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Old 07-16-2008, 10:41 PM   #1
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Test Kits

I've been looking around for a good, accurate test kit for a reef aquarium. I'm not really sure what I'm looking for exactly because I've read that to keep a reef tank going you need many trace elements like strontium, iodine/iodide, magnesium, etc. Is there a test kit that tests for all of these or do I need to buy a test kit for each one? And what test kits are recommended. I have an API test kit and i've heard they weren't any good. Any comments?
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Old 07-16-2008, 11:08 PM   #2
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I use API and IMO they are good. Everybody has their opinion but mine says they are OK.
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Old 07-16-2008, 11:11 PM   #3
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Is it necessary to consantly test trace elements? I'm completely clueless on this matter Are there any good reads about this?
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Old 07-16-2008, 11:25 PM   #4
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I dont test for trace elements because I just replenish them with PWC`s. You only need to test if you are supplementing them. I only test for calcium on the trace elements. I dont add except on PWC`s also on that.
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Old 07-16-2008, 11:27 PM   #5
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Does the salt contain the trace elements already? Or are you using premade saltwater?
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Old 07-16-2008, 11:34 PM   #6
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Marine salt has 89 different salts in it that make up all the trace elements you need for your tank. I say 89 because that is the average. Some have more and some have less. I have not added any trace elements in over 7 yrs. Just PWC`s will be enough. I`ve heard that some like instant ocean need calcium supplements but I dont use that so I`m not sure. I use Oceanic and calcium stays high.
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Old 07-16-2008, 11:37 PM   #7
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Thanks for clearing that up melosu. I think I'm starting to see the light! hopefully...
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Old 07-17-2008, 01:14 AM   #8
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Just my opinion, but unless you're running a tank with a TON of SPS corals in it, you don't need any of those "trace element" supplements. As melosu58 mentioned, water changes with a name brand salt should do the trick.
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Old 07-17-2008, 01:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt_Nelson View Post
As melosu58 mentioned, water changes with a name brand salt should do the trick.
What types of salt would be "name brand" salts? I know melosu mentioned oceanic, which I am sure my LFS carries. Right now I have a tub of Coralife Salt which is almost depleted, and a full tub of Instant Ocean.
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Old 07-17-2008, 01:26 AM   #10
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Sorry... gotta get done chuckling. Not sure how to define "name brand" except by saying a brand that has a well known name!

Guess what I'm saying is anything mass produced, and sold through reputable outlets. That excludes "that special salt mix my Uncle Larry makes because all salt water is, is just salt_water... right" type of salt water. (Yes... there ARE fish stores around that sell their own "special blend.")

You should be just fine as far as "trace elements" go with either of those salts. The only thing I normally hear of people "tweaking" with their salt is the level of calcium, alkalinity, or magnesium. There are definitely others that add all sorts of stuff, but I think that's the minority. You originally mentioned things like strontium and iodine and while there ARE supplements sold for those elements, it doesn't mean that your tank needs it. Kinda like all those different fuel additives you can buy to add to your gas tank to increase your MPG by 1 or 2 mpg!
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