Help - trouble shooting ICP contaminants

Discussion in 'Reef Chemistry by Randy Holmes-Farley' started by tenurepro, Mar 14, 2019 at 10:51 PM.

  1. tenurepro

    tenurepro Well-Known Member Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

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    Hi All,
    I have a redsea reefer 250; I use regular instant ocean salt, dose ESV 2 part, and do 15 L water changes every week.

    a month ago, I pulled out 1/3rd of my life rock and replaced it with an uncured chunk of caribsea 'life' dry rock (they called it life because supposedly it contains bacterial spores). After the re-aquascape, I went through a Montipora -apocalypse; almost all of my encrusting monti's RTN'ed; one acrpora RTN'ed as well. Other acropora are doing well.

    I first wondered about pests, but couple of dips didn't reveal anything. So I did a triton ICP test. I had done a similar test about a year ago. The test highlighted a few anomalies:

    Aluminium now: 39 µg/l - was 9.364 last year
    Copper now: 3.763 µg/l - was 0 last year


    Magnesium 1617 mg/l - was 1439 mg/l last year
    [that one I can explain - was dosing Mg based on a bad test kit resulting in elevated levels, but these levels most likely predated the addition of the new rock]

    Bromide 108 mg/l - was 74 mg/l [don't think this is a big deal, but it was a change ]

    Lithium 670 µg/l - was 200 ug/l [big change]

    So, the three things that jump out at me are Aluminium, Copper and Lithium ? could they have been introduced via the caribesea rock ? Would would be the other possible sources ? On copper - I did add 2 new fish to DT that were being treated with copper in a QT; but I don't think that a few ml's of water added when I transferred them over would have caused this much elevation ? should I be concerned about deterioration of some of the electrical equipment ?

    Right now, I am not sure if the source is the new rock, or something corroding in my tank... what would be a good experiment to rule between these two hypotheses? do a series of water changes, calculate the expected reduction in these levels, then test again ?

    any thoughts and ideas about how to trouble shoot this would be useful. Would running carbon be helpful here, or just water changes.

    thanks all for your help!

    here is a video of the tank showing problems
     
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  2. ScottR

    ScottR Active Member

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    There could be many issues and it’d be hard to pinpoint. Have you had your water tested? Something may have leeched into your water supply. I’m assuming you’re using RODI? Worth a check anyway. Some water companies allow you to send water samples to check for metals and other contaminants.
     
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  3. tenurepro

    tenurepro Well-Known Member Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

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    You mean testing my RODI water ? I did test tank water as mentioned above
     
  4. tenurepro

    tenurepro Well-Known Member Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

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    any more ideas ? thanks!
     
  5. ScottR

    ScottR Active Member

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    Yes, test your water before you put it in the tank. That could be the source.
     
  6. TitanCi

    TitanCi Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to hear, hope you get it sorted out. I remember watching your video a few weeks ago, I wonder if it’s the new rock? When I had my crash, I keep wondering if it had anything to do with some of the rock I took from the Caribbean from the ocean while on my vacation there? They’re not huge pieces, some really cool branch pieces, but they all came from where the cruise ships dock. Don’t know if it ever leached anything bad into my tank after curing them...
     
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  7. tenurepro

    tenurepro Well-Known Member Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

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    Thanks @TitanCi ; I am not too concerned given that most of the acros are doing fine. Just keeping an eye and trying to plot the best course forward to reduce the contamination
     
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  8. Dkeller_nc

    Dkeller_nc Member

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    Well, it's unlikely due to the copper, as you have 3.7 parts per billion, and while the world's oceans vary greatly depending on where the sample is taken, that's within the range of natural seawater. And while aluminum is a very small natural component of seawater (around 0.5 ppb), I've seen quite a few Aluminum ICP reports of folks that use MarinePure bio-blocks that are a great deal higher than yours without similar reports of montipora RTN. I know this isn't much help, but I'd look elsewhere for the source of the problem - I doubt it's contamination.
     
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  9. taricha

    taricha Valuable Member

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    Isn't lithium a common contaminant salt mixes with a decent number of people showing hi Li on Triton tests?
     
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  10. tenurepro

    tenurepro Well-Known Member Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

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    Had no idea ... will do some research in this
     
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