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FAQs on Iodine Use, Supplements, Sources

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, Dosing, Interactions, Troubleshooting/Fixing, & General Supplements, Calcium

Foods, purposeful supplements... Can be purchased as a pet-fish or health store product

Drunk Sharks?!   7/4/11
Good Morning Crew!
I am about to overhaul and upgrade my 180 gallon system to a 400 gallon system with a 180 gallon tank, a 100, a 90 refugium, and a 20-30 gallon wet/dry sump (the 400 does not include hang on filters or plumbing naturally). I would like to put a whitespotted bamboo shark in my 180 for about a year or so two at the absolute most.
<Mmm, start w/ a very small specimen... feed very sparingly... not easy for any shark, chondrichthyous fish to "turn around" physically, and even bamboo sharks get excited from time to time... can damage themselves in such small rectangular spaces>
At which point I will be building a 700-900 gallon tank. My issue is that I do something rarely recommended by anyone, vodka dosing. Its been very successful and I'd very much like to continue the dosing but if there will be a problem with the small shark (approximately eight inches at the moment
and still at the store) then I will have to decide.
<Well... I am not a fan of this practice being done on a continuous basis... but IS of value/utility on a punctuated, time to time use>
Idealistically I'd just like to alter the acclimation process accordingly.
I have been reading for days here on sharks and have purchased the book which is on its way. I'm very excited at the potential to have such a beautiful shark that will hopefully have as much personality as the
rest of my fish if not more. Please tell me if it can work out with the vodka dosing.
Thank You
<Can... Bob Fenner>
re: Drunk Sharks?!   7/4.5/11

That is great to hear, or see. I am looking into purchasing the recommended Lugol's iodine
<Mmm, commercial Iodine/ide ones are vastly superior>
solution but the problem is there are two dilutions! There is one with 4% potassium iodide and 2% iodine (not the one I want I am assuming).
<Could be...>
Then there is one with 7% iodine and 2.2% iodine.
<Mmm, summat wrong here>
I saw the post with the recommended half ml. per week but for which dilution?
<Would have to see/read the excerpt... Of course, depends on what you're starting w/ as a stock solution>
Also since my book has yet to arrive I am unsure of whether the recommended vitamin supplements are in it. If they are there is no need to respond I'll find them shortly. But if the items are not listed then would you please point me in the right direction?
<Posted on WWM: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/FishInd1.htm
scroll down to Sharks, Foods/Feeding/Nutrition FAQs>
As for my current system and menagerie, I would like to try Gamma Nutraplus Reef Feed but I cannot find a distributor.
<Have your LFS's (local fish stores) contact Quality Marine, LA>
I found limited information at Tropical Marine Center and perhaps I overlooked a link to purchase it there. It isn't even available on eBay.
<TMC is the maker/manufacturer, QM is their principal US distributor>
Thank You once again for providing optimal brain-picking!!
<Welcome. BobF>

re: Drunk Sharks?!... Nutr., I2, F's    7/5/11

"Re: Shark Problems Follow-up 10/13/05
Thanks for the quick reply. I am using an artificial salt mix, Bio Sea's "Marine Mix",
<I'd look for a good deal on a better brand... perhaps the 200 gallon size of Instant Ocean's products... even from etailers if they have a deal on freight>
Vita-Zu "Sharks & Rays Vitamins" and Kent Marine's "Tech 1" Iodine Supplement and "Essential Elements" in the water.
<Am not a fan of this company's products... too many hokum, no smokum...>
Do you think I should be injecting their food with Iodine? If so what kind or brand of Iodine, how much, and how often.
<I would use Lugol's Solution... about a half ml. per week, in one dose per shark>
Their food is cut up: 2 small anchovies, 2 shrimp, and 2 clams. I feed them once a day.
<Good mix, technique. Bob Fenner> "
That is the post that set me on the search for it. The 7% and 2.2% are what is available on eBay. Each posting says 1fl. ounce with either 7% iodine or 2.2% iodine. Here is the link to the eBay search:
<<I've changed my mind since this date/posting in 05... Too many people have troubles making their own I2 solutions... Please peruse here: http://wetwebmedia.com/IodineSWArt.htm
and the linked files above. DO invest in a test kit if you intend to supplement often>
I will buy the Mazuri tablets to supplement the shark's diet. Should they be added to the food, say stuffed in a piece of prawn, or dissolved in the water?
<Added to foods, hidden inside as you state>
And how often should this take place? If the iodine is once a week should the tablets be the same?
<About this interval, yes>
Also how do I weigh the shark? Placement on an average digital scale seems very stressful...
<Approximation is fine... as with humans, much/most of the vitamin content (water solubles) is not easily over-dosed... B>

cleaner shrimp dying during molt - 10/09/10
Hi WWM crew:
I have a question about my cleaner shrimp, and I don't want to get another one (or two) until I am sure about something:
I had the shrimp for 6 months; he was about 2-1/2" (body size) when he died at night during molting. He had been molting about every 3 weeks. I keep reading about low iodine, but I do a 5% water change twice a week (suggestion I read on your website) so I thought iodine would be at a good level.
<Mmm, not unless this element is a part of the salt mix make up... Should be added exogenously... once a week will do... Iod-ide/ate... like Lugol's solution or a commercial prep.>
I don't have a test kit, at present. Otherwise, my information is as follows: 90g FOWLR + turbo snails, a couple green star polyps, and previously, one cleaner shrimp. I have 1 tomato clown, 1 flame angel, 2 chromis, 1 fire fish, and 1 watchman goby.
The shrimp died during the night when the goby was still in his den under the sand - he is the only fish who sometimes seemed to threaten the shrimp, with his mouth wide open, but no contact made.
My water parameters are: ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates at 0, salinity 1.025, temp. 80-81, filtered by sump, protein skimmer in sump, two power heads in tank. I feed Emerald Entree, Marine Cuisine and Spirulina Brine Shrimp, alternating between the three. The shrimp has always eaten enthusiastically, and I usually target fed him, too. He rarely cleaned the angel, and the other fish weren't interested in cleaning services.
Please let me know your opinion on why he died. Do you think he was just old?
<Could be. These species doesn't live all that long...>
As I said, he had about doubled his size to 2-1/2", plus feelers, in nine months when I found him this morning still partly attached to his molt.
Thanks again for your assistance.
<Thank you for writing so well, complete. Bob Fenner> 
Re: cleaner shrimp dying during molt, I2 use  -- 10/9/10

Hi Bob,
Thanks so much for your rapid reply, and for so much helpful information regarding my cleaner shrimp.
<Welcome Edie>
I looked on the website of the salt product (Seachem ReefSalt) I have been using
for twice weekly, 5% water changes. It lists iodide at 0.060. Is that sufficient?
<Ah yes... a good brand and sufficient for all's use>
Does that differ from iodine?
<Mmm, yes... not to be confusing... these are both/all the same element (their atoms have the same number of protons), but different valence states (differing numbers of electrons...) but elemental iodine, I2 is not useful... is actually quite toxic. Suffice it here to state that the SeaChem brand has the "right type" of Iodine>
Or should I be adding an additional amount of iodine?
<Not necessarily, no>
Should I have a test kit of some kind (I have the basic test kit for a fish-only tank, so nothing for other elements.)
<Mmm, maybe a read over our collected FAQs:
and the linked files above. Am going to ask MarcoL here to write a review piece re. BobF>
Thanks again for taking the time to help me.

Iodine, shellfish, table salt... Hi Rob, I have a query... I know from reading the site that the presence of iodine ions in the water is important to shellfish during their moulting processes. Given that commonly available table salt contains iodine in much the same way that many municipal water supplies contain fluoride, would it be feasible to use iodized salt (sparingly) as a source of iodine for the marine tank?  <Yes> Do you happen to know whether this has been done (to save money), or of any hazards that doing so might present (other than the unknown concentration of the iodine in table salt, and the fact that adding salt to the system would obviously change the salinity)? <Mmm, actually not that dangerous, but also not that efficacious. Better, faster to use potassium iodide solutions in stock (much more concentrated) preparations, with a test kit to assure you're getting enough into your system... there is abidingly little iodide in "iodized salt" as you will find> Just curious because I'm crafty and cheap ;-) <Good qualities... well, at least ones we share. Bob Fenner> TJ

Calcium (and iodide/iodine) hello guys, I have a quick question. am a bit confused about the difference between iodide and iodine as supplements for my shrimp.  <different forms in solution. Iodide is "safer", Lugol's solution is a nutritive Iodine and more potent. Bob favors iodide, I favor Lugol's (iodine mixed with iodide)> calcium, do ya need it or does the sand, shells, etc in tank supply it.. <depends on draw from inverts in the tank... if low demand, water changes will bring enough in ... but do get a calcium test kit and aim for 350-450 ppm (the low end is fine)> thanks a lot. I only have two clowns two snails and two cleaner shrimp......Jennifer <ahhh...yes. Save your money for now on supplements. A small weekly water change will give you these benefits and so much more. Anthony>

Iodinating Foods (1/9/2004) Hi, thanks for taking my question. I was reading info regarding HLLE and how iodine additions to food may be one way to help. <Nothing proven here.> How would I do this? Should I just soak the food in a few drops of iodine before feeding? Should I use a Lugol's solution or go with a Kent type iodide product? Thanks, Angelo <General improvement of water conditions and overall nutrition seem important here. HUFA/vitamin supplements may help. Soaking the food in a marine iodine supplement could be done. Don't know if it will help or hurt. Iodine is usually added to the water.  I think Lugol's could be too strong. Do read more here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/iodfaqs.htm Hope this helps. Steve Allen.>

Lugol's Solution Hello, <hi> I was thinking of trying Lugol's Solution for my iodine supplement into my 55G tank. Is this a bad move? I see where you have to be very careful with it. I read where I could dose it to 1 drop per 25 gallons. Now I assume I have to account for LR and LS displacement so would probably dose 1 drop every day. <Lugol's solution must be used carefully ONE drop per day is way to high to start off. You should dose 1-2 drop per week. Then slowly move up the dose if needed if you start to notice brown algae forming on the glass faster, you are adding to much> I guess I'm asking if this is a good product to use or should I just use regular Iodine? < I have used Lugol's for the past 5 years and have had no problems .Just follow the directions. Good luck MikeH> Thanks, Mike

Iodine vs. Iodide 3/22/04 Quick question for you. I have the Kent Iodine product as well as Sea Chem's Iodide. What is the difference between the two and should I use just one or both? I was told that iodine converts to iodide which is what the corals actually use and that using Iodide is just a quicker/safer method of dosing??? The type of invert/corals I have are as follows: Cleaner Shrimp Emerald Crab Bubble Coral Zoanthus Metallic Green Moon Brain Coral Rose Anemone Green Star Polyps Hawaiian feather duster Sand sifting stars Flame Scallops Hermit type crabs Thank You, Robert <Just like any other supplement, I don't advise dosing Iodine or Iodide without testing.  As far as the difference, I actually had to go search this one out!  Iodine is I2 or two iodine atoms joined into a molecule.  Iodide is usually supplied as KI or potassium iodide.  When dissolve in water, KI dissociates into K+ and I-.  I- combines with oxygen to form IO3, and these two forms of Iodine are the most common in sea water.  Up to 1/3 of the iodine can be combined with organics, and won't be measured by a test kit. I2 has strong anti-bacterial properties because it is a strong oxidizing agent.  Most of the bad occurrences that are reported with iodine supplements are due to I2 or Lugol's, which is a mixture of KI and I2.  I would recommend sticking with the Iodide product.  Kent makes both an Iodide product and packages Lugol's for aquarium use.  If you are unsure, visit Kent's website to be sure which you have.  Best Regards.  Adam>

Iodine (7/1/04) Hi Crew, <Steve Allen tonight> In one of the hundreds of postings I have read on WetWebMedia.com (and I think in Bob or Anthony's book), I remember reading a recommendation (from Bob or Anthony, I think) to just use standard iodine from a pharmacy in a reef aquarium.  I have been unable to locate Lugol's solution in any of the local pharmacies. <Can be had on-line at www.liveaquaria.com>  I can only locate Povidone iodine, which I understand to be Potassium Iodide plus 'inert ingredients'.  My concern is that the 'inert ingredients' are either 'pareth 25-9' or nonoxynol-9 <the spermicide used in condoms> (depending upon brand). Both brands of Povidone iodine contain NaOH and one brand also contains ascorbic acid (neither of which concern me) but I am concerned about these other 'inert ingredients'. <I would not use Povidone-iodine. It is meant as a disinfectant (bactericidal agent). Better to use the Lugol's or another iodine supplement meant for aquariums, IMHO.> Would 'pareth 25-9' or nonoxynol-9 be harmful to anything in a reef aquarium? <These are poisons.> I did not realize nonoxynol-9 was used for anything other than a contraceptive, so I find it a little odd that this is even added to iodine solutions, unless it does kill simpler life forms <yes> (in which case I would be concerned about the effects to my filtration system and to my 'pod population).  What recommendations do you have for using (or finding) standard pharmaceutical iodine? <Personally, I'd just buy a reputable brand at the LFS or on-line and follow the directions strictly. BTW, it is always best to test before adding. Most people will tell you that you don't need to add iodine if you are doing regular water changes. The whole issue is controversial. Hope this helps.> --Greg

Iodine and Additives 01/18/06 Hi Bob, <<Hello Linda. Ted on this end>>     Wow I couldn't believe how fast you got back to me about my question re: compatibility of different types of cleaner shrimps - thank you very much!!       I have a different question the aquarium stores [2 salt water ones in my area]  have not been able to answer for me to my satisfaction.  The question is about additives.  I have a 40 gallon reef tank, with about 12 small corals, a couple of crabs, 2 shrimp, 2 star fish, snails, a sea urchin, a cucumber & 2 small fish.  I clean my tank about every 2 1/2 to 3 weeks [about 10 to 12 gallons change], use Instant Ocean reef crystal salt & distilled water.  I add a teaspoon of calcium as directed every day.  Recently, I have been adding 8 mil. [as directed] per day of an additive called "Reef Solution" by EcoSystems that is supposed to have multiple minerals & minor trace elements found in natural sea water so that you don't have to add any other additives.     In the past, BEFORE I used this product, I had been using the Kent products - calcium daily [I still do] + a teaspoon of Iodine weekly + a teaspoon of strontium/molybdenum 2x a week.  The reason I switched products is because of the distilled water - I was concerned my tank lacked iron, etc. as found in normal water & I am afraid to use tap water as it caused my tank to crash with my very first water change. <<Why not use RO/DI water instead of distilled?>>     I am now concerned about Iodine for my shrimp & crabs.  I read you have to be careful how much to add because it may cause premature molting, but yet there is no test I can find to test the iodine levels - not even at the aquarium stores!   What would you recommend for additives?  Do you know of any test kits I can buy & what are the optimal levels that will make everybody in the tank happy? <<I don't recommend the extensive use of additives. Instead, I recommend frequent water changes. High quality salts (like Instant Ocean, Tropic Marin and others) contain the appropriate levels of iodine and other elements. Small, frequent, water changes using a good salt mix will provide the appropriate levels and make everyone happy. If you supplement calcium, do measure the calcium levels in your system and dose accordingly. As far as test kits, I personally like Salifert and SeaChem brands.>> Thank you for your time, Linda Campbell, beginner coral tank enthusiast <<You're welcome - Ted>> FORM  - 01/24/06 Hello, I am using the Mark Weiss product called FORM. <Another copy cat Miracle Mud...>   Apparently this adds iodine, strontium and magnesium. <...> Is there no need to add these products singularly, or should I be doing both?  I was using Kent iodine etc. but in South Africa, we are paying 4 x the price you pay in the US. <Look into Lugol's instead... can be bought from the pharmacist for a fraction> As I have a big tank I am hoping the FORM does replace them. <Not IMO> Also, I have just bought a big leather coral.  When I took it out the bag it had a terrible smell.  A day later it smells ok, like the sea.  He has all his tentacles out and looks fine, but he does have a couple of yellow patches on him.  Does he sound ok to you? <Maybe> Bob's booked just arrived in the post.  woohoo! <Am sure you will enjoy, gain by its reading> Kind Regards, James Barclay <And to you. Bob Fenner, who would skip the FORM, all of Weiss' line> -Locked out-  - 04/10/2006 Hello WWM, <Steve>   I've a porcupine fish that is showing signs of lockjaw, and I'd like to start treating with iodine.  Is there any brand treatment you'd recommend?  The LFS carries Lugol's Solution, but I wasn't sure if that would work. <Should be ok, but any pure iodine solution is fine.  Also mixed iodine and reef supplements are good to dose the tank with to maintain iodine levels constantly to avoid future issues.  Kent's essential elements is a good one.> Thanks, Steve <Justin (Jager)>

Iodine supplements vs.. B-ionic 11/22/06 Dear WWM crew, <Hi> Learning more and more by reading and asking, so here goes with a dumb question.  <No dumb questions.> I'm skeptical about something I was told by a supposed 'expert' in reef maintenance, etc. <Skepticism will take you far in this hobby.> He suggested the use of only a 2-part buffer, such as B-ionic, etc., and stated that the addition of iodine would not be necessary. I have been adding iodine in my system with automatic dosing pumps, and checking with a test kit. <Good with the testing.> It is within the range! So, basically, if I were to discontinue the iodine, does a 2-part buffer system introduce enough iodine to sustain those iodine craving animals. I might add, and maybe I'm wrong, that I utilize my leather corals as a kind of barometer. If they have full polyp extension, then they must be happy.  <The canaries.> My concern is that over doing it with iodine could cause nuisance algae blooms? No?  <Could contribute to it.>  Again, thanks for your time. Keep up the good work. George <As far as I know Iodine is not an ingredient in any of the name brand B-Ionic solutions, although the exact formulas are often considered corporate secrets.  But as long as you are testing and getting the appropriate levels I would keep doing what you are doing.> <Chris>

Sea Vegetable'¦Nori -- 02/01/08 Having been involved with marine systems for many years, I have accumulated a large selection of books on the subject. <<Me too!>> Just want to say that Bob Fenner's book 'Conscientious Marine Aquarist' is positively outstanding and my constant reference when contemplating adding another critter to my collection. <<Indeed'¦ And at the risk of sounding like a kiss-up'¦ Bob's experiences and knowledge across virtually every aspect of the hobby lends to some very valuable insights. And, after getting to know him, I can say he is truly 'in it' for the hobby's sake. Also, I think Bob is currently working on an update of the book'¦am sure it too will be well worth owning>> I recently added a dwarf lion because I learned from the book why my first one died (goldfish :< ) <<Mmm'¦>> Just one question... The book mentions marine sea vegetables and so I went to my health store and purchased Nori. My fish love it! <<And you are surprised? [grin]>> What worries me though is on the list of nutrition facts Iodine is 70%. <<Yes'¦as a 'natural' source>> Is this safe for my fish? <<It is'¦and as a whole, this 'seaweed' addition to their diet will enrich their health>> I could not find any reference to it on the FAQS. <<Got one there now! [grin]>> Thanks for a terrific web site! Carol <<Most welcome'¦is a collective effort. Regards, EricR>> <Ah, yes. RMF>

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