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Old 10-21-2008, 06:35 PM   #1
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low magnesium

First, since I know you'll ask, my parameters:

temp 78, SG 1.025, pH 8.0, ammon/nitrites 0, nitrate 10
alk 10, CA 400, Mg 990

I'm using SeaChem Reef Salt and have been doing 8-10% PWCs weekly. I'm having trouble getting my magnesium up. I bought the B-Ionic two part buffer but haven't really used it since my CA/alk seem okay, and I also bought the B-Ionic magnesium buffer but I'm not sure how much to add.

My total tank capacity is 70G and I feel like an idiot but I can't understand the label for the mag supplement. It says to add 1.5 ml per gallon of capacity each day to raise the level by 15 ppm. That would mean 105 ml a day. The bottle is only 946 ml so is this bottle only enough for nine days or 135 ppm? My current level is 990 and I need to get over 1300.

Am I missing something here or is this whole 32 oz bottle not enough to get me where I need to be?? There's got to be a typo or I'm reading something wrong. Please help!!
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Old 10-21-2008, 07:00 PM   #2
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This is what I found about B-Ionic MAG supplement

The way I read it is, 1.5ml will raise 1 gallon of water by 15ppm. I don't think you want to put 105ml in your tank. I believe you need to only add enough to raise your mag levels by about 210 to get to 1300ppm. Make more sense?

B-Ionic Magnesium

Through the chemical process known as "ion-pairing",
magnesium ion concentration influences the saturation
point for calcium carbonate in solution. In general, the
further the magnesium concentration drops from natural
seawater levels (1350 ppm), the more difficult it becomes
to maintain adequate levels of both calcium and alkalinity.
Magnesium also plays an important role in stabilizing pH by
interacting with the buffer system of seawater.
B-Ionic Magnesium is an easy to use one component liquid
supplement which, when used with B-Ionic Calcium Buffer
or kalkwasser, will not disrupt the ionic balance of closed
marine aquaria. B-Ionic Magnesium contains 60,000 ppm
magnesium, and one mL will raise one gallon of
aquarium water by 15 ppm.

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Old 10-21-2008, 07:19 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by newbieNY View Post
It says to add 1.5 ml per gallon of capacity each day to raise the level by 15 ppm. That would mean 105 ml a day.
You're correct... 1.5 ml/gallon x 70 gallons = 105 ml to raise your tank's magnesium level by 15 ppm. But from the info that Ziggy pasted, looks like that blurb says 1.0 ml/gallon raises you 15ppm. Seems to be a discrepancy there somewhere.

Have you tested your new salt water before putting it in the tank? I'm finding it hard to believe that your magnesium is that far off, with your Ca and alkalinity being where they are. I'm wondering if it isn't just an error in testing.

If your new salt water is coming in that low, that's a problem that might make you think again about salts. But if your new salt water is testing normal for magnesium, then it just sounds like you have to just dose your tank up to "normal" and you'll probably stay balanced from there on, and you won't have to continually dose for magnesium.
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Old 10-21-2008, 09:55 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Kurt_Nelson View Post
Have you tested your new salt water before putting it in the tank? I'm finding it hard to believe that your magnesium is that far off, with your Ca and alkalinity being where they are. I'm wondering if it isn't just an error in testing.
Great suggestion, thank you. I just tested my water for PWCs and it was 1080.

If the problem is my salt then I'm in trouble - my LFS had a sale over the weekend and I picked up another bucket. I have enough to make about 225G. That's like six months of PWCs.

Could it be a bad test? It's a Salifert test with a 2011 expiration date.

Of course, it could always be user error but I've read the instructions really carefully and I can't find anything I'm doing wrong.

I'm not sure why there's a discrepancy between the bottle label (1.5 ml/gallon) and the website (1 ml/gallon). Either way I find it hard to believe that this whole 32 oz bottle can only raise my mag reading by 135 ppm. At that rate it will take me 24 days and almost 3 bottles to get to the right level. Something is just not adding up here.
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Old 10-21-2008, 10:18 PM   #5
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Use the Reef Chemistry calculator, fill in the blanks, choose B-Ionic from the drop down and you will get your answer.
According to the calculator, for 70g at 900 ppm, you need to add 94.6 fl oz or 560 tsp of B-Ionic liquid to get to 1300. You shouldn't raise mag more than 100 ppm per day.
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Old 10-21-2008, 10:23 PM   #6
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Just to make sure you are clear...you should not raise the Mag more then 100ppm in a 24 hour period. Make sure that you are testing you mag levels 24hours after you dose.
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Old 10-21-2008, 10:27 PM   #7
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Great suggestion, thank you. I just tested my water for PWCs and it was 1080.
Hmm... that's going to be an issue if you're doing corals. Can't remember if you are going that route.

Salifert is pretty darn good, and you're right... it's tough to mess that one up on a user error standpoint. I use it so I'm familiar with it.

Do you know anyone else that can confirm/deny that reading with another test kit? Or your LFS? I'm not familiar with that salt, so I'm not sure if that's a normal reading for it or not. I kind of think not.

{Edit: I just remembered I had a copy of the AWT "Salt Test Report" stashed on my computer and looked up the Seachem Reef Salt. In the two samples they did, they came in at 1260 and 1510 for magnesium. Something doesn't seem right with your salt and I'd make sure of your reading before dosing anything!]
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Old 10-22-2008, 10:22 AM   #8
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I just looked up on Seachem's website and their guaranteed analysis for magnesium for "Reef Salt" is 1318. So the test must be wrong, right??

The next time I go to my LFS I will bring a water sample with me. I've never done that before - do you just give them a couple ounces and they run it through a machine? I can't imagine that they put it in a bunch of small vials and test each thing separately. Takes me about 20 minutes to do all my tests...

Thanks again, as always, for the great suggestions!
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Old 10-22-2008, 10:24 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by ccCapt View Post
Use the Reef Chemistry calculator, fill in the blanks, choose B-Ionic from the drop down and you will get your answer.
According to the calculator, for 70g at 900 ppm, you need to add 94.6 fl oz or 560 tsp of B-Ionic liquid to get to 1300. You shouldn't raise mag more than 100 ppm per day.
Great link, thanks! The bottle says not to raise it by more than 15 ml a day, but it sounds like I could go a little faster than that? Once I figure out if the level really is that low? I won't go up by more than 100 ppm a day.
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Old 10-22-2008, 02:53 PM   #10
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I use SeaChem Reef Salt and mix it almost identical to you, up to an SG=1.025. However, when I get to 1.025 salinity, my pH is usually 8.3-8.4. You are showing 8.0. Mag usually comes in over 1350 and calcium tends to be around 420. Maybe just a bad batch of salt. I love the SeaChem. I have several corals now and with bi-weekly PWC's of about 25%, I still haven't had to dose anything....although my calcium levels usually dip to around 390-400 by the end of a 2 week cycle so I'll likely start dosing that now.
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