Q: Is alpha simply repackaged Prime™
A: No, that's not what this line is about. alpha™ uses a similar, but different formulation and is 50% more reactive than Prime™ and just as safe. We've also managed to reduce Prime's™ signature sulfur odor.
Q: My fish shop has just recommended to me your alpha product as I have nitrate and nitrite problems. I notice now that this product is for saltwater tanks. Mine is a freshwater tank. Does this matter?
A: Though alpha™ is in our aquavitro reef line, it is perfectly acceptable to use it in freshwater. alpha is the most concentrated water conditioner available on the market, and it will work very well to detoxify the nitrites and nitrates that are present in your water.
Q: I recently purchased the aquavitro balance product and just used the product for the first time. I want to know if it is normal for this product to produce precipitate when initially added to the aquarium? The precipitate is gone within a minute or so, but I want to know if this is expected.
A: Yes; when first poured into the aquarium, balance forms a gel-like globular precipitate. This is normal and expected. While this precipitate will clear very quickly, you can dilute your addition of the product down with some RO water before adding it to resolve this effect.
Q: I am using balance™ in an attempt to increase the pH in my reef aquarium from around 8.0 to 8.2. However, the pH will increase slightly with each dose, but will fall back to the 8.0 within 24 hours. My salinity is 1.025, DKH is 10.0, Calcium is 420, Magnesium is 1300 ppm. Do you have any suggestions?
A: Based on your description, your alkalinity is primarily composed of bicarbonate, which is keeping your pH suppressed. It also sounds like you have a high amount of organic acids in the system. When balance is added, it neutralizes some of these organic acids and also raises the pH causing some bicarbonate to shift to carbonate. This, in turn, raises the pK of the system and allows you to maintain a higher pH. However, if there are excess organic acids in the system along with predominantly bicarbonate as the buffer, it may take some time for you to see a consistently higher pH. I suggest that you continue to add the balance as recommended for a couple of weeks and you should start to see you pH stabilize at a higher value.
Q: I have been keeping a reef tank for about 5 months now and have recently switched to using AquaVitro products. On the package of calcification, I need some clarification on what this means...."Unlike competing products that require multi-day interval dosing when combined with carbonate supplements, calcification™ can be dosed daily and within minutes of our eight.four™ as well as the entire aquavitro™ reef line." Can I really dose these products that close together?
A: You're correct in that most calcium and alkalinity supplements should be dosed separately, and in many cases on alternate days. Keep in mind that calcium and magnesium are both ions that carry a positive charge while alkalinity supplements/buffers, on the other hand, are negatively charged. Because of the ionic nature of these components, they should not be dosed at the same time because opposites attract and the positively charged ions will bind to the negatively charged buffer and precipitate out of solution. When this happens, you will often notice a white substance form or cloudiness occur as the products come together and precipitate. This decreases the efficacy of the products you have added.
With calcification™, we are not using the standard calcium chloride that most other manufacturers use. calcification™ is a blend of ionic and bio-available gluconate-complexed calcium. This means that some of the calcium in this product is uncharged and will prevent the precipitation effects commonly seen in using calcium chloride supplements.
Q: I left the cap off of my bottle of calcification and now it looks like there is a thick precipitate inside the bottle. Is this normal and can I still use the product?
A: Because evaporation has occurred by leaving the top off, you have witnessed the formation of a thick precipitate. calcification™ should be stored with the cap securely tightened to prevent this in the future. Although the precipitate is not harmful, you should add some distilled or RO/DI water to the bottle and shake vigorously. The precipitate should go back into solution thoroughly and the product will be safe to continue using.
Q: I want to set up a dosing system with some of the aquavitro products. I notice that calcification™ and ions™ have more detailed instructions than eight.four. How much will one dose of eight.four™ raise my alkalinity?
A: Each 7mL of eight.four™ added to 30 gallons (a standard dose) will raise alkalinity by 0.25meq/L (or 0.7 dKH).
Q: I am planning on using eight.four™ in my tank to boost my alkalinity. I see on the bottle that it says it safely raises pH to 8.4. Does this mean you cannot overdose this product?
A: While eight.four™ is certainly a very safe and effective means of adding alkalinity, overdosing is possible with any product. eight.four™ is blended in such a way that allows one to dose a significant amount more than the standard dose without overshooting pH above 8.4. However, your alkalinity can still be overshot causing issues with ionic balance. Significant overdosing of this product could potentially cause too high of a KH, thus resulting in issues with maintaining other parameters, namely calcium. It is always best to test your alkalinity before adding the product and use it as needed.
Q: I have recently switched to the aquavitro products for my reef aquarium. I want to know if it is necessary to turn off my skimmer when dosing fuel™?
A: It is not necessary to turn your skimmer off while dosing fuel™. We use it on all of our reef tanks here at Seachem, and we leave the skimmers on while dosing.
Q: I just noticed that my bottle of fuel says to refrigerate after opening. Is my bottle bad since I have not done so?
A: It is perfectly fine to not refrigerate this product. Refrigeration is recommended if the product will be kept for several months. Depending on how long you will be using the bottle for, you may consider refrigerating it to keep the nutrients intact. If you will use up the bottle within only a couple months, you can just keep it at room temperature.
Q: What is chlorella and why do you use it in fuel™?
A: Chlorella is a unique algae that grows in fresh water. It is extremely high in enzymes, vitamins and minerals, including the full vitamin-B Complex. It is over-flowing with unsaturated fatty acids, amino acids, and proteins. There are also vitamins found in Chlorella including: Vitamin C, pro-vitamin A (B-carotene), thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), pyridoxine (B6), niacin, pantothenic acid, folic acid, Vitamin B12, biotin, choline, Vitamin K, lipoic acid, and inositol. Minerals in Chlorella include: phosphorus, calcium, zinc, iodine, magnesium, iron, and copper. It contains a higher level of amino acids than spirulina and is FDA approved for use with ornamental fish.
Q: My tank only has a magnesium level of 1050 mg/L. I have been using ions™ daily for the past week and my magnesium level is not increasing very much. Do you know why this is?
A: Each standard dose of ions™ will raise magnesium by 5mg/L. In cases where magnesium is severely low, it is acceptable to add up to 5X the recommended dose each day in order to see a more notable increase in magnesium. Unfortunately, it will take a large quantity of any magnesium supplement in order to increase magnesium by such a large amount (about 300mg/L in your case). For the future, you may want to look into using a salt that contains a more appropriate level of magnesium, such as our salinity.
Q: What if I want to raise strontium without raising magnesium
A: Strontium use by corals is not completely understood; much of its use seems linked to temperature or the absence of calcium in systems. It is a factor in the stability in the skeletal systems of corals. Typically, its rate of utilization will not exceed the rate of magnesium utilization. So ions™ offers a continuous supply necessary for all systems. So will it build up? No, it shouldn’t, but if it does, there is a margin of safety of 10X natural seawater for strontium. Any normal water change would negate this concern. If one wanted to run elevated levels of strontium, by all means use Reef Strontium™.
Q: I am using your new salt, salinity™, and am having a hard time getting the same parameters listed on your guaranteed analysis. I am mixing my saltwater to 1.025 specific gravity. Your label guarantees 410mg/L for calcium but when I test, I only get 385mg/L. Am I doing something wrong?
A: When our batch samples are sent off to the lab to be analyzed, the guaranteed values are at a salinity of 35ppt. We do not use the measurement of specific gravity because this measurement is temperature dependent. While your specific gravity is 1.025, this does not mean that your salinity is up to 35ppt. It is best to use a temperature compensated refractometer and measure in terms of ppt in order to achieve accurate parameters.
Q: I recently switched over to using the salinity™ salt and after mixing, even a couple of days later, it remains cloudy. I currently add salt to a 35 gallon drum of RO water until I have reached a salinity of 35ppt. I am using a heater and a strong powerhead in order to mix it more thoroughly. I typically mix my saltwater on Friday for a Sunday water change. Is there something I can do to prevent the cloudiness?
A: It is completely normal for some batches of salinity™ to mix up more cloudy than others. This is due to more elevated levels of certain elements, in particular, calcium and alkalinity. Please rest assured that this cloudiness will not harm any of your inhabitants, corals, etc. and should dissipate very quickly. We use the salinity™ here at Seachem and there are times when we cannot let it mix for 24 hours, and have to use it within several hours of mixing. Though cloudy initially, within thirty minutes to an hour of putting it in the tanks, it is crystal clear.
Furthermore, based on our observations, the salt clouds more as the water temp increases. Also, mixing the salt more than 24 hours causes a decrease in alkalinity and pH. This is somewhat expected as the increase in CO2 (more so with excessive agitation) causes a pH shift downward and can also cause precipitation of some of the components, namely calcium and carbonates.
For best results, make salinity™ up at room temperature (22 to 25 degrees Centigrade). Stir well until thoroughly dissolved. salinity™ is then ready for immediate use. Excessive mixing may result in cloudiness, due to carbon dioxide absorption. Cloudiness will dissipate when the salinity™ solution is added to the aquarium.
Q: Will vibrance™ destabilize in the reef aquarium and if so, will it register on the Seachem's MultiTest™ Iodide kit as Iodine or not register at all on the test kit? In other words, I'm looking for a total consumption indicator.
A: One of the unique benefits with vibrance™ is that it won’t destabilize in the bottle or in the reef tank. Our unique stabilization process ensures that it stays in the form of iodide and never changes over to iodine, which can be toxic in a reef environment. Due to this, it will read as iodide on our test kit and you will be able to accurately measure the consumption rate.