Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs on Marine Water Supplements, DIY and Products/Brands 

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, Using, Troubleshooting/Fixing... & Biominerals, IodineCalcium and Alkalinity

Beware of scams in our aquarium interest... there are quite a few, some well-established.
My general lack of endorsement: Don't buy anything that the ingredients aren't listed on the packaging. Period. RMF.

Is it safe to use purple up chemical after using reed advantage calcium in saltwater tanks     5/5/15
<Yes. BobF>

Purple Up/Coraline Algae Growth 8/1/10
Hey guys,
I hope everything is going well. I have a110 gallon system set up with some sps. My question is fairly simple. I dose C-balance in my tank and my Ca level is about 480 and the Alkalinity is 11. Mg. about 1180. I wanted to know if I can also use Purple Up in addition to the C-balance for more coraline algae growth.
<Your Ca level is a little high right now and adding Purple Up will just increase the Ca level as it does contain an ionic form of calcium which immediately raises Ca levels.>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Kent Marine Shelf Life 7/12/10
Hey Guys,
great site you got here loads of info and very helpful, but I haven't found any info on the subject of this email. I had a well established tank 2-3 years ago which had been running for about 3-4 years. I unfortunately had to take it down and put it in storage. I have recently set the tank back up and am wondering about the Ken Marine products I was using those years ago if they are still any good. I have some Combi san products and they list a shelf life on
theirs but Kent does not. The products range from micro vert to liquid calcium and other coral supplements. If you guys have any info I would be grateful to hear it.
<Best to contact Kent Marine with this question.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
H. Faber

Eco Systems Reef Solution 4/15/09... Doomsday
<Hey ya James.>
Been using the product on a daily basis since 4/6/09 and have not witnessed any of the claims made by user reviews. One reviewer claimed increased polyp extension within 4 days of use. See below. After 9 days of use, I see very little to no improvement. May very well be my corals are getting all the nutrients they require, or this product needs to be used for an extended period of time.
<Maybe, but I have seen results from this product in very little time too.>
The instructions on the bottle do not mention time frames as to noticeable improved polyp extension. Will finish off the bottle which should give me another 8 days of dosing and unlikely will reorder. Any comments
<Well, I have an LFS in the area that swears by the stuff....I am not a additive guy by any means! I have tried this in three tanks. One showed a huge difference. The other two could have cared less. I am of the opinion there is no one right way for everyone, this seems to be the case. I used the stuff religiously in the one tank and was not disappointed. In the other two, well, I did not waste my money!>
<Scott V.>
Customer Reviews
Add Your Review
4 Great product
11/08/2007 - by Earl Kleckner from Danville, KY US
Great product, and does what is says it will! Smells heavily of garlic though, so it would probably make a great steak marinade as well! :)
5 Only one you need
06/09/2007 - by Bryan Stanford from Shiloh, IL US
I've been using this product exclusively for the past 6 months, dosing daily. The only other products I add are calcium and buffer. My system is VERY heavy with Tridacnid clams and LPS's. Growth and polyp extension are unprecedented. Highly recommended.
5 Great product and all you...
06/01/2004 - by anonymous from unspecified
Great product and all you need!
5 I started using this prod...
06/01/2004 - by anonymous from unspecified
I started using this product about a month ago and it has worked just fine....have dumped all other additives. I use a Ca reactor and then this.
You use 5cc/day per 50gal and that is it. One bottle lasts about a month for a 125gal system. I plan on continuing to use it!
5 This is an AWSOME product...
06/01/2004 - by Dennis Widmer from Fairview, OR US This is an AWSOME product. I have been using it for about three months now on my 3 year old 100 gal reef. I have stopped ALL other additives. I do
have a Ca reactor that takes care of Ca and Alk. The product wont do that.
It will take care of EVERYTHING else. Including DT's phyto plankton, strontium, Mag, iodine, etc. The tank is doing AWSOME with this product only. NEVER been better! Highly recommended!!!!
5 This is by far the best a...
06/01/2004 - by Robert Ferguson from Indianapolis, IN US This is by far the best additive I have used yet. I was recommended this by Jason that I would see greater polyp extension in my corals within one week. I bought it last Saturday (4 days ago) and have already noticed awesome polyp extension in all my corals after day 3! I would highly recommend it. It does everything but calcium and Alk.

Re: Eco Systems Reef Solution 4/15/2009
Received a comment (below) from Jeremy Brower at Premium Aquatics as to his opinion of the product.
<Thank you for sharing. BobF>
I have used the product around here for years, and to be honest I've had mixed reviews. I have never used it on an sps system, and never intend to. In the soft coral / LPS systems I have personally used it in I have had a noticeable difference in approximately 50% of those tanks.
It's another snake oil that's out there in my opinion.
Premium Aquatics, Inc.

Re: Eco Systems Reef Solution  4-16-09
Hello Jeremy,
I am by no means an additive guy. But you do use the term snake oil here (not that the term does not cross my mind at times). Yet you say you did notice a difference in half the tanks. May I ask what kind of difference? Anything worth the trouble and cost?
Scott V.
Re: Eco Systems Reef Solution
<Hey Jeremy.>
I feel that just about any "additive" out there that is not a specific trace element, such as calcium, buffer (Alk), magnesium, etc... can be considered somewhat a snake oil.
<Me too for the most part.>
Having said that, there are those that do perform somewhat well. The Korallen-Zucht Zeovit additives come to mind here.
<Hmmm, I have never personally tried it.>
The Reef Solution was one of the first "snake oils" to hit the market that hobbyists did see a noticeable difference in polyp extension, coloration, etc. That's not to say everyone will see these differences, and I have not always either, but I have come across the same results in the past.
<Well, as I responded in the earlier query, I have in a few of many tanks seen a bit of difference... surely not all of them.>
Premium Aquatics, Inc.
<Thank you for your input, Scott V.>

Eco System Reef Solution       5/15/09
Bob and crew,
I while back I mentioned trying out the Eco System Reef Solution which has exaggerated claims on improved polyp extension etc. I finished dosing the bottle a few days back and what I've noticed is very slight improvement of polyp extension.
What really took off is a patch of sponge growing on a rock. The sponge was just a growth with little to no sign of growth. After using the Reef Solution, the sponge actually grew arms and has extended to the upper portion of the rock invading the very lower area of a Yellow Polyp colony, see photo attached. Just thought I'd send some follow up.
James (Salty)
<Thank you for sharing. BobF>  

Can Reef Chemical Additions Be Simplified By A "Cocktail"? Chemistry: Specialized additive mixes. 3/10/2009 Good evening crew! <Hi Doug> Ya know, after looking in to all the chemicals a reef requires at certain day and week intervals, why can't someone come up with a make-up water 'cocktail' for numerous different aquarium configurations. <There are some of these already for specialized habitats: Lake Tanganyika, or the buffer mixes for RO\DI water. Anything beyond that, it is easier and cheaper to package, and sell generic chemicals: Any custom mixes may require different handling or manufacturing techniques that would require a large investment in equipment and a subsequent increase in price to the end consumer.> I know some might think this would not be possible due to chemical strengths of various brands but I don't think it would take a manufacturer long to figure out easy ways to do this based on their own configurations. <No, it wouldn't, but the costs involved with developing\sourcing would likely exceed the return of investment for the manufacturer.> Could you tell me where I might be in error with this idea? <No error per se, it just isn't very practical from the standpoint of manufacturing and ability to sell at a price the market will bear.> Thank-You all for the finest site I know of for saltwater information. <You are more than welcome.> Doug <Mike>

Prodibio Use   12/15/08 If I may ask your opinion or experience with Prodibio what would you answer be? <<I have used this expensive product line in the past. I've heard some rave about it, but the effect on/results with my system were marginally noticeable. I can't say I'm convinced the expense is justified>> Does one need to do anything special to use this method? <<Just follow the manufacturer's instructions>> Is Prodibio a safe and effective product? <<Safe? Yes, if used as intended/directed. Effective? This is likely going to vary from system to system. It is not a silver-bullet, but rather is an adjunct to good husbandry and maintenance>> Are there any long term safety issues with its use? <<Not that I am aware>> Also if you could explain the theory behind its use. <<Mmm'¦ Prodibio is a line of additives and supplements (bacteria, iodine, micro foods, etc.) meant to be used individually, or as a whole supplement regimen. The presumption is that this product line provides that which your system lacks. This makes it no different than other manufacturer's product lines. The value lies in the quality of the product. But whether or not this particular product warrants the price is a decision you'll have to make. Mine is but a single experience/opinion, a visit to the reef forums to see what others who have used this product think may help you more with your decision>> Thank you for any help that you may provide. <<Happy to share. EricR>>

Additives, .. which one is the best 11/26/08 Hi... <Hello> I have done some research on additives and I was quite confused. I know that the powder additives are good and better than liquid ones. <How did you determine this?> I wanted a combination of additives that would be complete in all elements and supplement calcium. I have a 90 gallon aquarium with a 20 gallon sump. Its a reef tank. I was considering the following products: 1. Purple Up by CaribSea <I've tried this product and did not see any improvement in coralline growth.> 2. Seachem Reef advantage calcium and Seachem Reef Plus <If you prefer Seachem, I'd just go with their Reef Advantage Calcium (also contains strontium and magnesium), and Reef Builder. I would also invest in a magnesium test kit to insure this level is maintained at 1200ppm as I don't believe the magnesium present in the Reef Advantage Calcium is enough to maintain it.> 3. Ecosystem Reef Solution <Never used the product but most products such as these will add nutrients to the water. Care must be taken in dosing as excessive algae growth may develop.> 4. Kent marine purple tech <Believe is quite similar to Purple Up.> 5. ESV b-ionic 2 part solution <This product isn't needed if you are going with the above Seachem products. I personally do not like two part solutions like this unless they are available as individual units. One part generally gets used before the other and if you have to buy them as two part kits you will always have an excess of one part since the dKH rises higher than needed when dosing equal parts. That is just based on my experience with these types of products.> I was also wondering what you thought about Lugol's solution and its use in marine aquaria. <Crabs, shrimp, etc benefit from it, helps with their molting process. As far as corals, I'm not sure. I've been using Lugol's full strength (pharmacy supplied) at one drop per 10 gallons and I never saw any beneficial changes in the corals.> Thanks for the help. <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Mohamed.

B-Ionic Metals 2/20/08 Hello, I have a question regarding this product, but did not find a query I am interested in. <OK> I did find several matches about this product, and many who have used it. When I purchased this product, I was not able to see the ingredients due to the way it was packaged. Does B-Ionic have too many metals? <No> Is there any use for some of the metals in Component NO.2 that concern me and are they dangerous? i.e., copper, nickel, and iron? <Not a problem in the concentrations provided. There are many very successful, beautiful reefs that use this solution.> I am new to this hobby, and wish to give my charges the utmost care. The warning label on Component NO.1 it states it may cause moderate to severe eye irritation, with corneal injury which may be slow to heal. Repeated contact may cause redness and dry cracked skin. <It is a concentrated alkaline solution, any such solution should have these warnings.> Component NO.2 has same as above with the addition of gastrointestinal irritation or ulceration. <Another caustic concentrate.> Now, if it is dangerous to us, wouldn't it be dangerous to them? Thank you <These solutions present some danger in the stock solution concentrations. At the rate you add them to your tank this is not a problem. I believe the directions call for up to 1ml per four gallons in one dosing, very diluted. Anything in strong enough concentration can harm your tank or us. Think of it as mixing salt, you can easily add too much and wipe out a tank. These solutions are the same, you should be testing Alk/Calcium to determine how much to add. Good luck, Scott V.>

Re: B-Ionic Metals, now Cu  2/21/08 Thank You for the reply. <Welcome.> I am very new to this, and appreciate your help. My last question regarding this is, I thought copper was dangerous to reef systems? <It can be in unnatural/increased concentrations.> I understand your statement; the amounts in this product are not dangerous if applied correctly. But, can it be absorbed by the rock, then leached out which would increase the copper levels in future? Please be patient with my redundant question. <grin> <Not a problem. The amounts in this solution are of no worry for your reef system. Any artificial accumulation of these metals will be resolved through water changes long before they reach levels of concern. Use this product with peace of mind, Scott V.>

Questions About Reef Supplements and Salt Brands (Quality) -- 02/20/08 Hello, <<Howdy>> This is Sandra. <<Eric here>> I've recently set up a 28g JBJ Nano HQI and it's been up and running for 34 days now. <<Okay>> I had a 135g homemade custom 15 years ago but haven't kept a reef for over 10 years now. <<I see 'well, now like then, a larger tank is still easier to 'keep.' If you can manage the expense>> Back in those days, there were not many brands of supplements and additives except Kent Marine for the most part. <<Ah, yes 'I also remember when Instant Ocean and Tropic Marin were the only salt-mixes on the store shelves 'when 'every' saltwater aquarium had an under-gravel filter 'when shopkeepers told you a saltwater fish didn't live for more than a year'¦ (am I telling on myself?)>> I've searched and read as much of your site as I can and am now starting to get double-vision. <<Hmm, seems to be a common complaint here [grin] >> I have a few questions on what are the best brands for some items. I will not be adding any supplements or additives without testing first. <<Very good>> I won't take up your time asking for things I don't already have a test kit for. I'm primarily going to be keeping soft corals and maybe later down the road one clam and one or two hard corals. <<Mmm, do perform a keyword search on our site re 'Allelopathy', as mixing these animals can be problematic 'especially in a system as small as yours>> The possible additions I would look into adding when required are as follows: Kalkwasser Strontium & Molybdenum Iodine Magnesium Iron <<A couple comments here'¦ First, in a system the size of yours these elements can be cheaply and easily replenished through frequent partial water changes (which is the single best maintenance practice in the hobby)'¦ Second, if you do determine supplementation is necessary, you might find that a two-part Calcium/Alkalinity supplement is safer and easier to use than the Kalkwasser on a system of this volume'¦ Just some food for thought>> I currently have all the tests for these in addition to the usual Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, pH, KH, Calcium, refractometer, and phosphate. Most of the tests are Seachem. <<These kits are good value for the money, in my opinion>> I use RO/DI water. There are just so many brands out there now to choose from that I'd like to see if there is a preference as to which brands are the best. <<My first choice for any of these would be from the Seachem line of products. Two Little Fishies and ESV would be fine alternatives>> If there is anything else that I should test for and add when necessary, I would be interested in knowing that, too. <<The iodine test kits (from any hobby manufacturer) are widely considered to be very erratic/inaccurate 'I prefer to simply dose this element (daily) based on the manufacturer's recommendation. And aside from testing the Nitrogen cycle (Ammonium, Nitrate, Nitrite), and of course keeping track of pH and salinity or specific gravity, I think regular testing for Alkalinity, Calcium, and Magnesium will get you by just fine 'and as you learn your tank, then only infrequently at that>> Also, the best brand of salt mix. <<Another controversial topic (but then what isn't in this hobby). I used to feel that Instant Ocean, though not the 'best' mix available, provided a very consistent and quality mix for what was likely the 'best' price. But for quite some time now I've noticed a difference 'an inconsistency in the formulation/end-product I hadn't seen before (I used this brand for more than three-decades), as well as in the packaged state of the product (many buckets coming to me as a 'solid-brick' of salt). I suspect this to be due to changes in management/formula/manufacture. So 'I made a switch'¦ If money is not an option, then go with Tropic Marin'¦ If the price is a concern, then go with Seachem's salt mix. Or, you can do what I began doing a couple months ago and use a 'blend' of salt mixes. I now buy and blend three different salt-mixes for my reef tank (Tropic Marin, Seachem, and Reef Crystals..yeah, old habits'¦). I can't say that there's any real scientific advantage to mixing these particular brands 'but I do feel doing so gives me the best of what each has to offer, without the possibility for disruption from obtaining a 'bad lot' when using a 'single' mix. At any rate, my system seems to be doing better since making the switch>> I've asked many people on forums and get different answers from almost everyone. <<And I'm certain were you to ask us all here, the answers would not be the same>> Your help would be greatly appreciated. <<I hope I have been of help>> Thank you so much. Have a wonderful day. Sincerely, Sandra D. Vacaville, CA <<Happy to assist. Eric Russell...Columbia, SC>> P.S. Any links that answer the questions are welcome, also. <<Try these to start: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_3/cav3i3/Salt_Impressions/Salt_Impressions.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_4/V4I3/Salt/salt.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/suppleme.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/calcalkmar.htm And be sure to look/search among the links at the tops of the pages. EricR>>

FOWLR question. Carbon, Purple Up and System Size 2/13/08 I have a quick question regarding my aquarium. I have a saltwater setup 30 gal. that has 1 puffer in it, <What type of puffer? The volume of your tank is pushing the limits for even the smallest species.> no other live stock, I recently added 30 lbs of live rock that I got from another aquarist that had it in a 5 yr old reef setup. I have a Bak Pak skimmer a HOT magnum 250 hang on canister and a Via Aqua pump for circulation. Do I still need to use carbon all the time or only once or twice a month? (this was suggested by someone at the LFS), <You can do either, but it is not necessary with frequent water changes. See the link below.> second since I only have the one fish in there, he is about 3 inches long right now, do I need to add anything to keep the live rock up? <No, it will be fine.> And last is it ok to use something like Purple up to keep the coralline algae up? <No, I would supplement via water changes in this small of a system. With all in one concoctions such as Purple Up you do not know what exactly you are adding in relation to what your water tests, alk/calcium being the main components here.> As always thanks for the advice. Terry <Welcome, good luck, Scott V.> http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwfiltrmedart.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/puffers.htm and related FAQ's

Grunge "product"    1/19/06 Thanks; I'll try to zoom in.  Might be difficult. How do you feel about "GARF grunge"? Daniel <Have been told it's "one old guy with a hammer smashing old LR"... I would not buy it. Bob Fenner> Homemade Additives  - 03/12/2006 Hi Crew, <Hello Mohamed.> I have decided to prepare my own additive instead of buying commercially prepared products.  <OK> Calcium I have started using calcium carbonate for 6 months without any problems.<OK> Magnesium Which chemical can be used best magnesium carbonate, chloride, hydroxide, sulphate or oxide without affecting anything else?  <Epsom salts> <<Sulphate... RMF>> Who would it be prepared as a solution or added directly into the tank and what quantity per 100L? <Mix into a solution then add to tank.  Depending on the purity of the salts a magnesium test kit would be necessary to determine correct dosage somewhere between 1000-1200 ppm. Iodine My understanding is that Lugol's solution is made up of potassium iodide and iodine crystals. What quantity of potassium iodide and iodine can I mix with water to get a strong solution like Lugol's solution so that I can use it as a dip and in my tank? <Pharmacy grade Lugol's is usually dosed at one drop per twenty gallons.> Alkalinity What chemical can be used to increase alkalinity and stabilize pH? My dKH drops to 7 - 8 per week from 9 - 10 with calcium maintained at 400ppm to 450ppm.  <Most quality alkalinity boosters contain carbonate, bicarbonate, chloride and sulphate salts of sodium, magnesium, calcium, strontium and potassium.  This particular blend is used in Sea Chem's Reef Builder.  This product is rather inexpensive compared to trying to put the proper amounts of each chemical together yet alone finding them.> Thanks  <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>    Mohamed.

Amino Acid Supplements For Coral   1/12/06 Hi Crew, <Hello Mohamed, Mich with you today.> I will like to know what is the benefits of using amino acid for corals and has anyone from the crew done experiments with amino acid? <The benefit is providing nutrients that are not easily synthesized from the environment.  Many extol the use of vitamin supplements such as Selcon, which contains amino acids.   Eric Borneman mentions in his book Aquarium Corals on page 58 that "Some of the products required by corals and Zooxanthellae that are not supplied by photosynthesis include vitamins and long chain fatty acids.  These compounds are supplied by diet only.    Glycine is also a compound the many coral do not easily synthesize, and it, along with some carbon, may be obtained in the wild by living in proximity to the released photosynthetic products of certain macro algae."   In a home aquarium this association may not be possible.  Therefore addition of amino acids via a vitamin supplement may be quite advantageous. <<If "this association" is not possible, there is or will be big problems... RMF>> Thanks Mohamed

PURPLE-UP for Coralline Growth? - Thumb's down... 02/22/07 Anyone have any info about this product by CaribSea? <<Have seen/used...don't waste your money mate>> I have a FOWLR and would like to increase the amount of coralline algae...... <<Then look to providing balance to alkalinity/calcium/magnesium.  Obtaining some "seed" material in the form of coralline scrapings from fellow hobbyists/LFS can help too>> Is this product safe and does it work.....? <<Not in my opinion>> I have some very rare fish and do not want to introduce anything that may harm them... <<I have read and seen anecdotal proof that calcium polygluconate can be helpful to "jumpstart" coralline growth.  Seachem makes such a product and if used as directed it should pose no harm to your fish>> Thanks, Craig Smith <<Happy to share.  Eric Russell>>

Fiji Gold   3/29/07 Quick question please.............   How do you guys feel about "Fiji Gold" as a calcium supplement? <As posted on WWM:  "Mmm, a mix of sodium bicarbonate, calcium chloride, calcium carbonate and a little borate. I gave the formulation for this "Fiji Gold" (delicious, export <FYI is also the name of a beer... Bob, like Homer Simpson... beeeeer... here being temporarily distracted.>) to Walt.S sometime ago and strongly suggested he market same and place a sample in each box of live rock, faux and natural... Bob Fenner"> I am dosing it once a week as it states on the jar. <Monitor levels.  More here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/calcalkmar.htm > Should I supplement any other minerals or is it true what they say on the package that it includes all the minerals in their "natural" state. <Yes, is crushed coral skeletons plus.>   Please let me know what you think about this product. <Bob, inspired by said export, named it.>      Thanks, <Welcome, -Mich> Jeromy  PS- thanks for all the help in the past!!!!! <On behalf of the crew, you're quite welcome.>

Cultivating Algae Hi Scott, how are you doing, hope you're doing great. <Doing great!> In the research that I have made, and in the advice you give me, you mentioned that Iron and Magnesium, Trace Elements, so I went to the pet store and ask for it, and they told me that they don't sell that stuff, because they fight to get rid of algae, not to help it, so were can I get the Iron and the magnesium?? <Several companies manufacture iron supplements just for aquarium use, such as Coralife. Magnesium (which I personally would not dose) can also be purchased as an aquarium preparation> My wife told me to dissolved a vitamin capsule that contains both elements, and put them in the water, but honestly anything that you don't purchase at the pet store maybe can kill your fish, I have had a few bad experiences. <I agree...I'd only use a supplement designed for aquarium use> can you tell me were can I purchase it, and what presentation does it have. Thank again Scott, for your time and advice. att. Juan Santos. <Well, Juan- you can find these products on many retailer's web sites, such as Dr. Fosters and Smith, and others. Do a little searching on the web, and you'll find what you need quickly! Good luck! Regards, Scott F> PS. happy holidays.

Need info on Seachem products - 4/5/04 Hello, please I have one big problem. <OK> I like to know this information. I need more information of the parameters of these products. <Not sure what you are asking? If you need information on these specific products (made by Seachem), then I suggest pointing this question to their site. They are very responsive and are more than willing to help you get the information you need. http://www.seachem.com/contact/contact.html Be sure to be specific in your question to them. Let them know what parameters you are looking for. Also, be sure to look into their FAQs on the above link. Many answers of their most popular questions are found there> 1: Reef Strontium 2: Reef Iodide 3: Reef Advantage Magnesium 4: Reef Draws. Thank you <Good luck. Let me know if I can be of any more assistance. ~Paul> Trace Elements 6/9/04 I have a question about reef additives.  I am currently looking for a good product that adds trace elements to my tank.  Do you have any that you prefer.   <I like Dick Boyd for vitamins and Seachem for trace elements FWIW. There are other fine brands/products out there. But the aforementioned are time-tested and well regarded by many> I don't need calcium as much but just one product that adds trace elements.  In my tank I have LPS and soft corals.  Any other special additives I need for their growth and health? <iodine in small daily doses is important for growth and color in many reef organisms. It is removed form the system quickly (hours) and needs to be dosed daily IMO> Thanks! Andrew Powell <best regards, Anthony>

Mark Weiss products 5/3/04 Anthony, Thanks for the info. <always welcome> Just one more question. I noticed your comment after the Mark Weiss Combo Vital. I've always heard good things about it, but do you know otherwise? I have no experience using it myself, and if it isn't all it's cracked up to be, I'll pass on it. Thanks as always! <among novice aquarists and aquarium clubs to whom these products get donated generously, they enjoy a "good" reputation. Among many experienced aquarists and industry professionals, they... Ahhh... do not. Some have been quoted as saying they would not take it for free ;) Anthony>

Seachem dosing schedule - 4/6/04  Hello all, <Good morning>  I have a quick question about SeaChem additives. <Let me see what I can do> I was recently given a dosing schedule by LFS and wanted to run it by you guys for your input. All of this guys tanks look great which leads me to believe he knows what he speaks of <Always a good place to start> but....just in case. <A second opinion.....also a good place to start>  He suggested the following:  Mon - Reef Plus  Tues - Reef Complete  Wed - Reef Calcium  Thurs- Reef Plus  Friday- Reef Complete  Sat - Reef Calcium  Sun - no daily additive <Sounds fine but why is he dosing? That is more important. Do you understand what these additives are and what they do? This is very important. If you don't then please go to www.seachem.com  and look through the support and products pages>  In addition to the above, he rotates the following on a week by week basis  Week 1 - 10% water change so no additive except as noted above  Week 2 - Reef Advantage Calcium every day in addition to the above <Wow!>  Week 3 - Reef Builder every day in addition to the above  Week 4 - Reef Adv Calcium every day in addition to the above  Week 5 - Reef Builder every day in addition to the above  Then back to Week 1 <This is a lot of dosing in my opinion. I am not of the opinion that dosing is necessary unless tested for and there is a reason to add it. I don't dose just to dose if you know what I mean>  For example, during Week 2 on Friday you would add Reef Complete and Reef Adv Calcium. <I understand>  This guy has about 20 yrs experience and all of his personal tanks look fantastic but this seems a bit much to me. <I agree> I have a 20gal with 130w PC, LR and LS. I have some zoos, green star polyps, pom pom xenia, feather duster, cleaner shrimp and about 5 snails. <Yeah....I wouldn't dose in a tank of this size with those inverts. No need> I will be putting a AquaC Remora on later this week when it arrives.  <Now the Aqua C Remora is a great addition!!>  Just wanted a second opinion before I start dosing. <I wouldn't start this regime in my experience or opinion.> I have all the additives needed to run this plan but it seems some of these are the same additive except that one is powder and one is liquid. <Take a look at Seachem's page for more info on the products but I wouldn't do this. What is the reason for dosing these products again?>  Thanks in advance! <There is a good "dosing recipe" for coralline growth and this is the only one I would support if someone had to have coralline growth or needed a boost to their coralline growth, otherwise I wouldn't dose the above "recipe" as I can't even fathom a reason for such a massive regime. Save the money!!! ~Paul>

Marc Weiss Combo Vital Hello Mr. Fenner, My wife & I have a 100 gallon reef tank, and we were browsing around the local saltwater store this past weekend, and saw something we needed to ask you about. We saw this Marc Weiss Combo Vital that is supposed to explode the colors on your rocks, and reef life when added, but we have not seen any comments on it lately. So we were wondering if you knew anything about it, or do you even recommend it. I do thank you Mr. Fenner, for your time. Sincerely, Dan Simpson <Short answer, I would not use this product. In general am very negative re products that don't list their ingredients. This one capitalizes on the short term benefits of simple sugar addition... IMO like many popular "diets" for humans... Not worthwhile. Has detrimental effects in the long haul... Put your money into real supplements, maintenance, addition of useful adjuncts in the way of gear. Bob Fenner> Marc Weiss Combo Vital Mr. Fenner, thank you very much for the reply.  I agree with you, if the ingredients are not listed, how do you know what's in it? <In the age of modern chemistry, such analyses are simple, have been done, the results broadcast... a similar/identical product was marketed in the UK as "cactus vital"... by the same person...> You have cleared things up, for us.  We do you various supplements, but they are Kent Marine supplements, and all of my corals & anemones are doing really good. So, in short, the Coral Vital will not go in our tank. <I wouldn't use it either as stated> You have a great day Mr. Fenner, thank you so much. <Will do... at the IMAC do in Chicago as I key. Bob Fenner> Dan

Seachem Additives Hello my fish expert friends, This question is in reference to my 180 gallon reef set up. I religiously believe in Seachem Lab. products <I like many of their products, too.> and use just about everything they have to offer for reef aquariums. <That statement scares me a bit. I am more of the school of thought of only dosing what I can test for and monitor.> My question is: In what order should I add these chemicals? <It will vary in regards to what you are adding, some will interreact.> Should I add them all on separate days? <Several hours between should be enough> Or could I add them 20 minutes apart? <I would guess a bit too short of a time frame.> As it is right now, I am adding elements and supplements everyday. Is there a known method or schedule that would make life a whole lot easier? <Use less stuff> I use: Reef Complete, Reef Calcium, Reef Carbonate, Reef Buffer, Reef Iodide, Reef Strontium, Reef Trace, and Reef Plus. If you have any suggestions to solve my dilemma I would appreciate it greatly. Thank you in advance, TIM <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Step right up, my friends, My X, Y, Z potion will cure whatever ails you, your fishes, your... Not a question, just a comment. I recently was talked into buying a new Red Sea product called Coralgro. I bought it, got it home, and realized the ingredients were not listed on the bottle. I called Red Sea for the ingredients. Their response was "we are not required by law to list the ingredients, we are not sure what is in it but think it has phytoplankton in it." So they expect me to dump this stuff in my tank? <Of course!> Have you ever heard of it? <Sadly, yes. There are a ton of these sorts of magical elixirs. The market is saturated with them.> Thanks, Chuck <You have learned a valuable lesson, my friend. -Steven Pro>

Seachem Products I have just purchased some Seachem products and am a little confused. I am going to start using Reef Calcium, Reef Builder, Reef Plus, and Reef Kalkwasser. Can I dose all of these products at one time twice a week or do I need to alternate days? <I would alternate days or even use one in the morning and another in the evening.> Also, what is the difference between the Reef Builder and the Reef Kalkwasser? <Reef Builder is an alkalinity supplement (mostly forms of carbonates and bicarbonates), while Kalkwasser is calcium hydroxide.> These two products are confusing me greatly. Is it necessary to use both? <I dose with Reef Builder and Kalkwasser according to my levels confirmed through testing and monitoring.> Is it possible to overdose? <Yes> Thanks for any help you can provide. As always, you are very appreciated for sharing your knowledge. Thanks so much! :) Elizabeth K. Birdwell <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Knop supplements Hi Di Clams Direct is selling the supplements with their clam orders, and the question came up regarding dosing- If you are using a number of supplements, VitF, VitB, and Iron & Magnesium, how would you properly dose the system? wait an hour between product dosing? dose with all products at the same time? Please advise. Koralvit Combi is a combination supplement for all aquaria, KoralVit F is a food, all others are single supplements that will be used on demand (e. g. iodine for plenty of clams in the tank, iron for tanks with plenty of macroalgae and for increasing the coloration in stony corals, iodine and strontium for increasing the growth of stony corals). The supplements should not be mixed directly, but they all can be dosed at the same time, simultaneously or one after the other, without the risk of any chemical reaction. Best regards, Daniel

Help with Reef Additives????? This question is for Bob Fenner if Possible. Bob, you always have a way of explaining aquarium issues in a way I understand. <Bob is in Hawaii, so you get Craig today.> I am concerned about the long-term use of 2 part additives to maintain calcium/Alk.   I have used them in my 75 reef to maintain my Alk around 9DKH and calcium around 400.  My concern over the long term is about trace elements building up in the tank from this stuff (using it for next 5 to 10 years or however long my tank stays up).  I do weekly water changes to keep my water quality in check and do not feel these added trace elements in these two part solutions are necessary. <Not to worry, these maintain ionic balance in seawater/artificial seawater. Also, water changes and use by organisms keeps these in check. With few exceptions, these supplements are matched to seawater concentrations, depending on your salt mix as well. Your salt also contains these elements.> All the two part additives seem to be loaded with these trace elements.  Can you explain (or point me to the place) and answer the following: 1. How to make my own two part Calcium/Alk buffering system without all the trace elements. <Use Kalkwasser and carbonate/buffer supplements instead. My preference is Kalkwasser dosed as a slurry per Anthony's book or dripped as usual, with Seachem buffer. You will then need to test for magnesium, strontium, etc. which are contained in the ionically balanced two part systems.> 2  Or, if a better solution in your opinion, how to dose Kalkwasser. <To use as a slurry, use a pH meter, 1/16th of a teaspoon Kalk mixed in cold RO/DI water per 100 gallons tank capacity to start, dose until pH climbs .02 only. Can be dosed multiple times per day. OR, use Kalkwasser solution as normal; usually 2 tsp per gallon of refill/top off water per day, drip at night when pH is naturally depressed, one drop per second.  You will need to test magnesium and strontium with Kalk use.  Test at least every two weeks to be sure levels are nominal.> P.S. , my Asfur Angel is doing great in the new 225.  What a beautiful fish and pet.   He waits at the top to eat out of my hand.   I decided to add only a Sohal and some Red Sea green Chromis to the tank to allow them all plenty of room to grow.   Coralline is starting to spread in the tank and it is becoming truly beautiful. Thank you for all your wonderful help.   Andrew Elstein <Sounds great Andrew, I wouldn't worry at all about the trace elements, the cost of the two parters is a bigger threat! Best of luck!  Craig>

Faulting Foul Food? "Pollution in a Bottle" 3/24/03 Hi again guys Well...I am writing this with head hung low....I have written to you all and have received great info from you concerning problems I've been having with my tank and my corals dying. After all I have asked, it all came down to one very very stupid mistake on my part. Did you know that just because a bottle of invert smorgasbord sits on a unrefrigerated shelf, that it can't continue to do that after you open it. <actually.... even refrigerated, such products have earned the moniker "pollution in a bottle". The bigger surprise for you might be that very few if any corals actually eat such meaty suspensions... most of the product is wasted and simply contributes to nuisance algae. The main problem (among many) is particle size with these bottled algae fertilizers :p> Well it can't and the bottle clearly states that in the instructions. I guess for the last few months I have been polluting my tank as I alternated my feedings of the smorgasbord <pollution yes... toxic, doubtful in small quantities. It was simply degraded> and my plankton (which by the way I do keep in the fridge). <excellent> So from someone who has learned the hard way, please make sure in you continuing great advise that you include the " please read the instructions" notation on anything you put in your tanks. Thanks for all the help Robert <will do, my friend... and let me strongly suggest that you save your money on such bottled food supplements... it is better spent elsewhere (refugia, water changes, etc). Anthony>

Mixing Kent Products for Combined Dosing 3/18/03 This may seem like a bit of an unorthodox question, but I was wondering If you might be able to answer it.  I have a reef setup and I want to make my dosing of Iodine, Strontium & Molybdenum, and Essential Elements a bit easier.  All three of the above solutions are Kent Marine products. The specs are as follows:  Iodine (5 ml/50 gal every week), Strontium & Molybdenum (5 ml/50 gal every four days), Essential Elements (5 ml/50 gal every week or two).  What I want to do is combine all three solutions into one container in the ratio of 1:0.5:1, respectively. When I dose my 10 gallon tank, I would draw 2.5 ml of the homogenous mixture and feed that to the tank every week (or maybe 1.25 ml twice a week).  My question is if it's safe to mix the solutions beforehand like I plan on doing?  I'm afraid that the pH differences of the solutions may not be compatible or that unwanted chemical reactions may occur. Can you validate my worries or should I just go through with this idea? Thanks in advance. <some additives can be mixed indeed... but it is a bad habit. Even some compatible ones (likely all) have different densities in theory stock solutions. This you have the issue of separation/stratification in the mix which leads to disproportionate dosing condition. You could then engineer a mixing apparatus (magnetic stirrer plate, etc) on a timer to keep the solution mixed... but this is all over thought and over engineered IMO. Since you need to inspect the tank briefly each day anyways... my advice is to not anguish over the seconds/couple minutes it takes to measure x drops/ml of a few supplements. The extra attention is what makes good tanks become great...a matter of finesse. If you would still like to pursue the idea... my advice is to seek counsel from chemist Randy-Holmes Farley at Reef Central... I dearly value his opinion and perspective. He has an authors forum and you can ask him a question directly. Kind regards, Anthony>

- Aragamite and Moon Lighting Question - I searched your website but I could not find any info on Carib-Sea's AragaMIGHT. <There will be some after today.> Do you have any experience with the product? <Not directly... but I am familiar enough with it to know that I don't agree with some of their claims.> I was considering using it instead of Kalkwasser for my top off water. <I suppose that would work, but if your calcium needs are high, then you'd be better off with a calcium reactor.> Also, regarding moon lights, would you recommend using a florescent light (like the Blue Moon Light tube), or the LED type lights? <Probably the LED... less actual light-energy... more like a nighttime effect.> Which one looks better astatically? <That's for you to decide.> Thanks for your help. -Brian Kysia <Cheers, J -- >

Coral Vital Down Under Dear sir, I have been reading about Marc Weiss Coral Vital with much interest. Could you please tell me if this product is as good as they say and does it do all it claims e.g.. help suppress algaes, encourage coral to open further etc. The one problem I may have is obtaining Coral Vital in my home of AUSTRALIA. Could you let me know if it is "down under" or maybe let me know Marc Weiss email address. thanking you, Robert Haywood 64 Lucida Place. ILKLEY. 4554. Queensland. Australia. <I am not a big fan of these sugar water supplements... With some investigation and money savings you can read over the utility of glucose (et al. simple carbohydrate) use in ornamental aquatics in older European pet-fish literature. Not a cathartic, and not materials that can be used with no downsides. I don't use Weiss' Vital, miracle solutions and don't endorse their use by/for others. Bob Fenner, in Sydney airport keying... on his way back to California!>

Re: concerned Also, I recently started using liquid calcium and coral vital to promote growth on the live rock. <Drop the vital of any sort> Could you elaborate of this any further? A reputable aquarium store told me to use the coral vital with the calcium. <Yes, the "vital" product is not vital... in fact a "sugar pill" of dubious to detrimental use> Your books talks about daily or automatic additions of calcium.  <Calcium and other alkaline earth materials are necessary. Do continue monitoring, adding these> I would imagine that means only if your test kit tells you your levels are low. The reason why I ask is because I added calcium once and my level has been good ever since. <Then no need to add it further. Bob Fenner. Please take a read through our principal site, www.WetWebMedia.com re supplements (in the many FAQs files), and write back if anything is incomplete, not clear to you.>

Sea lab #28 hello Mr.. Fenner this is the first time I have asked any question of your self but I have been reading and checking info on your site for about 12 months now and really value your opinions my question is have you ever heard of sea lab #28 it states that it automatically maintains calcium, and all trace elements found in the sea. do you know of this to be true? <Do know of this product... it's been around for many years... and our old companies (retail and service) used to offer and use it... A worthy addition to very small (ten, twenty gallon) non-reef systems. Larger ones are better dealt with two part supplements, calcium reactors... and testing. Bob Fenner> Dave Beene

Reef Vital DNA Do you guys know what is in the Marc Weiss product Reef Vital DNA. <yes...fairly well> Unless my nose has deceived me I fear I have paid $20 for a bottle of prune juice. I don't have a hidden agenda, I just want to buy the best food per dollar ratio.  <we are agreed. I personally will not put anything with unlabeled ingredients into my tank> I have heard good things about Liquid Life BioPlankton, and have just started dosing it. Is this the best food for filter feeders on the market, or am I believing the hype again? Thanks, David. <depends on your filter feeders... phytoplankton substitutes are all the rage now but very few popular invertebrates can actually ingest it (many complications about preparation and dosing). If you have a lot of gorgonians or Neptheid soft corals...fine. Do experiment as per mfg dose. But be more judicious if you have more of the popular zooplankton feeders. Again, all dependant on the specific invertebrates that you keep. Kindly, Anthony>

Marc Weiss Products? Dear Bob and/or crew), I have noticed in your replies to many inquiries in various FAQs you have recommended not using products such as Coral Vital or Reef DNA etc. I have read the hype, paid handsomely, and have been using the products for a couple of weeks. Please let me know if I should stop and if so why. Is it they just don't work or could they actually be detrimental. Your advise is appreciated. Mike Mahoney <I will give you my general opinion on supplementation. I will not use any product that will not tell me what specifically is in it. Then, I will only use things demonstrated to be useful/needed (calcium, carbonates, iodine, etc). And lastly, I try to only use things whose concentration can be tested for so that the dosing can be monitored. I hope this helps. -Steven Pro>

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: