Mixing an (un)intentional concoction: Do you know what you are adding to your reef tank?

Do you know what you are adding to your reef tank?

  • I am aware of every item that is added to my reef tank.

    Votes: 115 56.4%
  • I know most of the items that are added to my reef tank.

    Votes: 58 28.4%
  • I am somewhat aware of the items that are added to my reef tank.

    Votes: 14 6.9%
  • I follow the directions of others when adding items to my reef tank.

    Votes: 5 2.5%
  • I randomly add items to my reef tank.

    Votes: 11 5.4%
  • Other.

    Votes: 1 0.5%

  • Total voters
    204

Peace River

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Mixing an (un)intentional concoction: Do you know what you are adding to your reef tank?

There are many approaches to dosing chemicals and additives into a reef tank including three-part, two-part, single-part All-for-Reef, plenty of modified methods, and so much more. Whether you are trying to adjust pH, provide extra materials for corals to grow their skeletons, or trying to maximize the health of your tan, it can be helpful to understand the impact of what you are dosing into your tank. Some reefers understand all the chemical interactions, others understand the cause-and-effect of adding certain additives, still others are following a predetermined recipe, and then some are seemingly adding random stuff and hoping for the best. What about you – do you know what you are adding to your reef tank?

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Photo by @SPS2020


This QOTD is sponsored by: www.deltecdirectusa.com

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shakacuz

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i try to keep a level of awareness with what i add to the tank. i'm no chemist, but i err on the side of caution just to avoid any weird reactions from one element/chemical to another.
 

DanyL

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I chose option number 2, and I’m pretty sure everyone else who picked option number one (except maybe Randy and other chemists) should choose it too.

Reason is quite simple - We all use either one of the following:
- NSW/Salt
- Trace elements

I doubt anyone of us knows truly knows by heart what are the exact ingredients (even though the composition of some NSW/Salt are available), nor do we know the interactions between everything else we dose with each and every element found in the salt.

Then you also have impurities - with DIY supplements one can usually ask for an analysis of that exact batch, but anything commercial would be unknown.
 

KrisReef

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If I am trying to bump parameters I take a cautious approach to move them in the right direction and test a day later to find out how the addition bumped the specific parameter towards the goal, and react accordingly with any follow up additions.

I chose "Randomly Add" because the most recent memorable failure happened as I grabbed my Holeistic (sic) pain medication instead of the phytoplankton bottle and poured it into the tank in place of the phyto. That random act touched off a number of bad results that ruined months of coral progress and killed a few things with the cascade of bad results that followed even after a water change.

I dose what I can measure or otherwise it's just a crap shoot.
 

penguinexdeus

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Chose somewhat - only because I use some of those 'mystery products' (looking at you KZ) where there is literally nothing listed for ingredients. Sometimes can tell what some of the major ingrediants are due to ICP testing but that only goes so far - especially with various bacterias, foods, aminos, etc... That's also assuming that the products that claim 1 specific element and purity are accurate and who knows if they have any other stabilizers or anything added for shelf life...

I think the 'Vibrant Issue' showed as a whole we're probably not always sure what's going in the tank or as aware as we think we are...
 

ArachnoJoozt

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Voted option 2. For the basics I know what i'm adding, some products not so much (like AF Life Source). Also sometimes an unexpected element shows up on the ICP.
I think it's quite impossible to know everything you add, those people never had an unexpected element show up on an ICP? Seems unlikely. So much possible sources, food, salt, equipment etc.
 

Tavero

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I chose option number 2, and I’m pretty sure everyone else who picked option number one (except maybe Randy and other chemists) should choose it too.

Reason is quite simple - We all use either one of the following:
- NSW/Salt
- Trace elements

I doubt anyone of us knows truly knows by heart what are the exact ingredients (even though the composition of some NSW/Salt are available), nor do we know the interactions between everything else we dose with each and every element found in the salt.

Then you also have impurities - with DIY supplements one can usually ask for an analysis of that exact batch, but anything commercial would be unknown.
I do agree that far too many people have picked 1, but if you use "Then you also have impurities" as definition for adding unknown additives, then option 1 shouldn't be even available. For anyone in fact. But that's the wrong use of that definition and just getting lost in details.

Reefers that add supplements with a defined concentration, know what they are adding.
Reefers that make their own supplements from a chemical with, for example 95% purity, know what they are adding.

Reefers that are adding an all in one mix of trace elements or similar don't know what they are adding.

Nowadays we can supplement every element separately from others and check with an ICP. Or just eyeball an mix and hope for the best.
 

MnFish1

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Other than the label - and I doubt many if any of us have documented every item added by level. However. It's a non-issue IMHO with salt and impurities. So I'm ignoring that. Most minuscule impurities in salt will cause no problems. However - that said - I don't dose anything I can't measure.
Of course - food (as others have mentioned) - is unmeasurable, etc etc
 

MnFish1

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Chose somewhat - only because I use some of those 'mystery products' (looking at you KZ) where there is literally nothing listed for ingredients. Sometimes can tell what some of the major ingrediants are due to ICP testing but that only goes so far - especially with various bacterias, foods, aminos, etc... That's also assuming that the products that claim 1 specific element and purity are accurate and who knows if they have any other stabilizers or anything added for shelf life...

I think the 'Vibrant Issue' showed as a whole we're probably not always sure what's going in the tank or as aware as we think we are...
No it didn't - IMHO. That was an exception. Most people don't/didn't use vibrant The people that did had an issue. However, I do not use many products for which I do not know the additives. The exception being - I don't know the exact composition of (for example) - bacterial additives
 

TWYOUNG

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If I say I know EVERYTHING I'm putting in my tank does that imply I know exactly what's in all those bottles of "bacteria" I add lol?
 

Treefer32

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I would like to think I know everything I'm adding, but I don't. I've looked for good quality trace elements and even the Red Sea (A,B,C,D) trace elements list their elements in each bottle, but not in quantities or measurements, nor in dosing method other than "In consumption of calcium". I dose 1:10 ratio. (1 ml per 10 gallons of salt water) - so for 340 gallon estimated volume I do 30-40 ml per week of each A, B, C, D. No idea if it's right for my consumption. Without meticulous ICP tests, I don't think there's a way to know consumption of Trace elements per week, day, hour, minute. Am I adding too much or too little once a week?

I bake baking soda purchased from Costco, baked on a non-stick insulated cookie sheet for a couple hours. Then placed into a gallon ice cream pale, that I then use for dosing alk. Are there chemicals in the Baking soda from the factories / packaging, is there chemicals from the baking sheet I use? (What about "Forever chemicals?")

I have used people frozen sea food to make my own food. I had one person tell me that Tuna (specifically Mahi-Ahi Tuna from costco) has high mercury levels? Was I feeding fish Mercury? I have no idea.

What about oils and soaps from my skin when my arms are elbow deep in the tank to clean the glass of algae?

I also feed Benepets Reef food twice a week per container recommendations.

Hence why I run a lot of filtration!

Skimmer
ATS
Reefmat 1200 with 50 micron paper (now)
Denitrator factory with Aqua Char and tons of matrix rock
UV Sterilizer




Hoping nature removes everything that's bad, but don't know consumption rate and whether my corals are fed sufficiently.
 

How hands-on are you as a reef keeper?

  • Very hands-on

    Votes: 132 64.7%
  • Somewhat hands-on

    Votes: 56 27.5%
  • Not very hands-on

    Votes: 9 4.4%
  • Not hands-on at all

    Votes: 5 2.5%
  • Other

    Votes: 2 1.0%
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