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Old 06-21-2004, 01:34 PM   #1
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Test Kits for Reef tanks

I have had a 180gal FOWLR tank for 6 months. I now want to start adding coral and have just added a small one. I have been adding kalk and supplimenting it with Ca, Strontium and Iodine. I have bought a reef test kit that tests for Ca, NO3 and PO4. Do I need to test for anything more? Someone told me that I need to test for alk. Is this the same as General Hardness? If not do I need to test for both of these?

Thanks in advance for all you help. :P

180 gal LR wannabe Reef
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Old 06-21-2004, 01:49 PM   #2
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If adding kalk and Ca you definately need to test for alkalinity as well as the Ca test you already have. Alk and Ca need to be >>balanced<<. GH is not the same as KH. GH measures the combined parts of Ca and magnesium and does not need to be tested in a SW tank. KH (AKA DKH or mEq/l CaCO3 equivalents) measures the total amount of hardness within the system and is very important.

Strontium is rarely a needed addition and simple water changes will take care of that. Nothing in your system will require it's addition. If nothing else, get a test kit to monitor the levels. If Sr gets too high it can be a problem and will actually interfer with certain test kits such as Mg.

Iodine is another not really needed addition unless you have animals/algaes in the tank sucking it up in large numbers. As before, be sure you are testing for it. Most tanks don't need it or at least much less than you think.

I would also suggest you get a pH test as well. Mg can be an important component of the chemistry but is easily maintained with regular water changes. If you ever have issues maintaining the balance between alk and Ca you may need that as well.

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