New DIY Two Part Recipes with Higher pH Boost

OP
Randy Holmes-Farley

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
53,561
Reaction score
46,259
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
I was doing some research and came across a strange factoid. I have a hard time putting faith in the opinion of a "chemist" who recommended Home Depot Ice Melt as a magnesium source for Reef Aquaria? Afterward Reef Central had to print a retraction because of the obvious toxicity danger... Might be the same guy who says he doesn't trust all the claims made by poly filter ?

lol

You apparently have not done enough research.

I am the "chemist" you so readily disparage.

Love those quotes. Perhaps you would take them away if I reminded you that I have a BA from Cornell in Chemisty and also in biology, and a PhD in chemistry from Harvard, have won a variety of national awards from the American Chemical Society, and have co-invented several prescription drugs that have saved many patients, made my company billions of dollars, and perhaps have helped you or your family.

Yes, love those quotes. lol

Get a grip man. realize where you are: my expert forum. lol

The "ice melt' calcium chloride was analyzed by me for purity and I published the results. They match the high quality products from hobby companies in EVERY impurity. Did you do any such analysis? I did not recommend ice melt. I recommended one national brand of calcium chloride that has many uses.

Maybe read up before coming here and posting disparaging comments.

The "warning" was put into the article BY ME when Dead Sea Works complained. Not because the material is impure (I had a full analysis) but because they want to sell a more expensive product to aquarium companies. They have no idea what is needed an an additive.
 
Last edited:
OP
Randy Holmes-Farley

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
53,561
Reaction score
46,259
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
I was doing some research and came across a strange factoid. I have a hard time putting faith in the opinion of a "chemist" who recommended Home Depot Ice Melt as a magnesium source for Reef Aquaria? Afterward Reef Central had to print a retraction because of the obvious toxicity danger... Might be the same guy who says he doesn't trust all the claims made by poly filter ?

Polyfilter?

You believe aluminum turns it red?
 

Heres_doe_

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 29, 2021
Messages
690
Reaction score
333
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
USA
lol

You apparently have not done enough research.

I am the "chemist" you so readily disparage.

Love those quotes. Perhaps you would take them away if I reminded you that I have a BA from Cornell in Chemisty and also in biology, and a PhD in chemistry from Harvard, have won a variety of national awards from the American Chemical Society, and have co-invented several prescription drugs that have saved many patients, made my company billions of dollars, and perhaps have helped you or your family.

Yes, love those quotes. lol

Get a grip man. realize where you are: my expert forum. lol

The "ice melt' calcium chloride was analyzed by me for purity and I published the results. They match the high quality products from hobby companies in EVERY impurity. Did you do any such analysis? I did not recommend ice melt. I recommended one national brand of calcium chloride that has many uses.

Maybe read up before coming here and posting disparaging comments.

The "warning" was put into the article BY ME when Dead Sea Works complained. Not because the material is impure (I had a full analysis) but because they want to sell a more expensive product to aquarium companies. They have no idea what is needed an an additive.
Man that was great I'm waiting for his "reply" lol
 
World Wide Corals
OP
Randy Holmes-Farley

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
53,561
Reaction score
46,259
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
I learned a long time ago, don’t tick Randy off. You won’t win. :)

I can be rightfully criticized for a lot of things, but the hot2na criticisms are misguided.

If someone wants to flame me for not being a good enough chemist to provide the recipe in this thread, it would make more sense to criticize me for things I’ve actually been mistaken about, such as recommending natural levels of nitrate in a reef aquarium, instead of trying to throw darts at past claims that I’ve made that are not actually incorrect.
 

Reefahholic

Reef Junkie T.V.
Review score
+3 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
5,536
Reaction score
4,605
Review score
+3 /0 /-0
Location
Houston, TX
I can be rightfully criticized for a lot of things, but the hot2na criticisms are misguided.

If someone wants to flame me for not being a good enough chemist to provide the recipe in this thread, it would make more sense to criticize me for things I’ve actually been mistaken about, such as recommending natural levels of nitrate in a reef aquarium, instead of trying to throw darts at past claims that I’ve made that are not actually incorrect.
True that!
 

Hot2na

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Mar 5, 2018
Messages
626
Reaction score
471
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
I can be rightfully criticized for a lot of things, but the hot2na criticisms are misguided.

If someone wants to flame me for not being a good enough chemist to provide the recipe in this thread, it would make more sense to criticize me for things I’ve actually been mistaken about, such as recommending natural levels of nitrate in a reef aquarium, instead of trying to throw darts at past claims that I’ve made that are not actually incorrect.
computer savvy forum members will track down the original post from r/c.... as for the reason polyfilter says it will turn red in the presence of aluminum ..Do some RESEARCH .....before you knock a product you know nothing about.
 
OP
Randy Holmes-Farley

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
53,561
Reaction score
46,259
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
as for the reason polyfilter says it will turn red in the presence of aluminum ..Do some RESEARCH .....before you knock a product you know nothing about.

Why are you so interested in flaming me?

You obviously do not know me, you do not know my chemistry background, nor are you a chemist with an alternative viewpoint that you want to debate the chemistry of my recipe in this thread. You have made no suggestion that there is anything wrong with my recipe. You just say you don’t trust it and throw out two bogus assertions about past contributions of mine. Very strange.

You assert I know nothing about a polyfilter? A polymer that binds ions from water. That’s my true expert field. On what basis do you claim that?

I am an expert polymer chemist, who has studied and invented polymers that bind ions out of water for 30 years. I’m nationally recognized for that expertise. I’m perhaps one of the few polymer experts who is also a reefer.

As evidence of that expertise, I’m a Fellow of the Polymeric Materials Science and Engineering Division of the American Chemical Society, an award that is merit based:


Selection Criteria

Primary: Recognition for leadership in specific scientific research or technological contributions to, or significant advancement of Polymeric Materials Science and Engineering, or Applied Polymer Science.

Secondary: Substantial service to advance the field of Polymeric Materials Science and Engineering may also be used for the selection of worthy candidates.
 
OP
Randy Holmes-Farley

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
53,561
Reaction score
46,259
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
On the polyfilter issue, before making the assertion that aluminum will not turn it red, I did two things to add to my longstanding knowledge of how such polymers work, and how color is generated in metal ions.

I took my huge copy of the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (which I won for being an expert chemist years ago) and looked through the long list of every aluminum chemical, both organic and inorganic. There are NO forms of aluminum that are red, aside from a few cases of aluminum attached to something else that is red whether aluminum is attached to it or not.

I secondly googled a number of search terms involving aluminum and red and also found no cases where aluminum is red.

Since there is no mechanism for aluminum to be colored (unlike most transition metals that have d electrons) and there is no case apparently known to science where aluminum causes a red color, and a polyfilter is not itself red, I conclude that company is mistaken.

If the company indeed saw a red color by mixing aluminum with a polyfilter, it was from an impurity present, and not the aluminum itself.

So you say do some research before making the claim. Of course. That is exactly what I did.

What did you do to convince yourself that I must be wrong? Anything at all except read the company advertising copy? So convinced, that you feel the need to bring it up in a totally unrelated thread to try to disparage my knowledge of chemistry and polymers?
 
Last edited:
Top Shelf Aquatics
OP
Randy Holmes-Farley

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
53,561
Reaction score
46,259
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
computer savvy forum members will track down the original post from r/c....

Feel free to post any links you want that you think support your wild accusations.

I know exactly what Dead Sea works wrote to us, and I composed the caveat that I put into my article at their request. There is no evidence of any problematic impurities in the product nor any case that I’m aware if where any of the many users experienced a problem.

Here’s the warning that I added. it is not, as you wildly and inaccurately accuse, evidence of “obvious toxicity”:

It is not in any way a retraction, as you falsely claim.
Editors note (3/10/07): Note, the manufacturer of MAG flake has alerted us that they very strongly recommend against using this product in reef aquaria. While many reef aquarists have successfully used the product, the manufacturer does not claim to be able to provide this product at suitable quality in the future.
 
OP
Randy Holmes-Farley

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
53,561
Reaction score
46,259
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
computer savvy forum members will track down the original post from r/c.... as for the reason polyfilter says it will turn red in the presence of aluminum ..Do some RESEARCH .....before you knock a product you know nothing about.

If you have any actual concerns about the topic of this thread, feel free to post them here and we can all benefit from a discussion about them,

if you have further concerns about any other recipes of mine, or polyfilter issues, I suggest starting a separate thread to keep this one on topic.

if you have further concerns about my general lack of chemistry knowledge to offer advice that too should be a new thread.
 

Hot2na

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Mar 5, 2018
Messages
626
Reaction score
471
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
If the company indeed saw a red color by mixing aluminum with a polyfilter, it was from an impurity present, and not the aluminum itself.
You're getting warm ....with that statement ... As for polyfilter = Don't imagine that the inventor and owner of the company doesn't know that you knock his product and say that you don't trust it from time to time ..as you sit behind your computer manning your "expert" reef forum .... FWIW : If you keep poking the bear - eventually he's going to take a swipe at you ... ' nuff said .
 
World Wide Corals
OP
Randy Holmes-Farley

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
53,561
Reaction score
46,259
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
You're getting warm ....with that statement ... As for polyfilter = Don't imagine that the inventor and owner of the company doesn't know that you knock his product and say that you don't trust it from time to time ..as you sit behind your computer manning your "expert" reef forum .... FWIW : If you keep poking the bear - eventually he's going to take a swipe at you ... ' nuff said .

Wonderful. I would very much welcome a discussion from him to clarify two things I believe are wrong with his claims for an otherwise good product:

1. Inorganic phosphate won’t bind to his polymer in appreciable amounts from 35 ppt seawater. I speculate he measured it in fresh water (if he ever did any binding tests) where any cationic polymer will bind some phosphate. I believe that I am likely the only reef hobbyist who has ever published phosphate binding experiments of organic polymers, including how it happens and what ions interfere, in scientific journals. I’d be happy to advise him on how to do such experiments, if needed.

2. The odd claim that his polymer turns red when interacting with aluminum ions.

Please invite him!

We welcome all alternate view points for open discussion!
 

Miami Reef

Clam Fanatic
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 8, 2017
Messages
7,106
Reaction score
11,592
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Miami
FWIW : If you keep poking the bear - eventually he's going to take a swipe at you ... ' nuff said .
What’s your issue? Seems like you came to this thread with the direct intention of fighting with Randy. You haven’t backed up any of your claims and you are not a credible source. This inferiority complex is not a good look on you.
 

wmb0003

Active Member
Review score
+3 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 3, 2020
Messages
251
Reaction score
289
Review score
+3 /0 /-0
Location
Auburn AL
Could I mix the sodium bicarbonate and the sodium hydroxide versions of the alkalinity supplement? I am currently using the sodium bicarbonate version but plan to switch for the ph boost. I normally refill my 2 part reservoir when it is about 1/4 full; wonder if I can just dump it on top of the old or should I dump the old and start fresh with 100% sodium hydroxide.
 
Never Wash Another Nasty Filter Sock Again!

Miami Reef

Clam Fanatic
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 8, 2017
Messages
7,106
Reaction score
11,592
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Miami
Could I mix the sodium bicarbonate and the sodium hydroxide versions of the alkalinity supplement? I am currently using the sodium bicarbonate version but plan to switch for the ph boost. I normally refill my 2 part reservoir when it is about 1/4 full; wonder if I can just dump it on top of the old or should I dump the old and start fresh with 100% sodium hydroxide.
Yes you can. Look at these messages from this thread:


hello again randy that sodium hydroxide is working great especially with my ph in fact a little to good I was wondering if I could split the mix for alk like half baking soda and half sodium hydroxide to lower the ph in the mix a little thanks

Yes, but that 50:50 mix will have an overall effect similar to sodium carbonate. Either use less than 50% bicarbonate, or use 1:1 hydroxide to carbonate.
 
OP
Randy Holmes-Farley

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
53,561
Reaction score
46,259
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
Could I mix the sodium bicarbonate and the sodium hydroxide versions of the alkalinity supplement? I am currently using the sodium bicarbonate version but plan to switch for the ph boost. I normally refill my 2 part reservoir when it is about 1/4 full; wonder if I can just dump it on top of the old or should I dump the old and start fresh with 100% sodium hydroxide.

As noted above, that would be an odd mix to routinely make, but it is fine to do so.

Mixing sodium bicarbonate and sodium hydroxide in a 1:1 molar ratio just gives sodium carbonate.
 
Nutramar Foods

Miami Reef

Clam Fanatic
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 8, 2017
Messages
7,106
Reaction score
11,592
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Miami
If using the sodium hydroxide version, how high of pH is too high?

My pH is already 8.1-8.3 and I use Recipe #1.

My ph peaked at 8.46 yesterday. lol

96787275-6CFA-4163-AABD-6172DF7B86F9.jpeg
 
OP
Randy Holmes-Farley

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
53,561
Reaction score
46,259
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
If using the sodium hydroxide version, how high of pH is too high?

My pH is already 8.1-8.3 and I use Recipe #1.

IMO, pH above 8.6 is experimental and will likely result in excessive calcium carbonate precipitation.

Most users cannot get there while maintaining normal alkalinity.
 

How have you used eggcrate in or around your aquarium?

  • Aquarium lid

    Votes: 31 37.3%
  • Frag rack

    Votes: 42 50.6%
  • Skimmer stand

    Votes: 25 30.1%
  • Sump Divider

    Votes: 19 22.9%
  • Other (please describe in the discussion)

    Votes: 12 14.5%
  • I have not used eggcrate in or around my aquarium

    Votes: 19 22.9%
AVAST
Top