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Clown79

I know that this has been discussed before but I wanted to share an experience and how important it is to change calibration fluid.

 

So over the last couple of waterchanges I started noticing my refractometer needed more calibration than usual. It wasn't reading 35ppt with the calibration fluid.

 

I decided to order new calibration fluid as the last time this happened, calibration fluid was the issue.

 

While waiting for the solution, the last week I have been having issues with some corals. My birdsnest and stylo started rtn'ing. My euphyllia,blastos, and plate were all retracted. All else fine.

 

I couldn't figure out what was wrong. All parameters were good and stable.

 

Just checked the salinity today as I got the new fluid in.

 

Yup, my tanks were off and so was the refractometer..

 

20g wasn't bad, 1.027 but normally 1.025

 

25g(where the problems were) was 1.030, normally 1.025

 

Checked the older calibration fluid 4 times. 40ppt

 

Calibrated the refractometer with the new fluid and checked 4 times to make sure it was right 35ppt

 

 

So 2 times I have noticed that once refractometer fluid gets to about 1/4 of the bottle left, it starts reading wrong.

 

I corrected the 20g but I'm slowly lowering the 25g as there was so much of a difference.

 

Gonna double check later all is ok and if not then maybe it's the refractometer needs replacing. 

 

 

 


 

 

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Pjanssen

Thanks for sharing

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William
2 hours ago, Clown79 said:

I know that this has been discussed before but I wanted to share an experience and how important it is to change calibration fluid.

 

So over the last couple of waterchanges I started noticing my refractometer needed more calibration than usual. It wasn't reading 35ppt with the calibration fluid.

 

I decided to order new calibration fluid as the last time this happened, calibration fluid was the issue.

 

While waiting for the solution, the last week I have been having issues with some corals. My birdsnest and stylo started rtn'ing. My euphyllia,blastos, and plate were all retracted. All else fine.

 

I couldn't figure out what was wrong. All parameters were good and stable.

 

Just checked the salinity today as I got the new fluid in.

 

Yup, my tanks were off and so was the refractometer..

 

20g wasn't bad, 1.027 but normally 1.025

 

25g(where the problems were) was 1.030, normally 1.025

 

Checked the older calibration fluid 4 times. 40ppt

 

Calibrated the refractometer with the new fluid and checked 4 times to make sure it was right 35ppt

 

 

So 2 times I have noticed that once refractometer fluid gets to about 1/4 of the bottle left, it starts reading wrong.

 

I corrected the 20g but I'm slowly lowering the 25g as there was so much of a difference.

 

Gonna double check later all is ok and if not then maybe it's the refractometer needs replacing. 

 

 

 


 

 

I use the Hanna conductivity (salanity) meter and check the calibration monthly (with a fresh pack of calibration solution) 

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bbetta

I actually stopped Reefing because of an issue like this that I didn’t notice till after breaking down the tank.

I’m slowly trying to get back into the hobby now. I’ll be using both a refractometer as well as a hydrometer. 

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patback
2 hours ago, Clown79 said:

I know that this has been discussed before but I wanted to share an experience and how important it is to change calibration fluid.

 

So over the last couple of waterchanges I started noticing my refractometer needed more calibration than usual. It wasn't reading 35ppt with the calibration fluid.

 

I decided to order new calibration fluid as the last time this happened, calibration fluid was the issue.

 

While waiting for the solution, the last week I have been having issues with some corals. My birdsnest and stylo started rtn'ing. My euphyllia,blastos, and plate were all retracted. All else fine.

 

I couldn't figure out what was wrong. All parameters were good and stable.

 

Just checked the salinity today as I got the new fluid in.

 

Yup, my tanks were off and so was the refractometer..

 

20g wasn't bad, 1.027 but normally 1.025

 

25g(where the problems were) was 1.030, normally 1.025

 

Checked the older calibration fluid 4 times. 40ppt

 

Calibrated the refractometer with the new fluid and checked 4 times to make sure it was right 35ppt

 

 

So 2 times I have noticed that once refractometer fluid gets to about 1/4 of the bottle left, it starts reading wrong.

 

I corrected the 20g but I'm slowly lowering the 25g as there was so much of a difference.

 

Gonna double check later all is ok and if not then maybe it's the refractometer needs replacing. 

 

 

 


 

 

FWIW 1.030 shouldnt cause major issues.  Something else was likely going on also.  Do you keep your cap on tight on the calibration fluid?

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Clown79
9 minutes ago, patback said:

FWIW 1.030 shouldnt cause major issues.  Something else was likely going on also.  Do you keep your cap on tight on the calibration fluid?

I can't find any other cause. Nothing has changed.

 

That's what was so concerning. Actually kinda stumped. Besides salinity,  all else is normal.

 

Some corals are great, the others which were fine suddenly started acting up. 

 

Ya, I actually close it after every use to make sure it doesn't go bad.

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William
5 minutes ago, Clown79 said:

I can't find any other cause. Nothing has changed.

 

That's what was so concerning. Actually kinda stumped. Besides salinity,  all else is normal.

 

Some corals are great, the others which were fine suddenly started acting up. 

 

Ya, I actually close it after every use to make sure it doesn't go bad.

You may want to send an ICP test to rule out contamination. 

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Clown79
22 minutes ago, William said:

You may want to send an ICP test to rule out contamination. 

Ya, at this time with covid, I can't. Gotta look into its availability here too. 

 

I would think my 20g would have similar issues if there was contamination. Not a single issue in that tank. Both in the same room, same water, same everything really. Even parameters are the same.  

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NoOneLikesADryTang

Any magnets in the tank that might be rusting? 

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Thrassian Atoll

Was the alkalinity stable the whole time or did it raise with the salinity?

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Clown79
24 minutes ago, NoOneLikesADryTang said:

Any magnets in the tank that might be rusting? 

No other than my kps but its completely coated. I'll double check tomorrow.

I checked my inkbird probe and it's fine.

Nothing else magnetic.

 

10 minutes ago, Thrassian Atoll said:

Was the alkalinity stable the whole time or did it raise with the salinity?

Alkalinity stayed the same.  I dose every day. Been testing to see if that was a cause. It's been stable. 

I had 1 small spike over a mnth ago. 8.3 to 9. 

 

My phos was high 0.25 but it's been that way off and on for a year.

I did use a small amount of phosguard to help(testing every 4 days) As my nitrates were really low. Trying to get phos and nitrates balanced.

 

Nitrates in my tanks seem to be difficult to keep and we can't get any nitrate dosing products here which makes the nitrates difficult to raise.

 

I'm gonna remove the phosguard and see if maybe it's the issue.

 

Even checked for pests, livestock bothering certain things, brown jelly. 

 

Its very odd that it happened all at once and more so that only certain particular corals are effected.

 

Trial and error to find the problem. 🤣

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thrassian Atoll
34 minutes ago, Clown79 said:

No other than my kps but its completely coated. I'll double check tomorrow.

I checked my inkbird probe and it's fine.

Nothing else magnetic.

 

Alkalinity stayed the same.  I dose every day. Been testing to see if that was a cause. It's been stable. 

I had 1 small spike over a mnth ago. 8.3 to 9. 

 

My phos was high 0.25 but it's been that way off and on for a year.

I did use a small amount of phosguard to help(testing every 4 days) As my nitrates were really low. Trying to get phos and nitrates balanced.

 

Nitrates in my tanks seem to be difficult to keep and we can't get any nitrate dosing products here which makes the nitrates difficult to raise.

 

I'm gonna remove the phosguard and see if maybe it's the issue.

 

Even checked for pests, livestock bothering certain things, brown jelly. 

 

Its very odd that it happened all at once and more so that only certain particular corals are effected.

 

Trial and error to find the problem. 🤣

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can’t get Neonitro up there?  Why’s that?  Stump remover from the store?  
 

The pho’s guard might of removed nutrients too quick.  That’s definitely a possibility.  What’s the phosphate dropped to?  
 

I have the opposite issue.  My nitrates have been fine but I have to dose phosphate daily.  
 

 

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Clown79
1 hour ago, Thrassian Atoll said:

You can’t get Neonitro up there?  Why’s that?  Stump remover from the store?  
 

The pho’s guard might of removed nutrients too quick.  That’s definitely a possibility.  What’s the phosphate dropped to?  
 

I have the opposite issue.  My nitrates have been fine but I have to dose phosphate daily.  
 

 

No the products are banned being sold here. Which has made options very limited. Feeding more doesn't work, waterchanges every 2 weeks helped it get to 1-2! 

 

I used to struggle with phos but after dino's I was able to maintain it after dosing phyto. 

 

I've been testing with using phosguard, I use very little to be safe. It only dropped to 0.18 and then starts rising again. 

 

 

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Thrassian Atoll
23 minutes ago, Clown79 said:

No the products are banned being sold here. Which has made options very limited. Feeding more doesn't work, waterchanges every 2 weeks helped it get to 1-2! 

 

I used to struggle with phos but after dino's I was able to maintain it after dosing phyto. 

 

I've been testing with using phosguard, I use very little to be safe. It only dropped to 0.18 and then starts rising again. 

 

 


Well hopefully the salinity is the issue.  That’s the easiest fix for sure.  
 

Feeding more doesn’t help me raise nutrients. I already feed 3 times a day and it doesn’t move the needle with nitrates or phosphates at all.  That’s one of the weirdest things in this hobby in my opinion.  Some people have crazy high nutrient issues for no reason, and some people struggle to keep nutrients above zero with excessive feeding and whatever else.  

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mcarroll
3 hours ago, Clown79 said:

No the products are banned being sold here.

I still don't understand how anyone there grows houseplants or garden plants if that's 100% totally and completely true.

 

(Do folks up there not garden or grow houseplants??!!??)

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seabass
11 hours ago, Clown79 said:

I know that this has been discussed before but I wanted to share an experience and how important it is to change calibration fluid.

I always check against RO/DI.    Yes, if your calibration fluid is correct, using calibration fluid is best (as it compensates for slope miscalibration).  However, it sounds like you experienced offset miscalibration, caused by your old fluid.

 

After you are confident that your new fluid is correct, check your refractometer for slope miscalibration using RO/DI.  In addition, I check it against a hydrometer.  In fact, I use a hydrometer (that I have checked against a refractometer) for everyday testing.  It's not very far off.

 

Many people tell you not to use hydrometers; however, I find them convenient and functionality accurate enough.  Just test them against a known good device before you assume it's correct.

 

11 hours ago, Clown79 said:

25g(where the problems were) was 1.030, normally 1.025

You've probably had to adjust your dosing as the higher salinity level would have concentrated your other levels as well.  Also realize that correcting the salinity level will dilute the other elements in your tank's water.

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Clown79
5 hours ago, seabass said:

I always check against RO/DI.    Yes, if your calibration fluid is correct, using calibration fluid is best (as it compensates for slope miscalibration).  However, it sounds like you experienced offset miscalibration, caused by your old fluid.

 

After you are confident that your new fluid is correct, check your refractometer for slope miscalibration using RO/DI.  In addition, I check it against a hydrometer.  In fact, I use a hydrometer (that I have checked against a refractometer) for everyday testing.  It's not very far off.

 

Many people tell you not to use hydrometers; however, I find them convenient and functionality accurate enough.  Just test them against a known good device before you assume it's correct.

 

You've probably had to adjust your dosing as the higher salinity level would have concentrated your other levels as well.  Also realize that correcting the salinity level will dilute the other elements in your tank's water.

Ya I'm retesting everything today.

 

What a mess for something so simple.

I'll check with RODI today too.

 

When checking with RODI, can you give me some more info on this slope miscalibration and will I need to recalibrate with the solution after since I prefer calibrating to 35ppt and not 0.

 

 

Sorry if it's a stupid question, I'm just not sure what I should be doing with the rodi water when calibrating

 

I don't have a hydrometer anymore, mine cracked

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Clown79
5 hours ago, mcarroll said:

I still don't understand how anyone there grows houseplants or garden plants if that's 100% totally and completely true.

 

(Do folks up there not garden or grow houseplants??!!??)

Yes we garden but the ingredients in the products uses no potassium nitrate or sodium nitrate. These can't be sold in store to general public.

 

Just like Bayer, we sell it but not the one you guys use. 

 

Environmental laws and safety laws.

 

Anything with potassium nitrate or sodium you can't find and it can't be shipped in.

 

 

 

 

9 hours ago, Thrassian Atoll said:


Well hopefully the salinity is the issue.  That’s the easiest fix for sure.  
 

Feeding more doesn’t help me raise nutrients. I already feed 3 times a day and it doesn’t move the needle with nitrates or phosphates at all.  That’s one of the weirdest things in this hobby in my opinion.  Some people have crazy high nutrient issues for no reason, and some people struggle to keep nutrients above zero with excessive feeding and whatever else.  

I know right! 

 

 

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seabass
22 minutes ago, Clown79 said:

When checking with RODI, can you give me some more info on this slope miscalibration and will I need to recalibrate with the solution after since I prefer calibrating to 35ppt and not 0.

There's information in the link that I provided:  http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-12/rhf/

Figure17.gif

 

Often calibrating to 0 is adequate, but it's still "best" to calibrate at reef levels.  However, as you discovered, calibration fluid isn't always correct either (while RO/DI should be).  If your refractometer is correct (or close to correct) when calibrated to 0, you'll find it's easier, cheaper, and even more accurate to calibrate to 0.  That said, calibration fluid can still provide a benefit when checking for slope miscalibration.  While slope miscalibration is a thing, I'm not convinced it's a significant issue with most decent reef refractometers.

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Clown79
26 minutes ago, seabass said:

There's information in the link that I provided:  http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-12/rhf/

Figure17.gif

 

Often calibrating to 0 is adequate, but it's still "best" to calibrate at reef levels.  However, as you discovered, calibration fluid isn't always correct either (while RO/DI should be).  If your refractometer is correct (or close to correct) when calibrated to 0, you'll find it's easier, cheaper, and even more accurate to calibrate to 0.  That said, calibration fluid can still provide a benefit when checking for slope miscalibration.  While slope miscalibration is a thing, I'm not convinced it's a significant issue with most decent reef refractometers.

Thank you.

 

I'm gonna check with RoDi, then with the fluid. Then test all parameters.

 

I'd love to go with one of the digital readers for salinity but milwaukee is expensive and hanna seems to have had a lot of issues 

 

 

 

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seabass

I just use one of these: https://www.amazon.ca/Instant-Ocean-tk504-SeaTest-Hydrometer/dp/B00019JOSO/ref=sr_1_1?crid=SJI816OS0SDR&keywords=instant+ocean+hydrometer&qid=1589124548&sprefix=instant+ocean+hy%2Caps%2C159&sr=8-1

 

It's not dead on, but it gets me in an acceptable neighborhood.  Again, checking it against a more precise instrument is recommended.

 

It does take a little experience/technique to use it.  Microbubbles will throw it off.  Recognizing the need to retest a questionable result is key.

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William
3 hours ago, Clown79 said:

Thank you.

 

I'm gonna check with RoDi, then with the fluid. Then test all parameters.

 

I'd love to go with one of the digital readers for salinity but milwaukee is expensive and hanna seems to have had a lot of issues 

 

 

 

I have not had any issues with my Hanna (though I do a standardized test and If needed recalibrate monthly),

and I also have a conductivity probe connected to my apex. 

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Tired

You can grow houseplants with a good soil that has compost. Some people water their plants with "compost tea", which is exactly what it sounds like. There's way less runoff putting compost on your plants than putting bagged fertilizers on them, anyway- better for local waterways.

 

Oh, also blood and bone meal. Plants love bone and blood meal. Evidently it's the secret to really nice roses.

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Clown79

Update:

 

Checked refractometer using rodi, read exactly 0

Checked with brand new calibration fluid read 35ppt

 

Tanks are still where they were yesterday salinity wise after correcting them slowly.

 

Checked tank params.

 

25g phos 0.29(so still gotta use small amounts of phosguard with frequent monitoring)

 

Alk for both tanks is 9dkh, a little higher but not huge. Usually 8.3/8.4

 

Ca is fine 450

 

Mag 1290

 

Nitrate- well ran out of the liquid part of salifert test, lots of powder left though so don't know what they are at.

 

Gonna let alk drop naturally, correct salinity slowly. Waterchanges on wed cause we have water shut down the next 2 days...great with so many home.

 

I'll keep updating, this could help someone in the future.

Thank you all for chiming in and helping out. Really appreciate it.

 

The more brains involved may actually narrow down the cause.

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Clown79
7 minutes ago, Tired said:

You can grow houseplants with a good soil that has compost. Some people water their plants with "compost tea", which is exactly what it sounds like. There's way less runoff putting compost on your plants than putting bagged fertilizers on them, anyway- better for local waterways.

 

Oh, also blood and bone meal. Plants love bone and blood meal. Evidently it's the secret to really nice roses.

That's what most of our stump removers and fertilizers are made with, more natural ingredients.

 

I have no green thumb, I can kill the easiest plants without trying, lol. I also live in an apartment so never really need to worry about lawn care.

 

Definitely cannot find a product here to help raise nitrates. Super frustrating.

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