DIY Randy's Recipe - Maintaining Calcium, Alkalinity And Magnesium

Discussion in 'Equipment / DIY / Reviews' started by MagicJ, Aug 9, 2011.

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  1. MagicJ

    MagicJ Moderator

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    Brenno, sorry mate I have been meaning to answer this for a few days ;)

    Just to confirm, the 3 solutions can all be mixed in advance, but not mixed together in the same container.

    As the solutions cannot be mixed together, he is referring to 3 litres of the calc solution and 3 litres of the alk solution.

    As above, they can't be mixed together.

    As above, they can't be mixed together.

    I am not a chemist but I think you will get nasty reactions if you try and mix these solutions together. Some commercial products do combine the calc and alk parts but I think this is because they have access to purer products which will stay in solution better.

    Hope this answers your questions - post again if I havn't.

    Cheers
  2. DavidS

    DavidS The Resident Loony

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    MagicJ - as far as you're aware, is there any need for us to alter the recipe if we bought the Calcium and Magnesium that VaultBoy arranged for us, or can they be used as a direct replacement?
  3. MagicJ

    MagicJ Moderator

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    David

    The magnesium chloride hexahydrate is the same product as used in Part 3A of the recipe i.e. mix Epsom salts (2.4 cups) and magnesium chloride hexahydrate (4 cups) in enough purified freshwater to make 3 litres total volume.

    The calcium is another matter :confused: Note, I failed chemistry at school a long time ago :p

    Randys Recipe uses calcium chloride dihydrate which has a chemical formula of CaCl2ยท2H2O whereas calcium chloride hexahydrate has a chemical formula of CaCl2.6H2O i.e. the hexahydrate has 3 times as much water, I think!!.

    I suspect that this makes the hexahydrate less concentrated - based on the molar mass - 147.014 g/mol (dihydrate) and 219.08 g/mol (hexahydrate) - it would seem that you need 1.5 times the quantity of the hexahydrate compared to the dihydrate.

    I know this might look like I know what I am talking about but I really don't - can someone help me out here. Any school teachers around that can ask a science teacher??
  4. Brenno

    Brenno Member

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    Well maybe I am misreading it but...

    "In this recipe three stock solutions are created. Two are used frequently, and one is used only occasionally to balance other elements not added in the first two. The solutions can be mixed and stored in any plastic or glass container."

    I read that to mean that the three stock solutions can be mixed...? Together?
  5. Brenno

    Brenno Member

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    I think you are wrong with your molar mass comparison, because the atoms are not in the same ratio, 1.5 times the amount would give you incorrect amounts. I did some chemistry at high school and uni, but it was never something I excelled at.
  6. MagicJ

    MagicJ Moderator

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    No, this is a 'two part' supplement system (or 3 if you include the magnesium component) - the solutions can be mixed and stored indefinitely, but not in the same container.
  7. MagicJ

    MagicJ Moderator

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    As I said, I really had no idea what I was talking about :) Randy has some of the calculations in his original article, I will review these over the weekend and see what I can come up with - I have also requested a copy of the data sheet from VaultBoy which might provide some additional info.

    If anyone else has any chemistry knowledge please feel free to share ;) Please .........
  8. VaultBoy

    VaultBoy Member

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    I have had aquick read of the MSDS and it lists both CaCl2-2H2O and CaCl2-6H2O so it is a little confusing :( Its times like this I wish I listened at high school!
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  9. MagicJ

    MagicJ Moderator

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    I will have a read later - surely there is a Reefuge member who did listen when they were at school ;)
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  10. gazman33

    gazman33 Member

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  11. VaultBoy

    VaultBoy Member

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    Magnesium sulphate is epsom salts. That stuff should be fine but would be easier to buy in the small boxes from the super market!
  12. gazman33

    gazman33 Member

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    Ive got a bag of the stuff at work that i can take so yeah might just do that lol. Probably would be easier with smaller quantities but if i can get this why not :) . The only thing i was concerned about is if it is pure enough?
  13. VaultBoy

    VaultBoy Member

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    It should be as pure as teh stuff in the super market. Send an email to the supplier asking for a "typical analysis" or MSDS it should have the details on it regarding ingredients/make up of the product.

    Also it may absorb moisture depending on how you store it so just keep that in mind if you get the big bag!
  14. 192k

    192k Member

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    Pool grade calcium has been working well for a friend of mine - I am going to change over when my mixes run out.

    If you ever do mix a small amount of the two parts together - you will get a milky reaction. That is why they need to be separate.
  15. Josh M

    Josh M Member

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    Hey did anyone end up finding out if we need to alter the recipe at all for vaultboys components ?
  16. josh

    josh Member

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    ok kool love the info but once the calcium ,alkalinity and the megnesium are made up in to there bottle how long can they last for ??? like a use by date if you know what i mean :)
  17. MagicJ

    MagicJ Moderator

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    I must admit that I don't know the correct answer, but my guess would be months, rather than weeks. Once mixed, all of these products seem to stay in solution very well.

    If it is going to take more than 6 months to use the quantity in the recipe, I would make up half the amount.
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  18. josh

    josh Member

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    thxs mate just what i wanted to know ;)
  19. Quisitive

    Quisitive Guest

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    Wouldn't it be easier to order from https://www.sigmaaldrich.com (SPAM LINK) would mean your getting lab grade chemicals rather than being at the mercy of random additives which would can be deadly to our tanks?

    - Edit by The Reefuge
  20. MagicJ

    MagicJ Moderator

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    The only problem is the cost of lab grade chemicals - a quick look at Calcium Chloride on the linked site came up with a product at $1,240 for a 25kg bag:eek. It would be easier to use a commercial aquarium product at this price.

    Many pople have been using Randy's Recipe for years with no major problems and, it is a relatively cost effective solution..
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