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FAQs on Marine Water Supplements, Using

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, Measuring, Troubleshooting/Fixing... Products/DIY & Brands, & Biominerals, IodineCalcium and Alkalinity

Supplements are basically... any/every-thing you add in addition to water, food, salt mix... Best to read labels, packaging... and avoid adding all at once... and most not directly to the system, but diluted in new water, during change-outs, top-offs

what to supplement to add during water change per week ( 10%)
Confusion borne of ignorance... Needing to read     8/19/12

Hi there,
i have been quite lost what needed to add (supplement) to my LPS tank.
<Perhaps a bit of iodide-ate, and depending on what your measures are, alkaline earth (Ca, Mg) and alkalinity...>
I make a habit of water change 10% of the tank water weekly.
But it seem that some LPS are still dying or stress.( very demoralize)
Lately 3 brain coral start to show stress ( balding) they have been with me for more than 4 months.
i have 3 elegance- one does not open like before, one purple tip hammer start to bald badly, i think this one will die soon.
the rest of the LPS are ok, they open well. ( this is weird to me)
<? Likely easily solved... by reading... see WWM re Compatibility FAQs of all families you keep, allelopathy...>
My question is what should i add during water change.
what i use to doze
1. reef Kalkwasser ( half tea-spoon and drip in the night)
2. Kent iodide ( 16 drop each night)
3. Kent tech m magnesium ( 10 ml every week)
<... depends on what you measure, proportionality w/ Ca>
4. Aquariuma bacterias ( one tea-spoon each week)
<Should be unnecessary>
I have a 4ftx 2.5ft x 2ft tank ( 8 months old , i house :
3 elegance, 4 hammer, 2 flowerpot, 2 rose anemone,
<Misplaced here... see WWM re>

 3 bubble coral, mushroom, 3 frogspawn, 3 candy, 2 lobo, 3 brain corals, cup coral, 3 softies
<Which species? Many are incompatible w/ Scleractinians>

Fishes : PBT, Purple tang, yellow tang, sail fin tang, Atlantic blue, 4 clown, flame angel, brown tang, 2 doc shrimp, 2 fire shrimp, 2 boxer shrimp
My water parameters ( PH, KH, Temperature ,ammonia, nitrate are ok) except i do not test for calcium level.
<Foolish... need to know... and needs to be in ratio w/ Mg>

i have stop dosing all the supplements for a week now after all the coral stress up , as i read from some books if i do weekly water change, it should replenish the supplement supply, is this true?
<Don't know what you're getting at here>
need you advise, as i am new to LPS and marine fish.
<Then you should be studying... quickly>
hoping for your kind advise.
<A good general marine/reef book... Now. Bob Fenner>

Frogspawn Irritated by Magnesium Crystals     7/31/12
Last night I dissolved a dose of Seachem Reef Advantage Magnesium crystals in a cup filled with R/O water and added it to my tank. Apparently several crystals didn't dissolve and when I was adding the solution to my tank, and the crystals fell on the frogspawn.
<Needs to be completely pre-dissolved (like a day in advance) before being applied>
The frogspawn immediately closed and then the tentacles puffed up. I checked it about a half hour later and the tentacles appeared deflated.
<I would to... salts burn, are caustic>
This morning, some of the tentacles appeared to be more inflated, but the frogspawn definitely wasn't extending its tentacles. As the day has gone on, it seems like parts of the frogspawn are turning a brownish color and dissolving.
Can you please offer any advice? I have a Polyfilter i could add. I also have some CoralRx, if you'd recommend dipping the frogspawn.
<I wouldn't dip this coral. Would add a 2-3 times dose of iodide-ate to the system water>
Thank you,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

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.>

Vodka Dosing -- 08/19/08 Hi -- <<Hello>> I've searched your site and a few others and read some interesting articles about the concept of vodka or ethanol dosing to reduce/eliminate Nitrate and Phosphate in reef tanks. <<Indeed>> Most of it was fairly dated however and I was curious as to whether the idea still has currency. <<Possibly, with caveats'¦ Firstly, this methodology is not without danger...the right combination of circumstances can be catastrophic (I speak from experience). Secondly, this method only treats the symptom and is not a cure-all for what ails your system re buildup of nitrogenous/organic compounds. Are you aware of how this method works? The premise is the addition of a concentrated form of carbon (Vodka/ethanol) provides a food source that promotes the artificially high production of certain strains of bacteria for a limited period (until the carbon/food source is depleted). Some of these strains of bacteria have the ability to 'double their populations every 20-minutes.' As this mostly aerobic bacteria population grows, along with the carbon source, excess nutrients are also oxidized. As implied by the name, this process is driven by oxygen consumed by the bacteria to drive their metabolisms'¦and therein lays the greatest danger in my opinion. Coupled with the wrong conditions (already low oxygen levels from overstocking, inadequate water movement, etc.) or unfortunate circumstance (loss of power/sump pump circulation) the artificially high bacteria population can rapidly consume all the available oxygen creating a severe anoxic condition>> I'm home in the middle of a vacation for a day or two and just tested my nitrates which are disturbingly high as I had to shut down my skimmer while I've been gone. <<Hmm'¦don't know what 'disturbingly high' is>> I was thinking that it might be a way to bring them down quickly and give me time to deal with it when I return home in a week or so. <<As stated, this method only treats the symptom'¦and then only briefly. One or two 'doses' before leaving the tank for a week or so will have little overall impact. I think your system would be much better served here by a canister filter filled with cut-up Poly-Filter>> So my questions are: 1) does it work? <<It can, yes'¦ I have found it especially good for removal of Cyanobacteria'¦after determining and attending to the initial cause/source of the outbreak>> 2) Should I do it in this circumstance? <<I would not'¦for reasons already mentioned>> 3) Can you suggest a dosage; <<Would rather not as I wish to discourage your use of this methodology>> and 4) are there any risks since I won't be around to monitor anything but the short term effects? <<I strongly urge you to find/use a different method to bring down your Nitrates in this situation. And the obvious'¦keeping the skimmer running and having someone check on/feed your system and empty the skimmer while you are gone. A week is too long to leave your reef system unattended, in my opinion>> Thank you for taking the time to share your most valuable experience and expertise. Eric <<A pleasure to assist. Eric Russell>> Ps disturbingly high is around 60-70 ppm <<Ah'¦yes indeed. I would confirm the validity of this test (new/different test kit) and if accurate, determine the reason/fix what is causing such a high reading'¦skimmer on or not. Regards, EricR>>

Adding Supplements (Testing/Determining Need'¦Product Selection) -- 08/08/08 I was wondering about adding supplements to my reef tank. <<As with most all topics re the hobby'¦can be quite controversial. But most all authors will agree, supplementation should always be accompanied by purposeful testing of those elements being added>> The tank is 140 gallons and I was just wondering if this is a good supplement schedule? Thanks, Thomas von Bargen Supplement adding schedule: Kent Marine Phytoplex and MicroVert - Use either one or the other not both at the same time. 1) Shake bottle 2) Add four caps 3) Feed two times a week Kent Marine Tech-M Magnesium - 1) Shake bottle 2) Add 1/4 tsb per 50 gallons 3) Once a week Kent Marine Concentrated Iodine - 1) Shake bottle 2) Add 3 cap full every other day Kent Marine CB part A - 1) Shake well 2) Add 7 caps of part a never mix Part A&B - 3) Add every day Kent marine CB part B - 1) Shake well 2) Add seven caps of part B never mix A&B 3) Add everyday <<Okay, a few things to state here'¦ First let me establish that there is no way on the limited info provided that I can advise on the 'quantity and frequency' of these dosages. You will need to obtain and use test kits for Magnesium and Iodine, as well as for Calcium and Alkalinity to firstly establish a 'need' for these ions. If the test kits show a need for supplementation, then you will have to use those measurements along with the manufacturers' instructions to determine a proper supplementation schedule (please also read here and among the links in blue: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/suppleme.htm ). Honestly mate, the onus is on you here. As for feeding your corals/inverts/reef'¦I am a big proponent of this'¦and though it depends on the specific livestock needs of your system, twice a week is a good general schedule. Target feeding is best when possible/practical, but 'blanket' feeding of the tank is also of benefit when done judiciously in my opinion'¦but not with the artificially preserved bottled products you have listed. I advise you stop use of the Kent products (do a search on our site re 'pollution in a bottle') and switch to 'frozen' foods like Rotifers, Cyclops and/or Cyclops-Eeze, Oyster Eggs, Nutramar Ova (prawn eggs), Plankton, and the like for this purpose. The frozen fare (after thawing of course) will be more nutritious and importantly, more readily accepted/ingested by your tank inhabitants. For dosing Phytoplankton, I recommend either the spray-dried (ESV) or refrigerated (DT's) products'¦but used very sparingly/with caution. Regards, EricR>>

Additives 07/28/2008 Hi Crew, <<Good evening, Andrew today>> If I want to add Selcon to the water once a week or any minerals do I have to remove carbon or poly filters and if I do for how long. <<I would, yes, leave off for a couple of days. The question is, do you really need to be adding these to your tank? Is a test showing up a deficiency? Add the Selcon direct to the food prior to feeding.>> <<Thanks for the question, hope this helps. A Nixon>>

Brain Coral Damage, supplement use    3/3/08 Hello, <Greg> I recently made the mistake of adding some powdered pH buffer (Sea Buffer by Aquarium Systems) directly to my tank. <Such supplements should be added to and through water change water... dissolved...> Found out the open brain coral did not like this at all.? It began secreting a lot of clear mucous.? I think some of the powder probably touched the coral before dissolving.? I removed as much slime as possible and waited to see if the coral recovered.? The slime production stopped and the coral re-opened.? However, after a week or so I noticed a small part of the coral was not opening fully.? There is a small (< 1/4") area that has developed a whitish patch with something sloughing off.? Coral continues to open daily (except for damaged area) and everything else appears normal.? I am thinking some type of infection has taken hold in this area.? Is this coral toast from the pH buffer contact or is there some chance the tissue will heal?? <The latter... with good care, time...> Anything I can do to help the tissue heal?? Lastly, how and when will I know if this is a no win situation and I need to removal the coral before polluting the tank. Thanks, Greg <Iodine/ate, improved feeding... See WWM re. Bob Fenner>

2 part solution: getting in balance 10/16/07 Hello, need some more expertly advise. I have a tank and refugium totaling about 65 gallons. Ca=340ppm Alk=3mEq/l and ph is about 8.8 <... I hope it is NOT this high...> (hard to match color for Aquarium Pharmaceuticals test. I have choose <chosen> to use Kent cb 2 part solution. I have heard that you need your system to be in balance in order for the 2 part solution to work. <Should be close to start, yes> Is it in balance enough to just add until both Alk and Ca increase as I would like? <Yes> I have a frogspawn and thought my calcium should be above 400ppm I have heard that you should do a big water change to help get system in balance before using the 2 part solution. For 65 gallons total water how many gallon water change would you suggest? <... maybe twenty gallons> Also, I have an r/o unit that I use for my water. I mix 20 gallons of salt water each month into a container for water changes and 20 gallons of fresh each month into another container for make-up water. Should I buffer these even with the use of the 2 part solution? <Yes, a good idea... use one of the two... wait a day, test... use the other> Also on another note, I heard that when using r/o water you should add buffer then salt? <Mmm, not necessary generally> The last batch of water I made I added salt and then the buffer. When I tested it had Ca=340 Alk=4.5mEq/l and ph about 7.8 I thought the Ca would be would be around 400 using instant ocean sea salt. Is the low Ca due to improper buffering application? <Shouldn't be... I'd check your test kits... and aerate the RO water before mixing...> Thanks for all your help! Without all of your help I would just have to accept looking at pictures of aquariums in magazines and on TV :) <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

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>> My anemone is BURNED!! SW supp.s   6/13/06 Hey I have sent this once already and I didn't get a response so I re-sent it, <Thank you... We have ongoing issues with our webmail... Arggghhh> I absolutely adore your website.... Since I am a newbie I need all of the opinions I can get, and I trust your teams opinions the most. I have a purple LTA and when I was adding a diluted portion of Seachem Marine Buffer to raise the PH level to 8.3 <... best to do this through your water changes... not directly into the main/display tank> some of the solution got on my anemone. A small portion of her lower tentacles now look as if they have been burned, they are small and shriveled, and bleached. Will these tentacles regenerate themselves? Lorri Thanos <Can if not too badly damaged... Do add such supplements to your pre-made saltwater for use during change-outs. Cheers, Bob Fenner>  

Some Feedback and a Question   8/8/06 Hi Guys (and girls), <Chris> Firstly just some good news feedback. About 6 months ago my new reef tank was started. The WWM crew has really helped me a lot in identifying issues with my previously failed marine tank (especially Dr Fenner), and also with advice on the setup of the new one. I am proud to say that things seem to be well on track - the tank went through some horrible phases with diatoms, followed by various types of green algae, but finally this has all disappeared and I am proud to say that I now see various types of red and pink coralline algae starting to cover the live rock, with no nasty algae in sight. The main tank is about 150gallons in size, I have T5 lighting only with soft corals, only a few fish (yellow tang, coral beauty, niger trigger, sixline wrasse), some inverts and all seems to be healthy and doing well. Thanks again for all the help so far. at the moment I am really positive about the tank and it is largely due to your support. <Good> The one question I have is about supplements. Initially when I had an algae bloom I did a lot of reading about it and decided to stop adding any supplements, because frankly I was just pouring stuff in without knowing the impact, <Very common situation> except for my calcium reactor which is still running. For the last couple of months all I have been adding to the system is the following: 1. Monitor PH and KH closely and buffer top-up water to keep this constant. 2. Monitor calcium closely and dose a bit to keep it around 360-400. (Still trying to figure if calcium reactor is working properly, because calcium still seems to drop a bit every week). I have added nothing else to the tank at all for months. I am a little confused about whether I should start adding any supplements as I continue to add more corals to the tank. The LFS will tell you to dose Magnesium, Strontium etc. but I am not comfortable adding anything to the tank unless I have a test kit to monitor the values precisely. The general feeling I get when reading the FAQ's is that its probably better to not add any supplements and focus more on regular water changes to add new elements, but I would like your opinion on this anyway if its ok. <Bingo... this is my position... Don't add anything unless you are testing for it... know it to be deficient... Many chemicals have antagonistic and/or synergistic effects with others...> Then just one other question - there seem to be patches of red coralline algae growing on the substrate itself. is this normal ? <Happens, yes> (I'm pretty sure I can identify it as coralline algae). And lastly, can you perhaps identify the interesting looking 'thing' that is growing out of my live rock ? <Appears to be a type of Brown Algae... of the genus Padina. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/brnalgae.htm> Thanks and sorry for the long email. Chris Cronje
<No worries. Bob Fenner>

Dosing Question -- 2/8/07 <Hi Scotty, Brenda here tonight> First of all, let me say you guys are the best!!! <Thank you!> Now, I searched the forums and got some of my answer to this question, but need you to finish it. <I'll try> I add part 1 and part 2 of the Oceans Blend calcium and alkalinity supplement.  I have added over 48 ml in the last 72 hours, but my test kit is showing no increase in calcium (stays at 350ppm).  My pH has been rising, even though I have added an equal amount of part II (alkalinity).   <I need actual results of pH> I do not have an alkalinity test kit yet (will get one soon), so I have no idea to see where that is, and am basing any decision I make on an unknown. <Yikes!  Please stop!  You will also need a Magnesium test kit.  Mg should be in the 1300 -- 1500 ppm range for everything to balance properly.> So my question is should I continue with both parts until my calcium gets to 400 ppm. <No> Should I use one for a few doses without the other as a way to balance out the pH?  Or should I just sit tight and let things get settled? <Sit tight until you get some more test kits.> Best idea is to listen to what you guys <or gals> have to say. <Never dose calcium, alkalinity or magnesium into your tank until you know what your levels are.  Please read for a better understanding:  www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/nov2002/chem.htm   www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-04/rhf/feature/index.htm www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/oct2003/chem.htm www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2005-03/rhf/index.php#3   Also, here is a calculator to help you with dosing.  It sure makes my life easier:  http://home.comcast.net/~jdieck1/chemcalc.html > Scotty, NY <Good luck Scotty, and be patient!   Brenda>

What's the Diff. between Magnesium and Molybdenum?   2/26/07 <Greetings, Mich here.> Molybdenum and magnesium... are they diff. substances? <Yes.  Chemically notated MoO42- and Mg2+ respectively.> <<Mmm, just the elemental Mo and Mg symbols for these? RMF>> I think it is a yes...or is Molybdenum just another form of magnesium? <No.> Because Red Sea produces...Molybdenum...they don't produce magnesium...and Seachem sells magnesium but not Molybdenum.... isn't it weird? <Mmm, no stranger than anything else.> What's the effect of Molybdenum to reef tank? <Possibly a micronutrient.> Which is more important ?? <Magnesium.> I am using magnesium only...should I put in Molybdenum too? <No.> What's the effect to my corals if I used Molybdenum too? :) <As far as I'm aware the science isn't well understood.  RMF any comment?  -Mich> <<Not necessary in any system I've ever read about, encountered to add this micro-nutrient... is only necessary in very small amounts... supplied by salt mix, foods... RMF> 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 Live Concrete? (Live Sandbed Going Solid) What would turn live sand into cement? Cindy <Well, I've seen this happen in systems where lots of Kalkwasser or calcium additives were used with little circulation and no sandbed surface agitation. Not exactly concrete, but hard just the same! Hence, one reason that a little bit of stirring at the surface is not a bad thing. Regards, Scott F.> 

R/O water treatment part2 2/22/05 One follow-up question: If I use B-Ionic, is there any reason not to use it to treat the ro/di water in the Brute, before that water is used to make synthetic seawater or to top-up the tank? Thanks, Tom <B-Ionic and similar two part additives are shipped as two parts because mixing them will result in a useless insoluble precipitate. For this reason, they must be added separately (I even suggest several hours apart), and cannot be mixed in make up water. Also, you could add one or the other part to your make up water, but IMO, this would be complicating a very simple process. Hope this helps. AdamC.>

Additives and Such Guys, <Scott F. your guy tonight!> I have recently added a 90 gal refugium with DSB and plenum and a Knop dH cal reactor to my 450gal  reef tank. Refugium been in use for one month, reactor for 2 weeks. Tank is already showing big improvements. Do I still need to keep adding supplemental magnesium, strontium, molybdenum, or will/should the cal reactor and refugium, plenum, DSB, provide these chemicals? <Coupled with regular water changes, these items will help, yes!> Refugium, plenum, reactor etc. set up as learned on this site. All basic test results have shown excellent water conditions and am doing water changes biweekly. I have not tested for these chemicals but have added them per instructions. <I am a big believer in Bob's admonition to only add something in your system if you're gonna test for it. Just following the label could still be a problem if your system does not need it. Regular water changes, like you're doing-will do the job, IMO!> Trying to create as self sufficient, natural system as possible. <An admirable goal!> Main tank has 2 inches live sand, refugium crushed coral ,aragonite combo. Thank you, Paul. <Sounds fine, but I'd go with 3" or more or 1/2 inch or less of sand in the main tank. Two is not enough to support complete denitrification, but can create long term nutrient accumulation problems. Keep reading and learning. Enjoy!>

Supplements Hello all, <Hi!> I was hoping you would enlighten me as to what brand products you use for your calcium, <B-ionic two part> iodine/iodide <I don't use this> strontium, <Don't use this> and pH buffer/alkalinity additives. <B-ionic> Also, are iron and magnesium necessary for a successful reef?   <Some people do use ALL of the additives that you mention. Iron is good for plant growth. My macro algae grows fantastically without it (Halimeda, Gracilaria and hair algae. HA!). I personally don't use an iron or magnesium supplement. Magnesium can affect your calcium and this is why some aquarists use this product. Read all of the available material on these issues and then decide what makes sense to you. In my case, I don't want to test for all of these components and in most cases their usefulness in aquaria (except for calcium and buffers) has not be proven. Most of what you read on bottles is simply hype produced by the company selling the product. A good salt mix will contain reasonable levels of all of these additives. I use Instant Ocean>   Do you use these also? <No>   If so, again, what brand do you use? <Skip these miracle cures. Practice good husbandry> How many times per week do you add each (all) of the above supplements?   <I add B-ionic as needed to maintain the proper calcium/alkalinity...usually several times a week...or everyday if I've been slack on water changes. I also add a little Kalkwasser to the salt water that I use for water changes...I use the slurry method for delivery a couple of days before I do the water change. The slurry method is described by Anthony Calfo on WetWebMedia> Am I missing any important or recommended supplements besides maybe a little vitamin C? <A vitamin supplement like Selcon that you can soak all food in...It will help keep the fish healthy and avoid HLLE> Thanks again for you time, Adam <You're more than welcome! David Dowless>

Aragamilk - Kalkwasser - PH, Alkalinity, KH Hello, Can anyone give me the basic parameters for Alkalinity, KH, PH for my reef tank? <Sure! 4-5 meq/L total alkalinity of which approx. 1.5-2 meq/L should be borate/hydroxide alkalinity. The result you are interested in is total alkalinity using a balanced buffer/carbonate supplement. PH should 8.3-8.4.  KH is carbonate alkalinity. 350-450 calcium.> Also, I was at a real awesome fish place today that uses Aragamilk in all of their reefs. They told me it's much cheaper than dosing Kalkwasser, as 1 drop is for two gallons of water and a 16 oz container would last me many many months for a 55 gallon reef tank. <This all depends on your carbonate usage, so a blanket statement about how long a product will last isn't accurate. A few drops may not supplement your system to the desired levels. As far as expense, Kalkwasser (also known as pickling lime, hydrated lime) is far less expensive for dosing calcium and supporting alkalinity. There may/is still a need to supplement for carbonate alkalinity with both products, depending on testing/usage in your situation.  I would tailor the supplements to your specific use. The only way to top the use of Kalkwasser is a calcium reactor.> I know many on the forum are "old school" and do what they KNOW works, and try not to deviate from the norm. Was wondering if anyone has had experience with Aragamilk.  Also would I need to dose Aragamilk at night similar to the methods of dosing Kalkwasser? <No, it doesn't have the high pH of Kalkwasser.> Because I have a refugium that's on a reverse daylight schedule, would dosing Aragamilk or Kalkwasser at night REALLY make a difference due to the fact my ph will be relatively stable due to the refugium's reverse daylight methodology. Thanks again, Steve <Likely not as the refugium stabilizes the oxygen/CO2 content of the water and thus the pH and any advantage of nighttime/early AM dosing.  For more info on water chemistry check out the info in the marine section of WetWebMedia.Com  Hope this helps!  Craig>

Novice at work! Hello Robert, I just read about feather dusters in the FAQ section of http://wetwebmedia.com/ But I am still uncertain what's going on with my invert. For about 2 weeks it began to stay in it's tube more than out. Now, for about 3 days, it hasn't come out at all. The tip of the tube seems to be 'sealed' up! I don't know if the color has changed, ( I'm embarrassed to say) but in the middle of the tube it is a very dark brownish/maroon color. <Yikes... often not a good sign> I have a 55 gal, 60lbs. LR, crabs, T snails, a couple camel shrimp, and 4 damsel fish. I have recently added many supps every week consisting of, Seachem's: Reef Builder Reef Advantage Strontium Reef Advantage Magnesium Reef Plus vitamins and amino acids Reef complete On the day after I add all these, I add Reef advantage Calcium <How much of all this...?> Yes, I have visited www.garf.org . This is where this novice has learned most of her stuff. Am I all wet?? I need a site where I can find ANSWERS! So here I am, asking you for some help. Thanks very much for your time! Pam <I will gladly help you (and all others) if I can... We may need to start "further back" in the set-up, history of this system. To expedite matters, get us ahead faster than "going back and forth" please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tanktroubleshting.htm re troubleshooting... I would stop adding biominerals (Sr, Mg, even calcium) until you know about what these are concentration wise in your systems water... do you have an alkalinity test kit? A history/values of what this has been? I suspect this is low... The vitamins are fine to keep adding. We'll be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Re: Novice at work! I went to the site Robert: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/suppleme.htm, and all I can say is,......... WOW, lots of info, daunting, but I got the message! Maybe all my supplements are NOT a good thing. <Decidedly not... many have negative reactions with each other...> But it's very difficult when you are new to the Reef World.  There is so much info out there, it's hard to sort out the 'truth of the matter' .  <Everything... is difficult at first my friend.> Maybe the best way to do this is to ask, "Is he selling something"? www.garf.org does sell, but they are also very knowledgeable as far as I can see. I'll stick with you Robert for the time being, <Do not "stick" with "either of us"... but decide always for yourself on the basis of your understanding> you appear to be the most dedicated, informative, knowledgeable and passionate person I've seen out there in the great WWW. I love your site and have made it my Home Page. So, this means you'll be hearing from me often! Pam <I look forward to our sharing. Bob Fenner>

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