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View Full Version : Dowflake found in South Flroida and questions for Randy


Ralistin
01/14/2006, 11:47 AM
First of all thanks to Randy for taking the time to study the purity of this product and saving us all a lot of money which we can always use more of.

While using the search tool I found a thread started by Reefarchitect for people looking for Dowflake in Florida. Also, thanks to cmcgehee1 who knew that it could be found at Pinch-A-Penny stores all over Florida. I went to their website (www.pinchapenny.com) and found a store less then two miles from me. I called and they had what I am showing in the pic below. It was 23 dollars and change. So thanks to both of these guys for finding it for us.

Randy, I had just a few questions. First of all this is the right producct, correct? Second, I have your recipe already but could you tell me how I should dose it in a 75 gallon aquarium? I know to use equal parts but how much should the initial dose be to raise it say 100ppm calcium?

Again, thanks for all your efforts!

http://reefcentral.com/gallery/data/500/14842Dowflake.jpg

Ralistin
01/14/2006, 12:14 PM
Also, storing this product in a rubbermaid container ok? Should it be air tight or any container will do as long as it has a lid?

Randy Holmes-Farley
01/14/2006, 03:06 PM
Yes, that is the right product. As long as humidity does not get in, a plastic container is fine. :)

Here's the section on dosing from my upcoming article:

Dosing Instructions

The dosing instructions are basically the same for each recipe, although in any given aquarium one will end up using about twice as much of recipe # 2 as recipe #1 to add the same amount of calcium and alkalinity.

To initiate dosing, first get calcium and alkalinity in roughly the correct ranges. That may require a substantial dose of just the calcium part if calcium is low (below 380 ppm). I would suggest targeting calcium between 380 and 450 ppm, and alkalinity between 2.5 and 4 meq/L (7-11 dKH; 125-200 ppm calcium carbonate equivalents).

This calculator shows how much of what parts to add to boost one or both of the parameters by a certain amount:
Reef chemicals calculator
http://home.comcast.net/~jdieck1/chem_calc3.html

Then, once things seem roughly set, select a starting dose for routine dosing. Here are some suggested starting doses, but the exact values do not matter too much. For either recipe, use equal doses of Parts 1 and 2.

Table 1. Suggested doses to start with in using this supplement in different aquaria.
Tank Description........Suggested Starting Doses
........................................................Recipe #1........Recipe #2
Fish Only With Live Rock................0.1 mL/gallon........0.2 mL/gallon
New tank, few corals ....................0.2 mL/gallon.........0.4 mL/gallon
Low Demand................................0.3 mL/gallon...........0.6 mL/gallon
Mixed Tank....................................0.5 mL/gallon........1 mL/gallon
Heavy Demand (SPS corals)........1 mL/gallon..............2 mL/gallon

After a few days of dosing, note whether alkalinity is declining below where you want it, increasing above where you want it, or stable where you want it to be. Only bother to test alkalinity during this period. It is much more sensitive to over or under dosing than is calcium. Adjust the dose up or down as necessary to increase or decrease the alkalinity.
Once you get a dose set, keep at that dose until there is a substantial reason to adjust it (like it not meeting demand for alkalinity as corals get bigger). When you adjust dose, raise or lower both parts together.

Resist the temptation to keep jiggering calcium and alkalinity independently. They will need occasional corrections, but that should not be the normal course of dosing unless there are substantial outside influences, such as water changes with a salt mix that does not match the tank or an error in making the mixes somehow.

Check alkalinity fairly frequently to make sure the dosing continues at a suitable rate. Maybe check it once a week to once a month (or less as you get more experienced with the system and the tank). Check calcium to make sure it continues on track once a month to once every few months.

Remember to add an appropriate amount of Part 3 each time you finish adding a gallon of Parts 1 and 2.

Ralistin
01/14/2006, 05:00 PM
Again, thanks Randy. To eliminate Sulfate build up just do a monthly or bi-monthly water change?

PatMayo
01/14/2006, 10:54 PM
Thanks from me Randy as well. That explanation in your last post really cleared up the proper way to dose alkalinity and calcium. The light bulb turned on.

Regards,

Pat

ri
01/15/2006, 05:48 AM
Looks like Dow has changed the packaging from when I last purchased (around a year ago)... mine is in a heavy white plastic bag.

ri

Randy Holmes-Farley
01/15/2006, 06:46 AM
Again, thanks Randy. To eliminate Sulfate build up just do a monthly or bi-monthly water change?

That's one way, but not as good as using the newer recipe that employs magneisum chloride and Epsom salts.

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=742944

Randy Holmes-Farley
01/15/2006, 06:49 AM
Looks like Dow has changed the packaging from when I last purchased (around a year ago)... mine is in a heavy white plastic bag.

They seem to sell both. Mine is white (but older) too. :)

Ralistin:

Can I use that picture in my upcoming article? If so, just PM me how you'd like you name to appear on a credit below the photo. :)

Thanks from me Randy as well. That explanation in your last post really cleared up the proper way to dose alkalinity and calcium. The light bulb turned on.

:thumbsup:

I'm glad it helped!

Ralistin
01/15/2006, 10:46 AM
Randy, I have read posts on how to obtain Magnesium Chloride for the last few hours. From what I read we should get the stuff from the Dead Sea Works in Isreal, simply due to its own analysis which shows good quality. Greg Hiller ordered in bulk because it appears you cannot buy the exact same stuff in small quantities.

On another thread there were a few guys who ordered magnesium chloride from either Harveys Salt Company or from Snowmelt.com. They said the product is from Dead Sea Works but you were still not sure if the quality would still be the same as what Greg Hiller got.

Is there any change in this information? Is it still obtainable in bulk only? I would love to buy some for your new updated recipe but I fear it may be too hard to find. Please let me know if you have any additional information. Thanks!

Randy Holmes-Farley
01/15/2006, 11:33 AM
Some folks have found mag chloride from the Dead Sea Works at hardware stores for deicing. IMO, any form from the Dead Sea works likely be adequate quality. :)

Ralistin
01/15/2006, 01:38 PM
Started dosing for the first time. The calculator says I need 4 x the amount of calcium chloride then sodium bicarbonate to reach my target for both Alk and Calcium. For the first initial dose is it ok to not pour equal amounts? If I don't the calcium will not be near where it should be. Calcium is currently at 320ppm and DKH is 7.

This might also be due to that I have added baking soda to keep up with DKH even while I was out of B-ionic calcium for about 4 days.

Randy Holmes-Farley
01/15/2006, 01:49 PM
For the first initial dose is it ok to not pour equal amounts?

If you are fixing a starting problem, especially low calcim, yes. :)

Ralistin
01/15/2006, 02:29 PM
This might sound stupid but I am excited about dosing with this stuff. The cost savings is astronomical! Thanks again Randy. I am now at 410ppm calcium and 11 DKH. I think in my excitment I dosed a bit quickly. Ph only dropped by .2 though.

Randy Holmes-Farley
01/16/2006, 05:56 AM
You're welcome.

Good luck with it!

cristhiam
01/16/2006, 12:19 PM
This is what I found at Pinch-A-Penny over here (Clermont). SunCoast Calcium Chloride. 77% Calcium 23% inerts. Are you guys familiar with this product? They said is the same as Dowflake.

Hobster
01/16/2006, 02:09 PM
That is the kind they have in the PP stores here also. I do not believe it to be the same.
The large 50lb bags are from the Tetra Chem in China. I

Ralistin
01/16/2006, 03:45 PM
Personally I would not use unless Randy or someone with Randy's qualifications (I doubt you will find many here) has analyzed it or is given a label analysis for them to detrmine if it is pure enough and does not contain inert chemicals that may harm your reef tank. It is better to be safe then sorry.

I got mine in Broward Florida. I guess all Pinch-A-Penny's don't carry the same product. Did you ask if they can get some Dowflake in from another store? They might do that upon request.

cristhiam
01/16/2006, 03:53 PM
no the girl was clueless :) but I still have other stores around

Randy Holmes-Farley
01/17/2006, 09:33 AM
If it doesn't have a pedigree tracing back to Dow, I'd be reluctant to use it, but it might be fine.

katlongo
01/21/2006, 11:23 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=6500073#post6500073 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Randy Holmes-Farley

After a few days of dosing, note whether alkalinity is declining below where you want it, increasing above where you want it, or stable where you want it to be. Only bother to test alkalinity during this period. It is much more sensitive to over or under dosing than is calcium. Adjust the dose up or down as necessary to increase or decrease the alkalinity.

What did I do wrong?!

Following the above instructions, I got my parameters to CA 440; and Alk 4.0. I chose 3 oz per day of each part and dosed for 4 days. On Day 4 I tested alk and it was 3.0.

So, I upped the dosing to 4 oz of each part per day. On Day 3 of this regimen I tested Alk 2.5. So I decided to test CA also -- It's over 1000!! I stopped adding test agent at that point. I also just tested my mg and it's only 1140.

I assume that I need to STOP dosing the CA, dose mag to get it where it needs to be and perhaps do a few water changes?

Then, what?

Randy Holmes-Farley
01/21/2006, 11:26 AM
There must be a testing error or a DIY recipe mixing error somewhere. few days of any reasonable dosing cannot get calcium over 1000 ppm.

What recipe and what size tank?

katlongo
01/21/2006, 12:53 PM
okay, so I ignored the first rule of troubleshooting - if the findings don't make sense, try it again -- Second test of calcium puts it at 470

So.... I'm getting the calcium to rise slightly at 4 oz per day, but the alk is dropping a lot.

My tank is a 150 with a 20 gal refugium. I have a 6" clam, a 5-head frogspawn, a 4" l piece of cap, some mushrooms and 150 pounds of coralline encrusted rock enjoying the calcium. I'd like to keep the alk at around 4 to 4.5.

I'm using Recipe #1. I haven't gotten the magnesium part yet as I figured I had until I finished Parts 1 and 2.

And, one last "doh" question before I go to work - should I be measuring the alk before or AFTER I dose to measure how stable the dosing is? (cuz I just measured a couple of hours AFTER I dosed and the alk is at 5, calcium is now at 470 - my original post was 2.5 and the whacked out wrong calcium BEFORE I dosed)

Randy Holmes-Farley
01/21/2006, 03:34 PM
try it again -- Second test of calcium puts it at 470


:thumbsup:

Sounds good. :)

So.... I'm getting the calcium to rise slightly at 4 oz per day, but the alk is dropping a lot.

Calcium testing is noisy. Focus on the alkalinity. If the calcium continues to climb for a week back off a bit on it, or dilute it a bit, but don't change equal parts dosing yet.

Measure the alk an hour or so after adding a dose to see the max, and just before a dose to see the minimum.

katlongo
01/21/2006, 07:59 PM
Thanks so much! I'll try it for another week and see what happens.

Randy Holmes-Farley
01/22/2006, 06:54 AM
:thumbsup:

You're welcome.

Good luck. :)