What brands do you use for additives?

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Premium Member
In my case, I use limewater for calcium and alkalinity and DIY iron for macroalgae and DIY silicate for sponges, etc. Nothing else (well, except some extra calcium and magnesium in my new Instant Ocean salt water). IMO, many additives are unnecessary, and possibly even detrimental. Water changes are a better way, IMO. Some of these things are already quite high in many tanks. Don't be fooled by all the claims for different elements boosting different colors. There is no such clear connection.

This has more:

The “How To” Guide to Reef Aquarium Chemistry for Beginners, Part 2: What Chemicals Must be Supplemented
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2007-04/rhf/index.php
 

osi

New member
In srilanka pet shops doesn’t sell marine stuff. Used to buy it online but last 2 years I bought all the stuff I need (CaCl2 , MgSO4 and NaHCO3 ) from local drug stores and chemical shops. No brands and not analytical grade stuff.

My tank running smoothly, lot of coralline and lot of coral and sponge growth. Only bad thing I noticed was start getting bit of alga on my LR even I’m running a 8 square feet turf scrubber and 4 feet long sea grass bed.

I use natural sea water and change 1/4 (about 200 gallons) of the total system amount once in every 3 months.
 

Yogre

Cheesehead Reefer
I use Bulk Reef Supply for Ca and Mg supplementation in my Instant Ocean water changes.

For Ca and alkalinity supplementation in my tank, I use either Mrs. Wages or Bulk Reef Supply calcium hyroxide.
 

Steve Wright2

New member
Im also in favour of using the Mrs. Wages to purchase my supplements
and with that money I currently buy Seachems Advantage calcium and Reef Builder at present
but will be moving to Kents Coral builder very soon due to the amount of precipitation in the dosing line and container I get with the Reef builder product
I have tested the Coral builder, using same strenght of solution/ same qty of water and find it is more soluble and stays in solution better for me


Steve
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Premium Member
Feel free to run any particular products by us here. There are a LOT of products with bogus claims, even from the big name suppliers mentioned above. :)
 

mrkmas

In Memoriam
Thanks Randy, I will take you up on that offer. I work at a LFS so I wanted to get some opinions as I have been disconnected from the hobby for awhile. One thing that I have learned very quickly is that the representatives and companies themselves know what they are talking about, so I cant seem to trust them.

What I am currently using in my tank at the store is:
Caribsea Purple up ( after some discussion in another forum, I found out it doesnt add calcium to the tank in the way as an actual calcium additive, which is what I was told by someone) I am going to replace it with Brightwell Reef Code A and B starting next week.

TLF- combisan

Kent- Coral Vite and Strontium and molybdenum

Also using Kent Lugols solution ( 1 oz. bottle with the dropper, I believe its called the pro series?)

I am dosing the tank once a week with the above items with the exclusion being the lugols solution which I am dosing once every 2 weeks.

The main corals I am taking care of are some Large caulastrea and a Large Leather coral and a large Riccordea ( prob about 6 inches in diameter)

Interested in feedback if you believe I am better off using different products? The leather is somewhat bleached at times ( more times than not). The caulastrea looks healthy but doesn't seem to be growing larger. The riccordea looks extremely healthy and seems to be doing very well as it has gotten much larger since I have been doing maintenance to the tank recently.

The tank is a 150G tank with an Aqualight Pro (PC and MH) fixture. The tank was a mess since I took it over from someone who neglected it for awhile ( probably around 2 years+) so as of right now, all of the corals are on live rock that is about 5-10" max off the bottom of the tank. After every water change I do ( usually around 20-30G), I dose the tank with the appropriate amounts of everything listed above for the amount taken out.
I have been very busy the last few weeks doing maintenance on the tank so I am not sure if I did too much at once and agitated the Leather coral. As i said before though, I replaced the water with additives when the new water was added.

Look forward to your opinions/responses.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Premium Member
If you like trace element cocktails, Combisan is probably a reasonable one. Such methods aren't my preference, but some of the ingredients may be useful for some aquaria. I know a person who makes their own equivalent of Combisan and he thinks it has clearly helped a specific coral (a montipora, IIRC). I've added his same mix to my tank a few times with no apparent effect.

As you note, Purple Up is not a useful calcium and alkalinity supplement, since the fine aragonite is not going to dissolve. Whether it has any other utility is hard to say. Some people seem to think it speeds coralline growth.

I do not think strontium is useful. I don't know about molybdenum, but I do not add it.

I don't think iodine is useful for most creatures we keep aside from certain gorgonia. It is not needed for shrimp, mushrooms, etc. and likely has no effect on colors of most things.

Not sure what's in Coral Vite.
 

allsps40

New member
In srilanka pet shops doesn't sell marine stuff. Used to buy it online but last 2 years I bought all the stuff I need (CaCl2 , MgSO4 and NaHCO3 ) from local drug stores and chemical shops. No brands and not analytical grade stuff.

My tank running smoothly, lot of coralline and lot of coral and sponge growth. Only bad thing I noticed was start getting bit of alga on my LR even I'm running a 8 square feet turf scrubber and 4 feet long sea grass bed.

I use natural sea water and change 1/4 (about 200 gallons) of the total system amount once in every 3 months.
NSW is know to have about .08 PO4 in it. IMO you should switch to making your own water, much cleaner and safer.
Feel free to run any particular products by us here. There are a LOT of products with bogus claims, even from the big name suppliers mentioned above. :)
Agreed, 99% of the stuff many major companies sell is snake oil and does nothing. Koral Kolor from Brightwell does nothing at all, used it/wasted money. The additives I buy are kalk, ca, alk, MB7, Iodine or Lugol's, PO4 media and aminos.
 

mrkmas

In Memoriam
Well I will start to wean my tank off the coral vite as I think it has some overlap with the combisan and I trust a TLF product more than a Kent product when I believe they both do similar things.
I am excited to see the difference with the new calcium additive in the tank since that will be the first time the tank has seen any "real" calcium in months ( I hope the corals forgive me) Is their anything I should look for visually on the hard corals to tell they are liking the calcium?
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Premium Member
It is often hard to judge immediately when a coral is happy. Some people judge by polyp extension, but that is not foolproof, IMO. They often expand more in low flow, for example, but that does not necessarily mean they 'prefer" it.

Growth is a better indicator, IMO, but takes a long time to evaluate.

NSW is know to have about .08 PO4 in it. IMO you should switch to making your own water, much cleaner and safer.

It is much lower than that in clean ocean surface waters. That number may apply in some locations, however. :)
 

Paul B

Premium Member
I use Arm and Hammer baking soda, the cheapest brand of Epsom Salts for magnesium, Dow Flake ice melter (thanks Randy) and mud from the Long Island Sound for everything else.

Additive cost for the year, about $3.00 maybe 4
 

tmz

ReefKeeping Mag staff
Premium Member
I use BRS kalk, arm and hammer baking soda for a occassional alk boost,bottom shelf vodka and white vinegar for extra organic carbon and, a bit of Kent iodide since I have gorgonians,and a little Iron by Kent for the macro algae in refugia. Everything else comes from food and water changes.

I do want some of Paul's Long Island Sound mud for my gas tank but he won't ship it.:p
 
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