Originally Posted by NatureFish
So then...water parameters. They confuse me a lot! Are water parameters as complicated as I think? That's pretty much the only thing I'm unsure about. Everything else is very clear to me. I just have To find high quality equipment for my tank and be properly educated on water parameters and I should be good to go. Does anyone disagree?
To FULLY understand reef chemistry, it takes a chemistry degree. It's an obscenely complicated subject.
In short, Calcium and alkalinity are part of the salt water and is kept in check by magnesium. The magnesium keeps them from precipitating out of the water. Alkalinity plays a big part in maintaining a correct pH for your tank. It's a balancing act between calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium that most people can safely ignore.
What all this means to you is if your parameters are out of whack then do a water change. When you get a large coral load in your tank you might eventually need to add supplements but that's a year or two down the road for you after the tank gets set up.
Soft corals primarily consume alkalinity while stony corals use both. They use these minerals to grow and spread.