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realypk

Did I Discover a Super Cheap Marine Pure Substitute?

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So I just finished building a vivarium, and a critical component of it was false bottom, previously round balls of lavarock were used for the purpose but now they've gotten all fancy and started using this white stuff. Didnt think anything of it bought a few packs (it's super cheap ie 7.99 cheap for 5qts. or 7.33 if you buy 4 or more) When it arrived and i had it in my hands i was like oh... this is just smaller versions of marine pure blocks....  Its meant for use in vivariums with running water which often have very sensitive amphibians so I bet the stuff is pet/marine safe as well. The consistency when put next to marine pure is very similar and its also similarly fragile. 5 qts is a pretty good ammount 20qts is even better. What I like about the size is it could fit in filters pretty well for nano systems. 

 

What do you guys think? Rinse and use for super value marine pure?

 

https://www.joshsfrogs.com/josh-s-frogs-false-bottom-5-quarts.html

Edited by realypk

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Unknown. There doesn't seem to be enough information to provide any insight into exactly what the material is except to say that it's 100% recycled. Marinepure describes itself as a ceramic and there have been reports of elevated aluminum levels leaching from it (indicting that it might be open-cell alumina foam - no confirmation on that, just a guess). 

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Is aluminum leaching bad for the reef? Should I remove my marine pure or does it do more good than harm?

 

If not a big deal than this may be worth trying. Might be willing to set up a nano that i'll use to farm copepods and see if this works similar to marine pure tank next to it. 

Edited by realypk

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9 hours ago, realypk said:

Is aluminum leaching bad for the reef? Should I remove my marine pure or does it do more good than harm?

 

If not a big deal than this may be worth trying. Might be willing to set up a nano that i'll use to farm copepods and see if this works similar to marine pure tank next to it. 

 

There is a lot of discussion about it on different forums.  Some users swear that it is fine and doesn't leach enough to harm anything and the benefits outweigh possible negatives.  Some say it's the devil and must be cast into the pit.  I used a big block for a long time in my sump, and it didn't seem to cause negatives, but I never had a Triton test done.  Something was taking care of my nitrates, so maybe it worked like it said it did.  Hard to know.

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I have a LOT of marine pure in my main system. IE 2 big blocks and  a bunch of smaller cubes (i definitely did overkill in how much i used, probably good enough for a 500gal worth of marine pure for my 75) in my sump. My nitrates stay consistently very low regardless how much I feed or even overfeed, I see it spike and rapidly decrease so the marine pure does probably do a very good job at decreasing nitrates... I guess the real question is #1 does it leach and #2 is what leaches harmful to reef aquaria? 

 

So far everything seems happy but is it just a matter of time and concentration? I also wonder if regular water changes negate the affects of leaching... I'm likely going to keep things as is for now as its running fine and removing it would mean lengthy cleaning process in sump as a lot of it got crushed....  Also i'd need to find a substitute as my tank is fully stocked with life. 

 

Also I will be doing a water quality analysis in the next month or so and let you all know the results. 

Edited by realypk

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I've got two large blocks of it in my tank and it's not been an issue as far as I can tell. I did have a heavy metals problem that led to loss of some corals about a year ago, but I don't think that aluminum was the concern. 

 

At the time, I ran several ICP-OES tests checking my well water, my saltwater storage, and my tank. I had zero aluminum in the first two and elevated aluminum in the tank. My conclusion was that I had a source of aluminum in the tank and the MarinePure was the likely source since I didn't have other sources (such as aluminum-based phosphate binders) that I was aware of. However, moderate levels of dissolved aluminum in the water have not been shown to be an issue with our tanks.  We've been using aluminum compounds for a long time in this hobby - most commonly as a phosphate binder - and it's debatable whether or not it's ever been proved to be a problem. The tank has recovered, but I've not run another ICP test to get new numbers. I should do that.

 

For now, I'd leave the Marinepure in the tank as long as you're comfortable with it. 

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Yea i guess if it aint broke dont fix it. I am curious how my test results will look though!

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Yea, I’d leave the marinepure also. I would say that with a decent water change schedule, the aluminum would remain at safe levels.  

As for the false bottom substrate you mentioned earlier, the look reminds me of crushed coral that was used as an alternative to sand.  It was recommended to increase surface area for bacterial growth.  This was a LONG time ago and I don’t know if people even still use crushed coral.  Well it seemed to work great (especially in my predator tank that produced a lot of waste), and providing it doesn’t leach chemicals I’d be willing to use it also.

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So i got the stuff from joshfrogs and inspected the packaging. Its made by "growstone" in the usa. Supposedly its made of recycled glass and is mostly silica. What does this mean for its safety in a reef setting? Im guessing it improves things if rinsed well.

 

http://growstone.com/our-company/our-process/

Edited by realypk

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Sand and glass are mostly silicon dioxide, so it shouldn't be a problem.

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I'll give it a go in a nano I'm setting up and report back results!!!

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