Randy's thoughts on trace elements

Hans-Werner

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I have just seen the link above doesn't work when copied, it works only as direct link.

Try this one or just copy the citation and insert it into the google scholar search engine.
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

Randy Holmes-Farley

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In fact both, the report on increased growth, brittle tips at elevated concentrations and scientific findings of elevated concentrations on the COCs may point to a role in crystal nucleation.

Problems at elevated concentration indicate a benefit at normal concentration?

I am open to seeing any sort of useful study that shows a benefit of maintaining normal strontium vs letting it drop at will in the same system. Same for barium.
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

Randy Holmes-Farley

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FWIW, in my second article in this series, I list strontium as "may be worth supplementing" because there certainly are other organisms which need it, and likely are more we do not know about. Whether ordinary reefkeepers try to maintain any of those organisms is a more advanced question for reefers to answer for themselves.

Barium I list as "No. No known biological role"


Some organisms needing strontium:


"One of the main users of strontium in the ocean are the Acantharia.4, 9-16 These beautiful, free floating unicellular microorganisms are related to radiolaria. They have radiating spines of strontium sulfate that are largely external to the central cytoplasm. Inside the “body”, the spines are connected. The end result is something that looks like a microscopic sea urchin.

"Certain species of radiolaria also use strontium sulfate, despite having silica skeletons. The radiolarian Sphaerozoum punctatum, for example, release flagellated swarmers during reproduction which contain crystals of strontium sulfate (celestite)"

"Some gastropods, such as the sea slug Aplysia californica, have a clearly defined requirement for strontium in the water. When they are grown in artificial seawater lacking strontium, they develop deformed shells and statocysts (that lack a statolith).20 Statocysts are balance organs in many invertebrates. "

"As in Aplysia californica, strontium appears to be important to the development of at least 7 species of cephalopod."
 

Hans-Werner

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Problems at elevated concentration indicate a benefit at normal concentration?

I am open to seeing any sort of useful study that shows a benefit of maintaining normal strontium vs letting it drop at will in the same system. Same for barium.
No, since in the 90s and 2000s there have been no easy ways to get good analyses for strontium we didn't know. Maybe Fossa and Nilsen did analyses but I don't have their volumes 1 and 2 at hand right now.

Improved growth was at assumed natural or slightly elevated concentrations. Problems at elevated concentrations are at least an effect.

I cite from your article linked above:

"My own aquarium, where I have not added any strontium supplements in several years, has a strontium level of 15 ppm (measured by ICP, a technique describe later in this article). That 15 ppm strontium matches my measured value for the Instant Ocean salt mix that I use.

What can be concluded from this data? One obvious conclusion is that some aquaria will maintain strontium levels in the absence of any specific strontium supplements."

How do you explain this?

No coral growth?

No strontium incorporation?

Unknown source for strontium?

What I don't believe is "that some aquaria will maintain strontium levels in the absence of any specific strontium supplements".

Aquaria maintaining something? This would be magic, wouldn't it? ;)
 

GARRIGA

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All that are mentioned in this article and a few more.

I dose all trace elements of the Tropic Marin All-For-Reef or of the K+ and A- Elements: "strontium and trace elements (barium, boron, bromine, chrome, iron, fluorine, iodine, cobalt, copper, lithium, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, selenium, strontium, vanadium and zinc)"

I developed these products, so I know what I am adding.
Were one seeking simplicity and perhaps not wanting to bother with ICP testing due to time lag in getting results or mounting costs because multiple tanks being tracked then could one just pick an element from both A & K and add additional of either or does one really need to fine tune it as with Reef Moonshiners? Assuming that element can be tested with hobby level kits. For example, strontium hobby level test kits exist.

My simplistic approach being AFR plus A&K supplement and additional alkalinity as needed.
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

Randy Holmes-Farley

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"My own aquarium, where I have not added any strontium supplements in several years, has a strontium level of 15 ppm (measured by ICP, a technique describe later in this article). That 15 ppm strontium matches my measured value for the Instant Ocean salt mix that I use.

What can be concluded from this data? One obvious conclusion is that some aquaria will maintain strontium levels in the absence of any specific strontium supplements."

How do you explain this?

No coral growth?

No strontium incorporation?

Unknown source for strontium?

Certainly both biological calcification and abiotic precipitation took up strontium in my tank.

I do not know all of the sources, or if the kit testing was accurate, but between strontium in the kalkwasser I used, foods, and regular 1% daily water changes, it was apparently enough to maintain some strontium against consumption.

When measured by ICP (long after that article), it was somewhat depleted:

Strontium (Sr). The strontium is slightly depleted (5.55 ppm), which is not surprising. I do not intentionally add any, except what small amounts come in with the limewater, and when calcium carbonate is deposited, some of the calcium ions are substituted by strontium, bringing it down over time. I do not presently think that strontium is a necessary or useful additive for most reef creatures, so I won’t take any action based on this result.
 

HappyReeferDude

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I think the reports by many reefers over the years that adding strontium had no effect or that no change was seen after stopping strontium addition also need to be taken seriously.
That doesn’t sound scientific at all if you are just going off of reports of reefers.
 

speedfreek1210

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I think the reports by many reefers over the years that adding strontium had no effect or that no change was seen after stopping strontium addition also need to be taken seriously.
Reports from many reefers? That’s a little light on the science, isn’t it? Pick one. Science or opinion. Can’t have both.
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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Reports from many reefers? That’s a little light on the science, isn’t it? Pick one. Science or opinion. Can’t have both.

In the absence of any actual convincing scientific data one way or the other, the best we have for a lot of reefing needs is what I would call an N=1 crossover experiment. Dose or not for long enough to establish a baseline, then change nothing else and not dose (or dose) long enough to see if anything changes. Done properly they can be useful, especially if the effects are rapid and clear.

For example, the owner of Reefcentral once asked for help with his pale and not thriving macroalgae. I recommended iron dosing and within a short time (days) the macroalgae turned green and started growing better.

The problems arise when the effects take place more slowly (hard coral growth rates, for example), are harder to quantify (color looks better, for example) and may be taking place in tanks where it would be useful in one case and not in another for reasons folks do not (yet) understand and may not even be recorded for the tanks being studied.

How many people can assure that nothing changes in their tank except adding, say barium, over a long enough time to gauge a hard coral growth rate. No changes in pH, fish feeding, other organisms using trace elements differently as they grow, etc.
 

Thales

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Reports from many reefers? That’s a little light on the science, isn’t it? Pick one. Science or opinion. Can’t have both.
Did I miss science being shared about numbers of reefers that had good success with strontium additions in reef tanks? Thanks in advance.
 

Lasse

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Hans, Lasse, What trace elements do you dose in your own aquariums?
On a daily base I dose Core 7 full Triton and individual strontium, iron, vanadium, iodine, manganese, boron and fluorine. If I need - I also dose rubidium but for the moment - its high. To this I use around 300 ml Oceamo corrector salt a day in order to compensate for the sample amount my KH director use.

I usally send 3 ICP testes a year and I normally dos extra if it is needed

FTS from today - it is 7.5 years old 80 Gallon

FTS.jpg


My aquarium is full of different organisms - note the sponges below

goby1.jpg


Sincerely Lasse
 

speedfreek1210

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Did I miss science being shared about numbers of reefers that had good success with strontium additions in reef tanks? Thanks in advance.
so because the science isn’t supplied you automatically switch to opinion? Isn’t that exactly what you were complaining about? Like I said pick one. Maybe you should get some help in here. Kinda talking in circles.
 

Thales

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so because the science isn’t supplied you automatically switch to opinion?
I was responding to anecdote about positive reports about Strontium use from reefers with the idea that we have to also take into account the negative reports.
Isn’t that exactly what you were complaining about?
Nope, that wasn't what I was discussing earlier.
Like I said pick one.
We can't - there is very little science done around reef aquaria, so we are often forced to rely on anecdote and soft science.
 
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Now to the trace elements: It was one of my first observations that nitrate and phosphate concentrations started to drop after I started dosing trace elements according to the formulas given in the link (my article) around 30 years ago. Although it is rarely mentioned I think starting trace element dosage in many tanks is the beginning of a slow phase shift from trace element limitation of coral growth and growth in reef tanks in general to a more macronutrient limited growth.
I have seen similar reports from some aquarists (frag garage on YouTube is one) as well as captiv8 reef says similar findings with one of their products. If these results are repeatable in other aquarists systems it would be of great benefit to the community to gain a better understanding. Under what circumstances these benefits would be apparent would IMO be invaluable information.
 

Hans-Werner

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For example, the owner of Reefcentral once asked for help with his pale and not thriving macroalgae. I recommended iron dosing and within a short time (days) the macroalgae turned green and started growing better.
This is what I would have expected and it can be explained easily: The chlorophyll of the green algae contain nitrogen and for the biosynthesis of chlorophylls they need iron because heme and siroheme are precursors. These are the two elements where you can limit green algal growth most easily.

Carotenoids which are the accessory pigments of brown macro and micro algae including zooxanthellae neither need iron for their biosynthesis nor do they contain nitrogen. This may be an evolutionary adaptation to a habitat with low concentrations of both.

How many people can assure that nothing changes in their tank except adding, say barium, over a long enough time to gauge a hard coral growth rate. No changes in pH, fish feeding, other organisms using trace elements differently as they grow, etc.
I think a safe approach is the "natural concentration approach". :)

I have seen similar reports from some aquarists (frag garage on YouTube is one) as well as captiv8 reef says similar findings with one of their products. If these results are repeatable in other aquarists systems it would be of great benefit to the community to gain a better understanding. Under what circumstances these benefits would be apparent would IMO be invaluable information.
One or several (colimitation) nutrients are always limiting (maybe not in 100 % but in general). If the supply of nitrogen and phosphate is sufficient, i. e. by feeding, rapid growth, especially of SPS, will incorporate so much transition metals and other trace elements that are scarce in saltwater anyway that at some point they will start to limit coral and coralline algal growth. At the latest now macronutrient concentrations of N and P will start to build up.

If you relieve the "trace elements limitation" (sometimes not clear which trace element exactly but most likely an essential transition metal or iodine) by dosing trace elements the coral and coralline algal growth will recover and will consume more macronutrients, lowering macronutrient concentrations in this way.

This is Liebig's law of the minimum.
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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This is what I would have expected and it can be explained easily: The chlorophyll of the green algae contain nitrogen and for the biosynthesis of chlorophylls they need iron because heme and siroheme are precursors. These are the two elements where you can limit green algal growth most easily.

Carotenoids which are the accessory pigments of brown macro and micro algae including zooxanthellae neither need iron for their biosynthesis nor do they contain nitrogen. This may be an evolutionary adaptation to a habitat with low concentrations of both.


I think a safe approach is the "natural concentration approach". :)


One or several (colimitation) nutrients are always limiting (maybe not in 100 % but in general). If the supply of nitrogen and phosphate is sufficient, i. e. by feeding, rapid growth, especially of SPS, will incorporate so much transition metals and other trace elements that are scarce in saltwater anyway that at some point they will start to limit coral and coralline algal growth. At the latest now macronutrient concentrations of N and P will start to build up.

If you relieve the "trace elements limitation" (sometimes not clear which trace element exactly but most likely an essential transition metal or iodine) by dosing trace elements the coral and coralline algal growth will recover and will consume more macronutrients, lowering macronutrient concentrations in this way.

This is Liebig's law of the minimum.

I don't disagree with anything written there, except perhaps the iodine limitation on growth and I would add alkalinity as a potential limiting growth factor for hard corals and coralline algae.
 

michealprater

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On a daily base I dose Core 7 full Triton and individual strontium, iron, vanadium, iodine, manganese, boron and fluorine. If I need - I also dose rubidium but for the moment - its high. To this I use around 300 ml Oceamo corrector salt a day in order to compensate for the sample amount my KH director use.

I usally send 3 ICP testes a year and I normally dos extra if it is needed

FTS from today - it is 7.5 years old 80 Gallon

FTS.jpg


My aquarium is full of different organisms - note the sponges below

goby1.jpg


Sincerely Lasse
Thank you for posting this.
 

Reefahholic

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What I don't believe is "that some aquaria will maintain strontium levels in the absence of any specific strontium supplements".

My system is sucking it down constantly. If I didn’t dose it would become depleted for sure.
 

Reefahholic

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so because the science isn’t supplied you automatically switch to opinion? Isn’t that exactly what you were complaining about? Like I said pick one. Maybe you should get some help in here. Kinda talking in circles.

My Sr target. 10 mg/L. At the concentration I’m dosing my 105/G consumes about 12-18mL per month. Before the SPS were growing well… (I’m about 98% acros) I didn’t have much consumption so I believe they are using it as I do also see an increase with alk consumption as well.
 

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