Its taken years to get to the forefront but finally, pH and its positive effects on coral growth is a thing in mainstream reefkeeping. And thanks in no small part to our very own Potential Of Hydrogen champion Jake Adams.
So it’s great to see the chemists behind British reefing brand Reef Zlements really delve deep into pH and how they could accommodate high pH level buffering into their two-part dosing solution Z-Complete.
Z-pHplus is a complete 2 Part dosing system that includes all the ionic balancing, Macro, Micro, and Trace elements that you would expect. It contains boron, bromide, calcium, chloride, chromium, fluoride, iodine, lithium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, sulfate, strontium, and many other important trace elements, but its the pH bit we are most interested in.
The husband and wife team of chemists at Reef Zlements won’t tell us the ingredient they’ve added in order to achieve higher than average pH apart from the fact that it’s not Calcium Hydroxide. But go on to say that Beta testing found it to be more effective than CO2 scrubbers, outside protein skimmer air intakes, Chaeto, and even Kalkwasser itself at raising and holding pH as part of a daily dosing system.
Highs of pH 8.61
Test pH regularly with a calibrated meter and you may be disappointed to find a pH consistently under 8.2 with lows even as low as 7.8. But swapping to Z-pHplus took one such case with lows of 7.78 and highs of 8.05 (using a Hanna meter,) to lows of 8.28 and highs as high as 8.61. And unsurprisingly growth increased significantly with the acros on test as well as consumption of the two-part additive. 40% more additive was consumed on a daily basis, according to the tester. One calcium reactor-using Beta tester hit pH 8.7…
The pH and KH buffer is part 1 (P1) of the dosing duo and just like Kalkwasser this caustic mix should be stored away safely and administered with caution by experienced reefers. It has to be dosed into areas of very high flow or the heavy, opaque liquid risks sinking and precipitating out. Reef Zlements recommend dosing it directly into the inlet of your return pump.
On the British reefing scene at least, the word Kalkwasser strikes fear into many a reefkeeper as we all flashback to our German-made Kalk stirrers and all the associated kit and associated hair-pulling that went with it. The UK is now a nation of auto liquid dosers with few if any even using Calcium Reactors, so to not have to change out any equipment or even employ an extra dosing line in order to achieve recordable higher pH levels is a massive plus.
If you’re already in the pH 8.4 club via other methods then the standard Z-Complete two-part is all you need. But if you want to elevate up the logarithmic alkalinity ladder (and why wouldn’t you?) this new two-part potion is well worth looking into.
Recommended Retail Prices: 1.0 litre set £20.99, 2.5 litre set £32.99, 5.0 litre set £63.99, 10.0 litres set £110.99. P1 provides 10.000 dKH per liter. P2 provides 71.000 ppm of Ca per liter.