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ajmckay 11-05-2008 10:36 PM

Supplements anyone?
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Okay, so what is everyone's opinion of supplements?

I've had my tank set up for 2 months now... I cycled it with LR (~20lbs), live sand 20lbs, hermit crabs, and last week I added 2 percula clowns (really cool!). On my live rock I have some green star polyp colonies, and a colony of Blastumossa polyps. My question is this, should I be dosing with supplements?

I've read that supplements can be a good thing if you follow a conservative regimen and don't get carried away... For example, the GARF website "bulletproof reef" suggests this for my 29gal:

1 Tablespoon Each of:
Reef Complete twice a week Reef Calcium twice a week Reef Advantage Calcium added to each gallon of makeup water during the 2nd and 4th weeks of the month. Reef Builder added to each gallon of makeup water during the 3rd week of each month.

I also hear that my star polyps need some things like iodine, what is the best way to add iodine to a tank? Right now i'm using Instant Ocean, about to open up a bag of Red Sea brand salt. I do water changes 20% every other week, and I use a canister filter (which I just started running it with only 1/2 the foam and I rinse it weekly). I don't have any of the fancy test kits yet, only the essentials, so I'm not sure where my levels of calcium, iodine, magnesium, strontium, etc are... I currently still use treated tap water which I let sit for 2 days in my basement before I add it to the tank. I do plan on switching to RO/DI water for the next water change though, I just had to obtain some vessels.

Any thoughts?

SKAustin 11-12-2008 01:39 AM

Reef tanks rely heavily on proper supplementation. It is impossible to replace the ions used by the Corals and Coralline algae without supplementation. There are a small number of supplements that are necessary, a few that are optional or dependent on your system, and many that are completely unnecessary and/or detrimental to your system.

Among the necessary ions to be tested and supplemented are Calcium, Bicarbonate (alkalinity) and Magnesium

onefish2fish 11-12-2008 04:25 AM


test before you dose.
and your iodine should be plenty replaced by your water changes.
and its good that your going to RO water.

SKAustin 11-12-2008 05:41 AM


Originally Posted by onefish2fish (Post 151853)
and your iodine should be plenty replaced by your water changes.

Correct. Iodine is one of the supplements that can be very detrimental to your system. Your system will get more than it's share of iodine in the foods, water changes, and even some other supplements. The problem with Iodine is that there are several forms, some of them are toxic, and all of them can introconvert. Test kits available to hobbyists only detect a small subset of these forms, so overdosing iodine is quite common, especially when testing and trying to maintain levels.

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