Wednesday, March 12, 2014

EcoSystem Aquarium Balling Method: A VERY Economical and Effective Way to Maintain Ca/Alk/Mg

Calcium and Alkalinity are the two basic reef aquarium parameters that most hobbyists focus on.

Smart reef tank owners soon realize the importance of Magnesium. Its impact on calcium/alkalinity levels and coral calcification often prompts mindful reefers to begin maintaining their magnesium level as well.

As corals and purple coralline algae grow, Magnesium levels can be depleted quite rapidly.

The most popular way to maintain these levels currently is using a 2-part calcium/alkalinity supplement (such as ESV B-Ionic, AquaMaxx Synergy Plus, SeaChem Reef Fusion and Two Little Fishies C-Balance) with a separate Magnesium supplement.

For high-demand and large aquarium systems, purchasing these supplements separately can become costly.

The Balling Method has been the most popular reef supplementation technique in Europe for quite some time. EcoSystem Aquarium recently introduced a Balling Method Refill Pack here in the U.S. that is extremely economical and easy to use.

This dry formulation allows you to mix one gallon each of calcium, alkalinity and magnesium supplements. Compared to purchasing a liquid 2-part additive and a separate magnesium supplement, purchasing the EcoSystem Aquarium Balling Method Refill Pack can save you up to 50%.
Component B and C were very easy to mix and dissolved fully at room temperature. Component A was a bit more difficult. I placed the bottle inside a 5-gallon bucket of hot water to warm up the solution which helped dissolve the ingredients.

Once mixed, the trio of supplements can be added to your aquarium in the same manner as traditional supplements.

Make sure you have an accurate test kit on hand (such as the Red Sea Reef Foundation Pro Test Kit) so  you can adjust the dosage to match the demands of your aquarium. Personally, I try and keep my calcium level in the 400-420ppm range, alkalinity at 8-10dKH and magnesium at 1300-1400ppm.

In addition to targeting the actual calcium/alkalinity/magnesium level, stability is also very important. Large swings in these parameters can be stressful to corals, which may cause color loss and/or stunt growth.
All mixed and ready to go!
The EcoSystem Aquarium Balling Method is a straightforward and cost effective way to supplement your reef aquarium.

If you are looking for a more economical approach to maintaining your reef tank parameters or simply want to try what many hobbyists across the pond have been using with great success, the EcoSystem Aquarium Balling Method Refill Pack would be a great option!