Mineral Supplements: How much is too much? Too little?
I have a rock covered in Pulsing Xenia, and a Galaxea coral, and I read the Xenia needs Calcium and Iodine, while the Galaxea needs Strontium. I bought a bottle of Iodide, Liquid Calcium, and Strontium & Molybdenum (All Kent Marine, if that makes any difference), and read to dose the Strontium and Molybdenum with 5ml every 4 days in my 44gal (With the refugium, it comes out to about 50gal), the Calcium says "1/4 to 1 teaspoon per 50 gallons each day, based on animal load", and the Iodide says "Add 5ml (1tsp) per 50 gallons every week, or 8 drops per 50 gallons every day, daily dosing is the preferred method."
I've read around, and it says that excessive iodine can harm invertebrates, and this 8 drops (Probably 8ml) per day seems a little excessive to me.
I think I'll keep with 5ml of calcium and iodine per week for the time being (I'm also buffering the pH up to 8.3 so that'll add more calcium for the corals), and 5ml of strontium every 4 days until I hear that once a day isn't dangerous to anyone in my tank.
I woulds concentrate on maintaining your Calcium, Alkalinity, and Magnesium levels. I would recommend against dosing Iodine at all, especially if you are not testing for it, as iodine will make it into your system via foods and other suppliments as well. Strontium is likely already in your system in adequate levels and most likely will not stray from it's current concentrations with regular water changes alone. Again, unless you're testing for it, I would recommend against dosing.
For the record, I used to dose both Iodine and Strontium and after reading several writings of Reef Chemist Randy Holmes-Farley, I have reprogrammed my thinking. I have since stopped dosing iodine, strontium and essential elements supplements. My current dosing includes B-ionic 2 part Calcium and Alkalinity Supplement, Kent Marine Tech M (magnesium), Kent Marine Iron (for Marco-algae growth), and Limewater for top-off. With the changes, Ive noticed that everything seems to look healthier, and happier.
If you'd like to gain a better understanding of the water chemistry of reef aquariums, I'd recommend you check out the "Reef Alchemy" series at www.reefkeeping.com and the "Chemestry in the Aquarium" series at www.advancedaquarist.com
Hope that Helps.
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