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Thread: Keeping up Ca, Mg and str.

  1. #11
    kerry's Avatar
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    Yes, Kind of, LOL. I meant I do like SM but with out the Kalk deal (yet). Sorry the phones here at the shop are crazy today!! If I use the pickling powder I think I will use it with a hint of vinegar. I figured a DIY bottle with the drip would do just fine.
    150G. Reef/Mix
    125G. 3 Regular Oscars/1 Jack Dempsey
    75G. 20+ Africans
    40G. Fish/Reef. Algae Scrubbers on ALL my SW
    10G. SW Fish/Reef.
    10G. SW Hospital/new fish quarantine/pod breeder tank
    6 stage RO/DI system 200 GPD.

  2. #12
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    Been using Sodium bicarbonate for alc and Seachem Reef Advantage Calcium for ca' mag' & stro'

    Found that the mag' kept getting low so have been topping up with epsom salts now & then as required.

    Once my latest batch of Reef Advantage Calcium stuff runs out I'm going to switch to calcium chloride and epsom salts (and an additional strontium additive perhaps)

  3. #13
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    Yes Mrs Wages.

    I don't think the ions need replenishing. We went through this before; they cancel each other out, and/or are consumed by microbes.

  4. #14
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    Vinegar makes Kalkwasser "super charged" in laymens terms. The long answer is:
    Dissolving the Kalk powder in the Vinegar first will accomplish several very good things.

    First, it will get more Calcium ions (Ca++) into the solution because you are dissolving the Ca(OH)2 in an acid instead of water, and forming Calcium Acetate, which exists as a dissociated equilibrium of free Calcium ions and Acetate ions.

    Second, the Acetic Acid (Vinegar) provides an equivalent of all the CO2 you need to avoid precipitating the newly-added Calcium ions as useless white Calcium Carbonate powder.

    Third, after all the cool Calcium ion chemistry is over, the leftover Acetate ions from the broken-down Vinegar leaves you with free organic Carbon in the water that feeds the bacteria in your tank so that it converts more poisonous Nitrates to NO2 gas (a very good thing).
    Not sure how to add Mg in with Kalk, never read anyone doing it so to me that makes it seem like it can't be done. I just dose Mg seperately via dosing pump with a gallon jug of B-Ionic Magnesium (although for this I see no problems using BRS 2 part Mg receipe since trace elemets are not a concern when dosing Mg since you dose so little of it). I still have a full bottle of Strontium I bought 10+ years ago, never found a need to use it. Bought the test kit to go with it and every test I did came back saying levels were fine, so I never found a need to dose (same with Iodides which I know no one mentioned). I suspect using B-Ionic, plus heavy feeding, has kept all the minor trace elements in check.

  5. #15
    kerry's Avatar
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    This is all great info!! Its good to hear others are using baking soda and epsom salt as well as I have been using them for years in my African tanks. I really like the DIY side of the Hobby whether its the FW or SW. I have been buying commercial SW products due to the fact of no knowledge of what DIY to use for SW dosing. Thanks to all for the info and keep them coming please.
    150G. Reef/Mix
    125G. 3 Regular Oscars/1 Jack Dempsey
    75G. 20+ Africans
    40G. Fish/Reef. Algae Scrubbers on ALL my SW
    10G. SW Fish/Reef.
    10G. SW Hospital/new fish quarantine/pod breeder tank
    6 stage RO/DI system 200 GPD.

  6. #16
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    I have a salifert Strontium kit, I ran that sucker half a dozen times to make sure I was doing it right and it always read zero. I've added an entire bottle of Seachem Strontium in one shot and it bumped it up a couple points, and in a few days it was gone again. I since gave up on Str since I read it's need was highly debated. Same deal with Iodine/Iodate, test kits always read low and dosing doesn't change it much, plus I read on the dangers of Io dosing and backed off.

    All great info. I am always eager to learn more

  7. #17
    kerry's Avatar
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    I dose Iodine buy less then half of what they say to. I got the seachem iodine test and its worthless if you ask me.
    150G. Reef/Mix
    125G. 3 Regular Oscars/1 Jack Dempsey
    75G. 20+ Africans
    40G. Fish/Reef. Algae Scrubbers on ALL my SW
    10G. SW Fish/Reef.
    10G. SW Hospital/new fish quarantine/pod breeder tank
    6 stage RO/DI system 200 GPD.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ace25 View Post
    I do not like BRS 2 part. I would use only B-Ionic for 3 part. Reason being, BRS only contains the elements for raising Alk/CA, it does not contain any of the trace elements, where as B-Ionic contains all of it. Years ago I switched from B-Ionic to BRS and noticed right away things not looking quite as good. I use Kalkwasser + vinegar for 90% of my needs and dosing pumps for the 10% in case something gets slightly out of balance. 1G jug of B-Ionic has lasted over 2 years now doing it that way and it is still about 1/2 full on Alk, 75% full on CA, and 95% full on Mg.

    I don't care for BRS for the tediousness of daily dosing, and dosing pumps cost the same as a Ca reactor. I do it like that I know exactly what I'm putting in my tank though.

    B-Ionic OTOH can claim what they like, and it may be a great product. Too expensive, and no ingredients list. And their claim about "trace" elements... "Trace elements" is another name for heavy metals. Many of which are already added through feeding, and in most cases in reefers interest to minimize them. If you can't test don't add...

    Great article explaining sources and exports of metals in reef tanks, from Kalk to reactors, food, and salt mixes. and Algae exports...

    http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-0...ture/index.php

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by kerry View Post
    I dose Iodine buy less then half of what they say to. I got the seachem iodine test and its worthless if you ask me.

    I have one of those and it's a bit tricky to use, but you can get reasonable results if you're careful and persevere.


    Don't bother anymore though, I just stick 5 or 10 ml of Seachem Reef Plus once a month or when I think of it. Not sure I'll bother with it anymore when my current bottle runs out.

  10. #20

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    Wow there is a lot of information here, thanks for all the posts..

    Kinda made the descision on all the input to go for the Ca reactor..Because it is low on maintenance, no fidling with recepies, no more need to mix kalkwasser every other day, low on costs and with the additional dolomite, it keeps up all wanted elements..

    Thanks very much for all the input given!

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