WHY I'VE STOPPED USING INSTANT OCEAN IN MY REEF

Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by David S, Nov 9, 2017.

  1. Macdaddynick1

    Macdaddynick1 Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Saw all caps in the title, and I thought IO crashed your tank or something.

    I got high lithium too according to ati, they said that if you use cement and artificial rock, you’ll just have to do more waterchanges. I have used both artificial rock and marco cement in my tank.
     

  2. David S

    David S Well-Known Member

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    I don't use artificial rock, but I have been using two part Epoxy to seal of those infernal Vermetid snails. Could that be a source of Lithium?
     
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  3. David S

    David S Well-Known Member

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    I have been using two part (ESV) as well as Kalk. The trouble was, it was inadequate and you might say unpredictable (i.e sometimes the ALK would be out of whack though it was mostly Calcium that was too low). Since changing to TM Kalk dosing + ESV two part has resulted in consistent readings. i have not had to make further readustments.
     
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  4. David S

    David S Well-Known Member

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    Good to hear about your consistent results with BRS two part. Maybe it's better than ESV
    What was the cause of your high Lithium level.
     
  5. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Reef Squad

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    So it's then quite possible then the wc schedule was not consistent with amount of doing. Requiring you to adjust.
    The change then is purely to accommodate lifeststyle and husbandry schedule. Ie changed only 5 gal so it had little measurable impact. Were i to change 15 gal there would be significant measurable impact.

    And this is not a bad thing to consider. It's actually how I do it and reccomend doing it.
    You don't have to match desirable parameters with the salt mix , but if you don't want to, you want to use less to impact them less.

    I belive (not a chemist nor biologist nor expert ) we don't fully understand the mechanism that use it and it's much more difficult to calculate. But I belive some trace amounts are used. The depletion rate is variable but does drop. Just not at the rate something like cal is.
     
  6. David S

    David S Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely; one of the main concerns was lifestyle.
    I'd prefer spending time enjoying my reef rather than constantly adjusting the parameters. I don't know if many people would feel otherwise.
    I have not made any changes, whatsoever, in my dosing schedule. The only change I made was the salt mix and since making this change, I only require my Kalk dosing and ESV 2 part (equal part ALK & Ca) and voila.
    I can even go a few days of no testing and then when I test, the results for ALK & CA are within acceptable parameters.
    When I was using Instant Ocean, if I did not test for a few days I would almost always have either too high/Low Alk and/or too low CA. Not anymore
     
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  7. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Reef Squad

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    Good comprise! Kinda the same here. Different methods to the same end.
     
  8. siggy

    siggy Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    @David S, could you show us some pic's ? I curious to see all the hungry corals. thanks
     
  9. David S

    David S Well-Known Member

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    Siggy
    I'll see if I can take few over the weekend
    Thanks for your interest
     
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  10. David S

    David S Well-Known Member

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    BTW forgot perhaps the main reason, I chose to make the change. It was for stability, which is probably the most important thing for a reef tank.
    When I was constantly modifying my dosing, I consider that a lack of stability.
    Furthermore due to the size of my tank (38 gallon) and the fact that I don't have a sump (I have HOB Fuge, Skimmer, and TLF Phosban Reactor) I imagine things can go south on me much quicker than someone with a larger sized aquarium. All the more reason to insure stability.
    So far, things are more stable than I can recall- even if it is for a relatively short time.
     
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  11. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Reef Squad

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    Oh I get it.
    But we both found different strategies to do so.
    For me, IO was fine. I found a dosing and wc sched that maintained that stability.

    Both ways are still correct.

    Had I changed the wc shced mine would have become less stable.
     
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  12. dgrigor02

    dgrigor02 Well-Known Member

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    I had freshly mixed instant ocean tested and was 368.5 ppb 1/10th of what you quoted for Li. My triton test results I've seen it's pretty typical for Li to be higher. I have never worried about it.

    My last triton test was 346ppb and has not shown any signs of accumulating in the 20 or so months I've been doing the near zero water change philosophy.

    I've use Instant Ocean for 20 years. Approx. 5 years ago, I switch to TM and went through 6 200g buckets of it. My tank did just as good with Instant Ocean as it did with TM. I saw no difference both before the switch, during, or after. The only thing I noticed for nearly twice the cost was that I didn't have to wipe down the sides of my mixing 55g barrel. Centainly nice that TM mixed cleaner but not enough to justify using it long term. since it only takes me a minute to wipe down the sides of the mixing container between each batch.

    For me, I didn't care what the alk,ca,mg levels are as I need to supplement anyways and its pennies on the dollar to use bulk supplements to make the correction to freshly mixed salt. What I do like about Instant Ocean is K, strontium and other elements are slightly elevated in Instant ocean so there was little need to add anything but some CA and Magnesium.

    There is absoluting nothing wrong with using Tropic Marin, I personally didn't justify the additional costs and no perceived benefits outside of the mixing residue.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
  13. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Expert Contributor Article Contributor

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    FWIW, I think normal IO, with higher alk and lower calcium is a good mix for people using limewater (kalkwasser) since that method is slightly unbalanced to excessive calcium dosing relative to alkalinity. That and the fact that it had no organics are the main reasons I preferred it for 20 years. It was not a big source of lithium for me (I had 353 ug/l, which seems typical for it), although I suppose that can change when any company changes its bulk chemical sources.
     
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  14. Sleepydoc

    Sleepydoc Well-Known Member

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    I have to agree with the posters above - if you were concerned about the Li levels, the best thing to do would be to mix up some IO and have it tested. Likewise, doing some testing to compare levels in several batches (mixed to a consistent SG, of course) would help to tell if the variations were due to the salt mix or something else.

    Given the fact that you’re doing a water change, high Li should not build upo from the salt mix, so unless the mix itself has levels that are ‘off the charts,’ the source of the Li may well be one of your other additives.

    Regarding variations in parameters, those can either be due to variations from box to box (i.e. manufacturing variations,) settling/separation of the components during shipping, or inconsistent mixing on your part. A refractometer will quickly eliminate the last possibility. Testing your batches of salt water should reveal if the other two are causes. Other brands of salt have reportedly had issues with separation, so that may be the issue. I would be surprised if it’s a manufacturing issue, since I’m pretty sure Instant Ocean has QC checks and procedures in place, but you never know.

    I quit using IO Reef Crystals years ago not because of any specific problems with the salt itself, but rather because of the brown crud that would cake on the inside of my mixing tub. I’m using ™ now as well and have been happy with it.
     
  15. SuperDragon

    SuperDragon Well-Known Member

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    We use Lithium in medicine for depression and bipolar stuff... I guess our fish won't be unhappy in a glass box :)
     
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  16. Sleepydoc

    Sleepydoc Well-Known Member

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    Except one of the side effects of Lithium is polydypsia (excessive drinking) - you should keep a close eye on your fish to make sure this doesn’t become an issue!;Joyful
     
  17. drblakjak55

    drblakjak55 Well-Known Member

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    3 yr old 90g mixed reef LPS dominant. Dozen fish. Instant Ocean Reef since start.
    No dosing. 25% water change every two weeks. Chaeto growing quick. Stability is key. Bigger tanks more forgiving
     
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  18. skiergd011013

    skiergd011013 Well-Known Member

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    Never really had a problem with IO. I use 100 gallons of it a week at work. At home i use red sea coral pro simply due to the higher trace minerals.
     
  19. FlyinBryan

    FlyinBryan Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. I tried the switch from IO RC to TM and I tried RS. And I’ve switched back to IO RC for good. I personally find my levels to be very good!
     
  20. Larry L

    Larry L Well-Known Member Partner Member 2018

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    This isn't the first post I've seen where someone whose tank was apparently doing fine otherwise got worried about some anomaly in Triton (or other ICP) test results and started switching things up...

    For a good baseline would need to test the RODI water used to mix up the saltwater, which I think the original poster planned to do.
     
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