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hi there guys i am kind of new to reefing and i am starting to turn my tank into a all reef setup...i have a 55 gallon and the only chemicals that i add are turbo calcium and phytoplankton... i just wanted to know what kind of chemicals you guys add to your tank and what are the perfect numbers for a good reef tank...if someone can direct me to or show me how to measure all the chemical balances in a good reef tank that will be great...also wat test kits do you guys use...thanks in advance for the info and help
 

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Carpe Noctem
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No chemicals. I use turbo calcium at waterchange time, with baking soda to bump alk, magnesium when needed and then kalk and home made two part when needed.

Here are a few links to get you started... Very important to only add what you can test for. I use salifert kits and a few red sea and API kits on occasion for rough numbers.

http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-05/rhf/index.php

http://web.archive.org/web/20021127040526/http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/nov2002/chem.htm

http://home.comcast.net/~jdieck1/chem_calc3.html


There is a lot of homework involved in learning to do it right... Go slow and learn as much as you can:D
 

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Phytoplankton is not a Chemical, Rather a "food" source for Corals and others. ;)
 

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Carpe Noctem
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thats it? i thought it was way more stuff than just calcium...like iodine, strontium, etc...??? wat do you use to measure your calcium level, alkalinity and magnesium?
Nope, the rest comes from waterchanges. I use salifert kits to test for that stuff;)
 

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Forever Reef
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its best not to use any chemicals especially medications, try a natural approach to health problems & insect infestations...as for food, plankton is great for all corals & is required for 50% of all corals. but do not over feed, unless you have a large skimmer, as this can lead to cyano..

I only add (Kent Marine : Coral-Accel) (Marine Snow : Plankton & decayed matter suppliment) & some zoo-plex & cyclopeeze. all are foods except coral-accel with makes corals grow alot faster ;)
 

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Forever Reef
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thats it? i thought it was way more stuff than just calcium...like iodine, strontium, etc...??? wat do you use to measure your calcium level, alkalinity and magnesium?

no all the minerals come from the salt when mixed with fresh water during water changes, never add anything like these unless your minerals are extremely low & water changes do not bring them back up

Red-Sea,Instant Ocean & many other trusted brands make testing kits for all minerals & metals..
 

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Depending on salt mix, if IO - adding Ca and Mg to a new water, to 420ppm and 1275 ppm, Seachem Reef dry additives. Both tested for each batch of salt, API and Seachem Reef Status Magnesium test kits.

To the tank water - only alkalinity supplement, Seachem Reef Buffer, if pH is lower, than 8.3, and Reef Builder, rarely, if pH is higher. Could be replaced by homemade baking soda based additive. All after testing, of course. Some tanks are holding alkalinity well between water changes, no need for additives.

For the tank with macroalgae - Kent Iron, time from time.

Test kits: ended with API (cheap and good, if Ca shows 500 ppm for Instant Ocean - buy another kit, I had once such). If you can afford - Salifert test kits.

Water parameters:
The same Parameters critical to control. Just test and use water changes and additives to keep them within optimum. If your tank has high Ca consumption - you may need to add Ca.

At beginning I bought almost all possible supplements, available from LFS - the tanks were doing best with more water changes and without additives. Raised amount of LR - it helped too.
Seems, it's all, in my humble experience.
 

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nothing here, except kalk in the top off water.

Ca, alk, and Mg levels are only important if out of balance. as long as your Ca level is above 350 you are fine.

i would stop feeding phyto though. not necessary and will increase your phosphate levels. not something you want to do. :(

there is no reason to make this hobby more expensive than it is already. additives are not necessary. in most cases they are 99% RO/DI water with just a bit of something else. water changes done regularly will be all that is necessary to keep the important levels in check.

G~
 

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Carpe Noctem
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Might be a good time to look into an RO/DI system if your going to go the reef route;)

Store bought water can become a pain and inconsistent.
 

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I'd recommend going to RO/DI. I was very happy switching over and noticed quite a difference.

I'm using calcium reactor to increase Calcium and Alkalinity. As most of these guys, I'm testing my water quality and trace elements before adding anything. Don't put things into your tank that doesnt need to be added--additives are a gimick.
 

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Sir Master Deuter the 3rd
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ok so I would think that the more additives that you add that the more healthful the livestock would be. Such like iodine, mag, trace elements, kalk, Ca, and strontium and of course water changes. all of these seem like they would play a important role. Sure you could just supplement kalk and and be good. However wouldn't the livestock be much healthier if they had all of the important elements they would have in the wild? although i'm a complete noob and haven't even finished my cycle and nor have I have even used these supplements but they seem as though if you use all of these that livestock will be much healthier and look much much better, grow faster, more colorful, than to just add kalk. However I could be completely wrong, we'lll see in the future.
 
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