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Old 07-10-2007, 04:43 PM   #1
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Lets talk supplements

I know supplements is generally a shunned topic 'round these parts, but during a search yesterday I happened upon a thread topic which got me thinking.

The thing is calcium... for a tank with lots of corals and other high calcium demand critters, clams and whatnot, I read that PWC may not get the calcium levels up high enough and supplementation would be necessary or at least helpful.

So that got me thinking. As it stands, my plan is to have lots-n-lots-n-lots-n-lots of coral/clams/whathaveyou (ok maybe too many lots buy a guy can daydream, eh?) In any case, I saw a Kent Marine gravity drip thing which was dirt cheap (relative to this hobby) and was thinking if I could put Kent Marine Liquid Reactor inside Kent Marine Aquadose 5gal would this be a feasible solution? Ive barely begun to get into the required levels for corals, so nows the time I guess, and I dont fully understand how quickly coral eats through calcium. With a beginners coral set's draw on the calcium levels, how many drops from this gravity feeder would be required? If less than one per day I can easily dilute the liquid reactor with water.

What do you guys think? [/url]
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Old 07-10-2007, 05:00 PM   #2
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With a 30 gallon tank you aren't going to be able to have "lots-n-lots-n-lots" of corals as you said. I'm not familiar with that particular product but I do know that adding things to the tank other then top off water, food and new SW can cause things to go out of whack quickly, especially on a smaller tank. With a 30g tank and regular PWCs you shouldn't have that much problem with keeping your CA levels up enough for your corals. There just isn't enough area in that tank to have a ton of CA-demanding corals. My personal opinion is to use a CA reactor that generates a steady supply of CA to the tank, however as I said you do have a smaller tank and most of the time CA reactors are on larger tanks. I'm sure there is someone out there that has used that product and will be able to help you better then I.
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Old 07-10-2007, 05:18 PM   #3
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I agree. I don't think you will have a Ca problem either in a 30 gallon, unless maybe you shoved it FULL of sps corals, which I don't think would look good.

I know there are quite a few people on here who use B-Ionic as a calcium supplement.

No experience with dosers either, sorry.
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Old 07-10-2007, 06:10 PM   #4
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Re: Lets talk supplements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agnate80700
I saw a Kent Marine gravity drip thing which was dirt cheap (relative to this hobby) and was thinking if I could put Kent Marine Liquid Reactor inside Kent Marine Aquadose 5gal would this be a feasible solution?
That particular doser can be problematic - it works similar to an IV drip. I did try and use this as my Ca supplement a couple of years ago.

What I found was, supplements in the "drip" need to remain in suspension otherwise they settle out and either clog the tubing up at the top (reservoir) or somewhere within the line. Basically the flow stops along with any benefit of using this setup.

So, the challenge is how to keep the Kent Marine Liquid Reactor from "settling out" - even the use instructions warn that this stuff needs to be "Shake(n) vigorously for 5-10 seconds immediately before each use." I read about using an air line & air pump to provide some sort of mixing current up in the reservoir but never implemented it. I abandoned the setup in favor of more frequent water changes - it was less worrisome.
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Old 07-10-2007, 07:46 PM   #5
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You are correct about tanks with a high CA demand need some supplimentation. It is very possible one would have to add CA in a loaded tank to keep it above 400. However, it is the exception and not the rule. In a 30gal tank you will be limited in the number of corals you can have, especially LPS/SPS corals that require CA. THey also require space so packing them in is not an option. I suspect that a 20% water change every two weeks on a 30gal tank will certainly be enough for you. Save your hard-erned $$$ for more corals!
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Old 07-10-2007, 08:52 PM   #6
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Going against the tide here I think... but depending on your calcium levels in your salt mix to start with, you may need to supplement. For example, if you want to keep your Ca levels at 380-400ppm, and you find that your freshly mixed salt water is mixing up at 340-360ppm, then you could do water changes until the end of time, and it's never going to go above 340-360ppm. The key is to know what the levels are in your PWC water, and what they are in your tank.

As others have said, a drip system in such a small tank is probably more trouble than it's worth. You'd probably be better off using any of the 2-part Ca supplement systems out there (B-Ionic, C-balance, etc). I use C-balance at the moment and have no issues with it. Occasionally when my Ca creeps a little low, I bumb it back up using Kent TurboCalcium. I keep my levels between 380 and 400ppm.

If you do use an additive though, be sure and TEST for both alkalinity and Ca AT LEAST weekly. I'd do it more often when first starting out. Many people have the tendancy to think "more is better" and it really isn't. Used to excess, the stuff can whack out your alkalinity and salinity. Just start out with what the directions say, test periodically, and adjust your dosage if you need.
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Old 07-10-2007, 09:13 PM   #7
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or, get a salt such as oceanic that gives you a nice 400 plus calcium reading right out of the bucket.
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Old 07-10-2007, 09:24 PM   #8
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Unfortunately how much Ca/Alk you need to add to your tank is completely dependant on the animals you have living within. What you'll need to do is watch your consumption and attempt to dose to meet it (watch it fall over a week and then figure out what you need to add to bump it back up and then divide that across the 7 days to figure out your daily dosing regimen.

I've NEVER been good at "dose daily" types of things so I use a Ca reactor to keep the Ca levels in my tank up.

I've never found PWC adequate in keeping the levels where they need to be.
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Old 07-10-2007, 10:08 PM   #9
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Ok just gonna post this before I read all the responses... but I'm talking about my 150 gallon tank, not the 30. In about 15 days I wont even have a 30gal tank. Sorry I didnt make that clear.

**goes back to reading**

Well crud most of the responses were regarding a 30 gallon. Again, my bad =(

Although, that maybe a good idea to throw a tiny 50gph or something pump in the chamber to stur that stuff up, but i'd be willing to bet the pump gets clogged quick with calcium deposits.

As far as a Ca reactor goes... i just cringe at having to buy yet another expensive piece of equipment. This is one spot i absolutely must try to save a little bit on, even if it means just hand dosing when I feed the fish or something.
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Old 07-10-2007, 11:01 PM   #10
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THE BOTTOM LINE...do NOT add anything you do not test for. If you feel your CA is low then feel free to add a suppliment. However...USE CAUTION, especially in smaller tanks. They do not do well in absorbing "mishaps". That said, I stand behind what I said about doing regular water changes. For your purpose I am very confident it will be just fine.
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