What's eating my magnesium?

Discussion in 'Water Parameters and Additives' started by Lemar, 30 Apr 2009.

  1. Lemar

    Lemar

    Joined:
    23 Jul 2008
    Posts:
    405
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lichtenburg
    I've been having problems with my magnesium levels. Over the last 2.5 weeks I've slowly been dosing epsom salts to increase it.
    I initially tested with a red sea test kit, which gave me perfect readings. I then invested in a elos kit, and after a big shock i realised that my magnesium was at 800. I also confirmed this with another test.
    So I started dosing epsom salt (as bio magnesium would have cost me over R1000k), raising the mg with 50ppm per day.
    When I tested the mg 2 days ago it was at 1250. I stopped dosing. So I tested again today, to see if there were any changes and the mg was back at 1100.
    So in 2 days it dropped by 150ppm. Is this possible? and why, what is causing this?
    At this rate i will have to dose espom every day (which I've read is also not that good) and dosing bio-magnes will cost a fortune.
    18 spoonfuls a day will only raise it by 20ppm?
    What will I have to do to rectify this problem?
     
  2. AdS Guest




    to hide all adverts.
  3. FransSny

    FransSny

    Joined:
    16 Oct 2008
    Posts:
    5,697
    Likes Received:
    67
    Location:
    Hermanus
    used the read sea agian lemar or the other test kit
     
  4. Lemar

    Lemar Thread Starter

    Joined:
    23 Jul 2008
    Posts:
    405
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lichtenburg
    ok will that quickly and post the result
     
  5. Tony

    Tony

    Joined:
    23 Aug 2008
    Posts:
    4,093
    Likes Received:
    68
    Location:
    Honeydew, Johannesburg
    That is a bit hectic for one day unless you have a ton of corals and coralline growing like mad
     
  6. Lemar

    Lemar Thread Starter

    Joined:
    23 Jul 2008
    Posts:
    405
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lichtenburg
    Sera test = 1380
    Elos = 1100

    From experience i know that the sera kit always tests higher.
    And the test i performed two days ago was with elos and again today with elos. Even if the test levels are incorrect it still indicates that the level dropped in the 2 days
     
  7. Lemar

    Lemar Thread Starter

    Joined:
    23 Jul 2008
    Posts:
    405
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lichtenburg
    don't have that many corals.
    1x xenia
    1x hammer head
    1x finger leather
    1x sponge coral
    1x toadstool
    2x zoa's
    1x star pollyps
    1x other (can't remember name now)
    I have a bit of coralline algae growing, but not that much. I can see it on about 5 of my LR's
     
  8. Tony

    Tony

    Joined:
    23 Aug 2008
    Posts:
    4,093
    Likes Received:
    68
    Location:
    Honeydew, Johannesburg
    Retest with the Elos tomorrow and see how things pan out. Are you doing the test right? I bought the KH test and those instructions had me confused as a dog in a hub cap factory
     
  9. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    15 May 2007
    Posts:
    2,899
    Likes Received:
    112
    Location:
    Bloemfontein
    Hi Lemar,

    I agree with Tony, don't add any more additives for the next 4 days, and test again after 2 and 4 days. It will be quite unusual IF the mag is really dropping this fast, and I would then suspect that it is precipitating out of solution. This would only happen at a high pH - check your pH measurements as well on those two days when you test for mag (also test foe alk and calcium at the same time, to get a clear picture, as the calcium would precipitate as well if the magnesium does...)

    How are you adding your alkalinity (buffer) and calcium - if this (especially the buffer) is added in a large volume, and especially if it creates a temporary "milkiness" in the water where it is being added, it would most likely be your cause...

    Hennie
     
  10. Lemar

    Lemar Thread Starter

    Joined:
    23 Jul 2008
    Posts:
    405
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lichtenburg
    Hi hennie
    Ok I did nothing for 3 days, and tested the parameters yesterday at 4pm
    Magn = 1050
    Calcium = 380
    PH = 8.3
    Alk = 8
    the calcium dropped a bit (obviously due to the magnesuim and the mag is still dropping)
    I'm using bicarb to dose my alkalinity (3 teaspoons every third day) and i'm using bio-calcium from tropic marin once a week. What i do is mix it with ro water and then pour it into the sump (in my return pump chamber)
    the water does not look milky after I do this...
    I add
     
  11. nadia

    nadia

    Joined:
    28 Apr 2009
    Posts:
    17
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    vereeniging
    what are the costs involved with getting testkits?and must u have 2 ? live in vereeniging . where can i buy one?
     
  12. Lemar

    Lemar Thread Starter

    Joined:
    23 Jul 2008
    Posts:
    405
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lichtenburg
    hi nadia, the tests are quite expensive. you need different tests to test you're alkalinity, magnesium and calcium. depends on you're set-up, that will determine what tests you will require
    You can talk to lanzo at dorry pets (he is a sponsor) regarding the tests and the cost involved. You're probably looking at around R400-R600 for a test, but i'm not sure. You should pm the sponsors. Also very important, don't buy the cheapest tests. They are not worth it, they are inaccurate. In the end you will anycase end up buying the more expensive reliable ones. Don't make the mistake i did...
     
  13. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    15 May 2007
    Posts:
    2,899
    Likes Received:
    112
    Location:
    Bloemfontein
    I take it that was with the Elos test kit ???

    If so, then the magnesium dropped from 1100 to 1050 in three days - is that correct? This is quite high, mine drops by this amount in about 2-3 months... If you are certain that the test is repeatable (do it at least 3 times over a period of an hour or two, just to confirm that the results remain the same...) then you would have to supplement with more than just Epsom salts - you need to make a mixture of Epsom salts and magnesium chloride. The exact recipe was developed by Dr. Randy Holmes-Farley, and can be found on one of the links on my forum:

    http://http://www.marineaquariumsa.com/showthread.php?t=3375

    and here

    http://http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-02/rhf/index.php

    The chemicals can be bought from a chemical supply company, such as Merc or Minema lab supplies. I will be ordering in the near future, and if you (or anyone else) are interested we can possibly combine to make it one big order (much cheaper, this way...)

    Hennie
     
  14. Lemar

    Lemar Thread Starter

    Joined:
    23 Jul 2008
    Posts:
    405
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lichtenburg
    yes that's right. I just don't understand why it dropped so much? the links are not working? can you maybe give me the direct link to the recipies.
    Are the chemicals very expensive? Hennie I also have a problem with my alkalinity. I have to dose bicarb every second day to keep it between 7 and 8. Could this all be factors that is causing my problems?
     
  15. Lemar

    Lemar Thread Starter

    Joined:
    23 Jul 2008
    Posts:
    405
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lichtenburg
    ok i've searched and think i've found you're recipy. Chemical equivalents - Hennie's Corner
    when are you ordering the magn chloride hennie? I actually need it quite urgently, what will the low mag levels have on my corals? Is there somewhere else I can try? are these companies in SA?
     
    Last edited: 5 May 2009
  16. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    29 May 2007
    Posts:
    17,868
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    Cape Town
    Lemar - if you really urgently need to increase your magnesium, you can use Epsom Salts. Epsom salts is "magnesium sulfates". It is not recommended to use Epsom salts too often or for too long a period of time - as the sulfates can build up in the tank, causing a chemical in-balance.... but for now, it would be more than 100% fine to use....
     
  17. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    6 May 2007
    Posts:
    3,149
    Likes Received:
    171
    Location:
    Bracken
    huh
     
  18. Lemar

    Lemar Thread Starter

    Joined:
    23 Jul 2008
    Posts:
    405
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lichtenburg
    i've been dosing epsom salts, to increase magnes, but it's not actually working. the mg increases but 2-3 days it droppes again... just like that! (and i'm talking about alot of epsom salt)
    Last week sometime my mg was actuall perfect at 1300 and i was so happy, and then 3 days later when i tested it it was back to 1100? something funny going on in the tank...
     
  19. Lemar

    Lemar Thread Starter

    Joined:
    23 Jul 2008
    Posts:
    405
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lichtenburg
    Ps what effect will the low mg levels have on my corals? I noticed yesterday that i can see part of my hammerhead coral's sceleton. which is not good, means he is probably dying? what can i do to prevent this? is it due to the mg? the coral is so beautiful, really don't want to loose him
     
Recent Posts

Loading...
Similar Threads - What's eating magnesium Forum Date
Sand going brown. What's the cause General Discussions and Advice 17 Apr 2016
What's your nicest Hitch Hiker ever General Discussions and Advice 7 Aug 2015
Survey - What's in(vertebrate) your tank? General Discussions and Advice 12 Jun 2015
What's going on here? LPS Corals 6 May 2015
What's the recommended water change? General Discussions and Advice 14 Apr 2015
What's your monthly hobby cost? #Addicts General Discussions and Advice 10 Feb 2015
What's up with these zoas? Soft Corals 25 Jan 2015