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Old 10-22-2012, 10:20 PM   #1
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Help me understand please

Only a few months experience in this hobby. I'm wondering if someone can explain the need to use calcium supplement, how it works, why i would need it, the whole 9 yards. Or a great link to an article would be great. Thanks!!
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:41 PM   #2
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In short, corals require properly balanced levels of calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium in order to produce calcium carbonate<---their skeleton.

If you want a detailed explanation, here you go:

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2002/11/chemistry
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:18 PM   #3
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Thank you, I'll read the article when I have a bit more time.

So should I be testing these levels as well on a regular basis?
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:26 PM   #4
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I usually test for everything once a week. The key is to keep your levels as stable as possible throughout the day. If you want to raise a certain level, it has to be done slowly over time to reach your desired goal. Nothing good happens fast in a reef, but bad things happen quick.
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:34 AM   #5
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Thanks for the advise can't wait to read the article!
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:05 AM   #6
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Good article on the how, but doesn't really give the why....

All corals extract minerals from the water to generate nutrients. With most corals like softies (zoas, palys, mushrooms, polyps, leathers) and LPS (hammer, torch, frogspawn), regular weekly water changes are plenty enough to replenish the minerals that are consumed. When you start getting into SPS (montipora, millepora, acropora), they tend to consume these minerals faster than normal water changes can replace. It's at this point that either more water changes are required, or begin supplemental dosing, and dosing is a lot cheaper than salt.

In my case, I don't have that many SPS, and my normal dKH was at roughly 9.5 to 10 and calc was 400, which is well within parameters. Talking to Convict, he just began dosing not too long ago and said he noticed an almost immediate difference in his tank, so with some extensive research, I decided to give it a try. After slowly bringing my tank up to around 12dKH/calc 440, I noticed almost an overnight difference in both my montipora digitatas & birdsnest.... the polyp extension was much better, the growth tips increased, and the color difference was about unbelievable. On top of that, even my LPS (trumpet, candy, & acan) appear fuller, and my number of coralline algae spots have almost doubled in the past two weeks.

Dosing isn't something I'd recommend for everyone. If you're only running softies, it's really a waste, and you run the danger of seriously screwing things up..... But if you're getting LPS heavy and/or getting into SPS, it's worth researching.
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Old 10-23-2012, 03:06 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phranque
Good article on the how, but doesn't really give the why....

All corals extract minerals from the water to generate nutrients. With most corals like softies (zoas, palys, mushrooms, polyps, leathers) and LPS (hammer, torch, frogspawn), regular weekly water changes are plenty enough to replenish the minerals that are consumed. When you start getting into SPS (montipora, millepora, acropora), they tend to consume these minerals faster than normal water changes can replace. It's at this point that either more water changes are required, or begin supplemental dosing, and dosing is a lot cheaper than salt.

In my case, I don't have that many SPS, and my normal dKH was at roughly 9.5 to 10 and calc was 400, which is well within parameters. Talking to Convict, he just began dosing not too long ago and said he noticed an almost immediate difference in his tank, so with some extensive research, I decided to give it a try. After slowly bringing my tank up to around 12dKH/calc 440, I noticed almost an overnight difference in both my montipora digitatas & birdsnest.... the polyp extension was much better, the growth tips increased, and the color difference was about unbelievable. On top of that, even my LPS (trumpet, candy, & acan) appear fuller, and my number of coralline algae spots have almost doubled in the past two weeks.

Dosing isn't something I'd recommend for everyone. If you're only running softies, it's really a waste, and you run the danger of seriously screwing things up..... But if you're getting LPS heavy and/or getting into SPS, it's worth researching.
Great info!!! I love this forum!! Everyone is so helpful & nice!!

I'm going to get the tests I need and start there. I do currently have a Duncan & birdnest and some softs & polyps so I guess I'll look into it now. Thanks again!!
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Old 10-23-2012, 03:11 AM   #8
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With only a few corals i wouldnt really worry about dosing just yet because the minerals wont get used up as quick, but once you add more coral its good to start dosing. The test kits are pretty pricey...kinda sucks. Best way is to accumulate a few over time
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Old 10-23-2012, 03:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nu-Nu the eel
With only a few corals i wouldnt really worry about dosing just yet because the minerals wont get used up as quick, but once you add more coral its good to start dosing. The test kits are pretty pricey...kinda sucks. Best way is to accumulate a few over time
Ya might as well get them before I must have them!!
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:54 PM   #10
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here is a great read

Calcium and Alkalinity by Randy Holmes-Farley - Reefkeeping.com
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