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1/25/04 - Dosing, Supplements and Testing

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I've noticed in the past couple of weeks that there seems to be quite a few questions regarding the use of supplements and what types of supplements everyone is using.


As we all know, supplements should not be used at all until the proper test has been done to determine whether dosing even needs to be done.


I think it's important to get across the correct information about the use of supplements, proper dosing techniques and most importantly water testing.


So what kinds of problems have you had in the past with testing and dosing? We all know it's not at all easy to keep the water params in check in our small glass boxes full of rocks and water.

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I actually am a fine example of what not to do when dosing your nano. For a very long time, I wasn't testing my water. We're talking months of not testing. Just doing my water changes, and dumping in supplements sporadically, until one day I had a snowstorm in the minibow after adding the calcium part of my b-ionic. Yup, saturation. What I found when I did my ca and alk test was pretty surprising. my alk was very low and of course my ca was very high over 600. pH was fine surprisingly. I ended up doing wc's every other day for a week or so to try and correct the problem.


It's been about 2 months since I did that and I'm still fiddling with my dosing trying to get my levels in the proper range, still doing the water changes and I now test my water religiously each week to see where my pH, alk and ca are and how much I need to dose to try and get the levels where they should be.

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doseing for my 20G has been a little confusing becouse as i have added more corals the uptake of Ca has increased but i was testing from the start my LFS will test all water parameters for free

i have tried a few things as far as suppliments to the tank and i think i have found what works well for me

basicaly i am coping from someone else who has had good results over a much longer period of time


i dose ever day or 2 1 day seachem reef advantage calcium w/ stronium and magnesium ( supposedly doesn't lower alk B.S.)

and i add kent superbuffer on a differnt day

i test the water every week but lately i have been testing bi weekly just to find a balance which i may have found becouse i have had to double my Ca dose in the past 2 months to compensate for my new stoney frags

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Good topic. Could be opening a pandora's box though.


There are people who would say the very idea of dosing begs the question. Do we need to be dosing all these different elements? I've seen threads where Strontium appears to be unneeded and possibly even a negative thing to add (at very least a limiting factor to growth of things such as coralline and other corals that use calcium). Same goes for Iodine if overdosed.


This is based on someone's supposed scientific study (I say supposed because I don't know the person and how they conducted the study but by all outward appearances, they looked credible).


As far as things such as Ca, I know that it definitely needs to be added as it is a major component for a lot of corals' skeletons. Caja, I would definitely agree with you that testing needs to be done before any dosing is done. Reefing isn't a mad science where you throw in a little bit of this and a little bit of that. It needs to be measured, analyszed then remedied slowly if there is a problem.

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