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FAQs on Iodine Use, Supplements, Dosing

Related Articles: Iodine in Marine Aquarium Systems by Marco Lichtenberger, Marine System Additives

Related FAQs: Iodine 1, Iodine 2, & FAQs on Iodine: Rationale/Use, Iodine Testing/Test Kits, Sources of Iodine/Supplements, Interactions, Troubleshooting/Fixing, & General Supplements, Calcium

Most formats, products containing I2 are "transient" in nature... get "used up" chemically, biologically quite quickly... minutes to hours. Still, best to dose about as often as water changes.

Peppermint Shrimp & Iodine Supplementing Iodine 2/7/09 Dear WetWebMedia; <Julie> I have two Peppermint Shrimp in my tank, and have been using iodine for the last 3 weeks, one time per week as indicated on the bottle. The bottle says to put it in the tank for 3 weeks, one time per week...so when do I add it again? <Very unusual for the directions to state "for 3 weeks".> Do I wait a few weeks and then start over, or should I be adding iodine each week? We check the tank levels each week, and everything seems to be in range. <Iodine is a beneficial trace element. Crabs, shrimp and other molting invertebrates benefit from iodine as it aids the molting process. Iodine is an element that should be added weekly in that regard.> Thank you. <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> ~Julie

Iodine and HLLE <Rob, Anthony Calfo here while Bob travels in search of new and undiscovered species of microbreweries> I am currently treating my purple tang who has HLLE. The tang has a very healthy appetite and all other fish are healthy. I have a 75 gal FO tank operational for about two years and maintain the tank with weekly water changes. No ammonia , nitrite and 15-20 p.p.m. nitrate. I installed a grounding probe just to be on the safe side. I have been adding iodine( 1ml.) per serving, two servings per day, the last week or two along with Selcon when feeding. Would this constant addition of iodine adversely affect the healthy fish or is it O.K. to keep on using. Or should I alternate iodine like every other feeding? <without qualifying its efficacy for HLLE, iodine can be used consistently as per the manufacturer's full dose recommendation without fear of overdosing...to an extent. The fish will be safe. Iodine is very reactive and does not stay in solution for more than a few hours unless chelated. It will improve ReDox and is arguably antiseptic. However.. it is a nutrient, and if abused or added to a system without sufficient nutrient export processes (skimming, chemical filtration, etc.) you may stimulate some nuisance algae growth> Thank You, Rob <best of luck to you, bud. Anthony>

Dosing Iodine Hey crew! I haven't bothered you guys for quite a while....and that fact is bothering me :) <Not a bother! Really! Scott F. here tonight> My tank's been set up for three months and I now have a cleaner shrimp. I know they need iodide to molt correctly. I've read on your site faq's that iodide is difficult to test as it escapes the system quickly. All I have is one cleaner shrimp and a blenny in a 55g with 60lbs of LR. Any safe dosing plan I could use for my tank size without using a test kit? <To be honest with you, I've always subscribed to the theory that Bob offers: If you're going to dose something, be prepared to test for it. To try to use "seat of the pants" dosing for iodine (or any other additive, for that matter) is just not a good idea. Every system uses iodine at a different rate, and it's impossible to generalize how much to dose (well, maybe not impossible- but really difficult!). How much iodine to dose for a couple of small shrimp? Who knows! In my opinion, it's much better to employ frequent small water changes (like 5%-10% twice weekly) to assure that your level of vital elements (iodine included) are replenished. You and your animals will be happier in the long run.> I have a bottle of reef iodide from Seachem that I've had for 5 years maybe. Think it's still potent? <I'd contact the manufacturer on that one> >One more thing, is it ok to have two cleaner shrimp in a 55g together? <It depends on the type of  cleaner shrimp that you are referring to. Lysmata and Periclimenes shrimps can do fine in groups, but the larger shrimp, such as Stenopus hispidus (the Banded Coral Shrimp) will tear each other to shreds in most cases unless kept in mated pairs. Do check the WetWebMedia.Com site for more information on these shrimp.> Thanks as always for your fantastic help...Justaguy. <Thanks for stopping by! Good luck>

I AM CONFUSED BY SUPPLEMENTS ETC.. Bob, Anthony, et al.., thanks for all of your help, I never would have been able to achieve the success I now welcome without all of your help! Several weeks ago I contacted Anthony regarding what type of lighting addition to use, I must say that his response guided me toward the purchase of an additional 175W MH, one will be 10,000k one 20,000k as Bob states in his book (this is on a 55 so I have some heat to get rid of!!!) <no worries... a comparable fluorescent light system would need to be so close to the water that you'd have the same heat issues. All are tempered by a good open canopy and inexpensive muffin fans to run> My question is this, I have been following the GARF method of supplements and have had a bit of success, but all of the reading I have done seems to indicate that IODIDE dosing is very important, <agreed... and I favor small daily doses while Bob likes weekly> particularly to certain corals. Are there any adverse affects to other species such as Acros from high levels? <you'd have to define high levels. I suspect that reasonable doses (stock solutions listed in Sprung's book, my coral prop book, etc... are no trouble at all. And iodine is unfortunately removed from any system VERY fast... about 6 hours (hence my daily dose rec' for fast coral growth> I use SeaChem, should I stay with the manufacturers recommendation or dose heavier? <Unless you are farming corals, stick with mfg dose and break it down daily IMO> Also, my temp fluctuates 3 degrees per day (79 at night to 82 w/ current halide) is this too much of   a fluctuation? <a bit much for fishes (Ich). Exhaust lights better by day and add a second heater for stability. Set temp to 82 F even> Addicted- Tom <at risk of committal- Anthony>

Iodine use Hi I have constructed a 500 gallon system for cryptic filter feeders.   There is an algae scrubber and a skimmer.  I will be importing tunicates, sponges, Dendronephthya, file clams... water movement is via a fast current generated by a large water lift into the scrubber, and a Wave2K.  The system has three tanks and two refugia, so that I can isolate and experiment.      There is an automatic top off unit for RO water.  My question is- is there any problem (other than the controversies about using iodine at all)  with putting the iodine in the freshwater top off tank? << I don't there is a problem, but I would probably dose into the tank. >> This would allow continuous infusion.  Also, if no problem, can I also add two part alkalinity/calcium supplement to the same reserve with no interactions (i.e. does iodine precipitate on calcium carbonate)? << Well you can't add the two parts of a two part solution together.  You could add buffer to your RO water, or add calcium, but you can't add both.  Soooo, I would suggest dosing iodine and calcium, and adding your buffer to your RO water.  I wouldn't mix calcium or iodine in, because you don't really know what reactions may take place. >> Thank you so much! Charles Matthews <<  Blundell  >>  

Lugol's Solution   1/30/06 wow bob it was so nice to meet you and talk to you here in Irving TX  today. I really enjoyed your lecture. ok can you give me the name of that iodine again, you said 10 drops in a 75 gallon tank, this will not harm corals or fish is that correct. <Correct, and name above> am the one that was telling you about my rose bubble tip anemones not being big like they use to be. you also said they were in competition with all my leather corals correct. wow what a day it was to hear all you speakers speak. ill have to do some research and find some of your books. thanks again for  an unforgettable day ill remember this for along time. Mickey white
<Pleased to meet you again Mickey! Bob Fenner>
Here is a pic of these RBTA   1/30/06 well what do you think. they have turned a pink color and been right their for several months, they don't get big like they use to, will try the iodine you suggested. thanks <Mmm, let's re-state... the Iodine/ide will help, as would using activated carbon (once a month pouch, leaving in for two months), and improving the lighting (the MH you mentioned, switching out the two white PCs)... the Sarcophyton/Leather is really too much here... and you would do well to "frag" it... or cut it in half, give half away. Cheers, Bob Fenner> Mickey white

Do appear dyed eh? Color loss from simple dilution/division?

Re: Lugol's Use ok ill get some Lugol's solution this week,10 drops for a 75 gallon tank, should I do this ever so often or just one time only. thanks  bob Mickey white <Best to use in concert with your water change activity... every week or two when you change water. Same dosage. If you want to use more frequently, you need to get/use a test kit for iodine. Please read over this area: http://wetwebmedia.com/iodfaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

Iodine and crabs 6/3/06 Thanks, how do I dose with iodine, in water or feed, dose rate, what does iodine actually do? <Iodine assists in the molting process, it is added to the water.  Dosing rates vary based on the brand, so follow the directions on the bottle.  It is available through most LFS or on-line.> Regards Angus C. <Chris>

Best time to add calcium   10/2/06 Crew, <Mark> I have a 60 gallon DAS tank with 65 pounds live rock and 110 pounds live sand. We also have a hammer coral and a xenia. When is the best time to add my calcium, iodine and strontium? Right now we add these in the morning but my wife would like to not have the cloudiness from the calcium so I am curious if there are any ill effects if I added these at night after the lights go out? Also we currently use Purple up liquid calcium. I add 7 ml a day. <Calcium is best added when the tanks pH is at its lowest. This is usually hours after the lights have been off and can be determined with a quick ph test or monitor. I suggest using a two part liquid calcium system as these will give you easy control over your calcium and alkalinity.> What are your suggestions? <Concerning dosing iodine and strontium you need only add these when testing dictates. You may be holding at acceptable levels with regular water changes, and might actually do harm/waste money by dosing without testing. Please test for anything you add to your tank. Testing may not be the most fun aspect of our hobby (for most people), but it can save your tank as well as you wallet.> Thanks, <You're welcome, wish you the best! Emerson> Mark

Iodide   12/8/06 Hello wet web, I read on your site that iodide is depleted very quickly in reef tanks. <Typically, yes... or more accurately, this valence state, others of the Halogen element Iodine, are readily converted to non-useful compounds in these settings> I have a 80 gal reef, Boyd ChemiPure carbon and AquaC 120 skimmer. <Proper nouns are capitalized...> I'm getting zero reading with my SeaChem test kit. <For... Iodine/ide?> Should I keep adding it until I see it get to .06? <Mmm, no, I would not...> My clam seems to be getting a little flimsy around the edges of the mantle. Can this be due to the absence of iodide? thanks for the help Mike <A bit more reading is advised... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/iodfaqs.htm, elsewhere... I would supplement some format of this essential nutrient weekly... with water changes/testing, and/or with purposeful feeding of target organisms. Bob Fenner>

HLLE Iodine Dosing Question... Hello Bob,     I hope I may be able to ask you a question? <Sure... you just did> I have a Blue Tang that I believe is developing HLLE.  I was reading your FAQ's and noted that it is recommended to soak the food intended for the fish in an Iodine supplement. <Mmm, actually... better to use an overall vitamin/appetite stimulant complex... Iodine is only part of a possible treatment scenario... and makes foods rather unpalatable... try it... You won't like it> I purchased "Kent Marine Concentrated Iodine" shown in this link: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=4820&Ntt=iodine&Ntk=All&Ntx=mode+matchallpartial&Np=1&pc=1&N=2004&Nty=1     It doesn't state anywhere on the bottle what the recommended dosage should be if used as a food supplement.  Is this a good Iodine supplement or would you recommend something else?  What dosage would you recommend if I would be soaking the fish food in it over-night (drops per cube of frozen)?  Thank you for your assistance in this matter. Robert Miele <You could try a drop... but I would look to other means... Have you read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/hllefaqs.htm and the linked FAQs files above? Bob Fenner> Iodine drip   6/13/07 Hello Bob and crew. <James> I wanted to add my thoughts on dosing with iodine and pose the idea of using a pre-made solution and drip it in as one use calcium or Kalkwasser (assuming proper testing for need of course!). Does this seem a more reasonable approach than just adding a dose at a time? <Mmm, marginally so... there are a few factors to consider... One is the transient nature of the various valence states of this halogen in biological marine water... Dosing "all at once" likely results in getting some to all parts of the system...> Reading of the FAQ(s) led me to the conclusions: iodine is depleted quickly and is sometimes accidentally overdosed. <More the former than latter by far> Preparing a stock solution with DI water <Distilled is best... and dark bottle storage...> ahead of time seems to be a reasonable way to control the dose and the frequency of addition into a system. I would believe that before one would attempt to do this (or add at all) they should do some vigorous testing with a baseline of iodine at time of addition of the new water, water in the tank before and after addition and then periodic tests over a given frequency (hours/several hours) to measurable depletion in order to ascertain the baseline need of iodine in the system given present parameters and stock. <Yes> This information can then easily be graphed and documented for future reference using Excel. <Mmm, actually, need to continue to test each time... to be sure...> It would also be good to note the components of and residents (known) of the system as these conditions do change over time (replacement/new fish, corals and equipment). <Ah, yes> I spent a great deal of time reading up on iodine when I came up with my idea of dosing as a preventative antiseptic for an injured fish knowing that iodine is poisonous. It pays to read up before good intentions send our tanks to possible oblivion. I have to believe that as an antiseptic the levels needed would be harmful to any main tank and also so in quarantine. The chemistry responses in the FAQ(s) were cool. <Well... of a necessity, and by plan, very scant... One must need be so on the Net... Too easy to "give" folks some fact/oid that they can/will cling to as useful, actionable, w/o enough understanding here> Is there any news of an article coming regarding the chemistry of iodine in our tanks in the near future? <Actually... I'd like to have you pen this... Gather the pet-fish literature (even just the Net) together, a quick read through a public library's holdings on I2... compile, syncretise, toss in a few aquarium examples...! There are extant good works by the likes of Randy-Holmes Farley et al... but we could use a reminder, update... I'll help you sell this into the print mag.s and here on WWM's CA> Additives are a touchy subject but the debate makes us all the wiser or perhaps more cautious in how we treat our aquatic charges. Sincerely, James Zimmer <What say you? Bob Fenner>

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