Crab's is about ready to throw in the towel.

Victoria M

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Ah - yeah, new saltwater can have a bit of sharp smell when the salt's first added to the RODI. From a chemistry perspective, I suspect that's a bit of sulfite/bisulfite. It's normal, but it's one reason I don't use mixed-within-30-minutes new saltwater, no matter what the manufacturers recommend.

I would still recommend investigating the potential questions around the specific gravity and alkalinity, since that doesn't (necessarily) result in changes to your tank.
If you dont mind me asking for a clarification. I believe Zach and I have has a similiar experience with the cat pee smell from our brute cans. The smell for me is when the water has been in there the longest. Not with newly mixed water. And if the lid is left off it does not smell. If I pick the water up in my hand and sniff it it just smells salty, even if the water/can smells like cat pee when I remve the lid.
 
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Crabs McJones

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If you dont mind me asking for a clarification. I believe Zach and I have has a similiar experience with the cat pee smell from our brute cans. The smell for me is when the water has been in there the longest. Not with newly mixed water. And if the lid is left off it does not smell. If I pick the water up in my hand and sniff it it just smells salty, even if the water/can smells like cat pee when I remve the lid.
And I will add that my saltwater never "sat" I had a circulation pump going constantly and another wave pump in there for mixing that stayed on as well. So my saltwater never stopped moving or went stagnant.
I'm guessing it was something with the material the brute is made out of? I have my 6 gallon food grade buckets that my dad gave me from his work (he used to work at smuckers and they were buckets used for jelly and jams) and there is no smell no matter how long I leave the saltwater in there, mixing or not.
 

Dkeller_nc

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I know on the Salifert test it says to titrate it until pink, but Jim Welsh and I believe Randy have said they titrated based on pH and the end point was the lavender color. Why are you suggesting it should be pink (seems obvious), but now I'm confused.
No offense to Jim, but it's unclear if his particular test and interpretation was applicable to all lots of Salifert, or just that particular one that he was testing. On that same thread, Randy noted that the end-point is whatever the manufacturer says it is (I'm paraphrasing - I don't recall Randy's exact words).

If someone was asking on an off-hand basis, I'd say that lavender/pinkish doesn't make all that much difference. But in Crab's case where there is obviously something quite wrong, I'd still suggest that he get a "second opinion" from another aquarist/LFS, especially since Hanna's alkalinity meter/procedure has at times had some issues.

Another aspect of this question is that the alkalinity levels that are targeted by SPS aquarists are based on many other reefer's experiences (and/or their own experiences over time). So if that history is based on quantitation by following Salifert's directions, then while it may well be that based on Jim's experimental results Salifert's directions are a bit "off" of a true value, that fact may not matter all that much.
 

SeaDweller

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No offense to Jim, but it's unclear if his particular test and interpretation was applicable to all lots of Salifert, or just that particular one that he was testing. On that same thread, Randy noted that the end-point is whatever the manufacturer says it is (I'm paraphrasing - I don't recall Randy's exact words).

If someone was asking on an off-hand basis, I'd say that lavender/pinkish doesn't make all that much difference. But in Crab's case where there is obviously something quite wrong, I'd still suggest that he get a "second opinion" from another aquarist/LFS, especially since Hanna's alkalinity meter/procedure has at times had some issues.

Another aspect of this question is that the alkalinity levels that are targeted by SPS aquarists are based on many other reefer's experiences (and/or their own experiences over time). So if that history is based on quantitation by following Salifert's directions, then while it may well be that based on Jim's experimental results Salifert's directions are a bit "off" of a true value, that fact may not matter all that much.
Sorry Crabs, a bit off topic, but since you're in limbo right now, lets clear this up. I used to follow Salifert's directions until Jim said he titrated using pH. I believe you both, and the fact you know a thing or two about chem doesn't make it easier for me to disregard what you're saying (its been years since i had gen chem and o chem). Have you titrated and checked pH? I guess at this point one should just choose an endpoint and try to maintain that, but I assume those at salifert probably check against pH as well, not just some arbitrary color they chose. It makes sense that if it should be lavender, then they should put lavender on the instructions, but perhaps pink is a little easier for people to discern?
 

Devisissy

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I started using Fritz, this was a few years ago, and my beautiful tank went down hill fast. It was the only thing changed and I was stumped because everything should have been OK. I switched to Red Sea blue bucket and my tank continued to go downhill, but eventually leveled out. It's been almost a year now and my tank is just starting to look like it used to. It got hit HARD. I mentioned on a facebook forum that the salt was garbage and the owner himself messaged me. At first he was rude, but after some conversation he was much more personable. He did however admit, a few things that shined some light on what was going on. I wont go into detail here. So my two cents, about what it's worth I reckon, is Fritz salt crashed your tank and now it will just need to get better.
 
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I started using Fritz, this was a few years ago, and my beautiful tank went down hill fast. It was the only thing changed and I was stumped because everything should have been OK. I switched to Red Sea blue bucket and my tank continued to go downhill, but eventually leveled out. It's been almost a year now and my tank is just starting to look like it used to. It got hit HARD. I mentioned on a facebook forum that the salt was garbage and the owner himself messaged me. At first he was rude, but after some conversation he was much more personable. He did however admit, a few things that shined some light on what was going on. I wont go into detail here. So my two cents, about what it's worth I reckon, is Fritz salt crashed your tank and now it will just need to get better.
uh oh... you blamed the salt, watch all the Fritz guys jump down your throat!

fwiw, I used two boxes of this, I told Crabs, and saw no reason to keep using it. Glad I went back to an old tried and true formula.
 

Mark Gray

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I sort of had the same problem but mine got a little different i ended up getting Dinoflagates, I took my cheato out added fish started feeding a minimum of 2 times a day sometimes 3. My BO3 is finally high also my PO4 is gigh, still very little algae, wish it would start all my sos died. I have a clam that seedms to like things will try some coral soin again. Good luck
 

sagee

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Hi everyone.
I'm posting this in a last ditch effort to figure out what in the world is going on with my tank. As most of you know I tried switching salts from Fritz to Red Sea Blue Bucket and changed out all my RO/DI filters under suspicion there was contamination or the filters were past exhaustion. I've done well over 125 gallons worth of water changes and I can't seem to get any improvement.
My tri color is stn'ing from the tips, most of my montipora are dying or dead, and now my culture shock is loosing tissue at the tips. I also have cyanobacteria and hair algae taking over.
I have an ICP test coming tomorrow that i'm going to send out, but by the time the results come in everything will likely be dead.
So here's where I'm at.
Salinity is 1.026 (double and triple checked)
Alk has been stable between 8.0 and 8.5 (checked with both salifert and hannah)
Calcium has been between 420-450
Mag 1400
Nitrate is floating around 10
Phosphate is around .05
Nothing has changed in lighting, been running two Hydra 26's on the AB+ schedule with 4 t5's that are only 3 months old.
I've checked every piece of equipment for rusting. Checked stray voltage. Nothing out of the ordinary that I can see.
All RO filters, including membranes, and both DI canisters were changed out prior to the 125 gallon change out. Even before that though I was getting 0 TDS water.
I've pitched my saltwater mixing station and went back to my 6 gallon food grade buckets I used before moving.

I'm at wits end and ready to throw in the towel!
Please talk me out of it :( Otherwise the 75 is going to be turned into a nice Bearded Dragon enclosure
I had a really really bad experience with switching from fritz as well I work at a maintenance company and every single client we had on fritz did this same exact thing you are experiencing. Red slime every where had tons of sps and euphyllias die fish were always fine but it happened when we put the tanks on the fritz then we had a full pallet so we used it and tried to go back the our old salt and it happened all over again took 2 or 3 months for things to stabilize.
 
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Cory

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Hey crabs, i havent read the whole thread but check your alk kit and refractometer are accurate. Randy has a diy refractometer refreance solution. And 1.135 grams of baking soda in 1 gallon of disstilled water is 10dkh. Test your alk kit. Ive seen a few of them faulty alk kits.
 
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Crabs McJones

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I apologize if you already answered this question. Have you tested for copper? maybe rusted magnet, return pump, power head, etc..
Yup, checked and double checked all equipment and tested for copper twice with a hannah copper checker:)
 

saf1

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In laymans terms what was the final recommendation on cleaning the pH probe? I read something with a chemical name and don't use vinegar ;) Was looking for something like - soak in warm water with a splash of whiskey... Well, not really whiskey but something that at least I know what it is and may have on hand :D

Edit: and to @Crabs McJones still sending you golden bombs of light and love buddy!
 

S2G

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Dang I hate this for you buddy. I wish I could help but I'd just be doing the same thing you're doing if it was mine.

Hopefully it will work itself out here soon
 

Stigigemla

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There are numerous tests of the Salifert kH test and practically all of them says it measures correct within +- 0.5 kH.
When I was chasing numbers I made a reference solution and tested myself. Correct value was when the color started to change. But I wouldnt say it is so today.

Today I say it does not matter if Your kH is 0.5 lower or higher but there is a little chance that a sudden change of 0.5 kH could be seen on some corals.

Hanna high range cupper checker is hardly sensitive enough for reef aquarium water. We count with a poisoning risk at about 4 ppb and as fish medicine we use 150 to 250 ppb. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20089320)
 

Dkeller_nc

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In laymans terms what was the final recommendation on cleaning the pH probe? I read something with a chemical name and don't use vinegar ;) Was looking for something like - soak in warm water with a splash of whiskey... Well, not really whiskey but something that at least I know what it is and may have on hand :D

Edit: and to @Crabs McJones still sending you golden bombs of light and love buddy!
You will find lots of different procedures for cleaning pH electrodes on the web. Each of these is designed to clean up a different type of contamination of the crushed glass junction that separates the outside fluid to be measured from the inside electrolyte (which can be a liquid, or most often for the ones that we reefers use, a gel).

The general cleaning procedure that is most applicable to us is soaking in diluted hydrochloric acid fro about 30 minutes. I personally use 0.1N HCl, which is about a 1 to 100 dilution of concentrated pool hydrochloric acid in water. Note that pool hydrochloric acid might be labeled "muriatic acid". If you want to use this procedure, use caution when diluting the concentrated hydrochloric acid; do your dilution outside (no exceptions!), use protective clothing (safety glasses at an absolute minimum) and add the small amount of acid to water - never add water to acid. You will notice fumes from opening the HCl bottle, and possibly when you dilute the acid. These fumes are very harmful to inhale, which is why you always do this outside. Once you prepare the dilution, the diluted solution is safe for use inside (i.e., it will not evolve toxic/corrosive fumes), though if you spill it on your skin, you will need to rinse it thoroughly and immediately to avoid a burn.

If you're uncomfortable with diluting hydrochloric acid, you can purchase 0.1N hydrochloric acid from multiple sources online (Amazon, for example, has lots of options).

By the way - it's not necessary to really precisely prepare a 0.1N HCl solution for this purpose. Getting it reasonably close is more than good enough - you won't trash your electrode by using up to a 1:25 dilution of HCl in water. Just don't leave the electrode soaking in the cleaning solution for more than 30 minutes, and rinse it off thoroughly with tap water and then RODI before putting it back in your tank.
 

tripdad

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You will find lots of different procedures for cleaning pH electrodes on the web. Each of these is designed to clean up a different type of contamination of the crushed glass junction that separates the outside fluid to be measured from the inside electrolyte (which can be a liquid, or most often for the ones that we reefers use, a gel).

The general cleaning procedure that is most applicable to us is soaking in diluted hydrochloric acid fro about 30 minutes. I personally use 0.1N HCl, which is about a 1 to 100 dilution of concentrated pool hydrochloric acid in water. Note that pool hydrochloric acid might be labeled "muriatic acid". If you want to use this procedure, use caution when diluting the concentrated hydrochloric acid; do your dilution outside (no exceptions!), use protective clothing (safety glasses at an absolute minimum) and add the small amount of acid to water - never add water to acid. You will notice fumes from opening the HCl bottle, and possibly when you dilute the acid. These fumes are very harmful to inhale, which is why you always do this outside. Once you prepare the dilution, the diluted solution is safe for use inside (i.e., it will not evolve toxic/corrosive fumes), though if you spill it on your skin, you will need to rinse it thoroughly and immediately to avoid a burn.

If you're uncomfortable with diluting hydrochloric acid, you can purchase 0.1N hydrochloric acid from multiple sources online (Amazon, for example, has lots of options).

By the way - it's not necessary to really precisely prepare a 0.1N HCl solution for this purpose. Getting it reasonably close is more than good enough - you won't trash your electrode by using up to a 1:25 dilution of HCl in water. Just don't leave the electrode soaking in the cleaning solution for more than 30 minutes, and rinse it off thoroughly with tap water and then RODI before putting it back in your tank.
Bravo! Now that's a very informative post. Clear and easy to understand. Excellent.
 
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