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Old 03-21-2006, 06:22 PM   #1
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Additives for corals

My tank has been going for about 3.5 months now and everything is going extremely well. All inhabitants are alive and healthy, coraline algae is already spotting up against the back of the tank, and other than persistant brown algae popping up (it's getting much better) everything is going extremely well.

I want to start adding some corals, and am curious as to what exactly I have to be aware of when doing so. I think I have the necessary lights, circulation, and compatible fish/crabs, but what I'm a bit unsure of is the right levels to have of calcium, iodine, and so forth. I currently don't have any, and don't even have a test kit yet. If someone can tell me what the levels should be, I'd appreciate the help. I am aware that the levels may be different depending on the amount and the type of corals I add.
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Old 03-21-2006, 07:05 PM   #2
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This is always a good one. There are so many different things you can add it'll make your head spin. That being said, the rule of thumb is "If you can't test for it, don't add it". And it makes perfect sense, because why would you want to add something if you don't know you're deficient? Also, if you use a high quality salt, most trace elements are replaced with regular water changes. Personally, I only use a two-part additive system, like Kent Tech CB - ESV B Ionic - C balance to maintain calcium and alkalinity levels. These two-part systems also contain other important trace minerals like strontium salts along other things. However, testing should always come first. Again, I personally test for nitrate, nitrite, alkalnity, ph, calcium, phosphate, and ammonia. HTH.
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Old 03-21-2006, 07:14 PM   #3
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I agree that weekly PWC will provide mostly what you need.
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Old 03-21-2006, 07:22 PM   #4
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the ignorance or the rush to try and make a sale mantality of some lfs is funny to me, i went shopping for corals at a fish store i found, and one of the employees said if i wanted to buy corals i would need to buy this reef starter kit from kent saying i would need to dose for iodine and calcium i asked do you have any calcium test kits and the guy told me if i bring some water from my aquarium in here he could test it for me but its only in an emergency situation and i didnt need to test just dose every day lol
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Old 03-21-2006, 07:41 PM   #5
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Keep a close eye on salinity(1.024-26), PH (8.1-8.4), CA (400- 450), and Alk (3-5 Mg/l). PWC's will take care of the rest.
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Old 03-21-2006, 08:53 PM   #6
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echoing everyone else...MOST corals do not require the addition of additives. They are a waste of money. Keep up on your water changes and any depleted trace elements will be replenished.
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Old 03-22-2006, 01:40 PM   #7
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If you only have a few corals you will be fine with PWC and monitoring of the major things. If you start to get a lot of corals or a lot of the stony type you may require some trace element additions. But cross that bridge when you come to it.
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Old 03-22-2006, 01:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagger
..There are so many different things you can add it'll make your head spin. That being said, the rule of thumb is "If you can't test for it, don't add it". ...
I think this is probably the best advice anyone can get. Also, test kits will tell you right on them what is the proper level for what you're testing, and the hazards of too high or too low of levels.

IMO, Figure out what are the important chemicals to test for and get a test kit for it.

For instance, I just got a phosphate tester and was shocked that my levels were thru the roof, since I've had no fatalities. No one (until very recently) had ever told me I should test for this, or how important it is to test for. I've had SW tanks for years, and never had this test kit before. Now, I'll be testing phosphates very frequently.
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