Chromium in Triton test results

ChadmRoman

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Hi Triton Folks,

Started Core7 several months back, and submitted two lab tests, both showing Chromium, but getting significantly better. My question is this. I took apart all things that could possibly rust and cause the chromium in the first place, and found nothing rusting. I'm wondering if it's possible that the six 15% water changes didn't flush out the chromium enough to get me past the point of zero water changes? Any advise would be very beneficial. I'm planning to take apart my sump this weekend if I have too, but would rather not do it if I don't have too.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

10/3 Lab test
Cr8.659 µg/l0,1 µg/l8.56

11/25 Lab test
Cr2.32 µg/l0,1 µg/l2.22
 

K7BMG

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I have heard (Not researched or verified yet) that some of the elements can come or be leached out of the plastics we use throughout our aquarium systems.
There could be embedded metal particles in the PVC piping or fittings that were transferred via the manufacturing process. Including the plastics for sumps, pumps, bulkhead fittings, etcetera.
We assume that its 100% pure plastic but there's no real guarantee.

It could be something in your homes heating and air-conditioning system that is the cause. You could be downwind of a factory that is emitting things in the air.

Just saying you may find that there are no metals of any kind directly coming into contact with the water column that's leaching the chromium.
It could be in your salt mix, or an additive, or very likely it could be in the food you are feeding the tank.
Its been a while but do you remember when they were advising people to limit the amount of fish we eat, because of the high concentrations of mercury the fish accumulated from the waters they came from.

I don't know yet how important some elements are or aren't for our tanks.
I think it will take years of learning about these things. The ICP testing is the bleeding edge of our hobby today and still has some perfecting to be accomplished. IMO.

We see high numbers in red with the test, so we automatically default to, oh my that's bad for my tank and how can I reduce or remove this or that.

Yes natural sea water may contain chromium, but that does not mean it has any effect at all on marine life. So I feel we need to keep that in perspective.
I too am sure that high chromium is not a good thing overall, but that also does not mean its going to kill the tank off either.

Consider the fact we have decades of history with healthy beautiful successful reef tanks before ICP, and the concern over the periodic table of elements.

One thing I have always felt about the Triton system is that water changes will never end for me. I know that's what they boast but, to me that seems a bit far reaching.
I feel they can be reduced dramatically, but not eliminated all together.
I will always do at least 10% a month at the bare minimum. YMMV.

Look at your tank, is it healthy, happy, growing?
If the answer is yes then maybe your good to go.

Sorry I know that's not much help, but hopefully I gave you something to ponder over, before you tear apart your system looking for a corroding metal culprit that may not exist.
 
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ChadmRoman

ChadmRoman

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Hi @K7BMG
There could be embedded metal particles in the PVC piping o
It could be something in your homes heating and air-conditioning system
It could be in your salt mix, or an additive, or very likely it could be in the food you are feeding the tank.
Sorry I know that's not much help, but hopefully I gave you something to ponder over, before you tear apart your system looking for a corroding metal culprit that may not exist.
this was a great help and provided some incite. I recall reading up on metal in PVC, and glass for that matter. It is a new setup, so this is a possibility. However, never heard about the the heating and air conditioning systems moving particles throughout the house may be a cause. The tank sits in a place it could potentially pickup these particles. These are two factors I will keep a close eye on moving forward with the process. It also could be the salt mix and remanence from the old tank when I switched over.
1. I would use rusty tools to clean the rocks and tank. The metal could still be in the rocks slowly leaching out. didn't really take notice to these metals or think anything of it until I switched to Triton.
2. I also switch from RC to TMP when I went through my first round of six water changes.
Thinking both of these factors plus the possibility of what you brought to the table adds to the high levels of chromium.

Finally, appreciate the detailed post, thank you for taking the time to write it and have a happy Thanksgiving.
 

Jeff_H

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@ChadmRoman - I've been chasing the same issue for eight months now. I've searched my system top to bottom and have done the recommend water changes three different times, but I still have Cr readings. Did you find the source of the Chromium?

Thanks,
 
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ChadmRoman

ChadmRoman

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@ChadmRoman - I've been chasing the same issue for eight months now. I've searched my system top to bottom and have done the recommend water changes three different times, but I still have Cr readings. Did you find the source of the Chromium?

Thanks,
Hi yes I found it, was rusty clips I got in an aquarium divider kit to hold a filter pad in place to keep the macro from flowing to the DT. Now onto my next water changes for another issue. But staying the course until I get it down.
 

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I spoke with Ehsan about this and another source of Cr contamination can come through lower quality salt mixes. Not saying that this is the issue but it should also be considered. You can always test your salt mix if you have any concerns.
 

Jeff_H

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I spoke with Ehsan about this and another source of Cr contamination can come through lower quality salt mixes. Not saying that this is the issue but it should also be considered. You can always test your salt mix if you have any concerns.
Hey Julian - Thanks for the tip on the salt. I've read that before during my search, and I don't think it is likely since I only use Tropic Marin Pro. I'm guessing I have something rusting in or around the tank that I can't find.
 
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ChadmRoman

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well the dreaded Chromium is back in the latest test results. Would something rusting not necessarily in the water cause this problem? Could adding new PVC Piping cause this? This is potentially the only thing I can think of. I rerouted the media reactors using a new pump and maybe it's the PVC, glue or something along those lines.

This is getting to a point beyond frustration and running out of ideas how to solve this problem.


Current
Cr17 µg/l0,1 µg/l16.90

Previous
Cr2.32 µg/l0,1 µg/l2.22
 

Jeff_H

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well the dreaded Chromium is back in the latest test results. Would something rusting not necessarily in the water cause this problem? Could adding new PVC Piping cause this? This is potentially the only thing I can think of. I rerouted the media reactors using a new pump and maybe it's the PVC, glue or something along those lines.

This is getting to a point beyond frustration and running out of ideas how to solve this problem.


Current
Cr17 µg/l0,1 µg/l16.90
Previous

Cr2.32 µg/l0,1 µg/l2.22
I chased this theory on my system, but it never produced a positive result. I too did some PVC work a long time ago with the typical Home Depot PVC, but my levels would rise again slowly after the recommend water changes stopped. I think I dropped something in my fudge or the DT, and I can't find it. I wish you luck... It's very frustrating!
 
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ChadmRoman

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I chased this theory on my system, but it never produced a positive result. I too did some PVC work a long time ago with the typical Home Depot PVC, but my levels would rise again slowly after the recommend water changes stopped. I think I dropped something in my fudge or the DT, and I can't find it. I wish you luck... It's very frustrating!
Could something rusting outside the tank cause the increased levels?
 

Jeff_H

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Could something rusting outside the tank cause the increased levels?
I'm no expert, but I've read that this is possible. If you have items rusting above or around the DT or sump and some flakes of dust manage to get in the water it could produce a reading. Personally, I've inspected my system twice for outside rust but never found anything. By chance, do you use GFO and if so, what brand?
 

Jeff_H

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I use the BRS high capacity version too. I have wondered in the back of my mind if the chromium could be coming from the GFO.

@Randy Holmes-Farley - Do you think you could get high chromium readings on an ICP test from GFO?

Thanks in advance for your help!
 
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ChadmRoman

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I think I found it, the ai prime flex arms look to be rusting and these were directly over the tank. All three are rusting so I moved them so the arms are no longer over the tank. We shall see.

5A319B62-780F-4279-964C-B1BF1925F631.jpeg
 

Jeff_H

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I think I found it, the ai prime flex arms look to be rusting and these were directly over the tank. All three are rusting so I moved them so the arms are no longer over the tank. We shall see.

5A319B62-780F-4279-964C-B1BF1925F631.jpeg
Nice find! I wish I could find the source in mine. :-/
 

FraghouseCorals

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I use the BRS high capacity version too. I have wondered in the back of my mind if the chromium could be coming from the GFO.

@Randy Holmes-Farley - Do you think you could get high chromium readings on an ICP test from GFO?

Thanks in advance for your help!
So been scratching my head trying to find out why my chromium shot up in both systems. I literally had the last 4-5 tests (I test every week) come back 0... I wanted to pull P04 down just a touch so I added Bulk Reef high capacity GFO passively in a filter sock and three days later it was time to test again.... test came back with sky high chromium results... I found it concerning but chalked it up to maybe it was a fluke on the testing. Well sent off another test the next week and chromium was sky high again so I got to thinking and the GFO was the ONLY thing I changed in the farm... I am so meticulous about metals in my building I’m like 99.9% sure I dont have anything leaching... it 100% had to be the GFO! I pulled it off line so I’m curios if the next test picks it up. I’ll keep you guys up dated and I’m also going to reach out to BRS... Triton sent me the link to this thread and had very good customer service!
 

Jeff_H

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So been scratching my head trying to find out why my chromium shot up in both systems. I literally had the last 4-5 tests (I test every week) come back 0... I wanted to pull P04 down just a touch so I added Bulk Reef high capacity GFO passively in a filter sock and three days later it was time to test again.... test came back with sky high chromium results... I found it concerning but chalked it up to maybe it was a fluke on the testing. Well sent off another test the next week and chromium was sky high again so I got to thinking and the GFO was the ONLY thing I changed in the farm... I am so meticulous about metals in my building I’m like 99.9% sure I dont have anything leaching... it 100% had to be the GFO! I pulled it off line so I’m curios if the next test picks it up. I’ll keep you guys up dated and I’m also going to reach out to BRS... Triton sent me the link to this thread and had very good customer service!
Thanks for sharing your experience! I'm very OCD about anything that goes into the tank and inspected the tank a couple of times in the past and found nothing. I occasionally run the high capacity GFO in small quantities over the years, but over the past several months I've had to up the dose to combat rising PO4 levels due to a couple of reasons outside this topic. I thought there might have been a pattern to the rise and fall of the Chromium levels between the ICP test, but I was doing water changes at the same time I was doing different GFO amounts so I couldn't really point a finger at the GFO. Also, the Triton tests were done 2-3 months apart so I really couldn't establish the pattern.

The BRS HC GFO I'm using is 3-4 years old and getting toward the bottom of the container. I wonder if it somehow could have stratified and now has higher Chromium amounts in the bottom half of the container. Or I wonder if there was a bad patch when I purchased it and I don't think most people would find the issue since they don't do ICP tests. It will be interesting to see what you find out. It's been a head-scratcher for me too!

That said - This past Wednesday, I tore down this system and I'm in the process of thoroughly cleaning every inch of the tank, sump, and all the equipment. If I find anything rusty in the system I'll report back.

Good luck!
 

FraghouseCorals

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Thanks for sharing your experience! I'm very OCD about anything that goes into the tank and inspected the tank a couple of times in the past and found nothing. I occasionally run the high capacity GFO in small quantities over the years, but over the past several months I've had to up the dose to combat rising PO4 levels due to a couple of reasons outside this topic. I thought there might have been a pattern to the rise and fall of the Chromium levels between the ICP test, but I was doing water changes at the same time I was doing different GFO amounts so I couldn't really point a finger at the GFO. Also, the Triton tests were done 2-3 months apart so I really couldn't establish the pattern.

The BRS HC GFO I'm using is 3-4 years old and getting toward the bottom of the container. I wonder if it somehow could have stratified and now has higher Chromium amounts in the bottom half of the container. Or I wonder if there was a bad patch when I purchased it and I don't think most people would find the issue since they don't do ICP tests. It will be interesting to see what you find out. It's been a head-scratcher for me too!

That said - This past Wednesday, I tore down this system and I'm in the process of thoroughly cleaning every inch of the tank, sump, and all the equipment. If I find anything rusty in the system I'll report back.

Good luck!
I don’t think it has to do with the age of the gfo, mine is fresh (unless it’s been sitting in the warehouse) I don’t know how many lbs/tons BRS buys at a time. Yea it would be very hard to pinpoint if you were doing wc’s and had a lot of time between tests but I think your on to something bro!! Iv reaches out to Ryan the owner of BRS to hear his thoughts... I don’t really even know if the high chromium readings are a bad thing... it could be inert or something like Aluminum in the Marine pure ceramic blocks.... hundreds of colonies of SPS are doing great, nice colors healthy and good growth so it might not even be a big deal at all. From my understanding there isn’t much research on the affects of high chromium on marine life. I’m not going to stress too much on it but I want to get this figured out so others that have this problem aren’t chasing heavy metals in their system stressing out like us lol. My thing is that if chromium dissipates so quickly like iron (I’m assuming since they’re in the same FE group) then there would have to be a source directly in the water column or a VERY obvious source outside of the Aquarium, if it was that high due to a foreign metal source then I would think we would see a lot of bad things happening with the animals. Also chromium is in a lot of combinations of metals... why would chromium be the only one to show up?(unless it dissipates slower). Yea bro I think we’re on to something here and heck yea when you break down that system please report back your findings. I’ll keep you guys updated on my future tests. Happy reefing man I’m glad I was directed to this thread :) makes me feel a little better. It Has to be the HC GFO :)
 

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