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jrp1588
10/05/2017, 08:12 AM
Any chemistry experts want to take a look at the numbers that ATI flagged as out of the acceptable range? I'm most interested in the aluminum levels which seem sky high. They recommend dosing strontium, but the levels don't seem terribly low, but I suppose that's a decent percentage gap since the concentration is low normally.

mcgyvr
10/05/2017, 09:07 AM
Running any of the "marine pure" type ceramic blocks,etc..?
They had an issue with aluminum..

Or an aluminum based phosphate binder?

jrp1588
10/05/2017, 09:12 AM
Yeah, I've got a marine pure block. At what point do aluminum levels become harmful? I skimmed Randy's article on aluminum in the reef, but I couldn't figure out how to convert the units given by ATI to what Randy was using.

nereefpat
10/05/2017, 09:25 AM
but I couldn't figure out how to convert the units given by ATI to what Randy was using.

micrograms per liter (ug/L) = parts per billion (ppb) if that helps.

mcgyvr
10/05/2017, 10:03 AM
Yeah, I've got a marine pure block. .

Bingo..

jrp1588
10/05/2017, 10:06 AM
That's disappointing. BRS highly recommends these things. In their video series, I think they said they're putting the BRS 160 onto the Triton method. I wonder if they'll have similar aluminum issues.

scuzy
10/05/2017, 10:18 AM
I have had two of those blocks in my system for almost 2 years and my aluminum detection from icp is 0.08 within range of water in Fiji and other places. Maybe its because it's been in my tank so long the aluminum was extracted from water change? But so far they work as advertise i can't say for new blocks.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

mcgyvr
10/05/2017, 10:20 AM
Posts all over the place about this..
This forum and some on another2another reef forum.. ;)

One person removed the block and the ICP test results showed a decrease in aluminum,etc...

BRS (Ryan) in more up to date posts has basically shown that the blocks are certainly causing increase aluminum levels and is skeptical of their use/performance,etc... in the first place..

jrp1588
10/05/2017, 10:56 AM
Any thoughts on the strontium and iodine? I don't keep any softies other than zoas, but I do have a large derasa clam. I've heard they like iodine. Is the strontium level anything to be concerned about?

jrp1588
10/05/2017, 11:35 AM
micrograms per liter (ug/L) = parts per billion (ppb) if that helps.

That is helpful. Looks like Randy is using ppm, so I've got .075ppm.

mcgyvr
10/05/2017, 12:22 PM
Any thoughts on the strontium and iodine? I don't keep any softies other than zoas, but I do have a large derasa clam. I've heard they like iodine. Is the strontium level anything to be concerned about?

The reference values in that test match what the mean averages in the oceans are..
I personally would attempt to keep whatever levels I know about at or near oceanic levels..

bertoni
10/05/2017, 03:57 PM
The aluminum measurement is high, although I don't know whether it's accurate. There have been issues with ICP results. There's some reading on the subject, if you're interested. Aluminum might cause problems for corals, particularly certain soft corals, but I'd ignore the test results if the animals are doing well enough.

The strontium level is a bit low, but strontium generally is not very important in our tanks:

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/nov2003/chem.htm

I dosed strontium for a while, but stopped because it didn't seem to have any effect.

The other numbers seem fine as is.

jrp1588
10/05/2017, 04:35 PM
Well, most of my SPS are growing nicely, but I do have a red monti cap that has never looked great in my tank (poor coloration and slow growth). My derasa's growth seems to have stalled as well.

bertoni
10/05/2017, 06:31 PM
I'd look at other issues first, but in theory the Marine Pure block could be irritating them. I doubt that's the case, though. How big are the derasa clams?

jrp1588
10/05/2017, 06:50 PM
There's only one clam. It's about 10-12", and the tank is 125gal. I did recently discover my phosphate was bottomed out, so I started dosing with Neophos. It would consistently read 0.0 on my Hanna checker. I've been dosing for 3 weeks or so, and have seen some improvement, and I think the clam may be starting to grow again. The monti is still fairly washed out though.

Cal and alk get tested regularly, and are very consistent. I maintain my levels with 2-part on a doser. Magnesium hardly ever moves. Lighting is a 6-bulb ATI t5 with 6 month old bulbs 11hr a day. Temps are maintained by my apex at ~78.

It's strange to me that I'd be struggling with a beginner SPS when I've got a few colonies of acropora and millipora that are probably 8" across and growing rapidly.

bertoni
10/05/2017, 07:55 PM
The phosphate dosing makes sense with that large a clam in the tank. I think that a slower growth rate is normal, though, once the animal is that size.

I'm not sure why the Montipora is having trouble, but it could be unhappy with the lighting level or have some sort of disease or predator attacking it.

jrp1588
10/05/2017, 08:01 PM
The phosphate dosing makes sense with that large a clam in the tank. I think that a slower growth rate is normal, though, once the animal is that size.

I'm not sure why the Montipora is having trouble, but it could be unhappy with the lighting level or have some sort of disease or predator attacking it.

Yeah, I've considered just ripping the dang monti out. Its failure to thrive has been a constant thorn in my side. The odd thing is, I've got a monti spongodes and several encrusting montis that grow like crazy. Anyway, I pulled the ceramic block out tonight, and I plan to pick up an iodine supplement this weekend. I might consider bumping my strontium up as well. Maybe one of those will help.

dkeller_nc
10/06/2017, 09:13 AM
What I'd suggest is to hold off dosing anything for a while. This is a personal opinion without any references to back it up, but those aluminum levels would concern me. Enough to remove the bio-block and do several 20% water changes over the course of a week or so. Presuming you're using a decent brand of salt, those water changes will likely bring your trace element values into acceptable range.

BTW - your nitrate values seem fairly elevated. While 20ppm isn't likely to harm any of the life in the tank, it might indicate an imbalance somewhere in your tank's microbiological communities. FWIW, I typically have to carbon dose a newly set-up tank (at a very low level of carbon dosing) for about a 4 week period. Once I do that, and nitrate/phosphate values come into balance, further carbon dosing seems to be unnecessary - nitrate remains below 5 ppm no matter how much I feed the fish or corals.

This is also just me theorizing without any evidence to back it up, but it seems that the initial carbon dosing regimen is sufficient to establish an anaerobic nitrate-reducing bacterial bed, and that community continues to reduce nitrate to nitrogen without an additional easily-oxidizable carbon source.

jrp1588
10/06/2017, 09:21 AM
The tank is 2 years old. Despite my fairly light bioload, open aquascape, and large skimmer I've always had highish nitrates (though my Nyos kit always tells me I'm around 10ppm). I tried a turf scrubber for a while and didn't see results, I tried vodka dosing for a while, and never got below 5ppm. In retrospect, I think my tank is phosphate limited, which was preventing either method from fully pulling down my nitrates.

The Marine Pure block has been removed. I'll try to get in a large water change this weekend.

bertoni
10/06/2017, 03:52 PM
10 ppm is fine, and I'd trust the kit over the ICP number, personally, although nitrate testing in general seems to be problematic. Kits tend to disagree on a regular basis.

I'd keep the water change in the 15-20% range and do more changes, if I wanted to drop the level quickly. Larger changes sometimes cause problems, so given that the tank is doing reasonably well, I'd be cautious.

jrp1588
10/06/2017, 05:00 PM
Yeah, about 15% is the maximum I can do at any one time anyway. I have a 125gal tank, and I mix water in a Brute trash can, which I usually fill to around 22gal.

bertoni
10/06/2017, 08:32 PM
Okay, that should be fine.

jrp1588
10/08/2017, 02:28 PM
I feel like the answer is no, but any idea if activated carbon removes aluminum? I can't find a straight answer on google.

bertoni
10/08/2017, 07:31 PM
It would remove aluminum or alumina that's bound to organics, but I don't know what percentage of the aluminum in a system would be bound that way. Activated carbon won't bind metallic aluminum or alumina, as far as I know.

mcgyvr
10/09/2017, 06:52 AM
A polyfilter should remove aluminum..

jrp1588
10/09/2017, 08:11 AM
A polyfilter should remove aluminum..

Yeah, I figured. Unfortunately my local store doesn't carry them, and I'll be out of town on vacation before I could order one in.

dkeller_nc
10/09/2017, 08:54 AM
Generally speaking, there isn't a lot that will absorb a specific low-level trace element from the "kitchen sink" soup of other ions in seawater. There are lots of products that claim to do this, but as a chemical engineer, the only substance that I know of that would do this that has a strong theoretical backing would be a molecular sieve with a very specific pore size that is matched to the element that one is trying to remove. Even then, the enormous concentration of interfering ions will likely make the molecular sieve very inefficient.

The bottom line is to remove the source of the offending ion (whether corroding equipment, contaminated salt, or a contaminated additive), then doing old-fashioned water changes. It will take a number of them to drop the particular substance to near zero, but it is very effective.

jrp1588
10/09/2017, 09:04 AM
Yeah, figured as much. My brother is a chemical engineer as well. I really need to get him into this hobby so I can ask him these sorts of questions. haha

orcafood
10/09/2017, 02:32 PM
Generally speaking, there isn't a lot that will absorb a specific low-level trace element from the "kitchen sink" soup of other ions in seawater. There are lots of products that claim to do this, but as a chemical engineer, the only substance that I know of that would do this that has a strong theoretical backing would be a molecular sieve with a very specific pore size that is matched to the element that one is trying to remove. Even then, the enormous concentration of interfering ions will likely make the molecular sieve very inefficient.

The bottom line is to remove the source of the offending ion (whether corroding equipment, contaminated salt, or a contaminated additive), then doing old-fashioned water changes. It will take a number of them to drop the particular substance to near zero, but it is very effective.

They can dope surfaces with ionophores. Such as covering a silica support with crown ethers. Your right on, water changes are probably the best way to do this plus removing the source.

dkeller_nc
10/10/2017, 09:56 AM
The issue is ionophore selectivity in the presence of a large amount of very similar, interfering ions. Not to mention the longevity issues with an organic material in a non-sterile environment.

The bottom line is that pulling out an inorganic ion from a soup of similar ones is incredibly difficult. That's generally the issue with mining trace elements from seawater (such as gold and platinum), or separating rare earth elements from a mixed ore deposit.

orcafood
10/10/2017, 10:56 AM
I agree that it is amazingly difficult.

Siderophores are a pretty stable example. It is not impossible to make a crown ether unpalatable via functionalization while still retaining the ionophore activity. I've even seen fused EDTA-esque structures that worked well. Creatures in our tanks are pulling out specific ions all the time.

Hmm interesting I have never thought about mining gold from seawater. I'm pretty sure no one tries it because it is so dilute.

"Each liter of seawater contains, on average, about 13 billionths of a gram of gold"