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Reef Carbonate Product - Necessary?


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I have a 5 gallon nano reef aquarium, with hermits, snails, a shrimp and a pair of juvinile clownfish, and some soft corals poylps (xenias - but unsure on proper name). My question was, from my research on the net, additives are not neccesary for small tanks like mine as the salts provide it all with water changes. However, I use saltwater from my LFS instead of salts, so when I told an employee at the LFS that, they recommended adding "Seachem Reef Complete". So this is the way I will do that. However, carbonates are also needed, so is it necessary to also add "Seachem Reef Carbonates" or buy anything like that?


Tnx for replies in advance,

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Waterchanges should be all you need for a 5 gallon. The only time you add anything is if you test for it and find a deficiency. The LFS employee is just trying to make money off you. I know this because he doesn't know what your water parameters are.


If you measure your calcium and/or alkalinity steadily dropping, then its time to get on a dosing regimen. And even then, there are other things you can use than Seachem (which I hear is high in borate salts which can build up = bad). Baking soda will take care of alkalinity (carbonates) and calcium chloride will take care of calcium (use dowflake or Kent liq calcium). There are also 2 part additive systems like B-Ionic and Kent products.


On top of all that, I don't think you should keep 2 clowns in a 5 gallon. Juviniles might be OK for awhile, but I keep an adult in a 25 gallon system, and he makes too big of a mess in that tank. There aren't really any fish that would to appreciate being in a 5 gallon, but a small goby might be more comfortable and easy to maintain. I'd shoot for a clown goby or one of those green-stripe buggers.

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