Seachem's Reef Calcium

Discussion in 'Product Review Archives' started by Wrassman, May 9, 2003.

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  1. Wrassman

    Wrassman Peppermint Shrimp

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    [glow=Navy, 3, 90%]SEACHEM'S REEF CALCIUM

    I've said for a couple of weeks now that I wanted to review several Seachem products, and one of the difficulties I've been facing is, with which product do I start?  Well, if I sit and try to figure this puzzle out too long, I won't ever get any reviews written.  So I've decided to start with Seachem's Reef Calcium, especially since the poll I took said that 100% of you added Ca of some kind.

    If you read the label of Seachem's Reef Calcium, you will be surprised to find that it is a "concentrated bio-available polygluconate complexed calcium intended to maintain calcium in the reef aquarium without altering pH."  In other words, this is calcium formulated to be immediately usable by the plants and animals in the tank.  Again, from the label, "Polygluconate complexation confers several benefits: it increases the bio-availability of the calcium, it provides a rich source of metabolic energy to help maintain peak coral growth, and it prevents calcium precipitation/alkalinity depletion."[/glow]

    [glow=Blue, 2, 90%]It seems that all the reef supplements and additives like to use the term "bio-available," but are they?

    I have been a SW aquarist for over 20yrs.  My first tank was a FO tank with crushed coral for substrate, a canister filter, and an undergravel filter.  Things have changed a great deal since then.  Particularly in the areas of filtration, and water chemistry.

    In the past several months, I have become obsessed with water chemistry.  As a result of this obsession, I have read nearly all of the water chemistry articles I have been able to find online.  I am very appreciative of the work of Dr. Ron Shimek, and Randy Holmes-Farley, who have helped make some very complex subjects easier to understand and implement in the aquarium.  One article in particular, Dr. Shimek's "What We Put In The Water" (May, 2003), caused me to rethink my entire approach to supplements and additives for the aquarium.

    Without going into detail, Dr. Shimek's article states that it is "unlikely" that we need any sort of additives in our aquariums, because the trace elements the tank needs are entering as FOOD, "which is the most useable pathway."  The point that I would like to emphasize here is that FOOD is the most useable pathway for any sort of element or compound to enter the aquarium.

    That is what "bio-available" means.  It means that the plants and animals in the tank are using the element or compound as a means to meet their metabolic needs (i.e. a FOOD).  If an element or compound enters the tank using that "bio-available" pathway, then it is more likely to benefit the tank.

    As Seachem's label states, their Reef Calcium is "bio-available."  Polygluconate is a salt of gluconic acid.  It isn't glucose (sugar), but a derivative.  Seachem describes their "polygluconate complexed calcium" as an "organically chelated calcium." Because of its immediate bio-availability, nitrosomonas and nitrobacter bacteria can use it to enhance the denitrification process.  So, rather than increase the DOC and ultimately the nitrates in the tank, this "organically chelated calcium" actually increases the tank's ability to deal with nitrates.

    But, beyond that, Seachem's Reef Calcium permeates the tank, increasing the total calcium in the system, beyond what calcium chloride is capable of doing (since it will eventually precipitate as calcium carbonate).  Seachem's Reef Calcium will not affect pH or alkalinity, and when used with Seachem's Reef Complete (ionic calcium supplement) it will provide "enhanced levels of coral growth."  I know this is true.  I've seen it with my own two eyes.[/glow]

    [glow=Navy, 3, 90%]CONCLUSION

    Previously, I used Kent Marine products exclusively for many years.  But, during the past year or so, I grew increasingly dissatisfied with them.  I was not seeing the results that I wanted from the additives.  With the Kent Turbo-Calcium specifically (calcium chloride), you can play a "see-saw" game of calcium and alkalinity, with one depleting the other.  And, unless you understand in detail the mechanisms involved, it can become a very frustrtating experience.

    I am very glad I continued to read the articles on water chemistry, which eventually led me to Seachem products.  I believe that if you are serious about maintaining a reef tank with the best environment possible for your plants and animals, then Seachem's additives is your BEST solution.

    Next, Seachem's Reef Complete.[/glow]
     
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  3. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Sounds good Wrassman. I find it interesting that it doesn't effect pH. No need to drip then?
     
  4. Gresham

    Gresham Great Blue Whale

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    Yah, no need to drip, BUT, don't add the max amount. I added it the other night to help increase calcium and the next day my tank was cloudy as all get out. No, my tanks ionic balance isn't outa wack, all params are fine, it was a bacteria bloom due to the polyglutanta. Scary at 1st, unslighty once I reliezed all was fine.
     
  5. CheckMateKingll

    CheckMateKingll Feather Duster

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    I just started using this product also and put in the recommended dose without any effects with cloudiness. 5ml. per 20gal. I added 10ml. for 40 gal. which is about right with all that I have in the tank.
    I will test Parameters tonight for my Update on the Eco-Aqualizer tomorrow.
    Thanks for the Info Wrass, in laymans terms...
     
  6. Craig Manoukian

    Craig Manoukian Giant Squid

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    Where's the best place to get Seachem products on-line?

    :) ;) :D ;D 8)
     
  7. Wrassman

    Wrassman Peppermint Shrimp

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    [glow=Teal, 3, 90%]I usually order from marinedepot.com. They have the largest selection and the best online prices.

    The only LFS in my area that carries Seachem products thinks that he has to double the price in order to make any money. I've tried to convince him that if he would just lower the price, he would sell a lot more of the stuff, but he is a little dense.

    IMO, Seachem products are cheap at any price. If somethng actually works, and keeps your tank and it's inhabitants healthy, what is that worth to you??[/glow]
     
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  9. Craig Manoukian

    Craig Manoukian Giant Squid

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    [glow=purple, 2, 100%]So, I wouldn't need to drip my Julian Sprung kalkwasser in my top-off water with the Seachem products, eh?[/glow]

    :) ;) :D ;D 8)
     
  10. Craig Manoukian

    Craig Manoukian Giant Squid

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    [glow=blue, 2, 100%]Just ordered Seachem Reef Complete from MarineDepot.com.  2 liters for $28.94 delivered.  Will continue to use my Julian Sprung  Kalkwasser and then will switch to the Seachem Reef Calcium.  Thanks to you guys for doing the research![/glow]

    :) ;) :D ;D 8)
     
  11. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    2 liters! How long is that supposed to last? :eek:

    SOunds like a good price though.
     
  12. Craig Manoukian

    Craig Manoukian Giant Squid

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    [glow=red, 2, 100%]I have no idea, but the shipping was $5.99 whether I got the 500ml or the 2 liter so I got the big one.  Depending on the dosage for my tank it should last just under a millenium, eh![/glow]

    :) ;) :D ;D 8)