Selecting the right 2-part system for your aquarium - BRStv Reef Gear Guide
There are different manufacturers that all have their own methodologies like Aquaforest, Triton, and Red Sea that are a smaller part of a larger system that includes major and minor trace elements in a balanced system that they have formulated for easy dosing that directly related to the calcium or alkalinity consumption. These systems are going to require a little more work and management of testing and dosing, but in the long run, you can fine tune the system for your tank and what is working best.
Other systems like BRS additives and ESV are a little more straightforward with dosing just calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium and are by far the most economical. ESV does add some trace elements to their B-Ionic system which does have some limitations though. We commonly get asked, "Are minor trace elements necessary for a successful reef tank?" and the answer is simply no. We have had tons of success by just managing the essential three elements and keeping up with regular water changes.
In the long run, we highly suggest what you think would work best for your aquarium, and that you can afford. If we could run the Triton system on every tank, we would, due to their accurate ICP testing and single elements let you hone in on any issues your tank may be having without affecting other elements, but it is by far from the most economical.