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View Full Version : Potassium - Who cares?


Aquattro
02-03-2015, 02:49 AM
Keep hearing grumblings about potassium levels and we should test it.

If you have a reef with corals, tick a box below. Comment too, if you're in the mood!

Aquattro
02-03-2015, 02:51 AM
tick a box below

Or a circle above. Whatever :)

xenon
02-03-2015, 02:53 AM
Our LPS system barely consumes any potassium.

Our SPS system consumes 1L every 3 weeks of a fully saturated potassium chloride mix.

It's very important IMO.

Proteus
02-03-2015, 03:27 AM
I tested once or twice but always been good, I would bet that part c of tropic marin balling is the reason why

Aquattro
02-03-2015, 03:34 AM
I guess for me, I've never cared, wouldn't know what it should be and never felt my tank was lacking anything. I'll continue not caring :)

Proteus
02-03-2015, 03:50 AM
Your total disregard really does work well though

Aquattro
02-03-2015, 03:53 AM
Your total disregard really does work well though

I like it, gives me time for other things :)

Myka
02-03-2015, 04:20 AM
LPS system - don't care. SPS system - test and dose regularly.

It's similar to Magnesium in that it doesn't usually need to be dosed daily if you're doing weekly waterchanges. If you add a bit extra to the waterchange water then it rides ok for the week. I noticed a big difference in blues/purples when I started dosing in my old SPS system.

Rice Reef
02-03-2015, 04:51 AM
Yep. I dose and check once or twice a month. Since there are enough research done by the experts sometimes you have to trust them. I've dosed and I like the colours I had when I dosed. To be its like taking vitamins, you don't see the immediate effects but it pays off in the long run. With that being said, just cause I do doesn't mean you have to or need to as each tank is different. If you like the results continue to do so. If not, stop and save your money.

trilinearmipmap
02-03-2015, 05:19 AM
Didn't pick an answer because I don't know the answer, never tested but wondering if I should.

When I looked into it years ago, the K test was based on turbidity and hard to read.

Is there an accurate and easy-to-use potassium test available nowadays?

jordsyke
02-03-2015, 06:01 AM
yes dosing part c from tropic marin seems to keep my tank balanced quite nicely

randallino
02-03-2015, 06:08 AM
Didn't pick an answer because I don't know the answer, never tested but wondering if I should.

When I looked into it years ago, the K test was based on turbidity and hard to read.

Is there an accurate and easy-to-use potassium test available nowadays?

I Like Salifert it seems to be pretty good and its based on colour change not turbidity

xenon
02-03-2015, 06:53 AM
I Like Salifert it seems to be pretty good and its based on colour change not turbidity

The problem is Salifert stopped making the Potassium test kit.

The last time our Salifert supplier was able to get it was March 2014. :cry:

Abe
02-03-2015, 08:26 PM
Never thought about it until I used Zeovit balance K. I started seeeing better coloration and more grow on SPS. So I am planing on purchasing a test kit now.

Reef Pilot
02-03-2015, 08:28 PM
I have been using Kent Trace Elements which has K in it, as well as a bunch of other stuff. Not sure if it helps, but since I just use IO for salt, thought a few extra elements supplements can't hurt. And it's cheap. My SPS growth and color has been good.

Delphinus
02-03-2015, 08:58 PM
I always had way too much trouble with the turbidity style test kits - found it incredibly challenging to get an objective reading. I kind of gave up on testing for it.

lastlight
02-03-2015, 09:16 PM
do you need to test if you're dosing zeovit PIF? I would assume so since it's still a form of potassium.

reefwars
02-03-2015, 09:23 PM
do you need to test if you're dosing zeovit PIF? I would assume so since it's still a form of potassium.

hard to say but possibly not , alot of foods are high in potassium as well some salts are to :)

sumpfinfishe
02-03-2015, 09:23 PM
I only dose for cal/alk, anything else is replaced by twice monthly water changes, tho all my sps an lps are small colonies or frags. If my reef was full of large corals then I could maybe see the need to dose more elements, still a 25% water change with good a good salt mix should replace most minor elements IMO.

gregzz4
02-05-2015, 04:29 AM
I test a couple times/year just to know what's going on

I'll be testing it a few times in the near future as I'll be switching from 10% weekly WCs to 25% bi-weekly

kien
02-05-2015, 06:06 AM
I guess for me, I've never cared, wouldn't know what it should be and never felt my tank was lacking anything. I'll continue not caring :)

+1.

I don't think I have ever even tested potassium. I suspect my water changes keep K in check.

Myka
02-05-2015, 03:18 PM
I don't think I have ever even tested potassium. I suspect my water changes keep K in check.

Depends which salt you're using.

kien
02-05-2015, 03:26 PM
Depends which salt you're using.

I rotate between h2Ocean and reed crystals. I hope I'm using the right salts :lol:

Myka
02-05-2015, 03:38 PM
I rotate between h2Ocean and reed crystals. I hope I'm using the right salts :lol:

No, you're screwed. :p I haven't tested RC (haven't used RC in over a decade). H2O is low - around 300 ppm IIRC. I add 4 tsp Brightwell Potassion to 15 gallons of H2Ocean and this keeps it up in my tank doing 10% weekly or bi-weekly waterchanges. Give it a shot Kien! You will only see a difference if it is and has been low for awhile (obviously).

The Guy
02-05-2015, 03:46 PM
I guess for me, I've never cared, wouldn't know what it should be and never felt my tank was lacking anything. I'll continue not caring :)

Ditto to this statement. :smile:

kien
02-05-2015, 03:52 PM
No, you're screwed. :p I haven't tested RC (haven't used RC in over a decade). H2O is low - around 300 ppm IIRC. I add 4 tsp Brightwell Potassion to 15 gallons of H2Ocean and this keeps it up in my tank doing 10% weekly or bi-weekly waterchanges. Give it a shot Kien! You will only see a difference if it is and has been low for awhile (obviously).

Well now you've got me thinking about potassium.. And here I was sitting in blissful ignorance. Thanks Mindy! Or should I be thanking Brad?? It's a conspiracy!

christyf5
02-05-2015, 04:49 PM
I care when I have time. I haven't had time to care lately. I used to dose potassium religiously and my tank looked fabulous. Then I stopped for some reason, my tank still looked fabulous. Then my tank didn't look fabulous. Not sure if it was potassium related or phosphate related. One of those P ones.

Myka
02-06-2015, 03:35 AM
Well now you've got me thinking about potassium.. And here I was sitting in blissful ignorance. Thanks Mindy! Or should I be thanking Brad?? It's a conspiracy!

:lol: Doooo it! It's not like it's expensive or difficult.

gregzz4
02-06-2015, 04:55 AM
All I can find on the web tells me natural seawater is about 380ppm

A testing problem I have is the Elos turbidity kit has a small range between 300 and 400, so it's near impossible to tell what the results are, and this leads me to believe it's not worth dosing as maybe I'll add too much and upset my critters

I'm with Brad and others ... frequent WCs and ignore the K issue altogether

Aquattro
02-06-2015, 06:02 AM
After all the input, I've decided I still don't care. Just looked in tank, it all looks fine. Think I'll just sit and watch it instead of mucking around with it.

kien
02-06-2015, 06:05 AM
After all the input, I've decided I still don't care. Just looked in tank, it all looks fine. Think I'll just sit and watch it instead of mucking around with it.

Well, according to the poll the overwhelming majority of canreefers agree with you. That or they don't know what they're doing..

gregzz4
02-06-2015, 06:06 AM
Think I'll just sit and watch it instead of mucking around with it.
You can't do that ... you still have to go tweak your Ca reactor, and move some SPS around, and tweak the skimmer too

kien
02-06-2015, 06:09 AM
You can't do that ... you still have to go tweak your Ca reactor, and move some SPS around, and tweak the skimmer too

Don't forget the lights. They're probably due for a tweak or two as well, for good measure.

Aquattro
02-06-2015, 06:11 AM
You can't do that ... you still have to go tweak your Ca reactor, and move some SPS around, and tweak the skimmer too

Nope. Sitting on couch, just watching. Need to fill the reactor around August. SPS are mounted to rock. Skimmer is skimming happily. Nothing to do but enjoy.

gregzz4
02-06-2015, 06:18 AM
Atta boy

Now if I could only adopt your methods ...

sumpfinfishe
02-06-2015, 06:20 AM
I think you have enough mucking experience to know what's best :mrgreen:

Aquattro
02-06-2015, 06:20 AM
Atta boy

Now if I could only adopt your methods ...

Really, it's my secret to success. It's a piece of art to sit across from and view. Not a toy, not a video game, not a chemistry set. Just a living canvas that I like to leave to it's own devices. I do maintenance biweekly. Only daily chore is wipe the glass. And watch..:razz:

gregzz4
02-06-2015, 06:39 AM
Ooo, I can almost top that
I clean my glass once a week (whether it needs it or not, but mostly needed), along with my skimmer cup, and am gearing up for bi-weekly WCs
Once I switch to bi-weekly WCs, I'll raise your daily glass cleaning with my once/week scraping ...

jason604
02-06-2015, 09:54 AM
Found this on JL website it's a cube u put in ur sump and slowly dissolves in 4 months time to release potassium and iodine into ur tank. This would be perfect for lazy reefers like me if it works. Has any1 tried this?

http://www.jlaquatics.com/phpstore/store_pages/product-info.php?product_ID=zv-gtpi05

xenon
02-06-2015, 01:43 PM
Found this on JL website it's a cube u put in ur sump and slowly dissolves in 4 months time to release potassium and iodine into ur tank. This would be perfect for lazy reefers like me if it works. Has any1 tried this?

http://www.jlaquatics.com/phpstore/store_pages/product-info.php?product_ID=zv-gtpi05

It seems like a good idea but what if your corals consume very little potassium?

That means potassium would rise higher than needed and might give you a negative effect. No different than dosing blind without testing.

Myka
02-06-2015, 02:03 PM
A testing problem I have is the Elos turbidity kit has a small range between 300 and 400, so it's near impossible to tell what the results are

I have this kit. It's pretty easy to use. I always use it under the same bright white fluorescent lamp so I have good, consistent lighting. It's quite easy to tell the difference between 300 and 400 ppm. I'm confident I can use the kit with +/- 15 ppm.

FWIW, my maintenance is about the same as all you guys. I test SG, Ca, alk, Mg, K once a month-ish, and it takes maybe 15 minutes because I have them all going at the same time. :lol: NO3 and PO4 maybe quarterly just for interests' sake.