Balling Method and Water Changes

derek4real

New member
I have read some articles/threads on this method and have some questions for the "Balling" people.

Is it possible to not do water changes with this method?
I heard you can dose pure trace elements.

If not please explain why?

I am wishing i had a smaller tank for making things easier. I have a 150 currently and looking to add a 75 Frag Tank to my system (or run it seperate, not sure yet).

Links to articles or threads would be nice. Thx in advance.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Premium Member
Is it possible to not do water changes with this method?
I heard you can dose pure trace elements.


There are many reasons to do water changes. Adding trace elements that might be depleted is just one.

Exporting trace elements and organics that are building up is another, and no amount of dosing can help with that. Also, correcting major and minor ion imbalances is another good reason for water changes (chloride/sulfate ratio, potassium, magnesium, etc).
 

derek4real

New member
i was under the impression that you could rid WC with this method.

I might have to do my automated water changes via Aqua Lifter then.
 

shermdawg

New member
I want just 1/10th the reef knowledge Randy has. Just sayin'. Keep on ballin' you baller. But I do know nothing replaces good ole water changes.
 

tatuvaaj

Pro-Protozoa
Premium Member
Balling does not replace water changes! The trace element mixes were formulated according to minor/trace element composition of some marine carbonates. The idea is that dosing "full" Balling solutions calcification will not alter water chemistry and produced skeletons have more natural composition.

In other words, after calcification you have effectively only added a small amount of regular salt mix. That's the idea anyway, I have not seen actual data to support it but the theory seems plausible, IMHO.
 

teesquare

Coral Curmudgeon
"There is no solution to pollution like dilution"

Has been my moniker about the need for water changes for 25 plus years!

We cannot test for everything in the water. So we cannot know for a certainty what has accumulated, and could become toxic or at least be an irritant to the animal life in our aquaria.
I would like to see a more detailed description by the folks at Fauna Marin, and others that truly compares the similarity and differences of Balling Lite -vs- 2 part.

T
 

tatuvaaj

Pro-Protozoa
Premium Member
I think the Fauna Marin system has evolved enough to deserve a completely new name :thumbsup:

Fauna Marin system include, among other things, organic substances and thus comparing it to traditional [2,3]-part and Balling is difficult.

All above methods will give good results. I use Balling because the ingredients are readily available here and relatively inexpensive. If you have access to inexpensive magnesium salts, Randy's DIY recipes are equally good option.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Premium Member
Thanks, Tatu.

Since there are many ways that elements get depleted in addition to calcification (skimming, GAC, macroalgae growth, organism tissue growth, GFO, etc), I'm not sure that adding a fixed trace element cocktail based on what ends up in calcified coral skeletons is really a sound plan. And that ignores the fact that what is in the skeletons of different organisms differs dramatically from one species to another, so won't be fixed across all aquaria.
 

teesquare

Coral Curmudgeon
Randy -
I would like to explore the similarities/differences in Balling -vs- 2 part that you recommend.
I have the feeling from what I have read on other web sites ( I don't know if I can post them here - or quotes from them) that there is not arbitrary dosing of anything.....Testing - just like testing for any other method/system is the yardstick by which one would determine when, or what to dose. This seems to apply to the organics, and trace elements.
Once an initial period of testing for what and how much consumption of the major contituents of the seawater is established - then - and only then is it recommended that you can set up dosing those ( the CA, Mg, and ALK, and there may be more - not sure) via manual, or automated methods.

I think that - because most of us that have been involved in this hobby for a long time - have seen MANY manufacturers of "magic sauce" come and go - but mostly leave us with our systems in a worse state than before - well ...we have become fairly suspicious of anything new. I agree with this - but, in all of the reading I am currently doing on the "Balling" method - even the manufacturer's of product to support it recommend starting at 1/4 of the stated doses, and increase very slowly - because we cannot at the level of the hobbyist in general, *know* for a fact the exact quanities of the minor, and trace elements. (personal conversation w/Claude Shumacher - owner of Fauna Marin)

So - I am happy that with some manufacturer's - there is a change in the "push" to buy the product, and potentially over- dose.

What does make sense to me ( on the level that I can makes sense of it:dance:) is that the Balling method is designed to help prevent ionic im-balance between the major constituents of the seawater.

The build up of chlorides with other methods seems to be the central issue that Balling sets out to address.

I do hope we can have Claude, or one of the other authoritative folks on the subject wade in, and discuss with us all their perception of and reason behind the Balling method.

All I ask is that - we try and keep an open mind here. I just spent a lot of time being embarrassed by the rude comments on a thread devoted to the new NP pellets. I understand the suspicion - but, please guys - we are here to learn. We must have some respect - even if we dis-agree. Again - I agree that caution is the best policy when considering any change in our chemistry.
T
 

tatuvaaj

Pro-Protozoa
Premium Member
I personally dose trace element mixes, simply because I've seen positive effects in my tank. Over the years I've started and stopped the dosing enough times that I feel confident that the results are real. I feel it would be stupid for me to ignore my own observations ;)

I tend to stay away from online TE discussions though... too emotional for my taste :D
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Premium Member
I personally dose trace element mixes, simply because I've seen positive effects in my tank. Over the years I've started and stopped the dosing enough times that I feel confident that the results are real. I feel it would be stupid for me to ignore my own observations

Any idea which components are useful for you?
 

teesquare

Coral Curmudgeon
I understand your feelings. And I appreciate your observations. You are right - we should never ignore what our eyes, and sometimes our nose tells us.

However, many of us need quantifiable ways to measure our progress. Doubt is as much an important ingredient in science as are observation, and testing.

I hope this discussion does not become just about trace elements. I am trying to focus on the Balling method as compared with the currently popular 2 part methods.

Emotion to should be best reserved for our sposes, and family members, though - sometimes I would rather talk to my aquariums:D. So, I do understand the connection we feel as we engage in a long term endeavor that is a "witches brew" of science, gardening, and plumbing;).

I have e-mailed Claude Shumacher, asking if he would engage here in the discussion. So, I hope we hear from him soon. He has been most gracious with his time when I had questions.
T
 

stuart bertram

In Memoriam
Randy
This is stuart from D-D in England - Deltec, H2Ocean, Rowaphos etc

I am sorry for jumping in on this thread but I could really do with 5 minutes of your time if I can call you.

My email is stuart@theaquariumsolution.com if you can send me your contact details

Would appreciate it
Stuart
 

teesquare

Coral Curmudgeon
Randy:
How about if I ask - "Is there any way to tell which ones are NOT useful to you?"

The e only exception here is we can tell by negative reactions of our animals what is only an over dose - or possibly a lack of something.

But untill ALL is known about what and how much each animal requires - in it's total requirement for optimum health....

AND until we have the ability to test for such..................

Looks like regardless of our degrees/experience - we are ALL still very much amateurs doing the best we can.:spin1:

Again - please, let's not turn this into a trace elment thread - until we have dealt with the comparisons with Balling vs 2 part.

T
 
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