Is it worth dosing my reef tank with iodine?

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Iodine used to be regularly dosed by reefkeepers a few years ago, but is it still considered a beneficial supplement? Jake Adams gives his opinion.

In the late to mid 1990s, a reef aquarist was not worth his or her weight in salt if they couldn’t tell the difference between iodine, iodide and iodate. Any reef coral was sure to imminently perish if not regularly provided with iodine in some form.

Nowadays, aquarists use higher quality salts, two-part additives and Balling methods which all have some form of iodine included for the benefit of all reef life, including corals, fish and invertebrates.

For an average reef aquarium, the amount of iodine added through some basic husbandry routines is generally enough to satisfy the demands of all the inhabitants there.

Adding a little iodine is generally perceived to have some benefit to all reef life across the board, but adding it becomes more critical when dealing with certain groups of high concentration marine life.

Aquariums with a high density of macroalgae, coralline algae, crustaceans or soft corals have a higher demand for iodine and owners of these types should be adding iodine more frequently than usual.

This item was first published in the September 2009 issue of Practical Fishkeeping magazine. It may not be reproduced without written permission.