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Got any Iodides I can borrow?

  What is supplementing ?  It is the addition of an element or compound that is found occuring naturaly in sea water. As an example, If you add calcium, you are supplementing calcium since it is already found to be in sea water. The problem quite a few hobbyists run into is when they supplement any given element or compound to levels above that which is found in sea water. To do so runs the risk of creating toxic levels . Please remember that the biology and chemistry that occurs within our systems is very complex and it is a mistake to think that you can add something "extra" and it will just sit around in the tank harmless while waiting for our livestock to use it. If you can not test for any given element, then please do not add it per a bottles instruction. You would have no way of knowing the level of that element or compound and it will eventualy lead to either becoming toxic to your livestock, or will allow other not so nice things to happen.

 What is an Additive ?  An additive is anything that we add to our aquariums's water that is not already in it. Such as sugar, garlic or any number of other wizardry ingredients. Medicines also fall into the category of being an additive. While helpfull, they of course may have negative consequences for other livestock or the biology of your aquarium system. Which is why any and all medicating of an animal should be performed outside of the main aquarium in a quarantine tank type set up.
  So why do hobbyist use additives? I imagine because they are told only of the so called benefits by the person who is trying to convince them that it is a good idea. The negative consequences are usualy not brought up. Again, the use of sugar is a good example. That and the need by some hobbyists to figure out some recipe or method to get around basic biology and chemistry seems to be a never ending issue. The search for the holy grail that will solve all problems with one swift addition of it.
  Please, if it is not found as an element or compound occuring naturaly in sea water, do not add it.

IN SHORT:  1. Only use those supplements that you are able to test at what level they are at.
                     2. Only use those supplements that you know at what amount it is found in natural sea water.
                     3. Never raise a supplement's level above what is found in natural sea water.
                     4. Never use an additive in your main aquarium. 


Reef aquariums should be kept at 74 to 78 degrees. How many times have you been told that? I for one, see it even now as being the "rule" and suggested as the correct environment for our aquariums. Okay, So how did "they" come up with that information? Did "they" go around the worlds oceans and test all the temperatures, did they go to the reefs where all the corals are collected from that they sell in their stores and take the temperature? I seriously doubt it.  But, thankfully someone did, and is still doing it. Its a given fact that the corals that you see for sale were collected from the Indo-pacific and Red Sea regions, You can figure that out by viewing the export figures from CITES, and also by knowing which countries it is illegal to collect and export corals from. If you put the collected ocean temperature data together with knowing where the corals came from, you will find that the average temperature range that our corals came from is at an average of 82 degrees. So why are we told to keep our aquariums ten degrees colder? I dont know, maybe this is one more thing that was carried over from the freshwater hobby since it is obvious that no one knew the correct range. Until now. Please take the time to read this link about TEMPERATURES and rest your mind when your aquarium reaches 84 degrees. I run my reef tank between 82 during the night, with highs reaching 86 during the day, and do not own a chiller. Again, I have a unique perspective since I can and have taken a thermometer out to the exact spot where I collected my corals from, the majority of them were collected within ten feet of the surface, which at 2 pm in the afternoon reaches a high of 86 to 88 degrees, on days where there is not a large difference in tidal movement, the water can easily go into the 90's, hot enough that when I wade through it, it is just plain uncomfortable, and yet, here are encrusting and branching hard corals sitting in it doing just fine. Again, what is our whole point of keeping a reef tank? To recreate a piece of the tropical reef within our homes. Or at least, it should be in my opinion. So why would we attempt to do so in unnatural conditions, which can only lead to stress and becoming more vuneralbe to a host of problems. 

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This mirror is being hosted with the permissions of the original content creator for preservation and educational purposes.