Results are in for Calcium supplement certified testing. How'd they perform? | BRStv Investigates

BRS

What type of Calcium & Alkalinity chems do you use?

  • Bulk Reef Supply Chems

    Votes: 40 51.9%
  • (Other) Aquarium brand chems

    Votes: 27 35.1%
  • DIY or Tech options (i.e. Prestone, Epsom salt...)

    Votes: 10 13.0%

  • Total voters
    77

randyBRS

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Hey Reefers!

Today we wrap up (sort of) our certified ICP-MS and other testing of reef tank supplements for Alk, Mag, Kalk, and now Calcium. Today we share our findings as well as pose a question for a potential 5th episode on dosing concentrated nitrates.

Be sure to toss your vote in the poll above. :)

If you're interested in seeing another episode like this for nitrate supplements, shoot us a quick comment below.


 

TheEngineer

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Thanks for sharing! A rising tide lifts all boats.
 

jrp1588

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I currently dose ATI Essentials 3 part. I got this in an attempt to eliminate water changes. That strategy doesn't seem to work for me, so I'm going back to BRS as soon as I run out.
 

hart24601

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Please start carrying the new 2part sodium hydroxide and the sulfate part! I really like Randy/Jim new 2 part with the Mag mixed in the Ca and hydroxide for the alk along with ability to concentrate it.
 

Ryanbrs

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Please start carrying the new 2part sodium hydroxide and the sulfate part! I really like Randy/Jim new 2 part with the Mag mixed in the Ca and hydroxide for the alk along with ability to concentrate it.

We thought about it and I agree it is a cool DIY option but sodium hydroxide (lye) is a fairly dangerous material. pH of the tank will be higher but I dont think the risk vs reward for household use is accpetable for the average reef tank owner. Open and honest I somewhat question if anyone is really thinking about safety when they are recommending this option to others, most of which have very little working knowledge on chemical safety.

If we stocked it the packaging would have to look like this, notice the skull and crossbones :)
s12s.JPG


I have never had a lye burn and I am sure this is overly dramatic but this is why I don't see us selling this...

 

hart24601

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Is that that much more dangerous than kalk? Sodium hydroxide vs calcium hydroxide. I think saturated kalk is around a pH of 12.5 so safe handling procedure certainly apply to both.
 

mcarroll

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hart24601

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How about is sodium hydroxide more dangerous than kalk when mixed to the concentration that is equal to regular 2 part dosing as I doubt many or any reefers are going to make a solution that is drastically more concentrated.

I am really curious about this as I have used sodium hydroxide to recharge GFO for years now and it's not that big of a deal. Use common sense. Just like with ozone or uv people use on the tanks.

I am also curious what meaningful safety differences there would be between the two solutions of saturated kalk vs sodium hydroxide at normal 2 part concentration and even 2x two part concentration.
 
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mcarroll

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How about is sodium hydroxide more dangerous than kalk when mixed to the concentration that is equal to regular 2 part dosing as I doubt many or any reefers are going to make a solution that is drastically more concentrated.

I am really curious about this as I have used sodium hydroxide to recharge GFO for years now and it's not that big of a deal. Use common sense. Just like with ozone or uv people use on the tanks.

I dunno man.

You asked if it was more potent and it is. The chemistry (which is over my head) is on that caveman page. :)

Maybe you could write up a safety guide if you're familiar with the things that can go wrong? Things to avoid, best practice, etc?

Since it sounds like you have the materials on-hand why not make up some solutions and test your theory (that it's equal?) out at home to see what you get? I certainly don't know first hand.



(Not sure how much you read, but they did mention that lye is a lot more soluble than lime. This surely figures into the potential danger in handling as well as the potential danger of making a super-concentrated solution by accident. My take is that lime seems to have definite limits comparatively, so seems like it would be within the realm of reason to call it more safe than lye.)
 

hart24601

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You can sure make a solution of sodium hydroxide more concentrated than kalk, but my question is more geared at the powered safety since that is what BRS is selling and which I the part I am curious about and I hope someone can answer. I mean if you buy sodium hydroxide and don't follow the directions for reef use and make it saturated then that is the you just like running ozone or using an unshielded UV.

If I spill some kalk powder on my hand or the same amount of NaOH powered and run wash it off will I see a difference on my skin? How long would it take to see a difference? I would guess it depends how much water is on your hand, but even then would it matter between the two outside of a hypothetical difference?
 

mcarroll

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If I spill some kalk powder on my hand or the same amount of NaOH powered and run wash it off will I see a difference on my skin? How long would it take to see a difference? I would guess it depends how much water is on your hand, but even then would it matter between the two outside of a hypothetical difference?

For better or worse, you're probably BRS's most ideal customer. Being aware of these nerdly things just proves it. :D

They have to think about the rest of us too (and our kids)! :p

The fact is that groceries rarely even stock lye OR lime anymore in spite of any relative safety and in spite of legitimate uses in cleaning and food preparation...probably because of the potential danger in both.

It's certainly not against the law for them to carry or sell either one (as far as I know)...but still they don't.

I still find it hard to believe, but I've never found locally available pickling lime anywhere I've lived. Sometimes other pickling supplies, but never lime. Weird. It's a pickle conspiracy.
 

Ryanbrs

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I'd hate for the thread to completely degenerate into the safety of Lye but it certainly pushes the boundaries of what is safe to use for the average reefer. Particularly if you have wet hands, no googles and limited knowledge of safe chemistry practices. It's more about mixing the solution safely than it is the end solution itself.

This was a fun article that relates to the movie :)
"If you spill a weak concentration of sodium hydroxide solution on your hand, you’ll experience itching and stinging, as well as the uniquely unpleasant sensation of being able to lubricate your hands with your own slowly-dissolving skin as you wash it off. Higher concentrations will cause deep burns and nerve damage, as well as blindness if you're unlucky enough to get it in your eyes, so kudos to Brad Pitt for wearing his safety goggles.

For a personal touch, below is a photo of my own foot. The little red mark is where I dropped a 20% solution of sodium hydroxide on it about six months ago. It's not particularly impressive, but it’s worth noting that at the time I spilled it on my foot, I was wearing both shoes and socks"

http://itonlyadds.blogspot.com/2012/08/on-chemical-burns-vinegar-and-liquefied.html
 
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hart24601

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Fair enough, I was just curious and appreciate the response as I like to get everything from BRS so I was sad buying from amazon. Just for fun I added up how much have spent via paypal at BRS just in the past year, $2001 which is less than I thought but that doesn't count when use CC!

Anywho, again I appreciate the response although I wouldn't exactly start using fight club for sodium hydroxide safety information!

And look what was waiting for me when I got home haha.

B816867A-DEFD-4982-ACB0-9A23311C1DF6.jpeg
 
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Jeremy King

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In each of the videos in this series, you mention water insoluble and acid insoluble measurements. What are those? You mostly ignored them, so I'm inferring they are not important, but some were zero and others in the hundreds.
 

BestMomEver

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Is that that much more dangerous than kalk? Sodium hydroxide vs calcium hydroxide. I think saturated kalk is around a pH of 12.5 so safe handling procedure certainly apply to both.
My hubby, the chemist, says that lye has a pH over 14.0 and can “burn your eyes clean out of your head.” He doesn’t recommend it!
 

Ryanbrs

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Fair enough, I was just curious and appreciate the response as I like to get everything from BRS so I was sad buying from amazon. Just for fun I added up how much have spent via paypal at BRS just in the past year, $2001 which is less than I thought but that doesn't count when use CC!

Anywho, again I appreciate the response although I wouldn't exactly start using fight club for sodium hydroxide safety information!

Much appreciated :)

In all honesty, when I encountered that recipe I initially thought we should source appropriate quaily options. However, after real consideration, we felt this had a significantly higher chance of hurting people than your average reefing additive and the responsible thing to do was leave it as a DIY project. The very nature of DIY is those involved tend to be willing to research and implement a lot of things that might require a higher degree of knowledge or skill sets, including best safety practices.
 

Ellery

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I've been using RHF DIY 2 Part recipes made with Prestone Driveway Heat I bought over 10 years ago. As far as Mg I was using RoadRunner MgCl and Walgreens/Walmart Epson Salt. As far as Alk - A&H baking soda.

I do dose 2Part, BRS Kalk and run a AquaC CaRx all at the same time. I've been doing this in my system for close to 18 years in the current system.
 

Ellery

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I've been using RHF DIY 2 Part recipes made with Prestone Driveway Heat I bought over 10 years ago. As far as Mg I was using RoadRunner MgCl and Walgreens/Walmart Epson Salt. As far as Alk - A&H baking soda.

I do dose 2Part, BRS Kalk and run a AquaC CaRx all at the same time. I've been doing this in my system for close to 18 years in the current system.
 

swimer499

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Love the videos for all these however for the calcium you failed to include or test and calcium reactor media. Granted most people are manually dosing however would have liked to see one sample of reactor media thrown into the mix of this, perhaps repeat and compare the media for these?
 

vipete1985

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Hey Reefers!

Today we wrap up (sort of) our certified ICP-MS and other testing of reef tank supplements for Alk, Mag, Kalk, and now Calcium. Today we share our findings as well as pose a question for a potential 5th episode on dosing concentrated nitrates.

Be sure to toss your vote in the poll above. :)

If you're interested in seeing another episode like this for nitrate supplements, shoot us a quick comment below.



I run Brightwell Part A and Part B as well as Magnesion from Brightwell

Thank you so
Much for running these videos...They have solved for me, a very important issue...When I ran an icp test on my tank...everything was normal except for elevated aluminum levels and elevated strontium but I couldn’t figure out why the aluminum was high....The strontium I figured was high because it was an additive in the 2 part because of the ionic balance of elements they add to
Their mix....I went crazy changing out all
My Ro filters and removing the Brightwell export bio bricks because they were said to have been leaching aluminum at one point. I even added some different types of chemical filtration media...Nothing worked as my second icp test came positive for high aluminum again...I dose only Brightwell liquid Part A and Liquid Part B....It turns out that these additives have an unusualy high amount of Aluminum....I am going to look into dosing the pharma Bulk BRS stuff instead...My only concern is that they are not really ionically balanced but does that really matter? Does anyone know the real science behind the ionic balancing of these two parts?
 
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