New DIY Two Part Recipes with Higher pH Boost

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Clownman727

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can Somebody recommend a good scale and where I can get the chemicals for the calcium and magnesium solution?
 
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Mindi

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Randy, I have 2 questions

1. As I use anhydrous CaCl2 should the 20% reduction in volume be applied as in Recipe-1...?

2. I almost never need to dose the Mg part of the standard recipe-1 as I never see my Mg below 1350 and usually more like 1450 ... I put this down to my NSW water changes but for whatever reason it appears I rarely need to dose Mg. Can I just omit it from the Calcium part of the new recipe...? or would that have other implications.

Thanks..John
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Randy, I have 2 questions

1. As I use anhydrous CaCl2 should the 20% reduction in volume be applied as in Recipe-1...?

2. I almost never need to dose the Mg part of the standard recipe-1 as I never see my Mg below 1350 and usually more like 1450 ... I put this down to my NSW water changes but for whatever reason it appears I rarely need to dose Mg. Can I just omit it from the Calcium part of the new recipe...? or would that have other implications.

Thanks..John
Yes to the anhydrous.

I'd personally add the magnesium and then not worry or measure it for a long time. It will add very little, and really shouldn't cause magnesium to rise substantially. I think the risk of overdose is super low. People using commercial two parts with the magneisum in it do not see overdoses.

Also, many people have faulty readings on magnesium kits. If you do not add any and use NSW, I cannot; see how it would ever get to 1450 ppm unless the salinity was very high.

That said, you could leave it out if you really want.
 

Mindi

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Starting the NaOH version today. My starting parameters are
Dosing Alk part 38mls day , Ca part 43 mls day
Readings (both Hanna eggs)
Alkalinity 4.0
Calcium 425
and pH is 8.0 on my meter with no CO2 scrubbing in place

See what happens, starting with no change to dosing regime but new mixes.
 

Mindi

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Yes to the anhydrous.

I'd personally add the magnesium and then not worry or measure it for a long time. It will add very little, and really shouldn't cause magnesium to rise substantially. I think the risk of overdose is super low. People using commercial two parts with the magneisum in it do not see overdoses.

Also, many people have faulty readings on magnesium kits. If you do not add any and use NSW, I cannot; see how it would ever get to 1450 ppm unless the salinity was very high.

That said, you could leave it out if you really want.
Thanks..got that..will put the Mg part in and measure in a month.
 

Servillius

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Here's a first crack at what may end up being multiple possible recipes for a DIY two part that either has a higher pH or can be made more concentrated than traditional two part recipes. This one has about twice the pH raising effect compared to a carbonate based two part, per unit of alkalinity or calcium added. Note that I have neither made nor used this recipe. I fully expect it to work, but first adopters will be guinea pigs. :D

Note that the formation of some cloudiness of magnesium hydroxide is expected when the alk part hits the water (as carbonate versions also do). That is OK since it redissolves on mixing in more. But since the local pH is higher, there may be more chance for local precipitation of calcium carbonate, which is not optimal since it may waste additive (but otherwise is not a huge problem, IMO). To reduce this chance, add slowly to a very high flow area.

This first one is based on Jim Welsh's version of a DIY two part:

https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/switching-from-brs-to-esv-b-ionic-what-should-i-expect-to-change.215171/#post-2466696

Jim's recipe (with some text added by me):

Part 1 - The Calcium and Magnesium Part
Dissolve 500 g of calcium chloride dihydrate plus 261.2 g of magnesium chloride hexahydrate in enough water to make a total volume of one gallon.

Part 2 - The Alkalinity and Sulfate Part
Dissolve 374.7 g of sodium carbonate (594 g of baking soda that has been baked; = 3.535 moles of sodium carbonate) plus 68.7 g of sodium sulfate in enough water to make a total volume of one gallon.

This recipe is the same strength as Randy's Recipe #1 (e.g., BRS). To make these two parts with the same strength as B-Ionic, then multiply the amounts of the salts by 1.5 (but note dissolving the carbonate can become challenging).​

The sodium hydroxide version:

Part 1 - The Calcium and Magnesium Part
Dissolve 500 g of calcium chloride dihydrate plus 261.2 g of magnesium chloride hexahydrate in enough water to make a total volume of one gallon.

Part 2 - The Alkalinity and Sulfate Part
Dissolve 282.8 g of sodium hydroxide (=7.07 moles of sodium hydroxide to match the 3.535 moles of sodium carbonate in alkalinity) plus 68.7 g of sodium sulfate in enough water to make a total volume of one gallon.

This recipe is the same strength as Randy's Recipe #1 (e.g., BRS). To make these two parts with the same strength as B-Ionic, then multiply the amounts of the salts by 1.5. This version can readily be made more concentrated, if that is a goal.​
So I mixed up the Sodium Hydroxide version at 3x the recipe above (for twice the concentration of ESV). Here are a few quick notes from my kitchen.

1. Most of these chemicals get really hot when they react with water. I sort of remembered this but was still surprised by how hot. Be patient.

2. There’s a lot of solids going into the Cal/Mag mix. Don’t start with too much water.

3. At this concentration the Cal/May mix is getting fairly opaque. It’s still surprising how much water can dissolve.

4. A drop of the alk mix turned gellike when it hit the water but as soon as it found some movement it appeared to dissolve completely.

Thanks again Randy! If this works out the reduced volume required will be a blessing given that I have a fairly small, hard to access space for my two part reservoir (now three part).
 

jeffp1

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Would it be alright to substitute Epsom salts in the place of the Mag. Chloride hexahydrate? In researching this, seems like the difference is a couple of molecules of water. My Magnesium normally stays above 1400, so I am considering just leaving the Magnesium out.
 

jeffp1

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I understand that one is Sulfate and one is chloride. Being adding the Magnesium is not required, can Epsom salt be substituted for the chloride. Didn't want to buy other chemicals if I didn't need to.
 

JimWelsh

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You cannot mix magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) in with the calcium part, because insoluble calcium sulfate will precipitate out if you do.
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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I understand that one is Sulfate and one is chloride. Being adding the Magnesium is not required, can Epsom salt be substituted for the chloride. Didn't want to buy other chemicals if I didn't need to.
You cannot make an exactly balanced two part using Epsom salt only as it may be a little heavy on sulfate. But you can make a usable two/three part (not yet modified for hydroxide):

Aquarium Chemistry: A Homemade Two-Part Calcium And Alkalinity Additive System ? Advanced Aquarist | Aquarist Magazine and Blog
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-02/rhf/index.php
 
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