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Old 07-20-2003, 09:34 PM   #1
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Chemistry Challenge

I spent a long time doing water tests in all the tanks. It was past time.
Anyway, below are the results. This is the first time I have done all the
tanks since we got the RO unit and I have noticed that the stability of
most readings has increased, I use less salt per bucket for the same
salinity and the ph is staying at 8.5, using no additives on most of the
tanks. The challenge comes in coming up with an explanation for the
46 gallon tank. It has been "cycled" for 3 months now. But, there is
something definitely WRONG, as nothing will live in the tank past an hour.
As you can see, all the readings are normal except calcium....there is none.
I have checked the test against another test kit, plus used the same for the
rest of the tanks. What could take the calc to zero and yet not affect the
other readings? Substrate is gravel, there is some hirocks baserock in the
tank. I have checked for iron toxicity and had the LFS test for copper...zilch.
I added the results of the RO water as well. In addition to what is on the
chart, the GH showed no reading, which they said meant less than 20 mg/L.

TANK PH SALT NITRITE NITRATE PHOSP. CALC KH mg/L ADDITIVES

175 8.5 1.023 0.1 5 0.5 400 161 KALK, IODINE
55 8.5 1.023 0.1 5 0.5 400 125 NONE
43 8.5 1.022 0.1 5 1.0 350 250 NONE
46 8.5 1.023 0.0 0.0 0 NO READ 196 NONE
30 8.5 1.024 0.0 0.0 0 400 196 NONE
RO 6.6 0 0 0 0 0 NO READINg
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Old 07-20-2003, 09:35 PM   #2
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I am sorry, I had formatted that all out and it refuses to hold the format.
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Old 07-21-2003, 12:34 AM   #3
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TANK>>ph>>>SG>>>NO2>>>NO3>>PO4>>Ca>>KH mg/L ADDITIVES

175>>>8.5>>1.023>>0.1>>>>5>>>>0.5>>400>>161>>KALK, IODINE
55>>>>8.5>>1.023>>0.1>>>>5>>>>0.5>>400>>125>>NONE
43>>>>8.5>>1.022>>0.1>>>>5>>>>1.0>>350>>250>>NONE
46>>>>8.5>>1.023>>0.0>>>>0.0>>>0.0>>0.0>>196>>NONE
30>>>>8.5>>1.024>>0.0>>>>0.0>>>0.0>>400>>196>>NONE
RO>>>>6.6>>0.0>>>0.0>>>>0.0>>>0.0>>>0.0>>NO READING

How's that?

Cheers
Steve
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Old 07-21-2003, 09:46 AM   #4
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Thanks ! now, got any ideas as to why?
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Old 07-21-2003, 10:23 AM   #5
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Jeez Hara...that's a mystery for sure. Did you use the same salt batch on the 46 as the rest of the tanks? What is the alk reading? Pretty low as well? My tests read in meq/l with the good range being 3.5-5.0. If the pH was low as well, it might make a little more sense. Is there any possibility that some kind of contaminant has gotten into the tank...something we can't test for? One of the kids, years ago, added some dog shampoo to one of my tanks...she was going to give the fish a bath. Needless to say, that didn't turn out well. Have you tried adding a cal/alk additive to see if the levels, once they are brought up, will stay up? Or deplete again? Sorry I don't have a cast in stone answer for you.
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Old 07-21-2003, 11:07 AM   #6
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I'm a newbie, so I can't help out much, but I have to say that the story about the dog shampoo really brightened my day. Can you imagine if they'd used bubble bath? ROFL!
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Old 07-21-2003, 11:17 AM   #7
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Re: Chemistry Challenge

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hara
The challenge comes in coming up with an explanation for the
46 gallon tank. It has been "cycled" for 3 months now. But, there is
something definitely WRONG, as nothing will live in the tank past an hour.

I have checked for iron toxicity and had the LFS test for copper...zilch.
I added the results of the RO water as well.
Some times it's not the water. Have you checked for the possibility of stray voltage?

Many different types of equipment we use are not always perfectly wired or properly sealed. If you are not using a GFCI or grounding probe in this tank, I'd look at that.

Cheers
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Old 07-21-2003, 01:28 PM   #8
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my only doubt on the stray voltage would be that I don't see how that would affect the CA readings.


I would try contacting the makers of your test kits, and ask what chemicals could affect the readings. It seems there is something in the water that is countering the reaction that is supposed to take place in the test. Finding out what could block the reaction could give you a couple of ideas of what might be in the tank, how it got there and how to get rid of it. The test kit itself may offer some suggestions as to what things could foul the results.
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Old 07-21-2003, 02:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Have you tried adding a cal/alk additive to see if the levels, once they are brought up, will stay up? Or deplete again?
I superdosed some turbo calc last night, I will check the readings when I get home.

I will also see what I can do as far as looking for something that can affect the test results by contacting the companies..that was a good idea that never crossed my mind. I do not know of any foreign chemical that could have gotten in there..no kids in here and husband stays well away (afraid I will make him haul buckets I think)..
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Old 07-21-2003, 02:53 PM   #10
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I agree ... there has to be calcium in that water, but there is something else that is skewing the test.

that odd something is probably what's killing things too

it's a lot of work, but how about a complete teardown, a good scrub and refill?

Mysterious chemicals might have saturated your gravel and/or anything else in the tank including the filter and pump(s) ... flushing everything with lots and lots of water will probably get rid of it, whatever "it" is.

Know anyone with access to a chromatigraph or mass spectrometer ... maybe they could test your water and see what weird substance it's holding.
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