on the description of bio-magnesium that it’s not only magnesium but also has some calcium etc in it?
 

Hans-Werner

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@recci: Pro-Coral Mineral is not exactly the same as K+ and A- Elements. Pro-Coral Mineral contains all 70 trace elements of the Tropic Marine sea salts in the same proportions as the sea salts. This means Pro-Coral Mineral contains more trace elements and in somewhat different proportions compared to K+ and A- Elements.

The application is similar as K+ and A- Elements combined but I yet have to try whether Pro-Coral Mineral can be mixed with Carbo-Calcium and calculate the proper amount. Some components of Pro-Coral Mineral may form insoluble precipitates with Carbo-Calcium. We recently have done and are still doing adjustings to increase the solubility and compatibility of some of our products. Pro-Coral Mineral is one of these products.

K+ and A- Elements contains the trace elements with known biological functions in the proportions as they are consumed by growth of corals and coralline algae.

@all: Yes, the difference between Carbo-Calcium and All-For-Reef is that All-For-Reef contains magnesium and the trace elements of the K+ and A- Elements.
The amount of calcium and trace elements in Bio-Magnesium is very small and does not influence the calculation substantially.
 

recci

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@recci: Pro-Coral Mineral is not exactly the same as K+ and A- Elements. Pro-Coral Mineral contains all 70 trace elements of the Tropic Marine sea salts in the same proportions as the sea salts. This means Pro-Coral Mineral contains more trace elements and in somewhat different proportions compared to K+ and A- Elements.

The application is similar as K+ and A- Elements combined but I yet have to try whether Pro-Coral Mineral can be mixed with Carbo-Calcium and calculate the proper amount. Some components of Pro-Coral Mineral may form insoluble precipitates with Carbo-Calcium. We recently have done and are still doing adjustings to increase the solubility and compatibility of some of our products. Pro-Coral Mineral is one of these products.

K+ and A- Elements contains the trace elements with known biological functions in the proportions as they are consumed by growth of corals and coralline algae.

@all: Yes, the difference between Carbo-Calcium and All-For-Reef is that All-For-Reef contains magnesium and the trace elements of the K+ and A- Elements.
The amount of calcium and trace elements in Bio-Magnesium is very small and does not influence the calculation substantially.
Ok, thanks for detailed explanation. I have another question:

I have some old red sea magnesium liquid thats going out of date. Could I mix that in the carbocalcium without causing issues? I know it's not one of your products but just wondering if you know.
 
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