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View Full Version : Need help with diy 2 part. Also has anyone had success with this?


Major nc
01-23-2018, 04:38 PM
Brightwell 2 part has been hurting the wallet lately. 2 litres of each part a month. $55 plus a long drive and spending another 50-100 just cause im in the store loll.Ive been supplementing with kalk as well but would rather just use only 2 part. No room for calcium reactor.

Heres a thread for a canadian recipe im going to try out next month. Around $50-60 should last a year. http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2476803

Has anyone tried this? If your making your own, please share your ingredients and procedure here please.

Tigweldpro
01-23-2018, 06:28 PM
Brightwell 2 part has been hurting the wallet lately. 2 litres of each part a month. $55 plus a long drive and spending another 50-100 just cause im in the store loll.Ive been supplementing with kalk as well but would rather just use only 2 part. No room for calcium reactor.

Heres a thread for a canadian recipe im going to try out next month. Around $50-60 should last a year. http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2476803

Has anyone tried this? If your making your own, please share your ingredients and procedure here please.

2L of 2part per month.... Give us some details on your system.
I am currently testing Snow Joe "MELT" from HomeDepot in my 38G cube tank with just a few frags in it.

Frogger
01-23-2018, 09:21 PM
The no-name 3 parts (Ca, alkalinity and magnesium) that the major fish stores sell is way more economic. Not sure if I would trust the calcium chloride from snow melt.

The biggest difference between the noname and the named 2 part supplements is the minor elements that are in the named variety. In theory your ionic balances could get out of balance using the no-named varieties.

If you are doing regular water changes you should be fine. If you are not the other option is to add a 4th part to the equation in the form of Aquaforest Reef Mineral Salt. This is a NACL free salt. If you are going to use this method you need to be good with a calculator and understand basic chemical equations.

I have had success using all the methods. Actually 20 years ago I made my own ionically balanced 2 part solution using the formula from Randy Holmes-Farley. I purchased my chemicals at a local chemical supply company through my company. In the end it was way too much work. Way more information is available on the web in you just do a search using Randy's name.

Currently I am mostly using B-Ionic 2 part and I buy a bunch of it when it is on sale. Just to avoid the need to manage my ionic balances.

ReefMadness
01-24-2018, 12:08 AM
i've never tried Randy's recipe or any diy's but as another option consider aquaforest dosing salts, they're dirt cheap if you opt for the dry elements as opposed to the pre-mixes. i make 5L batches and bet you could get close to 10 batches from each container. even at your consumption rate they'd still last quite a while.

corpusse
01-24-2018, 12:14 AM
The reef crest brand J&L sells is just over $3 a gallon. Given your current needs that would work out to about $3 a month (you need calcium and alk). I think it's even cheaper if buy the larger brs style containers. Considering my needs I buy the pre portioned ones just because it's easier and isn't costing me more then a couple of bucks a month.

DKoKoMan
01-24-2018, 12:36 AM
The reef crest brand J&L sells is just over $3 a gallon. Given your current needs that would work out to about $3 a month (you need calcium and alk). I think it's even cheaper if buy the larger brs style containers. Considering my needs I buy the pre portioned ones just because it's easier and isn't costing me more then a couple of bucks a month.

Iím currently using the Reef crest preportioned packs and this has worked well for me. They mix cleanly and are relatively inexpensive. Watch for Boxing Day or Black Friday sales and you can get it even cheaper! Stock up. :mrgreen:

Major nc
01-24-2018, 02:07 AM
You people are awesome! Wasn't expecting soo many replies so fast. My system is around 115 gallons total water volume including the sump. Running for 2 and half years. Mixed reef large lps and a bunch of sps. I use a 4 channel doser. 2 part Alk and Ca, Mg, and Smirnoff lol. So just to be clear, are we talking about the Reef Crest calcium chloride dry powder and calcium bicarbonate for Alk? I don't do a lot of water changes. 5 gallons every week or two max. But everything seems to be growing well.

DKoKoMan
01-24-2018, 02:49 AM
You people are awesome! Wasn't expecting soo many replies so fast. My system is around 115 gallons total water volume including the sump. Running for 2 and half years. Mixed reef large lps and a bunch of sps. I use a 4 channel doser. 2 part Alk and Ca, Mg, and Smirnoff lol. So just to be clear, are we talking about the Reef Crest calcium chloride dry powder and calcium bicarbonate for Alk? I don't do a lot of water changes. 5 gallons every week or two max. But everything seems to be growing well.

So I use calcium chloride (calcium) and sodium bicarbonate (Alk). If you really wanted to get it in bulk (save a bit more on cost) go with the schlobster containers of each. I would consider doing 15-20% of your tank water volume to assist with nutrient export and cal/alk. It wouldnít be that much more in terms of work. That being said if your system is working, nutrients are in check and everything is growing you could probably stay where you at. Just food for thought, hope this helps!

Frogger
01-24-2018, 03:53 AM
I didn't want to name any company names in case it is against Canreef's policy.

You would be best to use Reef Crest Part a, b and c. The amounts are already calculated out into the correct ratios.

Manage your alkalinity (keep it stable) and your magnesium levels.

The calcium levels will take care of themselves as long as you add equal parts of each (part A and B).

DKoKoMan
01-24-2018, 04:52 AM
I didn't want to name any company names in case it is against Canreef's policy.

You would be best to use Reef Crest Part a, b and c. The amounts are already calculated out into the correct ratios.

Manage your alkalinity (keep it stable) and your magnesium levels.

The calcium levels will take care of themselves as long as you add equal parts of each (part A and B).

This is what I use and it has been great.

Major nc
01-24-2018, 05:30 AM
Woah A B C premix are dirt cheap compared to what Ive been using. $20 less per bottle and almost twice the volume. Ill be trying this out next month when I run out. Im guessing there's gotta be something missing to justify this price difference. I noticed brightwell had a few extra ingredients. Strontium chloride, borate salts, magnesium chloride and magnesium sulfate. Can anyone recommend anything else to add with premix A B C? I've done the 15-20 water changes for months and found it harder to keep my system stable and corals happy. But thanks for the advice :) Oversized skimmer 180-200 gallon, live rock and chaeto are doing well so far. Aqau forest minerals were mentioned.

Major nc
01-24-2018, 05:36 AM
Just thought I'd mention it again if I havent already. My corals grew damm well with brightwell 2 part. And super easy to use. Just soo friggen expensive.

Myka
01-24-2018, 11:09 AM
I like the Aquaforest dry chems. They sell tracelements that you can also mix in if you'd like. When you mix it up to their directions is it VERY close to Randys Recipe #2 so I use the Reef Calculator when figuring out dosing or make up doses.

Frogger
01-24-2018, 04:57 PM
When you buy Brightwell you are paying 80% for the name, 20% for the product. You let Brightwell do your calculating for you.

When you add a no name (reef Crest) 2 part solution you are basically adding CaCl and NaHCO3 (Sodium bicarbonate) to your tank. Your hard corals, snails, coraline algae etc are only using CaCO3 (calcium carbonate) at that exact ratio. This leaves pure NaCl behind.

We all know the salt we use is more than just NaCl. Eventually the levels of Nacl can get out of wack. Hence we do water changes to re-stabilize it.

The extra chemicals that most of the higher end 2 part solutions add to your tank are everything in a salt mix except the NaCl. This way the only thing that changes in your tank is your specific gravity gets higher. So you need to monitor your specific gravity every month or so and adjust accordingly.

If you add a NaCl free salt mix (Aquaforest Reef Mineral Salt) to your tank at the correct proportions than you can balance your noname 2 part solution thus keeping your ionic balance in check. How ever to do so you need to be good with math. The reef calculators that are available on the web will help.

I am not a big fan of haphazardly adding things like strontium, iodine and trace elements without understanding exactly what you are doing. Good way to screw up your tank.

For most of us water changes are our way of getting things back in check. If you are not doing regular water changes and you do not fully understand reef chemistry you will eventually fail.

Major nc
01-24-2018, 06:06 PM
Got it, use a product without NaCl. I'll be extra careful with the math. Your right Frogger, need to do more water changes got way too much invested. I've done a bit of research on people running tanks with little or no water changes. I thought it was possible, that's why I bought a oversized skimmer and wet skimming. Also keep up on carbon and gfo. Also rapid phosphate removers once in a while. I know water changes are a good way of removing and adding better levels of trace elements. I'll up the volume on changes. You mentioned B ionc. At least I have a few options now.

Major nc
01-24-2018, 06:11 PM
I like the Aquaforest dry chems. They sell tracelements that you can also mix in if you'd like. When you mix it up to their directions is it VERY close to Randys Recipe #2 so I use the Reef Calculator when figuring out dosing or make up doses.

Thanks Myka, but I'm assuming this means more test kits for each trace element?

DKoKoMan
01-24-2018, 09:59 PM
Got it, use a product without NaCl. I'll be extra careful with the math. Your right Frogger, need to do more water changes got way too much invested. I've done a bit of research on people running tanks with little or no water changes. I thought it was possible, that's why I bought a oversized skimmer and wet skimming. Also keep up on carbon and gfo. Also rapid phosphate removers once in a while. I know water changes are a good way of removing and adding better levels of trace elements. I'll up the volume on changes. You mentioned B ionc. At least I have a few options now.

Ya for sure water changes are always a positive thing. If you donít want to do water changes I think you are looking more for the Triton method.

Myka
01-25-2018, 01:00 PM
Thanks Myka, but I'm assuming this means more test kits for each trace element?

These are the same trace elements as any other "balling" method such are Fauna Marin, Tropic Marin, Zeovit, etc. "Balling" simply means "3-part with trace elements". The trace elements are added in certain ratios compared to the macroelements (Ca, KH, Mg) for the most part, and as long as you keep up regular water changes (which flush out any accumulation) then it's not a problem.

The Aquaforest system is excellent in the sense that you can buy the premix (just like your Brightwell) which has all the trace elements premixed into 3 parts. This product is called Component 1+2+3+.

Aquaforest then has the dry chems you can buy, Calcium chloride, Sodium bicarbonate, Magnesium chloride. You can use these as is to make something like Randy's Recipes. These dry chems work out to be around $5 per pound if you buy the 4kg and 5 kg tubs. So this is cheaper than most stores "no name" chems.

OR you can take those bulk Aquaforest chems, and add "Components Strong" to each dosing container which is the trace elements. This then makes a DIY version of the Components 1+2+3+.

scoobs
02-01-2018, 02:47 PM
You can get dow flake from home hardware. 85% calcium chloride, life time supply for $25. Had to be special ordered though.

Snappy
02-02-2018, 05:13 AM
I have been using Randy's recipe for about 12-13 years although I recommend using food grade or better.

scoobs
02-02-2018, 03:24 PM
in a pinch, u can also use calcium chloride from moisture traps. like those found at the dollar store.