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A successful coral reef aquarium is dependent upon maintaining the appropriate water parameters that in turn provide the stable environment required by the corals. Although all the elements found in natural seawater have an important role in providing the optimal water parameters, a few of them have a more significant role in the overall stability. These elements are the foundation of the reef environment and they include the three major elements, Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg) and Bicarbonates (HCO3). These 3 elements have a major effect on the water chemistry (pH stability, Alkalinity, sea water ionic strength) and on many of the coralâs biological processes (skeleton formation, ions exchange, photosynthesis).
The foundation elements complement each other in the formation of coral skeleton and if not available in the correct ratios one of them will quickly become the limiting factor of healthy coral growth.
Reef Foundation A contains Calcium, Strontium, and Barium according to the ratios found in coral skeleton.
1ml will raise the Ca level of 100 liters by 2ppm
Different from the liquid Foundation Program, the powder formula has a much higher concentration.
1g will raise the Ca level of 100 liters.
Supplementing weekly - Soft / LPS Corals
Test the foundation elements every week and dose each supplement to replenish back to the optimal levels.
Supplementing daily â SPS / LPS corals
Ensure that all of the foundation elements are at optimal values and run the aquarium for 4 days at a stable salinity (compensate for evaporation daily by adding fresh water) without adding any supplements. At the end of the 4 days, test the foundation elements and calculate the â4 day dosageâ of each supplement to replenish back to the optimal levels. Add the â4 day dosageâ to the system. Divide this â4 day dosageâ by 4 and use as the daily dosage for the next week.
After a week of adding the daily dosage, test the foundation elements and calculate the âadjusting dosageâ of each supplement to replenish back to the optimal levels.
Continue testing all of the elements every week and make adjustments to the daily dosages as required. As your corals grow or you add or remove livestock the uptake of the elements in your aquarium will gradually change. It is recommended to keep a log book of the weekly measurements and dosages.
If you miss one or more days of supplementing add the complete amount that you have missed but do not exceed the maximum recommended daily increase for any of the elements.