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Red Sea's Reef Foundation kit includes high-resolution titration tests for accurate measurements of the elements Calcium (75 test's), Magnesium (75 tests) & Alkalinity (60 tests) which are the basic foundation elements of Coral skeleton's.
All of these elements need to be available in balanced proportions for coral health and growth. This test kit enables accurate dosing of the reef Foundation supplement, which is part of the complete Red Sea reef care program.
Why Test For Calcium (Ca)?
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, seawater ionic strength) and on many of the coral's biological processes (skeleton formation, ions exchange, photosynthesis).
Why Test For Alkalinity (KH)?
The pH level in a salt-water aquarium is a constant concern to most aquarists. Whereas the occupants in a fish-only system can tolerate a fairly wide range of pH levels for periods of time with no major harm, the occupants of a reef tank rely heavily on a constant pH level in the right range to just survive, let alone thrive. The generally accepted pH level in a basic salt-water system is between 7.6 and 8.4, but reef tanks are more sensitive, and therefore need to be kept at the higher end of the pH scale, 8.0 to 8.4. respiration and metabolic wastes are a natural part of the ocean, but the reason that seawater pH does not change is that the water contains a number of chemicals, such as bicarbonate, calcium, carbonate, borate, and hydroxide, all of which act as natural "buffers" that retard the drop in pH. When the pH in a salt-water system starts to drop, it is an indication that the buffers are getting worn out, and the increase in acidity needs to be corrected.
Why Test For Magnesium (Mg)?
Magnesium plays an important role in any reef aquarium. In addition to its many biological functions, it serves to prevent the excessive precipitation of calcium and bicarbonate, which lowers the calcium level and causes a drop in alkalinity. Magnesium should be maintained at approximately 3 times the level of Calcium, measured in ppm. Corals build approximately 90% of their skeleton by combining Ca and CO3 ions from the water to form Aragonite (CaCO3). The rest of the skeleton is made up of Magnesite (MgCO3), Strontianite (SrCO3), Calcite (a more brittle crystal structure of CaCO3), Fluorite (CaF2), and other minor and trace minerals.
In unbalanced conditions such as low levels of Mg and/or Sr, the skeleton will develop with a higher proportion of Calcite making it more brittle and more susceptible to damage.