View Full Version : Cheap way to Raise Mag, Ca and Alk

09/20/2010, 06:08 AM
My Mag is at 1150. What's a cheap way to raise it? I've read epson salt and wanted to see what others use.

Also, same goes for Ca and Alk. It seems that BRS two part is pretty spendy, what else does everyone use? My demands are not high according to a club member buy my Ca is low (350) and Alk (7). Do water changes every two weeks with IO.

09/20/2010, 06:54 AM
For alk supplementation, using baking soda would be the cheapest as long as you don't need a pH boost.

For calcium, calcium chloride is used. Using calcium chloride de-icers can be risky since they are industrial grade and no tests are completed on them to assure the contaminates are not too high. I use the BRS calcium chloride which is a food grade product, which is tested to meet standards.

For mag a combination of mag choride and mag sulfate are best. mag sulfate is epson salts you can buy at the grocery store cheap. Food grade is fine for both. I buy mag chloride from BRS for the same reason as the calcium chloride above. The mag chloride de-icers are commercial grade and not tested.

Mag Supplementing Recommendations:

Mag sulfate and mag chloride are both important when increasing and/or maintaining your mag level. The mag sulfate will increase your sulfate whereas mag chloride will increase your chloride in your water. The idea is to keep the sulfate and chloride in balance in your water column. This leads to using them in the proper ratio to maintain the proper balance.

Randy calculated the ratios to maintain the proper balance of chloride to sulfate. It will depend on what you are using to maintain your calcium with.


If you are using Calcium chloride (two-part) to maintain your calcium, then use:

5 cups of mag chloride + 3 cups of mag sulfate in a total of one gallon with rodi water. Mix and you can add the particles in the solution.

An Improved Do-it-Yourself Two-Part Calcium and Alkalinity Supplement System


If you are using kalk water or reactors to maintain your calcium, then use:

7.25 cups mag chloride + .75 cups of mag sulfate.

Do-It-Yourself Magnesium Supplements for the Reef Aquarium


If you want to bump up your mag level in your tank or you want to increase the mag level in your salt mix or natural seawater, then use:

7.25 cups mag chloride + .75 cups of mag sulfate.

This is perfectly balanced with what is found in sea water and does not take into consideration any additions of chloride from calcium additives.

Do-It-Yourself Magnesium Supplements for the Reef Aquarium


If you are using reactors (and/or kalk water) and also supplement with calcium chloride, then perhaps a good ratio to use would be:

7 cups mag chloride + 1 cup mag sulfate. :)

09/20/2010, 08:50 AM
I purchased a 50lb bag of Briners Grade CaCl from tetra chemicals for $17.

09/20/2010, 02:34 PM
You can try some other calcium chloride and magnesium chloride products, but testing them for trace contaminants is too expensive to be practical. Mag Flake is fine, and the Dow Flake product seems okay, although its bromine level is higher than the older product that was tested. The BRS supplies seem to be okay, too. Most people don't report problems with other brands, though.

09/20/2010, 04:39 PM
Good call, Jonathan.

Is that what I'd want?

Be nice to used their calculator, for simple convenience as I learn.

09/20/2010, 05:54 PM
That should be fine. :)