Neptune Systems Trident Automatic monitoring of calcium & magnesium

Is Automatic Monitoring of Calcium & Magnesium Necessary?

A few weeks ago I provided an overview of the GHL KH Director and touched on some reasons why I went with that unit versus others in the marketplace. A primary factor was my positive experience with another GHL product, the Doser 2.1. I was also swayed by the KHD’s ability to read and then adjust dKH levels up or down.

ghl kh director

Well, I wanted to peel the onion back a bit more and give you some deeper insight into why I believe the KHD was the right choice for me. You see, I don’t like a lot of moving parts when it comes to keeping a reef tank since more equipment equals more variables, increasing the likelihood something can go wrong. Simplicity is good when it comes to a reef tank and it factored into my thinking when I chose an alkalinity monitor.

Is the Trident Worth the Wait?

I did consider waiting for Neptune System’s Trident since it has received a lot of buzz and will monitor calcium and magnesium in addition to alkalinity. But wait, do I really need to monitor all three on a constant basis? Heck, when I ran my 225 gallon SPS dominated tank I DID NOT TEST MAGNESIUM on a regular basis. Was that a smart idea? Maybe not but that is how I rolled back then.

reefbum reef tank

What about calcium? Measuring calcium is certainly important but this parameter does not fluctuate much when I test it weekly with a Salifert test kit. Ditto for magnesium, no big changes on the rare occasions I test. The most critical thing to constantly measure is alkalinity, as large swings can impact SPS health.

The Cost Factor

Another reason to think twice about constantly monitoring calcium and magnesium is cost, as the price to replace three reagents will be higher versus one reagent. More work will be involved as well since more pump calibrations will be required over time to ensure accurate results.

And then there is the moving parts factor. Having more pumps, more reagents and more tubing will increase the odds something will fail. You do get less with the KH Director versus the Trident but, in my view, less is more when it comes to alkalinity monitoring systems.


One very important note to disclose, I now sell KH Directors but I only sell or recommend products I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. If you would like more information or would like to purchase a KHD please visit the Equipment section on

Additional Resources

If you would like some help with a new tank build, including help designing a custom aquarium, or help re-configuring your current setup then you can visit this page for more information. And if you are looking to add some equipment, I do sell GHL, Pax Bellum, Reef Octopus Calcium and Kalk Reactors and Royal Exclusiv products, including Dreamboxes, which is the equipment I use and recommend. I also sell Reef Brite metal halide and LED fixtures as well as Maxspect & IceCap Gyres.

As for additional insights and information, please explore my many other reef tank and SPS related articles as well as my YouTube channel. For an even deeper dive into reef tank care you can check out my Reef Keeping Master Class. This online course is an immersive and one of a kind educational tool designed to help reef aquarium hobbyists build and maintain a beautiful SPS reef tank. The course is a series of video presentations with some supplemental video from my YouTube channel. There are also quizzes to help students retain and understand the information presented in the course.

Need some frags…..I can help with that as well 🙂 Please visit my SPS Frag store to see what is available.

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