Sea Chem Products at Coastal Reef: For detailed info and instructions about each product scroll down or click their link above from Supplies, SeaChem tabs.
Water Conditioning: SeaChem Prime
Calcium, Alkalinity, & pH:
Kalkwasser, Reef Fusion 1 & 2, Advantage Calcium, Reef Builder, Marine Buffer Powder
Phosphae Removal: Phosguard
Prime® is the complete and concentrated conditioner for both fresh and salt water. Prime® removes chlorine, chloramine and ammonia. Prime® converts ammonia into a safe, non-toxic form that is readily removed by the tank’s biofilter. Prime® may be used during tank cycling to alleviate ammonia/nitrite toxicity. Prime® detoxifies nitrite and nitrate, allowing the biofilter to more efficiently remove them. It will also detoxify any heavy metals found in the tap water at typical concentration levels. Prime® also promotes the production and regeneration of the natural slime coat. Prime® is non-acidic and will not impact pH. Prime® will not overactivate skimmers. Use at start-up and whenever adding or replacing water.
Sizes: 50 mL, 100 mL, 250 mL, 500 mL, 2 L, 4 L, 20 L
Why It’s Different
Nearly all companies manufacture a product that removes chlorine. None of those, however, can compare in quality, concentration, or effectiveness to Seachem’s flagship product: Prime®. Prime® is the second most concentrated dechlorinator on the market after our own aquavitro alpha™. A single 100 mL bottle will treat 1000 US gallons of tap water. Prime® will remove both chlorine and chloramines from municipal water supplies.
Prime® also contains a binder which renders ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate non-toxic. It is very important to understand how those two functions work together. All dechlorinators operate through a chemical process known as reduction. In this process, toxic dissolved chlorine gas (Cl2) is converted into non-toxic chloride ions (Cl-). The reduction process also breaks the bonds between chlorine and nitrogen atoms in the chloramine molecule (NH2Cl), freeing the chlorine atoms and replacing them with hydrogen (H) to create ammonia (NH3).
Typically, dechlorinators stop there, leaving an aquarium full of toxic ammonia! Seachem takes the necessary next step by including an ammonia binder to detoxify the ammonia produced in the reduction process.
Be very careful when purchasing water conditioners. If your municipality includes chloramines in the water supplies, a standard sodium thiosulfate dechlorinator is not enough. Prime® promotes the natural production and restoration of the slime coat rather than relying on artificial or non-native slime compounds. A further bonus for the reef hobbyist—Prime® will not overactivate protein skimmers.
Use 1 capful (5 mL) for each 200 L (50 gallons*) of new water. This removes approximately 1 mg/L ammonia, 4 mg/L chloramine, or 5 mg/L chlorine. For smaller doses, please note each cap thread is approx. 1 mL. May be added to aquarium directly, but better if added to new water first. If adding directly to aquarium, base dose on aquarium volume. Sulfur odor is normal. For exceptionally high chloramine concentrations, a double dose may be used safely. To detoxify nitrite in an emergency, up to 5 times normal dose may be used. If temperature is > 30 °C (86 °F) and chlorine or ammonia levels are low, use a half dose.
Marine Buffer™ will safely raise marine pH to 8.3. It will not raise pH above 8.3 even if inadvertently overdosed. Marine Buffer™ is a blended product and is not just sodium bicarbonate or sodium carbonate, commonly sold as a substitute. Such products can raise pH to dangerous levels if not used properly. Marine Buffer™ contains sodium, magnesium, calcium, strontium, and potassium salts of carbonate, bicarbonate, chloride, sulfate, and borate.
Sizes: 50 g, 250 g, 500 g, 1 kg, 4 kg, 20 kg, 100 kg
Why It’s Different
Total Alkalinity is a measurement of three main ions: carbonate, bicarbonate, and borate. In saltwater, bicarbonate drives the pH toward 7.8, carbonate drives pH toward 9.1, and borate toward 9.5 or more. Because of the chemistry of buffering systems, the closer you get the pH to the pK of a buffering system, the harder it is for the pH to shift. So, if you blend a buffer so that the combined product drives the pH toward 8.3, then the more you use, the more stable the pH becomes. That is the principle behind Marine Buffer™. It is a blended buffer that drives and holds your pH at 8.3 because of the blend. The catch to this seemingly simple solution is that most salt mixes contain substantial amounts of bicarbonate salts. This shifts the pK of the buffering system further towards 7.8, and a buffer that shoots for 8.3 will never quite get there. Thus, the pK of Marine Buffer is actually slightly higher than 8.3 in order to combat the influx of bicarbonate at every water change. Marine Buffer™ was the first buffer on the market which contained borate salts (which make a saltwater buffering system much more stable), and Marine Buffer™ remains the most effective pH buffer on the market for marine aquaria.
Add 5 g (1 level teaspoon) for each 80 L (20 gallons*). Dissolve in at least one cup of freshwater. This dose will also raise alkalinity by about 1 meq/L. Add daily until pH stabilizes at 8.3. This will take from a day to a week, depending on original pH and alkalinity. Thereafter, use biweekly or monthly to maintain a pH of 8.3. If this practice is not adequate, then overstocking, overfeeding, or other poor management practice should be sought as a likely cause. In ionically balanced marine water, Marine Buffer™ produces little precipitate or cloudiness. If an extensive precipitate forms upon addition of Marine Buffer™ that does not dissolve within ~15 minutes, then poor ionic balance was present. A water change should be initiated when convenient before further use of the product. Effectiveness improves with continued use. Do not directly mix with any calcium, magnesium, or strontium supplement.
Reef Fusion two part system:
Reef Fusion 1™ and Reef Fusion 2™ are the foundation of a system formulated to provide the essentials for the reef aquarium. Reef Fusion 1™ provides calcium, while Reef Fusion 2™ provides alkalinity. When used together, the Reef Fusion™ system will maintain calcium and alkalinity levels.
Reef Fusion 1™ provides not only 100,000 mg/L of ionic calcium, but also includes biologically appropriate levels of magnesium, strontium, boron, iron, manganese, and molybdenum.
Reef Fusion 2™ contains a mixture of carbonates and bicarbonates at an alkalinity of 4400 meq/L. It is designed to restore and maintain alkalinity in the reef aquarium and provide calcareous species with the essential carbonate needed for growth.
When used as directed, Reef Fusion 1™ and Reef Fusion 2™ will maintain the critical levels of calcium and alkalinity necessary for healthy coral growth, while providing biologically appropriate levels of other elements and trace minerals.
Sizes: 500 mL, 1 L, 2 L, 4 L
Why It’s Different
Reef Fusion is different from our other calcium and carbonate supplements in that Reef Fusion 1 & 2 are specifically designed to be used together in a simple 1:1 ratio. There are similar products on the market, but the Reef Fusion system is the most concentrated two part system for maintaining calcium and carbonate alkalinity available.
Dose aquarium every 1-2 days. Shake well before using. Add 1 mL of Reef Fusion 1™ per 25 L (6.5 US gallons) of water. (For reference purposes, the cap holds 5 mL.) Add this to a high current area of the tank. Wait a few minutes, then add Reef Fusion 2™ in the same manner, 1 mL per 25 L (6.5 US gallons), after shaking well. It is preferred that the two products be added to separate locations in the tank.
This dose contributes 4 mg/L of calcium, and 0.176 meq/L of alkalinity. Never mix Reef Fusion 1™ with Reef Fusion 2™ directly. DO NOT EXCEED A DOSE OF 4 mL IN 25 L (6.5 US GALLONS) PER DAY OF EACH PRODUCT.
Maintain calcium level between 410-430 mg/L. Maintain alkalinity between 4-6 meq/L. Size or frequency of dose may be increased if dosing regimen is insufficient to maintain calcium and alkalinity in these ranges.
Reef Advantage Calcium:
Reef Advantage Calcium™ is a non-caustic (pH 8.3–8.6) optimized blend of ionic calcium designed to restore and maintain calcium to levels found in natural seawater. Calcium and carbonates are essential to all coral growth. If either becomes deficient, coral growth will cease, followed by a rapid decline in coral health.
Reef Advantage Calcium™ also includes magnesium and strontium in amounts proportionate to typical utilization ratios (100:5:0.1, Ca:Mg:Sr). This allows one to maintain these two important elements while maintaining calcium. Unlike limewater (kalkwasser), Reef Advantage Calcium™ does not have a caustic pH and will not deplete magnesium. Used as directed, it will not deplete alkalinity.
Sizes: 50 g, 250 g, 500 g, 1 kg, 4 kg, 20 kg
BEGINNER: Use 5 g (1 level teaspoon*) per 150 L (40 gallons*) twice a week. Dissolve in at least 250 mL (1 cup*) of freshwater. Check calcium every 2 weeks and adjust amount or frequency accordingly. ADVANCED: Check calcium level, then follow addition regimen above until calcium is adjusted to 380–420 mg/L. Each 5 g/150 L will raise calcium by about 12 mg/L. Quantity or frequency can be adjusted, but do not exceed 10 g/150L per day. Thereafter, use as required to maintain calcium. EXPERT: After determining the calcium consumption rate, set up a continuous drip system. Use the following formula to determine how much to add to your top-off water: m=vc/400 (m=grams to add to top off water, v=volume of tank in liters, c=amount to raise calcium in mg/L). For example, if you want to raise calcium by 25 mg/L in a 200 liter tank, then you would add 200×25/400=12.5 g into the top-off water. [For reference: 1 gallon*=3.8 liters, 5 g=1 teaspoon*]. HINTS: If used with Reef Calcium™, it is not necessary to exceed 380 mg/L total calcium. Use Reef Status™: Calcium to measure calcium.
DO NOT OVERDOSE: Excess calcium may enhance the loss of carbonate alkalinity. Do not directly mix with any carbonate supplement. Best if calcium & carbonate additives are added on alternate days or at least 30 minutes apart.
Reef Kalkwasser™is a pure calcium hydroxide with unsurpassed purity and solubility characteristics. Calcium hydroxide is used to prepare limewater (kalkwasser) solutions that will maintain calcium concentrations at natural seawater levels. Kalkwasser solutions maintain calcium directly and carbonate alkalinity indirectly. However, its capacity to perform these functions is dependent on evaporation rate and CO2 concentration. If these two factors are insufficient you can provide additional calcium with Reef Advantage Calcium™, Reef Complete®, or Reef Calcium™, and carbonate alkalinity with Reef Builder™ or Reef Carbonate™ (do not mix these directly with a kalkwasser solution).
Many who use kalkwasser are quite successful with their marine systems and find it to be an effective way of maintaining calcium. However, it can be a difficult technique for the beginner to master. The carbonate alkalinity must be monitored and adjusted to ensure that it does not become depleted through chalk (calcium carbonate) precipitation. The magnesium concentration must also be monitored and maintained since precipitation of magnesium hydroxide (arising from excess hydroxyl ions) can lead to a change in the balance of the various buffer systems present which can result in drastic pH shifts. Additionally, magnesium is an essential component of seawater that is required by all corals. There will be an increase in the build up of chalk on substrate and plumbing surfaces which will require more frequent cleanings in order to maintain the proper functioning of the aquarium. If due care and diligence is paid to all of these factors, there is no reason one cannot maintain a successful reef system while using kalkwasser. While Reef Kalkwasser™ is a high purity and economical limewater mix, the beginner, or someone with not as much time to devote to their system, may prefer to use other less involved methods for maintaining proper ionic concentration levels.
Sizes: 250 g, 500 g, 1 kg, 2 kg, 12 kg
Never add this product directly to the tank. Add 3 g (1 teaspoon) to 4 L (1 gallon*) of water and mix to dissolve. If using pure water, a fully saturated solution is prepared by adding 6 g (2 teaspoons) to 4 L (1 gallon*). Drip this solution into tank. Monitor pH and carbonate alkalinity. Adjust rate of addition to maintain a stable pH (8.3–8.4). HINTS: Adding 4 L (1 gallon*) of a saturated kalkwasser solution to 150 L (40 gallons*) will raise calcium by 24 mg/L. Always use the clear supernatant (top solution) only and do not allow undissolved material to enter the aquarium. Keep this container tightly closed when not in use and minimize solution/air contact to avoid calcium carbonate formation/precipitation.
Avoid contact or breathing dust. Do not eat or get in eyes. In case of contact, flush area with water for 5–10 minutes. In case of eye contact, wash eyes with water immediately (5–10 minutes) and seek medical attention.
Reef Builder™ raises carbonate alkalinity without immediately impacting on pH. With long term use there will be a tendency to stabilize at pH 8.3. Carbonates and calcium are essential to all coral growth. If either becomes deficient, coral growth will cease, followed by a rapid decline in coral health. Used as directed, Reef Builder™ will not deplete calcium, magnesium, or strontium which usually tend to precipitate with increasing alkalinity. Reef Builder™ and Reef Buffer™ may be used together. Use Reef Builder™ to raise carbonate alkalinity without affecting pH. Use Reef Buffer™ to raise carbonate alkalinity and pH.
Sizes: 50 g, 250 g, 500 g, 1 kg, 4 kg, 20 kg
Why It’s Different
Unlike the competition, Reef Builder™ contains calcium, magnesium, and strontium to compensate for the inevitable loss which occurs when raising alkalinity. It also contains sufficient magnesium to restore magnesium routinely depleted.
BEGINNER: Use 3 g (half a level teaspoon*) per 150 L (40 gallons*) twice a week. Dissolve in at least 250 mL (1 cup*) of freshwater. Check alkalinity every 2 weeks and adjust amount or frequency accordingly.
ADVANCED: Check alkalinity, then follow addition regimen above until alkalinity is adjusted to 4–5 meq/L. Each 3 g/150 L will raise alkalinity by about 0.25 meq/L. Quantity or frequency can be adjusted, but do not exceed 12 g/150 L per day. Thereafter, use as required to maintain alkalinity.
EXPERT: After determining the alkalinity consumption rate, set up a continuous drip system. Use the following formula to determine how much to add to your top-off water: m=0.08va (m=grams to add to top off water, v=volume of tank in liters, a=amount to raise alkalinity in meq/L). For example, if you want to raise your alkalinity by 1 meq/L in a 200 liter tank, then you would add 0.08x200x1=16 g into the top-off water. [For reference: 1 gallon*=3.8 liters, 6 g=1 teaspoon*]. Notes: Use MultiTest:™ Marine pH & Alkalinity to measure total alkalinity.
PhosGuard™ rapidly removes phosphate and silicate from marine and freshwater aquaria. It is not recommended for phosphate buffered freshwater. PhosGuard™ is highly porous for high capacity and bead-shaped for optimum water flow. It outperforms all competing products.
Sizes: 100 mL 250 mL, 500 mL, 1 L, 2 L, 4 L, 20 L, 100 L
Why It’s Different
PhosGuard is spherical. Its shape allows for maximum water flow through the media. Granular phosphate removers can become compacted, dramatically limiting their capacity to remove phosphate. If the media can’t come into contact with the water, it can’t remove phosphate from it. PhosGuard is the only spherical phosphate remover on the market. ***Aluminum Oxide IS NOT REGENERABLE. No matter what anyone tells you, baking an aluminum oxide media does not restore its capacity to remove phosphate. This misconception comes from the product’s original intended use: industrial air drying. Obviously, if a product absorbs moisture, the best way to remove that moisture is to bake it out. However, that only removes the water, not the contaminants contained in that water.***
Aluminum Oxide, Soluble Aluminum, and Coral Toxicity
In recent years, there has been speculation that aluminum oxide based phosphate removers like PhosGuard™ release aluminum into the water and subsequently damage corals. The evidence to support this claim was largely anecdotal.
So, through a series of controlled experiments in both freshwater and saltwater, we intended to address both the question of aluminum solubility and aluminum toxicity. The results of these experiments show that under reef conditions (pH near 8) there is no detectable soluble aluminum released from alumina. Under conditions of low pH and high dosage levels, soluble aluminum can be released from alumina; at three times the label dosage rate, we detected 0.2 mg/L aluminum at a pH of 5.3.
Additionally, aluminum oxide is not easily absorbed into the cell to cause negative reactions. Even at three times the dose of PhosGuard™, soft-bodied corals such as Sarcophyton remain unaffected.
For best results, PhosGuard™ should be placed so as to maximize the flow of water through it. It may be used in a canister filter, box filter, or any high flow area of a trickle filter. In some situations it may be necessary to use in a filter bag. Use 250 mL (~1 cup) for every 300 L (75 gallons*). Leave product in place for 4 days, then test phosphate or silicate concentrations with either MultiTest: Phosphate™ or MultiTest: Silicate™. If the concentration of the component you are trying to decrease has not dropped to around 0.02 mg/L, then replace the PhosGuard™, otherwise leave in place until levels begin to climb again. As long as concentrations remain under control, the product is not exhausted. Each 500 mL of PhosGuard™ treats over 600 L (150 gallons*) (i.e. will remove up to 30 mg/L phosphate in 600 L (150 gallons*) of water, depending on the initial phosphate/silicate concentrations and the current biological load. Over treating is not recommended. PhosGuard™ is not an exchange resin, it does not release anything into the water. It does not leach phosphate or silicate back into the water and may be removed, dried, and returned to service until exhausted. Continuous use of small quantities is better than intermittent use of larger quantities. Caution! May generate heat on initial contact with water. Pre-wet by adding to a double volume of freshwater (e.g. 250 mL of product in 500 mL water), followed by a rinse.