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Dropping Magnesium/Calcium vitamin pill into the tank


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I have a nano tank for a year. Like any new hobbyist, I often envy the display tanks at the aquarium shops. Even their nano tanks looks 100 times better. You buy a coral and when you put it in your own tank. It flourishes a while and then it becomes smaller and lacks its former beauty and brilliance. Well, the LFS owners run a business and we do it as a hobby. And their tanks are mature and have been around for years. Fair point. But wont it be nice if we can do the same.

I do water quality test on ammonia, nitrite, notrate, copper, phosphate, PH and trying to get the ideal water condition and I have no idea how many "magic" additives I have bought. It is like golfer with their new clubs. :yeah:

Yesterday I tried something new and crazy. I dropped half of the GNC Magnesium and Calcium vitamin pill into the tank. The calcium caused the tank to be slightly cloudy but it cleared up in 5 minutes. Then I noticed the mushrooms began to open up till they covered the rocks and everything seemed to go hyperdrive in terms of size. It is like they were given steriods. I did some research and found out that magnesium is important to corals and fishes, the third most common ion (or element) after sodium and chloride (guess that is why it is called salt water). And most artificial salt and artificial seawater lack the magnesium. The chemistry is pretty complicated and I am no chemist. Summary: some artificial sea salt has plenty of magnesium and some dont.

I am sure someone has tried this before. But it works for me. It is too early to tell if this is the solution as I would need more test over time. Perhaps it is the calcium and not the magnesium. Or is it a fluke result? Maybe some seniors in this forum can shed some light but it is fascinating if this really works!

Exclusion Clause: Do this experiment at your own risk. Maybe dont even experiment until it is proven safe. Maybe everyone knows this trick. Any advice?

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Bro I guess a lot of us here were once like U envy Lfs tank. See all the colorful mushrooms, swaying corals(Lps) and those brilliantly colored "stick" corals that look like a botak tree(sps) just cannot stop amusing me again and again.

When I started I actually set myself with the expectation that MY tank can be better than Lfs. Why? Simple they run a business they won't have too much time to take care of the tank but I do. With enough commitment and passion of course.

You mention U have been reefing for about a year. if I may ask, why are U still frequently testing for ammonia nitrite and even copper?? I would say don't waste money on those test kit IMO because once your tank is properly cycled with no major die off out of the blue keep these test kits aside for another day. As for copper, unless U are dosing copper into your tank otherwise it is not needed at all. However I do encourage that U to continue to test for nitrite and phosphate. I never bother with PH so I can't comment on it.

GNC pills. I got no comment. But even if it really work, aren't those pills expensive? But anyway just like some reefers using antibiotic pills to treat algae ? I know nuts about that but somehow I heard it works.

I'm pretty sure U have done your reading and research on what's needed by corals. Yes? Magnesium calcium and KH. I fully agree that U have to test and monitor further to know. . Highly suggest you get a test kit for them and see what's their reading. In general, mg 1380 ca 400 and kh 8 is a safe range for both soft corals and hard corals.

Throwing in a pill of GNC mg and ca pills can be as good as pouring a bottle of toxic into your tank. It is dangerous, as corals may not be able to take the sudden change in mg and ca. However U are lucky in this case I would say? But it's still early to judge.

If you have heard enough of reefers saying stable water parameter, this is what it means. To keep your mg ca and kh as stable as you can. Sounds easy ? Trust me lots of reefers including seniors are having difficulty maintaining a very stable one myself included.

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Dear Edmund and Patrick

Thanks for the helpful and wonderful comments! One of my businesses is in water purification using nano silver embedded ceramic (we make it into a chemical bond instead of just dipping silver, so zero leakage), in fact, a china fish farm is experimenting with the product. As a result, it is a habit to test water and I cant resist testing my own fish tank :-). Call it wannabe scientist hoping to play with chemistry set.. some guys never grow up hahaha.

Another reason is I used to add water from the water dehumidifier machine to top up. Like the OSIM previous technology called dragonfly or something, it extracts water from the air. On paper, there should not be chlorine and other chemicals BUT the copper coil is dangerous and any copper leakage will be extremely bad for the corals. I stopped doing that now (zero copper leakage so technically it can be done). I have tried goodness how many ways to get clean water including a Tunze RO/DI but that product wastes too much water and the tap fitting does not fit exactly despite having all the connectors ie waste water. To cut the story short, I experimented.

The GNC magnesium+calcium pill is like 30 dollars or less (i recall) per bottle. Took me years to figure out that my body requires magnesium and it stopped my annual 1-month long whopping cough. And I thought why not try it on the tank after reading some Aquarist article on magnesium. And I am merely using half a pill (over two days by dipping it the first day and the second day, just leave the residual half pill in the tank). But that is not scientific. You are absolutely right. Buy a magnesium and calcium test kit and see if adding the magnesium+calcium have adjusted the parameters by how much and for how long. Like I said, this was one of those experiments that yielded almost stunning unexpected results. WIll try to get a photo from my phone - I have never seen the corals opened up like that. Again this is a conjecture based on logic - I suspect my water parameters are way below in terms of magnesium and/or calcium, so dropping the half pill inside merely adjusted the parameters back to the ideal ranges and therefore the corals like it.

And your comment is very true that such experimentation is equivalent to pouring toxic substance inside. Agree, so I will do it very slowly henceforth and thanks for the advice. It is a small 1.5ft tank with US 13 gallon volume which amplifies the impact of any additive due to the small vol of water.

Of course the ideal outcome is every month, I just take a half pill and drop it in the tank like a vitamin routine. If only...

Will keep all of you posted.

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Dear Edmund and Patrick

Thanks for the helpful and wonderful comments! One of my businesses is in water purification using nano silver embedded ceramic (we make it into a chemical bond instead of just dipping silver, so zero leakage), in fact, a china fish farm is experimenting with the product. As a result, it is a habit to test water and I cant resist testing my own fish tank :-). Call it wannabe scientist hoping to play with chemistry set.. some guys never grow up hahaha.

Another reason is I used to add water from the water dehumidifier machine to top up. Like the OSIM previous technology called dragonfly or something, it extracts water from the air. On paper, there should not be chlorine and other chemicals BUT the copper coil is dangerous and any copper leakage will be extremely bad for the corals. I stopped doing that now (zero copper leakage so technically it can be done). I have tried goodness how many ways to get clean water including a Tunze RO/DI but that product wastes too much water and the tap fitting does not fit exactly despite having all the connectors ie waste water. To cut the story short, I experimented.

The GNC magnesium+calcium pill is like 30 dollars or less (i recall) per bottle. Took me years to figure out that my body requires magnesium and it stopped my annual 1-month long whopping cough. And I thought why not try it on the tank after reading some Aquarist article on magnesium. And I am merely using half a pill (over two days by dipping it the first day and the second day, just leave the residual half pill in the tank). But that is not scientific. You are absolutely right. Buy a magnesium and calcium test kit and see if adding the magnesium+calcium have adjusted the parameters by how much and for how long. Like I said, this was one of those experiments that yielded almost stunning unexpected results. WIll try to get a photo from my phone - I have never seen the corals opened up like that. Again this is a conjecture based on logic - I suspect my water parameters are way below in terms of magnesium and/or calcium, so dropping the half pill inside merely adjusted the parameters back to the ideal ranges and therefore the corals like it.

And your comment is very true that such experimentation is equivalent to pouring toxic substance inside. Agree, so I will do it very slowly henceforth and thanks for the advice. It is a small 1.5ft tank with US 13 gallon volume which amplifies the impact of any additive due to the small vol of water.

Of course the ideal outcome is every month, I just take a half pill and drop it in the tank like a vitamin routine. If only...

Will keep all of you posted.

In simple U just like to experiment haha :P in fact give your tank size if there isn't too much of corals in your tank you should be able to get away with water changes using good salt mix. H2ocean is a salt that I swear by it. Of course to each his own. There are other good salt brands around that other reefers stand firm by them.

Like Andy mention, U may want to try getting a DI unit so that there are no wastage. Visit madpetz, he has a full range of water purifier, from di to rodi from 1 stage to 5 or more stages of filters to make sure U get that TDS to nothing but 0. He also sells hardware. So fitting to taps will not be an issue.

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Thanks for all the advice! I love the madzpet store and was contemplating to get those units in his shop. Kind of funny that I am in the water business but has to buy a rodi unit from someone else wahaha. Now I get it from Ah Beng at farmway 2 and the fish and coral loves it. I have a box of salt (tropic marine) but next box will be h2ocean.

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Thanks for all the advice! I love the madzpet store and was contemplating to get those units in his shop. Kind of funny that I am in the water business but has to buy a rodi unit from someone else wahaha. Now I get it from Ah Beng at farmway 2 and the fish and coral loves it. I have a box of salt (tropic marine) but next box will be h2ocean.

Enough of talking show us some pics of your tank please :P

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If you're open to experimentation, why not thirsty hippo? That stuff is cacl2 anyway. Not sure how safe it is for the aquarium so if you do try, take it with a pinch of salt and its at your own risk.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Apologies for the late reply. The corals just went on overdrive. I used a test kit. Magnesium, calcium and alkalinity all at the recommended parameters. Looking back I have so many failures with corals. At the fish shop, the corals looked beautiful and when brought back into my tank, it shrunk and with the occasional "bloom". Now it is consistently like this. At evening, the corals even bloomed bigger.

There is no miracle here. Nor did I discover something awesome. It is just that the previous water did not have enough magnesium and calcium. And the corals just slowly died. My fault. I suppose getting the usual specialized additives will have the same outcome or even better results. post-22977-0-87563600-1430820550_thumb.j

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I also have to make adjustment to the usual placement of corals. Previously I put them nearer to each other because they never stretch out anyway. Now I have to move them far apart as the tentacles are like the movie's evil monster. Out to touch each other.

My error was this. I keep reading websites on water quality. And they tell you about ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, no copper, PH, saltinity and temperature. But that is general reef keeping. So I get a bunch of test kits and dutifully test every 2-3 days to the point of obsession. Next, I read about placement of corals and water flow and I keep tweaking the wavemaker, programmed it with various flow patterns, then played with the lighting. Shift the coral for optimal flow and lighting. Even got coral food. Throw in the strontium additive. The stupid part is I should have accessed the coral forum - magnesium, calcium and alkalinity. The lesson learned - read and research.

And the fishes are doing well too. I should have asked!!! Thank you all.

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This is a close up. I was putting the corals too close to each other (based on past experience as they don't stretched out). After this photo was taken I had to re arrange the corals to avoid them touching each other.

post-22977-0-32918600-1430822059_thumb.j

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Wait wait the vitamin pill is what human consume right ? I kinda speed read . Too many essay HAHA. But what you trying to say is make sure magnesium is in check with the recommended table right? Irregardless of dosing powder or human Vitamin pill

Anyway nice extension from coral

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Exactly. You got it right. To be absolutely safe, stick to the aquarium additive instead of these hacking methods. As one forum contributor pointed out, there may be other chemicals which are harmful to marine fishes.

Another suggested Hungry Hippo dehumidifier powder which is calcium. I think that may be slightly pushing it haha as there may be other chemicals in it.

I did the vitamin pill out of curiosity and so far no harm is done (I think). But I won't recommend it. I may be lucky so far. But here is an idea for new products. Instead of buying dosing equipment, in future, someone can figure out a slow release pill for tank. Throw it in and it releases the magnesium, calcium, strontium and other necessary chemicals to keep the reef healthy. Hmmmm why not? After all there are hobbyists who drip Vodka into the tank and swear by it. Hey maybe I stumble upon a new product class hahahaha ;)

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Exactly. You got it right. To be absolutely safe, stick to the aquarium additive instead of these hacking methods. As one forum contributor pointed out, there may be other chemicals which are harmful to marine fishes.

Another suggested Hungry Hippo dehumidifier powder which is calcium. I think that may be slightly pushing it haha as there may be other chemicals in it.

I did the vitamin pill out of curiosity and so far no harm is done (I think). But I won't recommend it. I may be lucky so far. But here is an idea for new products. Instead of buying dosing equipment, in future, someone can figure out a slow release pill for tank. Throw it in and it releases the magnesium, calcium, strontium and other necessary chemicals to keep the reef healthy. Hmmmm why not? After all there are hobbyists who drip Vodka into the tank and swear by it. Hey maybe I stumble upon a new product class hahahaha ;)

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Exactly. You got it right. To be absolutely safe, stick to the aquarium additive instead of these hacking methods. As one forum contributor pointed out, there may be other chemicals which are harmful to marine fishes.

Another suggested Hungry Hippo dehumidifier powder which is calcium. I think that may be slightly pushing it haha as there may be other chemicals in it.

I did the vitamin pill out of curiosity and so far no harm is done (I think). But I won't recommend it. I may be lucky so far. But here is an idea for new products. Instead of buying dosing equipment, in future, someone can figure out a slow release pill for tank. Throw it in and it releases the magnesium, calcium, strontium and other necessary chemicals to keep the reef healthy. Hmmmm why not? After all there are hobbyists who drip Vodka into the tank and swear by it. Hey maybe I stumble upon a new product class hahahaha ;)

Thanks for the reefing journal then :P hope newbies read this and won't make same mistaking killing coral or unhappy with its growth :P

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There have been many reefers overseas who have tried dosing vitamin c for human consumption. Personally i've tried that too but honestly i don't know whether it works. Could very well have ended up as a form of carbon dosing instead.

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Just stick to the aquarium additives but I wish there is a Hacker Guide out there the moment you step into an aquarium shop and he hands out a water parameter sheet of paper. You want all fish, do this. You want coral and fish, do this. Read and sign before you make any purchase haha ;)

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  • 2 weeks later...

It is more than three weeks since i started the vitamin pills treatment. The tank is still doing well. I have to move the corals further apart as they keep stretching out to claim their territories :-)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Intrigued by bro haroldfock posts, I read up quite a lot before attempting the following experiments. If you try the same it is at your own perils.

1. Coral vitamins have almost the same elements as human multivits. Except the latter has copper but so does NSW.

2. Human amino acid can be used for fishes n corals.

3. Human vit C can be used too.

4. Epsom salt for Magnesium supplement. Increase aeration because of sulphate.

Why bother? Due to inquisitive mind and lots of expired supplements. Its been 4 weeks so far so good even managed to revive some corals.

Remember this is an anecdotal experience nothing scientific. Must say engineering knowledge on water does help.

Always start with small dosages. To borrow what bro haroldfock said - no heroics.

Thanks for reading. Remember try at your own rìsks.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Is everyone who tried this ok? I mean the tank not you ;). I just changed to the fluval edge tank due to fengshui reasons (resistance and argument is futile) and there were some casualty. (See member tank posting). New tank syndrome despite the same filter medium, sand, water etc. but the surviving ones are doing fine.

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