View Full Version : reef crystals nightmare- missing ca and mg :-o

10/09/2017, 09:41 PM
hey guys. been in the hobby for a while. i have a 150 reef tank running well for 8 years and i've been regularly using io rc salt. and this week the unthinkable happened. did a water change recently with io rc. then had to be away from home for a week for a business trip. a couple days later i saw some of my sps started bleaching. after investigating, something wasn't right with the water. tested my params and found my mg and ca dropped drastically. everything read normal except my mg was down to about 800 and ca 120
so i frantically mixed a new bucket of salt water with the io rc and to my horror, there were hardly any traces of ca or mg. salinity read 1.026 and dkh and ph read normal. the salt bags looked normal. no clumping. i buy 200 gall boxes from amazon. nothing out of the ordinary. i wasnt ready to accept the fact that this was a bad batch of salt. so my buddy gave me a bag of his regular io salt tonight and i just tested a newly mixed batch of water using io salt. to my dismay, the io mixed normal. mg in the 1400s and ca in the 400s. so that proves that none of my test kits were off. it was the salt! ugghhh

i dont have ro water handy so i am making some right now, but my sps corals are literally dying by the hour. it is painful to watch. fish seem ok, and lps look all bloated.

i admit i never test my new water. just for salinity and ph. i had no idea that there could be batches with no ca or mg. this was a painful lesson learned.

just wanted to share so that you all learn from my lesson. test all params of your newly mixed water!

and for those of you who experienced this, does IO take any responsibility for this? i still have 3 new bags of the bad salt but unfortunately i recycled the box it came in.

i am ready to face the fact that this is going to have to be a painful reboot of the system after a wonderful 8 years growing these colonies...

its a sad night..

10/09/2017, 10:27 PM
Do you mix the dry salt up before you add it to water? I've heard the smaller particles can settle to the bottom and throw the parameters off because of that. I look like an idiot rolling my bucket around to mix it in the living room. It doesn't seem it's for nothing. Been using RC luke that for 4 years and my parameters have always been good.

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10/10/2017, 10:23 AM
the 200 gal box comes in 4 bags so mixing it is not typically needed especially if you make up 40+ gallons at a time.

I had a bad batch of RC myself that nearly wiped out my tank. I have never had an iassue with regular IO and am sticking with that but I do now spot check newly mixed salt as I do roughly 75 gallons at a time...

10/10/2017, 03:28 PM
I use regular IO and find it can vary with each batch (although this sounds extreme!). I would recommend everyone to test all WC water regardless of salt used at least for Salinity, Alk, Cal.

Personally, I test (and adjust) for Salinity, Alk, Cal, Mag, Nitrate, pH.

As far as what IO might do, they might send you a new box of salt if you call them.

10/10/2017, 04:28 PM
I've had a batch of IORC be low on mag. I called them and they replaced the box.

10/10/2017, 05:17 PM
I have to add Magnesium to every new batch of RC.:mad:

04/16/2018, 06:43 AM
I just tested a batch of RC.

SG 1.025 @ 77F
Mag 680
Calcium 360

I've been using RC for 10 years and will probably switch to Coral Pro or HW.