looking for opinions on best ways to replenish your reef tank. is a calcium reactor better than dripping kalk or adding liquid calcium? do you normally add strontium or mag? just looking for examples of what you guys add to your tanks.
I've never used the kalkwasser drip method before but I've seen it used countless times. My local reef shops just have massive complexes of reactors set up and their tanks are gorgeous. I myself never maintained large systems on my own so I can't vouch for these methods, but the display tanks do speak for themselves.
I'd imagine the best method of chemical replenishment is a combination of the above techniques you listed or some sort of system that uses a solution which offers all the necessary elements.
what do u guys normally use?
I employ Kent Marine Essential Elements. This is just perfect for my nano reef. :D
First rule of thumb when adding chemical suppliments "NEVER add anything to your tank that you are not testing!"
Calcium and alkalinity should be monitored and dosed. Corals use Calcium to build their skeletons. They use the Bicarbonate to deposit the calcium carbonate. Coraline Algae also uses up calcium in the aquarium. good coraline growth is beneficial in the efforts to prevent and combat less desirable algaes and cyanobacterias. Calcium levels should be maintained in the area of about 420 though anything in the area of 380-450 is good. Alkalinity should be kept in the range of 7-11 dKH (2.5-4 meq/L). Alkalinity levels above normal increase the abiotic precipitation of calcium carbonate, which in turn wastes the calcium and alkalinity that you are adding.
Magnesium is one of the 4 major ions in seawater. Magnesium should also be monitored and dosed. Magnesium plays a very important role in the balance of your aquariums Calcium and Alkalinity. When Calcium Carbonate begins to precipitate, the Magnesium binds itself to the surface of the forming crystals, which in turn stops the precipitation.
Iodine Is often claimed to benefit some reef creatures. There is, however, no evidence to support these claims. Due to the number of forms of iodine that may be present in the aquarium, it is very difficult (and expensive) to accurately test. By dosing Iodine, you run too likely a risk of overdosing the system.
Strontium dosing may or may not benefit your system. I would monitor the strontium levels and discern the need for dosing. It is possible that regular water changes will provide ample replenishment if needed. Recommended levels for strontium are 5-15 ppm
Trace Elements (Essential Elements) are an interesting topic. While I could provide you with another synopsis of the few benefits, the irrelevant contents, and the pitfalls, I think Mr Randy Holmes-Farley Ph.D. has covered the topic quite eloquently in his article "The "How To" Guide to Reef Aquarium Chemistry for Beginners, Part 2: What Chemicals Must be Supplemented" in the April 2007 issue of Reefkeeping Online Magazine.
Just for kicks, take a look at the contents of Kent Essential Elements and ask yourself which of these you should be tossing into your tank all willy-nilly. Remember, It's your investment, not mine.
Kent Essential Elements Contents: Inorganic mineral salts of aluminum, boron, bromine, calcium, chromium, cobalt, copper, iodine, iron, lithium, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, potassium, selenium, sulfur, strontium, tin, vanadium, and zinc in a base containing deionized water and EDTA.
If you would like a more indepth explaination on what you should be adding to your tank, I suggest a good thorough reading of the afforementioned article.
I dose 15 mL of Kent Tech M Magnesium supplement Weekly
I dose Limewater (Kalkwasser) via Top-off. 1 tsp per gallon mixed with R/O.
I also keep Kent Essential Elements, Iodine, Strontium & Molybdenum, Calcium, Iron, Superbuffer-dKH Alkalinty Buffer, and Lugols Solution on hand, though I do not regularly dose them.
thanks for the info guys, im just setting up a 120 right now and i want to better understand the additives before i jumped right in. ill definatly be checking out that article too thanks SKAustin
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