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View Full Version : Big 3 all high, doesn't make sense? HELP


Tommy081708
06/16/2014, 09:25 AM
Hello all,
I have a 2 month old 55gal reef in the making. 50lbs LR 45lbs LS. Small bioload due to the equipment gathering, got it all now and my lights arrive tomorrow.

HERES MY PROBLEM.

Did my normal tests and they are as follows:

Ph-8.1 Sal-1.023 Am & Niti-0 Nita-5 Po4-0.16

Alk-12 Cal-490 Mag-1600+

Notice the big 3 are pretty high... 10 days ago they were as follows:

Alk-8.6 Cal-460 Mag-1320

To the best of my knowledge, if either or calcium or alk are high, the contrasting should be low. My questions are why the spike? Is this harmful? How can I lower? The only things I've done since the previous test results are a 5 gal water change which I added an extra 1/2 cup of salt to in order to raise my salinity a bit (it was 1.0215) I also put in one dose of purple up about a week ago, I know I shouldn't have been hasty. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Dapg8gt
06/16/2014, 09:34 AM
It's most likely due to your water change and the addition of a saturated salt mix. Purple up adds calcium so that could be the cause of some of it.

I wouldn't worry about it and let it fall on its own. Testing newly mixed salt water will give you a better idea also of the levels you have going on. Those numbers aren't dangerous by any means so don't do anything or add anything and they should fall back into place.

thegrun
06/16/2014, 09:37 AM
What salt mix are you using? If you are using a salt made for reef tanks it will be high in all three, and since you don't have much of a demand I would expect your levels to be high. Outside of needing to clean your equipment more often I don't see a problem with your current levels although I would switch to a lower level salt mix to allow the levels to fall. What type of test kits are you using?

Randy Holmes-Farley
06/16/2014, 10:43 AM
The magnesium result is an error, either the first one or the second (or both). It doesn't change that fast. :)

Tommy081708
06/16/2014, 10:55 AM
Thanks guys, makes alot of sense. I'll check it in another week or so. Randy, I washed out my syringes with RO/DI after the tests last night to help better an accurate result, hopefully that will help straighten things out. I use instant ocean also

Tommy081708
06/16/2014, 10:57 AM
API for basics, red sea foundation pro and algea control pro kits for low range.

hilgert
06/16/2014, 11:59 AM
API for basics, red sea foundation pro and algea control pro kits for low range.

On the Mg test, if it is the Red Sea kit, you have to follow the instructions exactly, especially when adding the first 5 drops (drop one drop, mix for 15 seconds, the repeat 4 more times...the first step should consume about 90 seconds total). For me the Red Sea Mg kits are always very close to my Salifert Mg "reference" kits when directions are followed.

Tommy081708
06/16/2014, 12:15 PM
On the Mg test, if it is the Red Sea kit, you have to follow the instructions exactly, especially when adding the first 5 drops (drop one drop, mix for 15 seconds, the repeat 4 more times...the first step should consume about 90 seconds total). For me the Red Sea Mg kits are always very close to my Salifert Mg "reference" kits when directions are followed.



Ahhhh that may be the problem with the Mg, I took that step lightly and only swished each drop briefly not even closing cap. Lesson learned :p

hilgert
06/16/2014, 12:20 PM
I'm no chemist, and I don't understand *why* you have to swish 15 seconds for each drop (instead of adding all 5 drops at once), but I do know that one step seems to make all the difference.

Please post the result of your next Mg test...hope this resolves the issue.

Tommy081708
06/16/2014, 02:01 PM
Thanks, I'll test when I get home this evening and post

hilgert
06/16/2014, 04:20 PM
Ahhhh that may be the problem with the Mg, I took that step lightly and only swished each drop briefly not even closing cap. Lesson learned :p

By the way, I don't close the cap...I just swirl for 15 seconds and count "1 Randy Holmes-Farley, 2 Randy Holmes-Farley,..." until I get to "15 Randy Holmes-Farley", then I add the next drop.

Here's the Red Sea video on the Mg test kit: Red Sea's Magnesium Pro Test-Kit (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MofaqM-I6uM)

Randy Holmes-Farley
06/16/2014, 05:02 PM
:lol:

That's funny. :)

hilgert
06/16/2014, 05:05 PM
It was either that or "1 Mississippi Lime, 2 Mississippi Lime..."

Tommy081708
06/17/2014, 10:18 PM
Just finished the test done the right way, still reading about .10 ml titrant over 1600...

Tommy081708
06/17/2014, 10:31 PM
I just noticed several little white paper like chunks in the titrate, is that normal? I haven't put anything in it, its a new kit, I just put the left over titrant as it says

hilgert
06/18/2014, 10:25 AM
I just noticed several little white paper like chunks in the titrate, is that normal? I haven't put anything in it, its a new kit, I just put the left over titrant as it says

When you are done with the syringe do you put the remainder back into the bottle? I always just dump the remainder into the trash/sink...I never put anything back into the bottle.

Tommy081708
06/18/2014, 10:27 AM
Yea I put it back in the bottle. I'm going to take a sample to the lfs, that'll tell me if whatevers in there is altering the test

Tommy081708
06/18/2014, 03:47 PM
Why would you put it in the trash? That's going to fill the bottom of the bag with liquids and soggy trash waste and when you go to take it out it'll drip all over the floor and your feet.

hilgert
06/18/2014, 04:11 PM
Why would you put it in the trash? That's going to fill the bottom of the bag with liquids and soggy trash waste and when you go to take it out it'll drip all over the floor and your feet.

The point is not WHERE it goes, but that I don't put it BACK into the bottle...ever. The tip extends below the nice plastic holder thingy (which is the coolest feature of the Red Sea kit in my opinion) into the test vial. As you are swishing it around it's very likely that sample water (with the other reagents in it) will splash onto the tip...I just don't want that back in the bottle (mixing chemicals certainly cannot increase accuracy).

Since you are concerned :D, I toss the remainder in the syringe into whatever is closest to where I am doing the test (sink or trash). Remember, we are talking about the unused portion of the syringe...typically less than 0.2ml (a very tiny amount). There's probably more liquid in other food-related trash like soda bottles, unused meals and such than there is left in the syringe.

EDIT: By the way, if you have corrupted the bottles somehow, Red Sea sells replacements for their tests...which is a nice feature and saves some money. BRS has them for $12.99 (Red Sea Magnesium Pro Reagent Refill Kit (http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/red-sea-magnesium-pro-reagent-refill-kit.html)).