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Old 11/22/2009, 08:58 AM   #1
derek4real
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Balling Method and Water Changes

I have read some articles/threads on this method and have some questions for the "Balling" people.

Is it possible to not do water changes with this method?
I heard you can dose pure trace elements.

If not please explain why?

I am wishing i had a smaller tank for making things easier. I have a 150 currently and looking to add a 75 Frag Tank to my system (or run it seperate, not sure yet).

Links to articles or threads would be nice. Thx in advance.


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Old 11/22/2009, 09:08 AM   #2
Randy Holmes-Farley
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Is it possible to not do water changes with this method?
I heard you can dose pure trace elements.


There are many reasons to do water changes. Adding trace elements that might be depleted is just one.

Exporting trace elements and organics that are building up is another, and no amount of dosing can help with that. Also, correcting major and minor ion imbalances is another good reason for water changes (chloride/sulfate ratio, potassium, magnesium, etc).


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Old 11/22/2009, 09:27 AM   #3
derek4real
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i was under the impression that you could rid WC with this method.

I might have to do my automated water changes via Aqua Lifter then.


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Old 11/22/2009, 09:47 AM   #4
Randy Holmes-Farley
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i was under the impression that you could rid WC with this method.

Well, I certainly would not agree with that claim. I discuss water changes here:

Water Changes in Reef Aquaria
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2005-10/rhf/index.php


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Old 11/22/2009, 10:22 AM   #5
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And for those of us not among the cognoscenti, what @&#% is the balling method?


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Old 11/22/2009, 11:51 AM   #6
Randy Holmes-Farley
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It is basically a two part system, sometimes formulated as dry parts, and the full method has trace elements added.

Here's a roundup of the detailed chemistry in it:

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh...2&postcount=38


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Old 11/22/2009, 12:03 PM   #7
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That explains it!


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Old 11/22/2009, 02:46 PM   #8
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Happy Reefing.


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Old 11/24/2009, 11:30 AM   #9
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I want just 1/10th the reef knowledge Randy has. Just sayin'. Keep on ballin' you baller. But I do know nothing replaces good ole water changes.


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Old 11/24/2009, 11:44 AM   #10
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Balling does not replace water changes! The trace element mixes were formulated according to minor/trace element composition of some marine carbonates. The idea is that dosing "full" Balling solutions calcification will not alter water chemistry and produced skeletons have more natural composition.

In other words, after calcification you have effectively only added a small amount of regular salt mix. That's the idea anyway, I have not seen actual data to support it but the theory seems plausible, IMHO.


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Old 11/24/2009, 02:01 PM   #11
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"There is no solution to pollution like dilution"

Has been my moniker about the need for water changes for 25 plus years!

We cannot test for everything in the water. So we cannot know for a certainty what has accumulated, and could become toxic or at least be an irritant to the animal life in our aquaria.
I would like to see a more detailed description by the folks at Fauna Marin, and others that truly compares the similarity and differences of Balling Lite -vs- 2 part.

T


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Old 11/24/2009, 03:50 PM   #12
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I think the Fauna Marin system has evolved enough to deserve a completely new name

Fauna Marin system include, among other things, organic substances and thus comparing it to traditional [2,3]-part and Balling is difficult.

All above methods will give good results. I use Balling because the ingredients are readily available here and relatively inexpensive. If you have access to inexpensive magnesium salts, Randy's DIY recipes are equally good option.


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Old 11/26/2009, 09:26 AM   #13
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Thanks, Tatu.

Since there are many ways that elements get depleted in addition to calcification (skimming, GAC, macroalgae growth, organism tissue growth, GFO, etc), I'm not sure that adding a fixed trace element cocktail based on what ends up in calcified coral skeletons is really a sound plan. And that ignores the fact that what is in the skeletons of different organisms differs dramatically from one species to another, so won't be fixed across all aquaria.


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Old 11/26/2009, 10:08 AM   #14
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Randy -
I would like to explore the similarities/differences in Balling -vs- 2 part that you recommend.
I have the feeling from what I have read on other web sites ( I don't know if I can post them here - or quotes from them) that there is not arbitrary dosing of anything.....Testing - just like testing for any other method/system is the yardstick by which one would determine when, or what to dose. This seems to apply to the organics, and trace elements.
Once an initial period of testing for what and how much consumption of the major contituents of the seawater is established - then - and only then is it recommended that you can set up dosing those ( the CA, Mg, and ALK, and there may be more - not sure) via manual, or automated methods.

I think that - because most of us that have been involved in this hobby for a long time - have seen MANY manufacturers of "magic sauce" come and go - but mostly leave us with our systems in a worse state than before - well ...we have become fairly suspicious of anything new. I agree with this - but, in all of the reading I am currently doing on the "Balling" method - even the manufacturer's of product to support it recommend starting at 1/4 of the stated doses, and increase very slowly - because we cannot at the level of the hobbyist in general, *know* for a fact the exact quanities of the minor, and trace elements. (personal conversation w/Claude Shumacher - owner of Fauna Marin)

So - I am happy that with some manufacturer's - there is a change in the "push" to buy the product, and potentially over- dose.

What does make sense to me ( on the level that I can makes sense of it) is that the Balling method is designed to help prevent ionic im-balance between the major constituents of the seawater.

The build up of chlorides with other methods seems to be the central issue that Balling sets out to address.

I do hope we can have Claude, or one of the other authoritative folks on the subject wade in, and discuss with us all their perception of and reason behind the Balling method.

All I ask is that - we try and keep an open mind here. I just spent a lot of time being embarrassed by the rude comments on a thread devoted to the new NP pellets. I understand the suspicion - but, please guys - we are here to learn. We must have some respect - even if we dis-agree. Again - I agree that caution is the best policy when considering any change in our chemistry.
T


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Old 11/26/2009, 10:36 AM   #15
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I personally dose trace element mixes, simply because I've seen positive effects in my tank. Over the years I've started and stopped the dosing enough times that I feel confident that the results are real. I feel it would be stupid for me to ignore my own observations

I tend to stay away from online TE discussions though... too emotional for my taste


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Old 11/26/2009, 10:40 AM   #16
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I personally dose trace element mixes, simply because I've seen positive effects in my tank. Over the years I've started and stopped the dosing enough times that I feel confident that the results are real. I feel it would be stupid for me to ignore my own observations

Any idea which components are useful for you?


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Old 11/26/2009, 10:46 AM   #17
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I understand your feelings. And I appreciate your observations. You are right - we should never ignore what our eyes, and sometimes our nose tells us.

However, many of us need quantifiable ways to measure our progress. Doubt is as much an important ingredient in science as are observation, and testing.

I hope this discussion does not become just about trace elements. I am trying to focus on the Balling method as compared with the currently popular 2 part methods.

Emotion to should be best reserved for our sposes, and family members, though - sometimes I would rather talk to my aquariums. So, I do understand the connection we feel as we engage in a long term endeavor that is a "witches brew" of science, gardening, and plumbing.

I have e-mailed Claude Shumacher, asking if he would engage here in the discussion. So, I hope we hear from him soon. He has been most gracious with his time when I had questions.
T


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Old 11/26/2009, 10:51 AM   #18
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Randy
This is stuart from D-D in England - Deltec, H2Ocean, Rowaphos etc

I am sorry for jumping in on this thread but I could really do with 5 minutes of your time if I can call you.

My email is [email protected] if you can send me your contact details

Would appreciate it
Stuart


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Old 11/26/2009, 10:53 AM   #19
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Randy:
How about if I ask - "Is there any way to tell which ones are NOT useful to you?"

The e only exception here is we can tell by negative reactions of our animals what is only an over dose - or possibly a lack of something.

But untill ALL is known about what and how much each animal requires - in it's total requirement for optimum health....

AND until we have the ability to test for such..................

Looks like regardless of our degrees/experience - we are ALL still very much amateurs doing the best we can.

Again - please, let's not turn this into a trace elment thread - until we have dealt with the comparisons with Balling vs 2 part.

T


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Old 11/26/2009, 11:08 AM   #20
tatuvaaj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Holmes-Farley View Post
Any idea which components are useful for you?
You mean individual elements? No, I have no idea Testing them individually would be a bit too involved for me.

Have you tried trace element mixes yourself?


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Old 11/26/2009, 11:58 AM   #21
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Have you tried trace element mixes yourself?

On a few occasions, including fairly recently using a DIY Combisan mimic. I didn't notice anything, but Greg Hiller gave me the mix he made himself, and he thought it helped his tank.

Testing them individually would be a bit too involved for me.

I thought maybe you'd tried some different brands and if they told you what was in them, you might correlate what works.


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Old 11/26/2009, 12:00 PM   #22
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until we have dealt with the comparisons with Balling vs 2 part.

As far as I know, none of the commercial two parts really tell you what is in them, so aside from calcium and alkalinity and pH, it is hard to compare.


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Old 11/26/2009, 12:02 PM   #23
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What does make sense to me ( on the level that I can makes sense of it) is that the Balling method is designed to help prevent ionic im-balance between the major constituents of the seawater.

That is something that two parts can and should do perfectly well. It is easy to accomplish. Chloride buildup is certainly not a drawback of two part systems.


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Old 11/26/2009, 12:12 PM   #24
tatuvaaj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Holmes-Farley View Post
I thought maybe you'd tried some different brands and if they told you what was in them, you might correlate what works.
Ah, I see No, I haven't really used many TE products. I'm currently using hw's TraceTip 1&2 but Tropic Marin's K&A elements seem to work also.

I dose about half of the recommended dose, seems to be "enough" for my tank

BTW, corals might not be the best bioindicators for trace element additions as far as overdose is concerned. I remember reading that in general echinoderms are very sensitive at least for heavy metals. If I remember correctly, 10 ug/l Cu is enough to cause Diadema spp. sea urchins to stop moving and eating.

As it happens, I have a large community of echinoderms

[Edit: I should point out that I do not use Balling element mixes]


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