Bad Batch: reef code A &B

gdemos

New member
My third week of dosing Brightwell A&B. With a well stocked all acro frag tank glass is 30g sump is 75g heavily skimmed Hugh flow with water blaster 7000 koralia magnum in glass and magnum 6 In sump heavily skimmed all running 1 year. Kalk+2 ATO. Ca at 390 Alk 7.0 Dkh salifert, salt is Seachem salinity. Target is 420 and 11-12dkh. Daily use approx 1dkh and 15ppm Ca.

Long story short. Dosing at increasing rate yielded no touch on numbers. Now at 200 ml B. 150 ml A. Heavily shaken bottles one minute apart. I get white outs. so bad I can't see the back glass and commenced 50% WC

At this point with this dosage rate I am convinced it's a bad batch

Is brightwell losing it or am I? I suspect my frags are soaking a lot up but not this much! Need suggestions, should not be this frustrating.
 

bertoni

Premium Member
200 ml does sound like a lot of supplement for a 75g tank. I would stop dosing the Brightwell, and just dose baking soda for alkalinity for a few days. The calcium level should be fine for a few days, most likely, but some calcium chloride would be fine if it starts to drop below 350 ppm or so.

This calculator should help with picking a dose:

http://reef.diesyst.com/chemcalc/chemcalc.html

Just dissolve the baking soda in bit of RO/DI water before dosing. I would keep the daily rise in alkalinity to 1 dKH or so.

The advantage of the baking soda is that it's cheap and low in pH. The low pH should help reduce the whiteout issue.
 

gdemos

New member
Thanks Jonathan. I have referenced diesyst from the get go based on a 75g total volume, but went with Brightwell by suggestion elsehwere. that reference along with my interests in slow but steady changes led me to begin my dosing at 40mL each of A&B...thinking i may end up at 60mL or so as a routine.

the best numbers I saw was a climb from 400 to 405 ppm and 7 to 7.7 dKH in a 24 hour period. this was with a dose of 75mL A, 100mL B. liking the increase but not the extent of increase I upped to 150mL A, 200mL B and now with two White Out events at this dosing rate.

So my path of 40mL doses are now up to 150 & 200. White Outs coupled with relatively immediate 50% WC.

I should add that this is a brand new set of Salifert kits...amidst all of this I identified that my refrac was miscalibrated 2 pts so i fixed that, and my saliferts had gone bad after 1 year. now with everything calibrated i am confident in my test results, but not confident at all in my struggles with Reef Code.

I'd like to know more about the impact on Baking Soda/RO mix. not to doubt your advice, but if Baking Soda were the answer, how could any of the multiple vendors of 2 part substantiate their product? any negative side effects to Baking Soda?
 

bertoni

Premium Member
I used the DIY 2-part formulae for years with no troubles, as have many other people. It's based on baking soda, either plain or baked to convert it to sodium carbonate. It's very inexpensive.

What's in the tank? Clams can consume a lot of calcium and alkalinity, for example.
 

gdemos

New member
approx 50 frags all acros and milli ranging from 1" to mini colonies that have been growing out for 1 year. 1 small blue eye tang and 2 tank raised percs. I know they are soaking it up but with my doubts upon the quality of brightwell that i have I cannot say for sure how much.

so let me ask, with the two part recipe will magnesium need to be compensated for as well... so effectively three part? my assumption is brightwell code A and B compensate for Mg? my Mg is approx 1290-1350 (not testing this as frequently)

can you clarify on baked baking soda vs. out of box baking soda? i read conflicting posts as to which preparation box or baked raises pH?

Also is there a 'latest and greatest' recipe link ... i know it has changed over some time. I suppose I'll also have to locate some lab grade mixing/dispensing jugs.
 

gdemos

New member
and can you please explain why i would experience a WhiteOut with Brightwell, but not with Baking Soda?
 

gdemos

New member
also, would you suggest referencing ESV A&B as the 'Product' when considering Brightwell A&B is not listed? I assume they are comparable...

and say for example i stick with Reef Code A for Calcium, and mix DIY Baking Soda/RO for a "Part B". would this be satisfactory? only reason i hesitate on a DIY for Calcium is from what I understand it's inability to compensate Mg, and secondly Dowflake, Driveway heat, etc. is not always easily obtained in New England, it tends to sell out at the worst times and not be available in other seasons
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Premium Member
Baking the baking soda drives out CO2 and make sit raise pH. Out of the box baking soda won't raise pH (lowers it a tiny bit).

If you use washing soda (which is equivalent to baked baking soda), it will raise pH out of the box, but might possibly not be as pure since it isn't intended as a food.

Here's the recipe article (and BRS now sells ingredients):

An Improved Do-it-Yourself Two-Part Calcium and Alkalinity Supplement System
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-02/rhf/index.php
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Premium Member
and can you please explain why i would experience a WhiteOut with Brightwell, but not with Baking Soda?

Adding a high pH additive causes transient precipitation of magnesium hydroxide in the water, until it redissolves. Unbaked baking soda does not raise pH and hence does not cause this precipitation.

I discuss that here:

What is that Precipitate in My Reef Aquarium?
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2005-07/rhf/index.htm
 

mos90

New member
gdemos,

lets say you have a 100g total water volume. according to brightwell the max daily dose of reefcode is 5ml per 10 gallons so 50ml per day would be your max. this is definitely the issue. you are adding 4 times that.
 

gdemos

New member
Mos90. This is what has me thinking it is a bad batch. My low dosing rate (40 mL) was not doing anything. I cannot substantiate brightwells recommended dose rate on the package nor can I say for sure that diesyst calculators ESV 2 part is the "product" to select to be comparable to brightwells.
 

mos90

New member
i see your point. i guess it could be possible you did get a bad batch. the fact that you are getting white outs make me think that you are overdosing. how much im not sure.

i would give randys and bertonis idea a shot and dose some diy 2 part and see what happens.

when you say 40ml wasnt doing anything, what exactly does this mean. you saw no change in alk at all?
 

gdemos

New member
Correct. Just continued consumption / depletion roughly 15 ppm Ca and 1 dKH daily. A 50-75 mL dose daily ad A-B could keep me at 390 and 7 dKH at best
 

bertoni

Premium Member
Different tanks can consume very different amounts of calcium and alkalinity due to differences in stocking, feeding, and other factors. I wouldn't trust the "maximum dose" level very seriously.
 

mos90

New member
ok bertoni. maybe more of a guidleline.

i did some research and reefcode's doses are comparable to esv bionic.so basically 50ml should replace roughly 10ppm of calcium and 1 dkh per day. you should not raise alk more then 1 dkh per day (i like to go much slower then that) . you say your depletion is 1dkh daily, a 100ml dose should be your max. i would be more comfortable with 75ml personally.
 

gdemos

New member
100 mL dosing had little/no impact. I dose in the morning 6am and test at night 9pm. When I reached a 100mL dose rate (after maybe 4-5 days of no substantial changes at 60mL). I still saw no real impact. My log book shows day over day levels at 405 to 390 ppm and 7 to 6.7 dKH.

I am seriously considering a Ca reactor on the frag tank to match my display at this point and just abandoning 2 part. Yet I can't just walk away from 2 part without some pattern of relative effectiveness.
 

mos90

New member
imo your tank is rather small for a cal reactor. it can be rather difficult to keep it steady. believe me i tried it. i found 2 part much easier and much more stable. my current tank os just over a year old with a mix of about 50 corals ,lps,sps,softies. i am getting steady growth and i use about 80ml per day of brs 2 part to maintain 8dkh. my tank uses about .5 dkh per day.

according to brs's calculator you would need 100ml of their 2 part to raise alk 1.5 dkh.
 

gdemos

New member
BRS 2 Part: "out of stock" on their site. I'll call them.

So what exactly makes a Ca reactor hard to keep stable on a smaller system (75 g)? Is it the small drip rate on the effluent the difficulty?

My 2 chamber monster octopus CR5000D reactor on my DT (300g total) is up and running in a currently FOWLR (my frag tank is growing out all pieces currently before adding to DT). Now his I keep at a real slow effluent rate of 10 drops per minute

So there may be some benefit to a reactor in the frag and same media as DT So as to minimize any adjustment when shake out/ grow out complete.
 

mos90

New member
i used my apex to keep my internal ph steady, so i found the the small drip rate difficult to control. im not saying a calcium reactor is bad. i just found 2 part easier.
 

gdemos

New member
Randy, are you saying that the Brightwell ReefCode B is a high pH additive, hence the fall out of solution white out event? While baking soda and/or BRS brand is not a high pH additive and therefore less likely to whiteout?
 
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