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B-Ionic Reef Keeping (BRK)

Balanced Ion Technology

B-Ionic® stands for "Balanced Ion Technology;" the foundation upon which ESV’s B-Ionic® Calcium Buffer System, the first ionically balanced two component, was developed in 1995. Through this technology, our products are aimed at maintaining and improving the overall ionic balance of your aquarium water. We offer the ultimate in product quality, consistency, and purity. This is accomplished through rigorous quality control, expert formulation, raw material selection, and product purification. We start by selecting chemicals with extremely low heavy metal impurity levels, which is of most concern. In many cases we choose FCC grade chemicals over USP grade. In those cases, the FCC grade is certified to have less than half the heavy metal (as Pb) content of USP grade. B-Ionic® Reef Keeping (BRK) strives to simplify the science and art of reef maintenance, moving it further away from more complex methods.

Compatible with most aquarium setups and reef keeping methodologies


With the Transition Element products, along with the soon to be released B-Ionic® Nitrogen, the aquarist can control nutrient levels to reduce or eliminate the use of Ferric Hydroxide, or other phosphate removal media.
With BRK, the overall ionic balance can be monitored at home with readily available test kits. While ICP testing can be valuable in diagnosing problems, it is not required with BRK. Since most elements are going into the aquarium with B-Ionic® Calcium Buffer, harmful levels of these elements are avoided if proper salinity is maintained. Home test kits give immediate results, and avoid the lag time involved with receiving ICP results.
B-Ionic® Calcium Buffer supplies all major, minor, and trace elements of synthetic seawater. As such, increased calcification rates require increased dosages of B-Ionic® Calcium Buffer, which in turn increases the input of all other elements. The elements supplied in our B-Ionic® TE and B-Ionic® TE PLUS are not necessarily linked to calcification. The uptake of iron,manganese, and zinc could be higher in systems with macroalgae and soft coral. Therefore, the dose of TE products are independent of calcification rates.
Through recent test results, we have determined that many major and minor ions are kept stable even without water changes when using B-Ionic® Calcium Buffer. This can be verified by using home test kits for magnesium, strontium, boron, and others. If the concentration of any elements drop below acceptable levels, using our weekly and as needed additives can remedy the situation without water changes. Dissolved organic buildup can be reduced with ESV Granular Activated Carbon. Water changes will, however, lower the buildup of refractory dissolved organics and nutrients if they can not be remedied through other methods such as protein skimming, algae scrubbing, or organic carbon dosing.
ESV B-Ionic® Calcium Buffer System, adds all major, minor, and trace elements of artificial seawater daily with no risk of overdosing in systems maintained at normal salinity, calcium, and alkalinity. While many products claim to be balanced for calcium and alkalinity, many are not balanced with regards to the ions they leave behind in your aquarium water. After calcium and alkalinity have been used by the organisms in your aquarium, products based solely on calcium chloride and sodium carbonate/bicarbonate leave unwanted sodium chloride behind in your water. Over time, as salinity is corrected, the ionic content of the aquarium water drifts closer to a sodium chloride solution, rather than a synthetic seawater solution. B-Ionic® Calcium Buffer System solves this problem by leaving behind all major, minor, and trace elements of synthetic seawater in their correct ratios. In this case, as salinity is corrected, the ionic balance of the aquarium water is not disrupted, and in fact, is pulled closer to the correct ratios of synthetic seawater with no risk of overdosing any elements. Based on our ingredient selection and formulation capability, B-Ionic® Calcium Buffer is completely balanced for magnesium, eliminating the need for a 3rd component. While B-Ionic® adds all the elements of synthetic seawater on a daily basis, some elements are depleted more rapidly than B-Ionic® can keep up with. For this reason, the second main additive of the B-Ionic® Reef Keeping System is one of the two B-Ionic® Transition Element products.

B-Ionic® Transition Elements and Transition Elements PLUS+ both add the transition elements iron, manganese, and zinc on a daily basis to the aquarium. Through extensive research and development, we have arrived at concentrations of these elements which will not accumulate in your aquarium water. B-Ionic® TE and TE PLUS+ will help mitigate any hydrogen sulfide formation, and provide limiting trace elements for maximum growth of macro algae and zooxanthellae. Enhanced coral coloration and polyp extension have also been observed with the use of the B-Ionic® TE and TE PLUS+. B-Ionic® Transition Elements PLUS+ also supplies carbon dosing for aquariums requiring nutrient reduction.
B-Ionic® Iodide and B-Ionic® Strontium Iodide and strontium are ions that can deplete faster than the levels supplied in B-Ionic® Calcium Buffer, and for this reason we recommend weekly additions of these products. The aquarist has the option of customizing this dosage based on test kit results.
B-Ionic® Magnesium, B-Ionic® Potassium, B-Ionic® Calcium Nitrate. B-Ionic® Calcium Buffer adds all of the ions supplied by the above listed products on a daily basis in their correct ratios, and are effective at maintaining their correct concentrations. Should any of these elements deviate over time, these additives are available to be dosed based on test results. All ESV additives are formulated to prevent disruption of ionic balance in your aquarium water. We will soon be releasing a simple method for approximating sulfate concentrations using a home test kit. Sulfate concentration, along with other element test kit results, are important in determining the overall ionic balance of a system not employing water changes. B-Ionic® Potassium, B-Ionic® Calcium Nitrate will be available later this year.


B-Ionic Seawater System

Missing your Seawater Instructions? You can download a copy:

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

B-Ionic stands for "Balanced Ion Technology;" the foundation upon which all of our products have been developed. Through this technology, our products are aimed at maintaining and improving the overall ionic balance of your aquarium water.
While many other products claim to be balanced for calcium and alkalinity, they are not balanced in regard to the ions they leave behind in your aquarium water. After calcium and alkalinity have been used by the organisms in your aquarium, products based solely on calcium chloride and sodium carbonate/bicarbonate leave unwanted sodium chloride behind in your water. Over time as salinity is corrected, the ionic content of the aquarium water drifts closer to a sodium chloride solution, rather than a synthetic seawater solution. B-Ionic Calcium Buffer System solves this problem by leaving behind all major, minor, and trace elements of synthetic seawater in their correct ratios. In this case, as salinity is corrected, the ionic balance of the aquarium water is not disrupted, and in fact, is pulled closer to the correct ratios of synthetic seawater. While 3-component systems that incorporate magnesium sulfate are more ionically balanced, they are still missing important major, minor, and trace elements. Therefore, disruption of ionic imbalance will still occur.
Every reef aquarium has it's own unique demand for calcium and alkalinity, and in order to establish the needs of your tank, we recommend testing those parameters. The recommended starting dose is 1 ml. of each component per 4 gallons of aquarium capacity per day, and with regular testing, you can adjust your dose accordingly.
It is okay to temporarily dose unequal amounts of alkalinity and calcium until you arrive at your target levels. Once you are at your desired levels, you can go back to dosing equal amounts of each component. The disruption of the ionic balance is insignificant when temporarily altering the component amounts to correct a calcium/alkalinity imbalance. It is possible that it may actually balance ionic ratios better than where they previously were
It is normal for the B-Ionic Alkalinity component to precipitate chemicals if exposed to temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. For Concentrate, we recommend diluting your product with RO/DI water, keeping it in a warm room, and intermittently mix the product until (48-72 hrs average) all chemicals go into solution. For product packaged in 5 gallon buckets, look down through the spout to make sure all chemicals in the bottom have been dissolved. In order to accelerate the process, you can submerge the bottle in warm water (120-130 deg F). Just be sure to put the bottle in a bag before you submerge it, because our labels are not waterproof. For the ready to use alkalinity component, simply mix intermittently while storing in a warm room to ensure all chemicals are dissolved. The solution should be completely dissolved before use. Check the bottom of the container, and if you see any undissolved material, it needs more time and/or heat.
It is normal for there to be more liquid concentrate in the alkalinity component as compared the the calcium component. This is simply a result of making our solutions as concentrated as possible. The only exception to this rule is our bulk 20 gallon unit which has equal amounts of concentrate in both components, in order to allow easier measurement of the dilution water.
Components A and B of the B-Ionic Seawater System are not interchangeable with components 1 and 2 (alkalinity and calcium, respectively) of the B-Ionic Calcium Buffer System. The liquid components included in the seawater system need to be mixed with the sodium chloride and magnesium sulfate included in the mix, in order to achieve the correct ionic ratios of elements. For this reason, it is recommend that you do not use the liquid components for alk/cal dosing.