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Old 10-28-2012, 06:55 PM   #1
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Strontium Dosing

Anyone dosing strontium? The test kit is a bit expensive, and I wouldn't dose without testing... just wondering if it is worth getting the kit to see whether or not my Sr levels are optimal. I do regular water changes and use Red Sea Coral pro, so should my Sr levels be fine?
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:01 PM   #2
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Nobody I know even bothers testing or dosing strontium.... I had researched this one myself, and the test kits either aren't very accurate, or can give false results due to influence from other ions, leading to overdoses. I wouldn't bother.... from my understanding, regular pwc's keep strontium well in parameters.
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:26 PM   #3
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That's kind of what I was thinking. I found a few people over on R2R and RC though that seem to think Sr dosing made their coral growth and colors explode.

Curious if anyone on AA is dosing Sr...
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:39 PM   #4
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I kinda agree. I was dosing and my coraline exploded. The directions say to dose every 4 days and I noticed after every dose, the color would explode. I recently ran out of it and my green coraline is starting to bleach. I need to pick up some more. It was actually stromtium magnesium, the Kent brand mixture.
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:06 PM   #5
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My wife also notices the coral bigger after I dose Sr. Because I don't have the test I dose below recommendations on bottle .
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:03 PM   #6
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Maybe a little more to this than I thought............. Off to the interwebs
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:21 PM   #7
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Let me know what you think/find... I did a lot of reading about it earlier, for and against, and am just curious to hear more personal anecdotal evidence and experience.
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Old 10-29-2012, 08:40 AM   #8
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I never dosed, but I also never tested for it.
Lots of good info here....
Aquarium Chemistry: Strontium and the Reef Aquarium — Advanced Aquarist | Aquarist Magazine and Blog
"That 15 ppm strontium matches my measured value for the Instant Ocean salt mix that I use."
[I also use IO so I expect my strontium levels are similar. Sr levels in natural seawater are 8ppm (Reef Aquarium Water Parameters by Randy Holmes-Farley - Reefkeeping.com).]
"My recommendation is to maintain strontium in reef aquaria at something approaching natural levels. There is no evidence that strontium at these levels in detrimental to any marine organism (although it might be). There is strong scientific evidence that some organisms need strontium, albeit not the organisms that most reef keepers maintain. Finally, there is anecdotal evidence from a number of advanced aquarists that depleted strontium is detrimental to the growth of corals that many aquarists maintain.
How is one to maintain natural levels? That, of course, necessitates a suitable test for strontium. Perhaps the test kits are suitable for this purpose. If not, sending a sample out to a lab might be a reasonable alternative for some aquarists. If the result comes back in the 6-15 ppm range, there is not likely any action that needs to be taken. If the level is higher than 15 ppm, reducing the strontium levels via water changes with a suitable salt mix may be the best method. If strontium levels are below 6 ppm, adding a strontium supplement may be in order.
Remember: in my aquarium without any recent strontium additions, strontium was already elevated above natural levels. I would not like to see it get any higher. Consequently, adding a supplement in the absence of knowing the strontium levels is not advisable."
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Old 10-29-2012, 01:04 PM   #9
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So it seems this is far more complicated than I initially thought. One of the problems I see is the lack of studies done on the absence of Sr in a reef system ad opposed to too much.

It is hard to draw conclusions as to whether Sr is actually beneficial to a system or if it is just present and therefore found in the skeletons of our coral since it so easily finds itself replacing Ca ions during the building process. It also seems that with elevated alk levels it might be more likely that Sr could be low in a reef tank when compared to natural seawater because of abiotic precipitation. But again that might not mean anything because of the lack of scientific evidence that Sr is in any way beneficial to coral and is anything more than a surrogate for Ca ions. Just because it is there does not make it essential.

There seems to be a plethora of anecdotal evidence that says depressed Sr levels slows coral and calcareous algae growth and health, but I can find nothing about the biological process that would make this ring true. It is interesting that with all of the Sr additives on the market, no one has provided scientific evidence of what happens in a reef system when Sr bottoms out (at least not that I can find). It is also interesting that despite the abiotic precipitation of Sr ions and the apparent use of these ions by coral and calcareous algae, some folks never experience depressed Sr levels in their tanks despite insufficient water changes to replenish the Sr in the water despite whichever salt mix they happen to be using. Where does it come from??

I am not convinced...
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Old 10-29-2012, 04:02 PM   #10
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This is a great thread. I also have dosed strontium over the years. I also use iodine some. But I also have a high coral load. It may be my imagination, but they do seem to help a bit. Would be glad to hear what the other chemists on the forum think. I don't do the massive water changes I hear everyone else doing. For 20 years, my reef gets about a 10% water change per month. I auto-dose Kent essential elements in a very small quantity (it will certainly set off algae).
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