Sea Chem: Calcium, Alkalinity, & pH Hard Goods

Marine Buffer    

 

Product Description

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.

Directions

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:

Product Description

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.

Directions

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:

Product Description

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

Directions

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

Product Description

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

Directions

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

Product Description

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.

Directions

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.

 

 

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