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Old 08-09-2011, 06:20 PM   #1
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I'd really like to know what levels I'm supposed to be at with everything

Need some experienced advice on good test kits for all chems. At this time I'm getting tests from LFS limited to cal, alk, nitrite, nitrate, ph, salinity and phosphate. They only tell me "good", whatever that's suppose to mean.... I'd really like to know what levels I'm supposed to be at with everything. Not sure what tests kits are reliable and accurate. I'd like to test for all of these I've had so far as well as mag, and iodine and anything else I can test for as well as knowing what levels I need to be at for anything and everything else.... Can I test for borate and strontium? Is it important?.... Any advice will be greatly appreciated!
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Old 08-09-2011, 06:26 PM   #2
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salifert and elos make good test kits.
all you need is calcium, alk, and mag, along with ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite, ph, and possibly phosphate.
i would buy API test kits for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, and ph, and salifert for calcium, alk and mag. i wouldn't even buy a test kit for phosphate unless i had some problem that warranted it.

*edit* you definitely need a refractometer for salinity. these can be purchased from the vendors that sponsor this forum.
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Old 08-09-2011, 06:42 PM   #3
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No need to test for iodine, strontium or borate unless you plan on dosing them....which is usually not needed.
Here's a great guideline for the water parameters you want to shoot for.
Reef Aquarium Water Parameters by Randy Holmes-Farley - Reefkeeping.com
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:18 AM   #4
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just get the api saltwater master test kit
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Old 08-10-2011, 06:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccCapt
No need to test for iodine, strontium or borate unless you plan on dosing them....which is usually not needed.
Here's a great guideline for the water parameters you want to shoot for.
Reef Aquarium Water Parameters by Randy Holmes-Farley - Reefkeeping.com
Currently I am dosing Reef Code A&B(two different bottles by Brightwell Aquatics) at 5ml every other day. As my tank has progressed and coraline algae has grown I have been deficient in calcium. The ingredients in "A" are cal, alk, and mag. Ingredients in "B" include inorganic Carbonate, Bicarbonate,Sulfate, and Borate salts as an alkalinity buffer. I was told by LFS to dose iodine at 8 drops or .5ml every other week. I'm just nervous now because I have no idea what my levels of each are really at. If you can see my profile you will see what my inhabitants are and I'm just wondering if any will benefit from the strontium or iodine or borate. If it really is negligible then I will get what is only required and buy test kits accordingly. However, should I buy test kits for the Strontium, and iodine to atleast see where I'm at or just wait for them to deplete and dose atleast cal, alk, and mag individually to better control my levels.. Just a note; I started my concern when my nem started to not look as good and every water change he looked awesome, then back to worse again..I've also been battling green algae and cyano. Cyano is under control now but I'd really like to know what my levels are for everything Ive been dosing. If I'm going to dose only cal, alk, and mag then why buy a test kit for the rest of course besides ph, nitrite, nitrate and phosphate. Personally i think that buying the combo additives Was a mistake, and LFS said it wasn't wise. My fault for going the cheeper route.Sorry for the rambling. Thanks guys!
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Old 08-10-2011, 07:04 PM   #6
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that's the first time i have ever heard of an all-in-one supplement that contains both calcium and alk. From what i understand, it's not possible to do this.
Your LFS is giving you bad information. you could do regular water changes and achieve the same result.
if you don't have a tank full of corals, i don't see how you could be using that much calcium and alk to be dosing daily.

also, the API calcium test kit is very inaccurate.
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_X
that's the first time i have ever heard of an all-in-one supplement that contains both calcium and alk. From what i understand, it's not possible to do this.
Your LFS is giving you bad information. you could do regular water changes and achieve the same result.
if you don't have a tank full of corals, i don't see how you could be using that much calcium and alk to be dosing daily.

also, the API calcium test kit is very inaccurate.
Doesn't C-Balance contain both?
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Old 08-10-2011, 11:01 PM   #8
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in 2 different bottles. it's not an all in one supplement if it's in 2 bottles.
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Old 08-11-2011, 09:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
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in 2 different bottles. it's not an all in one supplement if it's in 2 bottles.
My mistake. Reef code A has cal, mag, and strontium. B is the alk buffer. I have been religiously dosing 5ml each every other day and everything has been good until lately as the coraline algae has grown more and more which I'm told uses a lot of calcium. I'm told only my calcium is low. I have 11 coral frags and they seem to be doing good but I think I'm going to start dosing 7ml of A and see what happens. I'd just hate to be dosing too much of mag, and strontium so im going to get test kits and if I have to I'll buy the mag and strontium in separate bottles and dose accordingly. Should I stop dosing iodine or is it going to be useful to inhabitants. It's mainly the nem I'm worried about, but I hear the hermits and shrimp benefit from it for molting purposes.
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Old 08-11-2011, 10:20 AM   #10
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Your salt mix contains enough idoine for your inverts, nine molt regularly with no dosing.

With that many corals I'm not sure dosing is even necessary. But good luck with trying different things
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