Like calcium and strontium, magnesium is used in the calcification of skeletons of reef organisms. In many cases, magnesium is used in place of calcium for calcification. In addition to its role in calcification, magnesium is used by organisms ranging from bacteria, to coralline algae to fish.
How can you be sure if magnesium levels are deficient? There are a couple of indications; severely depleted levels of magnesium (below 800 mg/L) can cause depressed pH levels and an inability to maintain proper calcium levels (more on ionic imbalance).The best way to tell if you need a magnesium supplement, though, is to test for it using a magnesium test kit such as Seachem's Reef Status: Magensium & Carbonate and Borate Alkalinity.
If you've determined your magnesium levels are low, supplementation with ions is necessary. ions restores magnesium by employing the most concentrated (90,000 mg/L), fully dissolved magnesium and does so without adding any ammonia. Other liquid magnesium supplements inherently contain ammonia because the magnesium chloride used in their production contains ammonia. This is a result of the mechanisms for deriving and/or producing magnesium chloride. aquavitro has gone to considerable lengths to remove this contaminant and a proprietary process makes ions the first and only liquid magnesium supplement that does not contain ammonia.
Using a fully dissolved magnesium is critical. Some magnesium supplements use a magnesium source that is simply not soluble, that is, unavailable. This means it can never be utilized by reef organisms, and is, consequently, of no value. If the product itself is milky white or the instructions direct the user to shake well, more than likely, a substantial amount of magnesium is not being utilized (the same is true of calcium products). ions also includes strontium and boron in the NSW ratio of 1.7:1 to avoid ionic imbalance with long term use.
Beginner: Use one inner capful (7 ml) for every 125 L (35 gallons*) twice a week. Check magnesium once a week and adjust amount or frequency accordingly.
Advanced: Check magnesium level, then follow addition regimen above until magnesium is adjusted to 1200-1350 mg/L. Each 7 mL/125 L (35 gallons*) will raise magnesium by about 5 mg/L. Quantity or frequency can be adjusted, but do not exceed 35 mL/125 L (35 gallons*) per day. Thereafter, use as required to maintain magnesium.
Note: The aquavitro cap offers multiple dosing solutions depending on the size of your system. Each inner cap thread is approximately 2 mL. The inner cap contains 7 mL, while the outer ring contains 28 mL (35 mL when both are filled to the level of the inner cap.) When filled to the top, the cap contains 49 mL.
Unlike competing products that require multi-day interval dosing. ions can be dosed daily and within minutes of the entire aquavitro line.