recomendations on Alk/Calc dosing

Crusty Old Shellback

MASVC OG
Premium Member
Hi all,
I am looking for info on some of the differnt Alk/Calc addatives that are available. I currently have a 400G tank/550 G system of a mixed reef. I do about 140 G water changes every three weeks or so using a comerical ASW mix. I was using NSW but have currently lost my source of water.

I have been using SeaChem Reef advantage calicum and Reef builder for yeasr with good results. However, after looking at my latest product catalog, ther are other brands/products that are offered at a substantuly lesser cost. So I'm looking for experience with these brands to see is it worth the switch.

Here is a break down of lowest price to highest price. Of course the one i Use is the most expensive. This is all based on the ammount needed to support 15K gallons.

C-Balance A and B two part additive $30.
Tech CB A and B two part addative $40
Reef Code A & B two part addative $50
Sea Chem Reef Advantage Calicum and Reef Builder. $60

If there are other comerical addatives that you know of and think highly of them, please let me know. I'm not looking for any home made kits, just a easily obtainable comercial system Just looking at ways of lowering my operating cost and keeping my tank healthy. Thanks for you inputs.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Premium Member
The two part from BRS seems pretty close to commercial, but if you do not want to add water yourself you'll need to look for something else. I've not compared costs lately.

FWIW, I would not assume that all ultra cheap two parts are necessarily of equivalent quality.
 

Crusty Old Shellback

MASVC OG
Premium Member
As I stated, not looking for any home made receipies, just something that's comercially available. The SeaChem has more than just Calc and alk as it adds in Mag and Stro along with a few other things.

I have a auto top off for my RO make up water. It's plumbed directly from my RO unit to my float valve in my sump. As for dosing, I just mix up what I want with a little RO water and dump in my sump. Been doing it this way for years and it works fine. Not looking to change my setup, only maybe the ingredients that I use.

I've run a Calc reactor in the past but it was just too much of a hassle to keep it working properley. Seems like I was always having to tweak it to get it working right. Granted it was a DIY unit but still, they are not that complicated to make.

Randy, I fully understand what you are saying, hence my question here looking for inputs from others who have used some of these products or others that I didn't mentenion.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Premium Member
That's fine.

I just want to point out that many folks make the mistake in thinking the BRS or DIY is only calcium and alkalinity, when it reality it is also balanced for other things, potentially including potassium, magnesium, sulfate, etc. Probably as good as most two parts, and maybe better than some since NONE publish exactly what is in them. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if it IS the recipe some two parts use since my DIY is the only published recipe.
 

Crusty Old Shellback

MASVC OG
Premium Member
Found this on the Seachem site.

Reef Builder.
Unlike the competition, Reef Builderâ„¢ contains calcium, magnesium, and strontium to compensate for the inevitable loss which occurs when raising alkalinity. It also contains sufficient magnesium to restore magnesium routinely depleted

Reef Advantage Calciumâ„¢ also includes magnesium and strontium in amounts proportionate to typical utilization ratios (100:5:0.1, Ca:Mg:Sr). This allows one to maintain these two important elements while maintaining calcium. Unlike limewater (kalkwasser), Reef Advantage Calciumâ„¢ does not have a caustic pH and will not deplete magnesium. Used as directed, it will not deplete alkalinity.


These are the two that I have been using for a long time. I'm just trying to see if there is a comparable product at a lower cost. Or should I just bite the bullet and don't fix want aint broke. ;)
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Premium Member
OK, that's not a balanced two part, and think it probably is inferior to my DIY or most commercial two part systems. It will likely result in chloride rising relative to sulfate over time. :)
 

Crusty Old Shellback

MASVC OG
Premium Member
I just found the ingredients for the c balance.

Part A ingredients
Calcium Chloride, Magnesium Chloride, Calcium Bromide, Strontium Chloride, Lithium Chloride, Rubidium Chloride, Nickel Chloride, Chromium Chloride, Zinc Chloride, Copper Chloride, Cesium Chloride, Iron Chloride, Manganese Chloride, Cobalt Chloride.

Part B ingredients
Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Carbonate, Sodium Sulfate, Potassium Bicarbonate, Sodium Metaborate, Sodium Fluoride, Potassium Iodide, Sodium Selenate, Sodium Vanadate, Sodium Tungstate.

As for randys receipie, it's a little harder to get here where it dosen't snow/freeze. ;)
 

zigzag1

New member
Just to toss in my two cents.. For a system of that volume, I definitely would go with a calcium reactor. Initial investment is higher than dosing pumps, but a reactor will quickly make up for this, especially on larger systems like yours. GL!
 
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