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FAQs on Marine Water Supplements, Measuring 

Related Articles: Marine System Additives, Marine Maintenance, Understanding Calcium & Alkalinity,

Related FAQs: Marine Supplements 1, Marine Supplements 2, Marine Supplements 3, Marine Supplements 4, & FAQs on Marine Supplement: Rationale/Use, Science, Using, Troubleshooting/Fixing... Products/DIY & Brands, & Biominerals, IodineCalcium and Alkalinity

If there is no test kit for it, and you're not using this, don't use it

Trace Elements 12/14/08 Hello, <Hello Greg.> My tank is six gallons and contains live rock, 2 Cerith snails & 1 Nerite snail. I rarely add food to the tank and when I do it's just a small piece of dried algae. So with this being a relatively "clean" system I would like to do monthly (or even less often) water changes. <Sticking to a more frequent schedule is good for developing good habits and promoting stability in the system, especially this small.> My only concern is the trace elements becoming exhausted before this time. Do you happen to know how long it takes for the elements to break down? <It really depends on the bioload, filtration and initial water chemistry of each system. For the most part these trace elements are nothing to worry about, with Ca, Alk and Mg being the guiding factors. If these are well and in balance, most the time your trace elements will be too. The only way to know for sure is to test, I for one do not and will not bother to for all the �bell and whistle� trace element type of stuff. Water changes are the way to balance these values in such a small system.> Thank you, Greg <Welcome, Scott V.>

Purified water testing & trace elements Water Quality 4/8/07 Hello, <Hi Greg.> I've been  testing my make-up water via a Salifert alkalinity test kit.  The water is  purified via an Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Tap Water  Purifier. <A very expensive way to purify water.  An RO purifier will save you much money here.> I  always get 0 dKH when testing. The thing is though, recently I got close enough  to the aerating/stored make-up water to notice a fishy stink. <Is the water being circulated/aerated?> So I tested  alkalinity and it read 0.  So I'm thinking the alkalinity test obviously isn't  sufficient. <???Alkalinity has nothing to do with water purity.> I'm  guessing a TDS meter will do the trick.  What is the best way to catch the purifier before it produces anything less than perfect water? If you think a meter is the way to go, will the Pocket TDS Meter from Marine Depot do the trick? The reason I ask is, it seems like it might be cheaply made @  $29.95. <Total Dissolved Solids testing is used to check the effectiveness of RO units and I believe would also tell you the condition of the media in your water purifier. As for the meter MD sells, I'd ask them that question.> Also, I use a Poly Filter  and dose Seachem's Reef  Builder and Reef Advantage Calcium.  Should I remove the Poly Filter for four days every time I add these to my tank? Will the Poly Filter remove a  significant amount of trace elements from either of these two  products? <No.  If regular water changes are carried out, you will replenish any lost trace elements.> I really don't care if it removes the magnesium, strontium, etc.  All I worry about being absorbed is the calcium and alkalinity. <No worries here.> How  much, if any, will it remove from these two products? <Would be negligible at best.> One more question. My make-up water (for water  change) only has 960 ppm of Mg. I'm shooting for 1050. I've got Epsom  salts and I'm wondering if I can just add the powder directly to my make-up water after it's been aerated, buffered, brought to correct spg and pH. If  not, how should I do this?  Dilute in purified water and then add to  make-up water? The tank's magnesium level is at 915 ppm and would like this  also to be 1050 since I maintain calcium around 350 ppm. Am I going about this  in the right manner? <I would mix the Epsom salts in a separate container and add directly to tank when needed.  As for other additives, follow manufacturers directions.  James (Salty Dog)> Take care,  Greg - Additives and Test Kits - Thanks, Which Calcium and Alkalinity test kits do you recommend. <Hach, SeaTest, and Sera are all worth owning.> Are there any other test kits I should buy? <Hmm... a good nitrate test is always useful. Iodine/dide tests are good too but harder to find... other than that, I think you can skip most if you stick to a regular schedule of water changes.> Daryl <Cheers, J -- >

Supplements, coralline algae and carbon follow up 9/21/04 Thank you for the quick reply. I do a 10% water change twice a month using Marin Topic salt. If I am reading your reply correctly I should do away with all those products and stick to water changes and Kalkwasser? <In my opinion, yes.  Tropic Marin salt is excellent and with your water change schedule, it will provide all you need.  Calcium and alkalinity are the only exception, and Kalk should take care of those just fine.  The bottom line rule of thumb... if you aren't testing for it, don't add it!  Best Regards.  AdamC.>

If there is no test kit for it, don't use it  11/28/05 Hey crew, <Hi Ed.> not kissing up but I love your site and view it every day. <Thanks for the compliments.> I was wondering if you or anyone you know have had any experience with Marc Weiss Coral Vital and Coral Vital DSB. <Personally, I must admit I have none. Though I must say that I personally know quite a few reputable aquarists who have point blank told me they aren't fond of these products at all. I won't go into too much detail in this aspect but lets just say this line of products is questionable at best.> I have tried the Coral Vital DSB and after using it for 3 weeks along with my regular water changes my nitrates and phosphates have all gone to 0. I have always had problems with nitrates @ 20 ppm or so. <I prefer a natural approach with weekly water changes, lots of water flow and algae scrubbers/refugiums.> I was told by a commercial marine maintenance company that my 160 lbs of live sand and my 150 lbs of live rock might need the boost of the Coral Vital DSB product to help perk up microbes that might be weak. <Not to sound like a broken record but I prefer more conventional methods like those above along with patience and time of course. Now if they sold those last two in a bottle that I would buy. Seriously though I live by this rule, 'If you can't test for it, don't add it to your tank.> Just wondering if anyone had any experience with these products and what the WWM crew thought of these products. <Can't speak for everyone of course, but I would skip them.> thanks Ed in West Texas. <Welcome, Adam J.> 

Re: something not quite right Bob, <Chris, Anthony Calfo here answering questions and feeling warm and fuzzy... and not because my back needs shaved, either> I've been searching for awhile for answers to my problem, and am quite tired.... so I figured I'd ask. I have a 180 gallon reef, 2yrs old, and my basic test are within the testing limits.. Ca 500, Alk 2.8, ph 8.2.  <I disagree... your tests are inaccurate (perhaps hence the troubles below). It is extremely difficult to achieve and maintain 500ppm of calcium. I'm nearly certain of this and your poor coralline algae health is testimony in part. Also... what is you alkalinity measure in? meq/l or dKH. Even in milliequivalents it is low, but in degrees of hardness it is outrageously low. And a pH of 8.2 during the day indicates a buffering problem (again... the readings). A healthy marine aquarium will range 8.3 (dead of night) to 8.6 (peak light/day)> I originally purchased 250 lbs of live rock, over the last year the pink, red, purple corallines have diminished and the only real growth of coralline in the tank is on the filter boxes (none on the glass) <yes...above problem> and it is green. my lighting seems to be ok( 220 w compacts 11-6, 96w compacts 9-8, and 80 w Fluor. (blue) 8-10. I purchased a iodine/iodide test kit from Seachem, I followed the "break-in" procedure properly, and did a test with my water... it's result showed I had elemental iodide/iodine? could this be the problem? any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. <nope, bud. You need to start your sleuthing with new test kits. Let me know what you find out, please. Anthony>

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