Questions about the chemistry of seawater

frogdog

Relentless Question-Asker
Good Morning all:

I have a few questions about the chemical composition of natural seawater vs. our artificial seawater.

Before asking these questions, I did read 2 articles by Dr. Holmes-Farley, and one by Dr. Shimek on this NSW topic:

http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2007-03/rhf/
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-05/rhf/
http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2002/11/chemistry

1) Since, it's clear that there are lots of components in natural seawater that are not in the artificial mixes, have there been studies showing that these other components like, for example, vanadium play zero role in the lives of the marine creatures? And if so, is the reason these ingredients are not included in the artificial mix because if they're used, their % will increase over time short of doing 100% water changes? If these other components do play a role, and they were increasing over time in our closed environments, has there ever been an effort to *remove* some over time, by chelation, for example, in the same way that extra Calcium is added because it's always decreasing over time.

2) Have there ever been any studies examining how reef aquariums do in NSW compared to one of the artificial mixes, all other variables being equal?

Thanks very much,
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Premium Member
Since, it's clear that there are lots of components in natural seawater that are not in the artificial mixes

I wouldn't assume that. Many are present in salt mixes, as impurities if for no other reason, at levels higher than seawater. Vanadium that you mention, for example, is present in salt mixes at much higher levels than seawater. I'm not aware of any that have clearly been demonstrated to be deficient in salt mixes and need supplementation.

This has more:

http://web.archive.org/web/20001215...om/fish2/aqfm/1999/mar/features/1/default.asp

Overall, people using NSW have fine reef tanks, as do those using ASW. There really isn't a clear big benefit of NSW over ASW in most cases (IMO).

This may also be of interest:

What is seawater
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2005-11/rhf/index.php
 

pufferlicious

New member
Yes, on the Shimek study, it shows the sulphur low in the instant ocean. And sulphur is the 4th main mineral makeup of seawater. So is the instant ocean still low in sulphur, and would sulphur reactor add sulphur and are the pellets just rough sulphur rock crystals?
 

jason2459

Premium Member
Yes, on the Shimek study, it shows the sulphur low in the instant ocean. And sulphur is the 4th main mineral makeup of seawater. So is the instant ocean still low in sulphur, and would sulphur reactor add sulphur and are the pellets just rough sulphur rock crystals?
From recent Triton and AquaForest test Sulfar levels were normal in IO. IO has changed its formula since those earlier studies.


http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2554264
 
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