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Magnesium is present in NSW in a fairly high concentration (1300 - 1400 mg/L). Magnesium is an essential part of chlorophyll, which is necessary for photosynthesis. Without photosynthesis plants, including algae and the corals, which we usually have in our aquariums, would not be able to live.
Magnesium has another important function since in fact makes maintaining the correct combination of calcium concentration and alkalinity or carbonate hardness possible.
The explanation is as follows. Calcium forms with carbonates and bicarbonates an insoluble compound called calcium carbonate. Yes this is indeed an important building stone for corals and calcareous algae but then it should be formed by biological processes and be deposited at the right place. Therefore formation of calcium carbonate by chemical processes should be avoided.
Even without biological interference calcium carbonate would be formed and would deplete calcium and alkalinity or carbonate hardness without fulfilling any function. In fact it will scavenge many important trace elements as well lowering the trace element concentration.
Magnesium slows down this negative process. The lower the magnesium concentration the faster this negative process will take place and also at a much lower calcium and alkalinity/carbonate hardness value.
Maintaining a correct magnesium concentration is therefore very important and is indirectly responsible for fast coral and calcareous algae growth by virtue of making the maintenance of correct calcium and alkalinity figures possible.
Magnesium is depleted by algae and is also depleted by the use of excessive kalkwasser and by going far beyond natural calcium and alkalinity and pH values.
There are also certain brands of salt, which have or had a dramatically low magnesium content. Use of such a salt will result in permanent problems with calcium and carbonate hardness values.
The measurement of magnesium and taking corrective measures are justified. Magnesium additives should be such that no ionic imbalance is created. Furthermore many magnesium salts contain sufficient amounts of ammonia to upset biological balances. Very high-grade magnesium salts are therefore required.
Magnesium is an element which was neglected for a long time. The magnesium content of some aquariums appears to be rather low when tested. Corrective measures have to taken for a balanced reef system.
The Salifert magnesium testis very straightforward and does not suffer from calcium and strontium interferences when within certain bounds. It measures in sufficient accurate steps of 30 mg/L with a sharp color change. The kit can perform approx. 50 measurements.
The Salifert liquid-magnesium additive does not imbalance the system and is ultra pure. Salifert was the first in offering such an additive. A more economical version suitable for a one time major correction is the Salifert Magnesium-powder
The pH value can have a major impact on the growth of corals and calcareous algae and on many biological processes. The pH should not be allowed to fluctuate more than approx. 0.3 units during 24 hours and should preferably be kept between 8.0 and 8.2.
If the pH is too low then the cause may be a too low alkalinity and/or insufficient aeration.
A low pH can be corrected by improving aeration and by increasing the alkalinity to NSW (Natural seawater) value or upto approx 25% above NSW levels.
The Salifert pH test kit is sufficiently accurate to monitor pH fluctuations of approx 0.2 pH units. Our KH + pH Buffer allows fast and efficient correction of alkalinity.
Silicate occurs especially in tap water or in purified water when the RO or DI unit is not functioning properly. Silicate not only results in diatom bloom but might also block some essential trace elements such as vanadium and molybdenum.
Salifert offers a very sensitive and accurate silicate test kit. Silicate content can be decreased by using the granular Phosphate-Killer or the liquid Phosphate-Eliminator. Although both are designed for phosphate removal they have also a very high affinity for silicate.
Approx. 60 tests per kit. The range is 0.03 - 30 ppm as SiO2.
Strontium plays an important role by accelerating coral and calcareous algae growth.
NSW contains approx. 7 – 9 mg/L strontium.
Since the growth of corals and calcareous algae goes hand in hand with strontium and calcium depletion, depletion of calcium usually means depletion of strontium as well.
It is advisable to maintain a strontium concentration between 5 and 20 mg/L.
Strontium measurement is a necessity but is unfortunately a relatively difficult test. Perhaps in forthcoming years this will change when newer and easier methods for strontium measurement will become available.
It therefore is a test, which many hobbyists will not conduct frequent enough.
For that particular reason strontium additives should be designed in such a way that a too low or a too high strontium concentration is avoided.
With the Salifert Natural-Strontium additive we have reached this aim.
When used in combination with our Coral Calcium additive according to the instructions then the need for strontium measurement is greatly reduced and would have to be performed only once every few months.
Furthermore NSW contains strontium associated with sulfate. This form lacks the toxicity, the commonly used, strontium chloride has.
We therefore use predominantly strontium sulfate together with some other ingredients to avoid the occurrence of an ionic imbalance. It also makes it more effective and less toxic than strontium chloride.
The Salifert strontium test kit detects both ionically free and moderately complexed strontium. Salifert was the first to introduce a strontium test kit.
Approx. 25 tests per kit. Measures in approx. 5 ppm increments.