What Brand of Products Do You Use?

omajehal

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I have had aquariums since I was a kid, but have always purchased the cheapo products from Petco like API, that is up until a few years ago I made the move into marine aquariums. I've struggled with all of the hype and trying to find a brand I really trust. I'll be completely honest... I'm a bit of a brand *****. I try to find a brand and stick with it, for better or for worse. The trouble I've had is that it seems like availability can be hit or miss, costs, consistency, etc. I'm just a bit worn out on trying a product only to find out that I'm not happy with it because it doesn't work as advertised or have clear directions.

Some examples of what I've purchased and my experiences:

Additives/Salts:
Seachem products seem to be fine, but I've had issues with their bottles leaking and the paper top disintegrating into the product. Seems about on par with API from my experience. I started buying their AquaVitro line for a while, but they're pricy and only available at certain local stores. I had an LFS sell me on Eight.Four and Seed, but haven't repurchased them lately. I'm not sure if AquaVitro is worth it or just hype.

Fritz products are where I've shifted to lately, but they don't seem to be widely available and I haven't seen much community discussion on them. I've used the FritzZyme 9 and had a weird bacterial bloom that I'm not sure if it stemmed from or just the new tank growing pains. Beyond the bacteria additive, I've been using Complete, Guard, Coppersafe, and FritzZyme 460. I've also recently purchased my first box of Fritz salt mix. Has the community had good luck with their products or seen any weird interactions?

Speaking of salts... I've used Instant Ocean and most recently Reef Crystals. They've been fine, but I've heard that the Fritz has less precipitate and brown residue left behind after mixing, so that's why I've made that switch.

Testing:
After realizing that the API tests were beginner level at best, I started buying Salifert tests. They've seemed a bit better than API, but I've still struggled with the accuracy or usability of their test. The Nitrate and Phosphate tests always seem to read 0 for me, so I'm not sure if they're legitimate or if I'm doing something wrong.

I've always been a fan of having digital testers for accuracy purposes. I'm much more of a numbers person and like the no-nonsense number readouts. I have an IceCap salinity testing pen that has worked fine for me, but recently purchased my first Hanna tester for pH. It has been great, so I just bought their copper and alkalinity testers also.

Summary:
In summary... I'm exhausted with brand marketing and am just curious what the community has had the most success with. What products do you use and what is just snake oil that I'm dumping into my tank? Which testing kits have you had the most success with?
 
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lapin

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I think a lot of people use Red Sea additives
 

Pico bam

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Sometimes trying to figure it all out and what brand to buy is Chaos. You have to go threw so many products to find the ones that work that you develop a stack of unused stuff. Expensive unused stuff.
A few things I like:
-brs kalkwasser (super cheap meathod)
-Aqua vitro fuel, Over other amino acids/nutrition
-reef roids
-red sea/salifert/hanna checkers
-tropic marin products
-t5's over led
-brightwells liquid phosphate remover
-all for reef... maybe

There's even so much unnecessary little cuc Animals its ridiculous. So many things are unnecessary/terrible products... :oops:
 

CanuckReefer

Simple...Salt, Water, LR, Lighting and Flow.
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I'll go to bat for Phyto Feast, Giesmann T5 lamps, and my usua IO Reef Crystals. These have always been my go to....lately anyway... (3 years), before that Tropic Marin for 25 years.
 
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ADAM

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Test Kits: Hanna/Salifert - ALK, Ca, Phosphate, Nitrate, most other elements aren’t that important because you’re basing dosing on ALK/Ca level anyway and hobby grade kits are only so good.
Salt- pick one that mixes at levels closely matching those you like your system to run at and then you don’t have to “doctor up” the water at every water change. I love Fritz RPM Blue Box but I know many people that don’t like it too.

After 15 years I the hobby I can tell you 90% of the stuff, particularly additives, I bought the first couple years was probably a waste.

I personally use Two Little Fishes C-Balance 2 part, filter socks, and GFO. Occasionally I might use carbon to polish the water if needed but all the other element-X additives, bacteria additives, and “magic fixing solutions” got thrown out years ago.

Lights and pumps are all pick your poison.

If you look through the build threads and find a tank/system you really like the looks of: use what they use.
 

kzenoni

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I’ve got radion lights and use quantum products. Very happy with results. They actually check every bucket of salt to make sure correct and consistent.
 
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BoriReefer

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Tropic Marin Pro salt, Hanna Testers for ALK, PHOS, CAL also NYOS Test Kits for Nitrate and Mag, Reef Nutrition Phytho. Aquavitro Fuel, Brightwell Neo Nitro and Phos. CHEMI Pure Blue for carbon. used Vibrant for bubble algae and it worked. Used CHEMI Clean for cyano with good results as well. BRS 2 part for the big 3 dosing. I just started using All For Reef yesterday on a dosing pump.

I’ve used several different brands of GFO and all seemed to work equally as well.

These are my go to’s, although I try to address issues with proper husbandry versus just throwing a product at any given issue.
 
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