HELP!! MAGNESIUM wont come up!!! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 18 Old 04-11-2009, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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Question HELP!! MAGNESIUM wont come up!!!

Hi all! I have a 120gallon reef with a 40gal refugium. I am using a product called magnesion-p from brightwell aquatics. I am using four teaspoons a day wich is the maximum rate. My count is 1200 and won't get any higher. Calcium is 450 and DKH is 8.6. Help I so not know what else to do!!!!
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post #2 of 18 Old 04-11-2009, 03:48 PM
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Welcome to the forum and it isn't too terribly low. when was your last waterchange and what type of salt are you using? Also, it takes a lot of magnesium to bring up magnesium. It may take a while doing it that way.

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post #3 of 18 Old 04-11-2009, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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Last water change was a week ago. I did a major water change 60 Gallons. My magnisium was up at 1320 ppm. It is slowly decreasing. The tank has been up for a little over 2 years. I have argonite in the refugium about four inches deep. The skimmer is also in the refugium. I have quite a bit of culpera and chaetmorpha growing in the refugium. There are many snail and hermits and about 200 lbs of live rock. Ammonia and nitrite are 0 and nitrate steadily runs between 30 and 40. All seems well except the magniesium steadily falling. there are also above the main tank 2 250watt 20k halides, 2 65 watt blue actinic and 2 65 watt 50/50 all new. Refugium has two 21 inch plain flouresecents ove it.
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post #4 of 18 Old 04-11-2009, 06:56 PM
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How long does it take for the magnesium to fall? The fact that your buffering ions are dropping and need regular dosage is not a bad thing, it is a normal thing. The quality of your skimmer and the amount of live stock will determine how rapidy magesium and calcium need replenishing. In your system the magnesium is not all that low to begin with, and DKH and calcium are holding steady, so I see nothing wrong with your routine.
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post #5 of 18 Old 04-11-2009, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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I add magnesium 4 teaspoons daily. It will be about 5ppm lower by the next day. The brand of salt i use is tropic marin pro reef salt mixed to 35 ppt or 1.026 specific gravity.
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post #6 of 18 Old 04-11-2009, 08:32 PM
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I don't see 5ppm per day being an abnormal drop. This amounts to a change of 2% per week. Compare this to the average aquarium and calcium supplementation. Calcium levels can easily drop from 420ppm to 320ppm in a single week if not dosed, which is nearly a 25% drop.

Again, this all sounds normal. OF2F.... thoughts? Kells?
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post #7 of 18 Old 04-12-2009, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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Pasfur.
The calcium is not the problem, It maintains 450. The main problem is the magnesium wich is steadily dropping with me adding four teasppons of magnesium powder daily. This is the maximum recomended dosage! It was at 1320 two weeks ago. This morning it is at 1180 ppm. I add four teaspoons daily. No one at the Local Marine Aquarium shops here in San Diego, CA seems to know what might be happing.
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post #8 of 18 Old 04-23-2009, 10:16 PM
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I still don't see anything unusual here. This is simple chemistry. Your fish release organic acids directly into the water. These acids are either removed by your protein skimmer, or biologically processed by the live rock. In this case, the acids interact with the buffer system, removing buffering ions. Magnesium is one of these ions.

The real question here is not why magnesium is falling. The question is why magnesium is falling at a pace that does not maintain the normal calcium to magnesium ratios found in natural seawater. I can only assume that you are adding a calcium supplement at the needed dosage, but are fixed on this recommendation for magnesium, which has been shown to not be enough to replenish the depletion in your particular system. Further increases to your magnesium additions are needed, beyond the recommended maximum dose.

By the way, 2 thoughts occur to me on this. First, I bet you have amazing coraline algae growth. Second, there is no such thing as a magnesium problem that does not involve calcium.-)
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post #9 of 18 Old 04-23-2009, 10:17 PM
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Are you dosing kalkwasser?
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post #10 of 18 Old 04-23-2009, 10:40 PM
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i have not seen anything mentioned about corals and other livestock besides snails, hermits and some macro algae. you do mention its a reef but how stocked are you? a tank of this size packed with corals will eat up the main three (ca, mag, alk) in no time. however as pasfur mentioned your not seeing a decrease in calcium. hes talking calcium becuase it works with mag, alk and even pH.

my best guess would be that the decrease your seeing is natural but the initial levels have yet to be brought up. bumping mag up to exceptable range can take awhile. i suggest diluting the powder in RO/DI water prior to adding it to the tank. if this continues to happen maybe you should give another product a try? im pretty sure ive heard brightwell being a good product ( no personal experience ) but then again is there chance it could be bad? im not sure, atleast your using some top quality salt.
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