Q & A
WATER CHEMISTRY & ADDITIVES
During preparing Component 1+, after a day or so I often get a brown residue on the bottom of the container. Is it ok?
Brown residue is the excess of iron, there’s no need to remove it from the container.
When making my own Component 1+ 2+ 3+ with the dry Calcium, Magnesium and KH Buffer, I was wondering if the homemade mixed solution is exactly the same as the premade solution.
You can mix your own Component 1+2+3+ using:
Solution 1: Calcium + Strong A + Strong B
Solution 2: KH Buffer + Strong C
Solution 3: Magnesium + Reef Mineral Salt + Strong K
Anyone having issues raising alkalinity with aquaforest kh plus? Or does it just gradually rise? Its at 7 right now was told that is on the low side or is it ok?
We recommend to keep KH levels between 6,5-8,0. Please, do not raise KH more than 1.0 dKH/day.
Question about calcium reactor vs balling. The AF balling process includes mineral salts as the third dosing part. I use a calcium reactor and was wondering if I am missing out on anything by not dosing the mineral salts.
Reef Mineral Salt is required to use with Calcium Chloride and Sodium Bicarbonate. If you are running Calcium reactor there is no need to use Reef Mineral Salt.
I just started to use Components 1+ 2+ 3+, but Ca readings are 519. Should I still dose all three Components equally or reduce the dose of Component 1+ which says it is Calcium?
We advise you do keep on administering equal doses and in order to raise one of the parameters use the needed additive: Calcium, Magnesium or KH Buffer.
Can I dilute your Calcium, KH Buffer and Magnesium with less water in order to make stronger solution? If yes, what is the limit? The reason is my tank doesn’t evaporate much, and if I use your recommended dosage, I will add much water to my tank.
Yes, it’s possible to make stronger solutions of Calcium and Magnesium. In order to keep it safe, we recommend preparing doses maxiumum 2 or 3 times stronger. Solution of higher concentration may clog the pump. KH Buffer is a saturated solution, therefore you can’t get higher concentration.
What is the best time to dose Components 1+ 2+ 3+? I’ve been manually dosing magnesium in the morning, alkalinity in the evening, and calcium druing the night. Tommorow I get dosing pump, so I will be able to program the most optimal time.
Split into as many toses at it is possible during 24 hours. Some aquarists, owning auto monitoring KH tools found that corals consume more KH while they are lit. From our experience, small doses during 24 hours period work best.
What’s the difference between KH Buffer and KH Plus?
KH Buffer is powdered while KH Plus is ready to use fluid.
Can I heat up RO water in a microwave before mixing my own Components 1+ 2+ 3+? I noticed that the powders dissolve better in a warmer water.
KH Buffer will disolve better when water will be warmer but when water will cool down some of the powder will precipitates.
I have a question about AF Protect Dip. It says “Do not use the product if fish, snails, mussels, crabs or shrimp are in the tank”. I understand that the solution shouldn’t enter the tank, but this seems that the product shouldn’t be used at all if above mentioned critters are present. Could you please clarify?
AF Protect Dip should be used in a separate tank (outside the main tank). After dipping you can put corals back into the main tank without any harm to other tank inhabitants.
How does Reef Mineral Salt work?
It is a common misconception among reefers that administering NaCl free salt is primarily supposed to replenish trace elements. The main task of Sodium Chloride free salt is to maintain ionic balance of aquarium water. NaCl free salt is one of the most important components of the Balling method, and it plays a significant role when Calcium Chloride and Sodium Bicarbonate supplementation is in place. The use of NaCl free salt is not so common any more, and application of the Balling method is often limited to 2 or sometimes 3 of its main components. This approach will probably not cause any problems for several weeks or even months, but in the meantime the chemical reactions that take place in the marine aquarium will lead to a deficit of trace elements.
How long Aquaforest Perfect Water can be used once opened?
In general, AF Perfect Water should be used immediately after opening. Water won’t get outdated, though, openning the bottle may cause contaminating water. Decomposing contaminants may cause phosphate raise.
Can I continue to use an algae scrubber using the probiotic method along with the Probiotic Reef Salt?
Yes you can but remember that Probiotic Reef Salt is highly effective salt to reduce nitrate and phosphate.
What’s the role of Strontium in reef aquarium? Is it necessary to supplement it?
Strontium, besides calcium and magnesium, is one of the most important elements in natural sea water. Its level in natural sea water is 8 ppm. It is strongly assimilated along with calcium in both the coral skeletons and shells of marine invertebrates. According to our research ratio of Ca: Sr dissolved from calcium reactors is below normal levels taken out by corals during calcification. Additional supplementation is necessary and linked with rapid coral growth.
When you guys will make strong element in 1000 ml?
In 200 and 2000 ml containers we have Component A, Component B, Component C. We have no plans to sell bigger containers with Components Strong.
How can I boost my corals colouration? Can I do this using Component ABC?
There are many ways to colour corals. First thing is a proper microelements dosage and second one is corals supplementation.
If you use Component 1+2+3+ – it contains macro and microelements which are necessary for proper corals colouration. Though trace elements supplementation is important to get astonishing colouring of corals, overdosing may be dangerous to the tank. That’s why we prepared products of different concentrations, so that your reef is always safe with us.
If you make your own Component 1+2+3+ (using Calcium, Magnesium, KH Buffer and Reef Mineral Salt) you should use Components Strong as microelements completion. You can also use Components ABC – it also comes in 200 ml bottles and in 2000 ml size which is perfect for dosing pumps. The difference between all the mentioned products is the concentration of microelements. For advanced users we recommend to dose selected microelements like: Iodum, Strontium, Fluorine, Kalium, Iron, Micro E.
Microelements concentration from the least concentrated product: Component A, B, C < Components Strong < Fluorine, Iodine, Strontium, Micro E
Since it’s easy to overdose, it’s important to monitor microelements levels. That’s why we created products containing less concentraed microelements. Firstly – they’re safer to use by novice auqarists, secondly – they work perfect for less demanding aquariums, where the consumption is lower.
Corals supplementation is also extremely important in boosting colors. Including ABEV (Amino Mix, Build, Energy, Vitality) supplements into your tank routine will give you a noticeable effect. In systems with strong filtration it’s necessary to provide more nutrients into the tank. Hungry corals get pale and colorless, so we need to extra feed them.
If your corals lose their colouration and start browning it may be a sign of too high levels of nitrate in phosphate. We recommend performing water tests and using one of our NO3 & PO4 reducers like NitraPhos Minus or – in case of tank run on Aquaforest Probiotic Method – -NP Pro and Pro Bio S.
The recommended microelement levels:
Fluorine: 1.3 mgl/l (ppm)
Strontium: 5-15 mg/l(ppm)
Potassium: 360-380 mg/l (ppm)
Iron: 0,006– 0,012 mg/l (ppm)
Iodine: 0.06 mg/l (ppm)
Is it true that Component A will colour up the reds of SPS corals?
Component A contains strontium and barium which saturate all the colors, reds including.
What colour does Component B color up ?
Component B contains heavy metals (cobalt, copper, chrome, manganese, vanadium, zinc, nickel, iron) – it will boost green colouration.
Will Component C color up the blues of SPS corals?
Yes, Component C contains iodine and fluorine – that will boost blue colouration
I dose Iodum and Strontium as recommended (1 drop/100 litres of water) but I can’t get the levels up to minimum. What do you recommend?
You should try to slowly increase the dosage of both elements and monitor water parameters. Be careful though, it’s very easy to overdose microelements while using a highly concentrated products. Moreover, iodine is a volatile element, so it needs constant supplementation even after reaching proper level of it.
Should I dose Iodum, Kalium, Iron, Fluorine and Micro E with lights off or on?
Iodine and Fluorine are halides and as such they are reactive and broken down in strong light. As a precaution you can dose them after lights out. For all the other elements it makes no difference.
Can we purchase Components Strong separately?
Components Strong are dedicated for users who mix their own balling mixtures. Since they should be dosed in equal amounts, it’s not possible to buy it separately.
If I use Micro E, do I need to buy Componet B or it’s the same?
Micro E contains the same elements as Component B, although Micro E has higher concentration. If your aquarium’s consumption is high enough, you should just keep on dosing Micro E.
What do you think about dosing micro e in reef tank? It contains copper which is toxic for inverts…
Copper content in our products is very low and completely safe for aquatic life. Presence of copper in our products’ composition is determined by natural environment – copper content in natural sea water is low (0.0009 ppm) but noticeable.
I am adding 123 and Amino Mix, Vitality, Energy, Build and Phyto Mix every other day. My NO3 and PO4 are both undetectable. I have noticed my green acropora is becoming pale. Should I add Iron too? Or Micro-e? Should I increase Phyto Mix or add additives during day (as it seems my corals are closed at night).
It all depends on your water parameters, definitely you shouldn’t overfeed your corals and adjust the dosage to the current coral cast. It’s good that the nutrients are within range. You’re right that iron will boost green coloration. This product is highly concentrated, so if you’re not sure about the iron consumption in your tank or have never dosed microelements you can start with Micro E and observe your corals.
Recently I’ve checked my potassium levels and it’s 370. Should I raise the level by dosing Kalium? How much should I add to raise potassium to 400?
1 ml of Kalium (15 drops) will rise potassium level by 1,8 ppm in 100 l of water. You should adjust the dose according to your aquarium size and coral cast. Although, the recommended level of potassium in the reef aquarium is 360-380 mg/l.
When using a calcium reactor, is there any need to dose anything like Component 1+, 2+, 3+?
If you are dosing Ca and KH from calcium reactor you don’t need Component 1+, 2+, 3+ (which also contains these macroelements). Although, you can dose Component ABC which contains microelements.
PROBIOTICS & NITRIFICATION
Will Pro Bio S and -NP Pro reduce nitrate if phosphate level is 0.03 ppm?
Pro Bio S and -NP Pro combined together create a powerful combination for lowering both nutrients levels. You should dose them carefully and regularly monitor nitrate and phosphate levels, otherwise you may end up with reducing both parameters to 0.
What dosing schedule should I keep with Pro Bio S and -NP Pro?
It’s good to dose it at the same time of the day.
Can I use -NP Pro and Pro Bio S together with NitraPhos Minus?
Pro Bio S and -NP Pro are dedicated especially for Aquaforest Probiotic Method. We’re aware that not everyone uses full Probiotic Method, so, listening to our customers, we decided to create product that will be suitable for all kinds of tanks. NitraPhos Minus was designed to quickly remove from the high levels of nitrate and phosphate. You can use both products together, but nitrate and phosphate levels reduction will be very strong and you should carefully observe your aquarium.
After setting up a new aquarium I have lots of Bio S left. What do I do with it?
Bio S is perfect not only for starting nitrification process in new aquariums, but also for replenishment of bacterial strains in matured aquariums. Use it during water changes. In matured aquariums, it accelerates the decomposition of food residues, as well as other organic compounds and sediments.
Can I mix up Probiotic Reef Salt and leave it in a container with a heater and pump for later use?
We recommend to use Probiotic Reef Salt after 15-30min of mixing but not more then 24 h. After this 24 h probiotic bacteria will die. It will not harm your tank but you will lose benefits coming for using this salt.
What is the difference between the Probiotic Reef Salt and the Reef Salt?
Reef Salt – Fully synthetic marine salt for SPS and LPS Corals
Probiotic Reef Salt – Fully synthetic marine salt for SPS and LPS Corals – contains probiotic bacteria, culture medium for them, amino acids and vitamins. We recommend to use saltwater immediately after dissolved. Maximum time of store fresh saltwater is 24 h.
I still use Pro Bio S when using Probiotic Reef Salt is it correct?
Should I turn off the skimmer while dosing Pro Bio S and -NP Pro?
There’s no such need.
Is it a must to use Life Bio Fil and Phosphate Minus when starting up? Can I use Bio S, Pro Bio S and -NP Pro?
It is not a must. Much depends on the nutrients locked up in the sand and rocks. Using just the biological products will take a couple of weeks to start working. You should consider media for the bacteria to grow in and on like Life Bio Fil. If there is a lot of nutrients in the rock and sand it’s better to start with Phosphate Minus as well.
I’m having issues with high nitrates and low phosphate, starting to have hair algae, phosphate 0.00, nitrate 60. I’m new to Aquaforest and I was thinking about trying the -NP Pro and the Bio S. Is this a good choice?
Pro Bio S and -NP Pro are bacteria and carbon source. Since you’re dealing with nitrate and phosphate imbalance Life Bio Fil and/or Zeo Mix would be a better choice. Life Bio Fil has bacteria preloaded for nitrogen waste and Zeo Mix removes ammonia before it becomes nitrate.
Is there a connection between nutrition level and colour of corals, especially SPS?
SPS colours are influenced by a number of things. Lower nutrients promote better colours when higher nutrients lead to a thicker skin which dulls colours. Parameters close to NSW are better for colours than higher values. Corals colours also are influenced by trace elements: iron for green, iodine for blue, potassium and boron for reds and orange.