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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    The link to the Reef Chemistry Calculator in the first post seems to be broken at the moment - it is a Flash version so maybe that is what is causing the problem.

    An alternative version can be found here : http://reef.diesyst.com/chemcalc/chemcalc.html
  2. Brekel

    Brekel Member

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    Anyone else have difficulty dissolving the baked bicarb in the water?
    I've tried to mix up a small quantity of a much weaker solution and still can't get it to all dissolve.

    The only thing I can think of is that the last time my wife did the shopping, she bought plain label sodium bicarbonate. As it is obviously still "food grade" (it did come from the cooking section of the supermarket) I wasn't too worried, but now I'm wondering if it has some other "food grade impurity" in it.

    Just out of interest, what does everyone else's look like after baking? Mine came out with a slight (barely perceptible) brownish tinge on the top layer, but it also ad a scattering of larger (less than .5mm, but larger than the fine powder) brown, almost ball-like bits scattered over the surface. Almost looked like something had melted and pulled in together to form little balls. Which again makes me worry about an impurity...
  3. VaultBoy

    VaultBoy Member

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    I dont recall exactly what mine looked like when I baked it but it didn't look like that! It sounds like there is something in t that has caused the browning I dont think there is anything in pure sodium bicarbonate that can burn?!?

    I didn't really have any trouble dissolving it... It took a long time but it did dissolve eventually.

    As far as what the impurity is, at what point it entered the product or wether or not its safe to dose .... I wouldnt like to guess.
  4. Brekel

    Brekel Member

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    Thanks - kinda confirms my suspicions.
    Sodium bicarb decomposes to sodium carbonate, and shouldn't melt ' till over 800°C. If other people don't see the same thing happening, then I'm off to buy a more reputable brand.
  5. Sarg

    Sarg Member

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  6. DavidS

    DavidS The Resident Loony

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    I've found when I make it, what goes in looks exactly the same as when it comes out.
    Hard work getting it to dissolve though!
  7. MagicJ

    MagicJ Moderator

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    I have to agree totally with DavidS on both points. Brekel, it sounds like there was something in yours that shouldn't have been there.

    Heating the water a bit helps with getting it to dissolve.
  8. josh

    josh Member

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    why does The magnesium portion gives us two options,what's the difference in the 2 when using them????
  9. MagicJ

    MagicJ Moderator

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    The first one, which includes both Epsom salts and magnesium chloride hexahydrate, is the better option although the magnesium chloride hexahydrate can be a bit harder to find.

    The following is an extract from the article linked to in Post 1

    Residue Remaining from Recipe #1 when using Recipe #1, Part 3A
    After one year of adding 8 ppm of calcium and the accompanying 0.4 meq/L (1.1 dKH) of alkalinity per day (41 mL of both parts per day or 4 gallons of both parts per year in a 50-gallon aquarium, including the effect of the magnesium part #3A, 2440 mL/year), the following residue (Table 2) would remain after calcification and adjustment for salinity (there is roughly a 32% rise in salinity over a year using this addition rate without water changes).
    Note that in this recipe, all of the ions match NSW fairly closely (green), but without using Part 3A, the magnesium and sulfate are severely depleted (red).

    Residue Remaining from Recipe #1 when using Recipe #1, Part 3B
    After one year of adding 8 ppm of calcium and the accompanying 0.4 meq/L (1.1 dKH) of alkalinity per day (41 mL of both parts per day or 4 gallons of both parts per year in a 50-gallon aquarium, including the effect of the magnesium sulfate solution, 2440 mL/year), the following residue (Table 3) would remain after calcification and adjustment for salinity (there is roughly a 29% rise in salinity over a year using this addition rate without water changes):
    Note that in this recipe, all of the ions except sulfate (red) match NSW fairly closely (green), but without using Part 3A, magnesium and sulfate are severely depleted (red).
    Table 3. Elements present after one year of additions of Recipe #1, using Part 3B a
    Sulfate is the main element which builds up to unacceptable levels by using Part 3B, although this can be mitigated by regular water changes.
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  10. josh

    josh Member

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    thanks heaps mate thats just what i wanted to know :)
  11. MagicJ

    MagicJ Moderator

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    VaultBoy had some of the magnesium chloride for sale a while a go - not sure if he has any left??
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  12. josh

    josh Member

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    ok sweet ill ask him if he still has some if not he might no where to get some :)
  13. MagicJ

    MagicJ Moderator

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    • Like Like x 2
  14. josh

    josh Member

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  15. VaultBoy

    VaultBoy Member

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    I have sold out of MgCl but if there is enough interest I can get another 25kg and send them out to whoever is interested... From memory it worked out to about $6/kg plus $13 for 3kg shipping.
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  16. alan

    alan Member

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    So I have ordered all the stuff I need (thanks for the link magicj) is there anything else that I should dose too? I was using PurpleUp, that also has iodine in it.

    Planing a manual dosing setup with an I've tube.... I'll see how it goes.
  17. alan

    alan Member

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    I've, tube. Stupid auto correct!

    ok.... So one can't type I.V. with out it auto correcting...
    • Funny Funny x 2
  18. Cksrealm

    Cksrealm Member

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    Vault boy. Add me to the list of ppl that would be interested in joining your bulk buy.
  19. VaultBoy

    VaultBoy Member

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    I will probably just do the magnesium as I still have some calc left over... It is easy enough to get dampridso its not really worth shipping it...
  20. Str8edge

    Str8edge Member

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    thanks to @MagicJ for this helpful post.. thought I would bump it up so other reefers can view it..

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