Stability in Reef Aquariums

Maintaining conditions is vital to the success of a reef aquarium. Corals come from an environment that doesn't change much during the passing of a year so any fluctuations can have a significant effect on the corals within your aquarium. Larger systems fluctuate less than small ones. Regular water changes can help replace trace elements and regular top ups with r.o can help maintain salinity but often you need to add supplements to help replace what is lost. There are many brands of supplements available in the UK, we use good quality Red Sea products on the aquariums we maintain but the basic dosing can be applied with other brands you just need to adjust to their concentration of solution. 

We always water change a small percentage regularly and we dose with various supplements to help maintain a balance. The more often you dose the more stable the environment is. You can dose manually or through a dosing system. We recommend daily dosing. Red Sea provide a great set of Reef Care Recipes which give you a basic guide to what you need to dose an aquarium (daily per 100L). The dose rates are only a guide and do vary from tank to tank so you need to test your water with quality test kits at least a couple of times a week in order to adjust the rate of dose for each of your supplements. We recommend that you check the magic 7; KH/Alkalinity, Calcium, Magnesium, pH, nitrate, salinity and phosphate as the basic set of tests. Nitrate and phosphate come under algae management and are covered in a later article but are also key in the success of your aquarium.

Every article that you read is different, authors have their own set of recommendations and dose rates that work for them. We use the Red Sea Recipes as a guide only. I like to dose all r.o water that we use with Red Sea ABC+ powder as I hate using none-buffered top up water. This powder adds; calcium, kH, magnesium as well as a few trace elements. This works well on its own on small tanks along with water changes but on larger tanks we find that extra KH, calcium, magnesium and minor trace elements are also required. As I have said before you need to test regularly and find out what works for you. 

The aquarium pictured above runs with a calcium reactor. Calcium reactors use acid CO2 to slowly dissolve dead coral skeletons within the unit. The dissolving skeleton 'releases' the trapped elements within and constantly doses the aquarium. Once dialed in these provide a constant dose of elements to your aquarium hopefully removing the need to manually dose. But again you need to test regularly to ensure levels are maintained. You may still need to use some supplements if your tests show that you need anything extra.

All our maintenance customers enjoy 10% off all consumable Red Sea products. If you would like any further info drop us an email. We can do a one off health visit or even provide you with a regular service plan.