View Full Version : Additives

06/14/2006, 11:21 AM
My tank's been up for about six months now and everything is running smoothly. The move from freshwater has been good, my wallet wouldn't agree, and although I've learned a lot about saltwater, I've still got a ton of questions.

How many supplements should I add? I test and adjust for calcium each weekend, ro/di makeup, use granular phosphate remover so it's low, and CombiSan as recommended. What about Iodine, Strontium, Magnesium, Vitamins, and the others?

I've been told the right salt (Seachem Reef) will have most trace elements in it but have heard other claims against it. I've also heard that CombiSan is a rip off and contains nearly 100% water.
Garf Grunge? Thiel Aqur Tech Vital Gold? Seachem Reef Salt? Any experience w/these and are they just bogus claims?


06/14/2006, 11:32 AM
If you dont test for it, dont add it. You should test your cal, alk and magnesium. Most reefers just use IO for thier salt. Personally I like a 50/50 mixture of IO and Oceanic. Regular water changes should be sufficient enough to replace trace elements. You can use 2 part for boosting cal and alk and regular Kent Tech M should take care of magnesium levels.

06/14/2006, 01:07 PM
Russ is right on the money. You should never add anything that you can't test for. After your water is stable, your only main tests should be ca, alk, mag, salinity, and ph. You should still test for nitrates, nitrites, and ammonia occasionally just to be safe. I use Instant Ocean, and no other trace elements. I also use the homemade 3-part dosing and occasionally add strontium. IMHO the other additives are junk. lol

06/14/2006, 01:15 PM
Same here... IO waterchanges, and DIY 3-part for Ca and Alk only.

06/14/2006, 04:19 PM
Poup, I would do the calcium everyday vs once a week, that is just my opinion though.

06/14/2006, 05:58 PM
I don't have the hard corals that some of you have, my calcium doesn't budge very much. I'm buffing, the CombiSan which is supposed to have Magnesium in it along w/everything else. Maybe I've got it straight, I can't afford reactors and dosers with the baby on the way.

I was told today that most of the supplements on the shelf are a waste of money if you do regular water changes and add your calcium. I'll be seeing you guys later this month, I'll bring the Colt by for you Viking and anyone else who wants.

06/15/2006, 09:57 AM
Cool, I will bring a lot of leather frags with me if anyone wants one. lol they are all over my refuguim. I test for alk, ca, strontium, Salinity, and PH right now. I am going to get a Mag test kit sometime. Have you guys read that Strontium is the third most important element? Or that it is the third most found in coral skeleton's? I have been dosing and testing Sr the last week and the polyp extension is awesome. I still can not get it to what the test says to and I am almost doubling it. I think I will get the Kent dry form and try that. I am using the Sr and Moly wet form from Kent now. I also like to use the Marc Weiss Coral Vital. I saw a great polyp extension and looked like the colors were popping more after a week of using that stuff. Oh and I am using AZNo3 too. AWESOME stuff.

06/15/2006, 11:16 AM
Marc, I have a mixed tank, and still use plenty of ca and alk. You will find the homemade three part recipe is much cheaper than the CombiSan. In fact, if you would like some, I will bring you some Calcium Chloride since it is hard to find this time of year. The alk and mag are just baking soda, and Epsom salts, both very cheap and they will last longer.

Paul is right about dosing daily as opposed to weekly. It will keep your system stable.

06/15/2006, 04:28 PM
How many corals do you have? I've probably a half a dozen, all soft. 200+# of rock and the calcium just doesn't move a whole lot. Are you maintaining around 450ppm?

06/16/2006, 08:02 AM
I have a full tank of corals, so my demand will be higher than yours. How often do you add supplements? Do you test for Alk, and Mag? Your alk is just as important as calcium and should be checked as often. Are you planning to have lps, or sps?

06/16/2006, 10:22 AM
Using the combisan every week along with the calcium if it's needed. Buffing as well. I'm not at the planning phase yet, just grabbing this and that. Been avoiding the hard corals because of two reasons: VHO lighting, not halide; and because I don't want to put them in harm's way if a softie croaks. Thinking now that I can put them up top close to the 600watts and that since my softies are healthy, the sps won't be held at as much of a risk.

I test for alk, not mag, told that combisan has it all. I'll probably grab the product Russ mentioned earlier and start real soon.

06/16/2006, 03:32 PM
You can easily keep most LPS corals with vho and pc lighting. The sps are very light dependent. However, if you start adding lps, your ca and alk demand will increase since thay are still a stony coral. My brains, hammers, acan lords, donuts, and bubble corals are all low to medium light corals.

06/17/2006, 06:26 AM
I tried combisan when I first started. It didnt do anything to my tank. Of coarse I didnt have much corals either. 2 part or diy 3 part is prolly all you need (or a calcium reactor) to maintain cal,alk and magnesium. For nutrient reduction, a good skimmer, fuge with macro algae, carbon and phosban is a good start. Ozone is also good if you are brave enough. Or you can go with the pricey way by going Zeovit. As far as coral supplements, I really like Seachems Reef Plus. I have been using this stuff for 2 months now and I really like the results. It needs to be refridgerated after opening and it will make your skimmer go nuts. I shut of the air to my skimmer for a couple of hours when I dose this. Twice a week is what I dose. For 13 bucks a bottle, its a good product.