View Full Version : New to saltwater chemistry

07/31/2017, 07:24 PM
I just started my first saltwater tank about a 1.5 months ago. So far everything has been going well all my parameters have been stable except my oh. It has been staying around 8.0-8.4ish I have been reading and a lot of people say not to "chase" oh. My tank is a 40gal breeder and I am planning on keeping euphyllia and maybe a montipora if my tank is doing well. Currently in using I start ocean and my picasso clown and 2 chromis are doing well. I just added a green frogspawn frag my lfs whi has been working with me said my tank has been stable enough to add the frag. My question is do I need to buy "reef" salt and dose my tank or can I just dose. I use ro water and currently have been using ph up in my top off water to keep it from lowering my tank levels. I would live some feedback and recommendations. If fish dosing is necessary are dosing pumps worth the money?

07/31/2017, 08:20 PM
I think its rare you want to use a PH buffer in a reef tank. They mess with your water more than they help. You want to watch ALK not PH. Water changes can be enough to hold up ALK.

07/31/2017, 08:21 PM
"pH Up" is an alkalinity supplement, so I would avoid dosing it without checking alkalinity regularly. In order to keep corals, most (but not all) tanks require calcium and alkalinity supplementation. Those are the basics. Checking magnesium from time to time can be useful, too. This article goes into details:


07/31/2017, 08:39 PM
You don't need to dose or use reef salts. Unfortunately most new hobbyists assume when starting off that corals require dosing. Dosing is such a massive category you cannot lump it one way or another. There are literally hundreds of different products out there you can dose a tank with. Half are pure garbage that won't hurt anything but also won't help and basically serve as sales boosters for fish and pet stores. The other half have very specific purposes and if you don't use them individually for their specific reasons you can and will nuke your tank.

Dosing things in the water is never a "more is better" situation. It takes ALOT of corals to make enough of an impact on water parameters that would require supplementing outside of regular water changes. So for now. Stock up on instant ocean. It is a salt that can take you to the absolute most advanced level of reef keeping. And every time you think you may want to dose the tank, do a 5-10% water change instead. And any time you think about purchasing something to dose. Buy more salt instead.

Things like an Rodi filter, quality test kits, an auto topoff, and good powerheads are all much more useful products early on than dosing pumps.

And cease using PH up. You're going to spike your alkalinity so high you'll start killing any corals you try. Ph buffers fall into the "boost sales for the pet store" category. Nobody who grows any decent amount of corals uses alkalinity based ph boosters. They're dangerous

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08/01/2017, 03:32 AM
Thank you that helps a lot, any suggestions for a good quality test kit for coral keeping?

08/01/2017, 03:38 AM
Also the instant ocean that I am using is plain instant ocean sea salt it is not the reef crystal type is that okay?

08/01/2017, 05:07 AM
Yes plain purple label instant ocean is fine. Red Sea pro test kits are great. Their reef foundation kit for calci, alkalinity, and magnesium (comes all together), plus a Red Sea pro algae control kit (nitrate and phosphate tests) will be about all you'll need for any foreseeable amount of time

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08/01/2017, 04:38 PM
Instant Ocean is fine. A lot of Tanks of the Month run on Instant Ocean. The Salifert and IO test kits have all worked well for me, although the Salifert calcium test is easier to use than the others I have tried. API and Elos kits get generally good reviews, too.

08/01/2017, 06:44 PM
Thank you for guidance

08/01/2017, 07:52 PM
You're welcome. Good luck!