Supplemental Reef Nutrition????


New member
ok so got my tank up and running, i know it will be a good while before things grow, and grow nice and big as well as colorful------ but???

what about supplemental nutrition??? my local fs recommends this and another fs recommends that--- any experience? ideas? products?

on drsmithfoster--- they had blackpowder for special--- aquaitance of mine has told me that is all he has ever added except for new water--- anyone have knoweledge or experience with this product-- or recommend another?

and one more question-- can i use this and purpleup at the same time?


Premium Member
Nutrition and trace element supplementation are sorta two different things. For the most part, you're not going to need to do much trace element supplementation apart from Calcium and Alkalinity if you do regular water changes. The bottom line is don't add anything that you can't test to determine if it needs to be added.

For now, buy a good Calcium, Alkalnity, and Magnesium test kit and monitor those levels. It's unlikely they'll need to be supplemented until you have a large number of rapidly growing calcifying organisms like stony corals and clams.

As for "nutrition" most corals will get by fine on good light and what they can absorb from the water column and catch when the fish are fed. There is a fine line between the benefits of spot feeding corals and the consequences of deteriorating water quality due to overfeeding. You're best to err on the side of caution when it comes to feeding corals, especially if you're new to the hobby. It's very easy to "love them to death."


Love The Fish
When I first started I dumped just about anything I could find into my tank. I really dont think most had any effect. Now I just use Iodine, Strontium, and Calcium and I test for strotium and calcium. (even though not as often as I should.) I personally feel that most products are a gimmic and there is one for just about anything. Someone is getting very rich, but not from my money. Im gonna invent a supplement that cleans the skimmer cup for you. LOL


New member
I agree, the supplement manufacturers are making a pretty penny, selling things that most reef tanks don't really need.

For trace elements, "Don't add what you can't test" is something I've read here at RC many, many times. It seems like good advice to me.

Regular water changes will take care of the trace elements. Most corals don't need to be fed beyond what they intercept when you feed the fishes.


New member
wow, that is the best advice i think i have read and the cheapest.

without this website my tank could never have happened. thank you. I could however use some advice on which test kits to buy, where, and prameters to test.

currently i take my water to a reef store and they tend to always tell me i am spot on with my chem, however my mg is lower-think she told me 25, where it need to be up around 28? anyways the only thing i have been adding was purple up everyday-4caps, and iodine-4caps a week.
i have also started getting mg but buffered and in a soultion-

i don't and havent done anything else other than water changes-