If you’re one of 12.5 million people in the United States that keeps fish as pets, then you probably know that a reef tank is the coolest thing you can keep in your home. After all, it’s the closest thing to a piece of an actual ocean you can put in your living room.
Besides keeping the fish in your tank fed and satisfied, you naturally want to keep the reef looking good as well. How can you do that? It depends on what you want to do. Some people will say just add Potassium Iodide.
Others will say that you just need Potassium Chloride. What should you do?
In today’s post, that’s what we’re about to find out. Without further ado, let’s take a look at Potassium Iodide and Potassium Chloride, and see how both can help your reef tank. Starting with…
Potassium Iodide in the Reef Tank
Iodine is a seawater component that has kept the attention of aquarists for a long, long time. You can find several Iodine supplements on the market. Some still argue what is Iodine good for. Some think it’s best for shrimps and Xenia, others think it’s for corals and algae.
Some aquarists feel much Iodine supplementation can be dangerous. You can even find people who aren’t sure whether Iodine helps with anything actually. Simply talking to someone about adding Potassium Iodine can take you in many different directions.
Benefits of Potassium Iodide
You already know that Iodine is pretty important for our organism. It’s also pretty important for plant life since it can promote growth. Seawater contains a lot of Iodine, so if you have a seawater reef tank, your vegetation could benefit greatly from it.
Analyzing seawater, you can see that the average concentration of Iodine places in the category of oligoelements. Even though compared to other elements, the concentration of Iodine in seawater is small, it doesn’t mean that the element isn’t important.
As a matter of fact, Iodine is pretty important in several cellular processes for both plant and animal life in the sea. Last but not least, Iodine enhances the blue and violet colors of the corals and keeps your reef tank looking beautiful.
How to Dose Potassium Iodide?
How to know how much Potassium Iodide is good for your reef tank? For starters, you need to know that managed tanks don’t need any Iodine supplementation. That’s because the amount of Iodine supplied by water should be sufficient for the life inside.
However, tanks that require advanced management should be dosed with Potassium Iodide on a regular basis. Finding the right amount of Potassium Iodide to add to your tank isn’t easy, since Iodine tests and results are hard to conduct and read.
As it is for many other oligoelements, the best solution here is to put a low dosage that’s well below the recommended amount. Later, if you notice that the amount of Iodide Potassium isn’t doing anything, you can slowly start increasing the dose until you get it right.
Potassium Chloride in the Reef Tank
How are the corals in your tank looking? Do they look unhealthy? Are you worried that they’re dying? There’s a good chance that they’re dying because they’re missing Potassium. Gardeners add potassium to their gardens to help their plants look perfect.
While aquarists take care of fish, they also take care of the plant life in their tanks. Just as potassium is important for photosynthesis, it’s also important for maintaining your aquarium. How can Potassium Chloride help you here?
Benefits of Potassium Chloride
There’s just as much Potassium in the ocean as there’s calcium. Why do so many people forget about it? Of course, there’s no real answer to this question. It’s just important to remember to check the Potassium levels in your tank to make sure that they’re just about right.
Potassium is a macronutrient for plants, along with phosphorus and nitrogen. It helps the plants grow and look healthier. In most homes, cold water in the faucet is hard. By adding Potassium Chloride to the water, you can soften it and make it a great environment for plants to grow.
One of the best things about Potassium is that you don’t have to worry about over-adding it. Accidentally putting too much Potassium won’t negatively affect the life in your tank whatsoever. Of course, too much of anything can be a bad thing, so pay attention to Potassium levels.
How to Dose Potassium Chloride
If you want your reef to look rocky and encourage stony corals to grow, you’ll add some calcium to your tank, right? Well, if you want your plant life to look lusher, then you should add some Potassium Chloride to the mix. What’s the right dose of Potassium for your tank?
Well, seawater contains around 400 pp Potassium, which isn’t far off from 420 pp for Calcium. If in the past, you kept Calcium levels high by adding supplementation, you can try adding the same amount of Potassium Chloride to your tank.
You just need to be aware to keep the nutrient levels properly balanced in the tank. That means, while some weeks you’d want to add potassium to the tank, you need to balance it by adding extra t phosphate and nitrate to keep the levels stabilized.
The Bottom Line
There you have it. That’s how Potassium Iodide and Potassium Chloride affect your reef tank and the life that you’ve cultivated in it.
Every organism needs Iodine, so adding some Potassium Iodide to your tank can be a good thing. However, if you’re looking to use Potassium Iodide as a Potassium supplement, you should think twice because that would increase your Iodine levels significantly.
If your goal is to increase Potassium levels and help your corals look as good as they can, you’re better off using Potassium Chloride. Water softened with Potassium Chloride may benefit both the plant and animal life in your reef tank. Just make sure to dose it right.