Reef Aquarium Additives Overview
Exactly which aquarium additives to use is a complicated question. However, all reef aquariums will need calcium, an alkalinity buffer supplement and a trace element supplement. Instead of calcium and an alkalinity buffer you can use kalkwasswer.

  • Buffer is used to maintain PH/KH. We recommend the Seachem Reef Builder or Balling Light KH Carbonate Mix.
  • It is necessary to add calcium to reef aquariums in order to replenish the calcium utilized in the growth of soft and stony corals, pink coralline algae, calcareous algae, tridacna clams, and other invertebrates found in captive marine systems. We recommend using Seachem Reef Advantage Calcium or Balling Light Calcium Mix. You can use kalkwasser instead of calcium and buffer. Kalkwasser needs to be introduced into the aquarium slowly using a kalkwasser stirrer or reactor. Kalkwasser will provide both the calcium and the alkalinity. For more information on using kalkwasser please read the Kalkwasser Overview Article.
  • You can use several types of supplements or just use a comprehensive formula to provide trace elements. With Fauna Marin Balling Light Trace 1 and Trace 2, you can mix trace elements into your calcium and buffer to dose them at the same time as your major elements If you would rather purchase a calcium and alkalinity supplement with trace elements already mixed in consider ESV B-Ionic.
To raise certain types of corals you may want to add extra iodine, strontium, manganese and molybendum. Brightwell Aquatics, Fauna Marin, and Kent Marine offer extensive lines of aquarium additives specifically for these elements. For more information on using iodine, please read the Using Iodine: Lugol's Solution Article. For using additives that enhance coral growth and coloration please read the Why Amino Acids? Article.

Fauna Marin and ICP Analysis offer ICP Testing. ICP analysis will give you emailed test results that compare your water to natural seawater. Fauna Marin offers results plus recommendations about exactly which trace elements to dose to fix the problems. Start by using the Fauna Marin Reef ICP Test to have your water professionally tested.

Other additives are useful aquarium water treatments, such as Kordon AmQuel or Seachem Prime, which effectively removes ammonia, chloramines, toxic pheromones and chlorine in both freshwater and saltwater aquariums.

Medications for treating ich and other diseases are in the Medications section. Carbon substances and compounds for removing phosphates and nitrates are in the Chemical Filtration sections. For information on fish disease treatment please read the Basic Marine Fish Diseases and Treatments Overview.