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Old 12-02-2012, 12:41 AM   #1
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What additives would you recomend? *Reef*

I am not a big fan of water changes.(if you need a reason why check bottom)
Since my tank is set up in such way that i don't get nitrate problems i want to dose additives instead of doing water changes. besides alk, calcium, and magnesium. What else would i need?



Reason why:
i am having ammonia Problems when i store my saltwater in any type of container for more then a few days- goes up to about 0.50. and i hate to pour out salt mixed rodi water. + i feel so guilty wasting so much water for an aquarium when some people in other countries don't have enough drinking water. (RODI people should know what i mean.
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Old 12-02-2012, 12:59 AM   #2
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Well the pH drops eventually, nitrates rise (b/c doing water changes is the main way to take out them), water quality will decrease, etc. There are other elements besides alk, calcium, & magnesium, but it is best to only use them if you can test them. Strontium, when used, can have an effect where coralline grows crazy. I haven't researched why yet, but that's what happened in mine and others experiences. People have set up their tanks where they don't have to change their tank for a year, but this can lead to problems in the long run I believe. Also a really large protein skimmer would take out a lot of waste prob. lengthening the time between water changes. It is fine to do power water changes every month or so, but the results might not be as great as more frequent changes.
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Old 12-02-2012, 01:16 AM   #3
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Thanks.
I am still planing to do about 15-20% water monthly water changes.

However, i was looking for more of a list of good trusted additives. there are so many out there.
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Old 12-02-2012, 01:32 AM   #4
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Might want to do larger water changes like 30%+ each month.
-Iron & Manganese
-Essential Elements
-Strontium & Molybdenum
-Iodide
I have all these by Kent Marine. Got them before I knew they weren't all necessary. Since you don't replenish these often (in salt mix) maybe they would help...
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Old 12-02-2012, 02:16 AM   #5
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There is a popular saying in the reef hobby "Don't dose anything you're not testing for". I think this is really important. Adding too much of anything will have a detrimental effect on what you keep. With that said, it also depends on the corals you intend on housing. As an example, if you are keeping SPS, calcium levels are crucial and a reactor would be in order......or at the very least Kalkwasser additions to replace evaporation. But here again, it is important that you are testing for Ca so as to gauge where you need to be (450) and where you currently are at on a daily basis.

Magnesium and Iodine are important for soft corals. Strontium is not as critical as some think. Also take into account the size of your tank. If it is a smaller reef of under 65 gallons, small water changes every other week (even as little as 5%) are helpful in replacing trace elements so as to avoid dosing.

As a side, carbon strips trace elements and aggressive protein skimming can as well. The best indicator of anything is whether or not the corals are thriving.

Nothing wrong with wanting to join the camp of hobbyists that do as little as one water change per year. I have seen a lot of successful reef tanks where water changes are not employed.

The conventional wisdom is to dose calcium in a reactor, GFO in another reactor to strip phosphate, and skim with a small fuge in the sump to house live rock rubble, sand or mud, and macroalgae under a lamp. This set up seems to work well and requires very little by way of water changes.
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:53 PM   #6
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Thanks man! best advise ever!
(If only i could choose best answer!)

Also, what are your thoughts on miracle mud ? Thanks
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:27 PM   #7
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Just FYI, its more expensive to dose and also requires more testing, good record keeping, and a pretty solid knowledge base on the subject. It can also be much riskier as overdoses become possible.

If looking for a stable and clean environment for your inhabitants, water changes are the best course. Mix for a day and do waterchange. No need to leave it sit for days.
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:53 PM   #8
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Full dislosure here. I no longer have a reef tank. I replaced it with a large FOWLR tank because the kids just love the "fishies". All of my colorful sticks got ignored so I simplified a couple years ago for the sake of the family.

BUT, if I were to start a reef tank right now, I would absolutely include Miracle Mud AND a protein skimmer. I think Miracle Mud is the innovative next step into the future. Problem is that we don't completely understand WHY yet. Do a little reading on Lee Chin Eng the founder of Miracle Mud. He is "evolving" some of his principles currently by digressing in his initial rebute against using a skimmer with Miracle Mud. I don't want to put words in his mouth, but I think he wanted the Mud to thrive with ALL of the elements in a system without a skimmer stripping anything. BUT he is testing with a skimmer because many reefers have been using both the Mud, a skimmer, and Macroalgaes with amazing results. The best thing about the Mud is that once you get it in a small flow compartment of your sump YOU LEAVE IT ALONE. The magic happens without human intervention and all the critters in that wonderful mud go to work in establishing a constant balance in your system to stabilize the water and nutrients. Difficult corals like Goniopora thrive in systems with Miracle Mud. I know, it worked for me after killing more than a few specimens before implementing a fuge with Miracle Mud.

Again, a basic low cost reef setup would be perfect with a sump, skimmer, miracle mud compartment, and Calcium + GFO reactor....all the while testing for Ca and Phosphate to keep levels in check. Good lighting + RO water and you have a thriving reef that is practically turn key. IMHO
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:03 AM   #9
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Thanks.
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