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Krish87

Do you dose your nano tanks?

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Krish87

Dear Reefers,

 

i'm interested to understand "dosing" for nano tanks, specifically if it is a mixed reef. Per my research and conversations with local reefers here, I learnt that regular water changes is good enough. But I still wanted to seek your thoughts around this topic.

 

Any information / experiences is really appreciated.

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specore

Water changes will suffice; however, they probably aren't going to get you optimal growing conditions.  Best way to determine if you should dose or not would be testing immediately after a water change and again just before the next water change.  If you are seeing significant dips in alk/Ca then dosing would probably help.  With a good 2 part dosing is a breeze.  I dosed my 29g for years just using a medicine syringe and bottle stoppers in the b-ionic jugs.  Literally took 30 seconds every morning. 

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Krish87

Thanks a lot!

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nicholc2

The only way to have completely stable params is to dose. Unless you’re doing water changes every day of course. 😉

 

Then again it depends on what you’re keeping. SPS tank it’s almost a requirement. LPS and softies are more forgiving of parameter swings. 

 

My $.02 of course. 

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Nano Nano Boo Boo

Great questions and something I’ve wondered as well. Specore great response as usual. I’ll do exactly that to determine a good path. 

 

I do dose reefroids in very small increments more for fun than anything. I notice the corals perk up but no more than after a good water change. I’m thinking about doing more frequent smaller water changes moving forward. 

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nicholc2

This is a good read as well. Basically they suggest eliminating water changes altogether and only dose what’s needed. 

 

https://www.triton.de/en/products-services/triton-method/

 

In the end it’s what works best for you and your tank. 

 

For what it’s worth I dose ESV 2 part with timers and a doser. I have a countdown timer that counts down for 25 minutes and then doses each part for 2 seconds and that runs 24x7.  Each part doses about a minute a part so they don’t directly interact with one another.  I check the params at the same time each day and they stay super stable. I also check at random times as well just to be sure. If my alk starts to drop I’ll decrease the 25 minute timer. If it starts to increase I’ll increase the timer. It is going to vary based on the tank inhabitants. I’m 90% SPS so I’d have MAJOR dips in alk and calcium if I didn’t dose.

 

I also recently eliminated my skimmer and added a HOB refugium with chaeto and have seen very good results so far. 🙂

 

My goal is no more than one water change every month or two. Water changes suck. LOL

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MrObscura

Reefroids is feeding though,  not replacing  elements.

 

I'm a noob, still cycling my first reef, but I've done a lot of research and talked to a number of people and all have told me that for 10 gallon planed mixed reef of softies, lps and sps, a once a week WC of 20% or so with red sea coral pro should be more than enough. But we will see. I have a while to go until i reach that point.

 

Also, kalkwasser might be worth checking out if it turns out you do need to elevate cal/alk.  It can simply be added to you top off resivor every time you fill it up, rather than having to dose daily. For some it's enough that they don't need to dose. Every tank is different and it's going to depend on you stocking, salt mix, WC routine, etc. But for a small nano general consensus seems to be a good size WC with a goold salt will suffice.

 

And to be honest slower growth in a small tank, as long as the corals are healthy and colorful, isn't necessarily a bad thing. As of now my plan is weekly water changes and feeding reefroids once a week.  And we'll go from there. Like I said, it'll be a while before my tank is fully stocked. 

 

Personally even as a noob in reef keeping, I wouldn't ever  consider going without WCs all to together. Especially on a small nano when it's really the only means of nutrient export. And you'd have to dose trace elements then as well wouldn't you? And if WCs can handle it in place of dosing that's easier and more convenient imo since it's killing 2 birds with one stone while keeping things simple.

 

 

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nicholc2
3 minutes ago, MrObscura said:

Reefroids is feeding though,  not replacing  elements.

 

I'm a noob, still cycling my first reef, but I've done a lot of research and talked to a number of people and all have told me that for 10 gallon planed mixed reef of softies, lps and sps, a once a week WC of 20% or so with red sea coral pro should be more than enough. But we will see. I have a while to go until i reach that point.

 

Also, kalkwasser might be worth checking out if it turns out you do need to elevate cal/alk.  It can simply be added to you top off resivor every time you fill it up, rather than having to dose daily. For some it's enough that they don't need to dose. Every tank is different and it's going to depend on you stocking, salt mix, WC routine, etc. But for a small nano general consensus seems to be a good size WC with a goold salt will suffice.

 

And to be honest slower growth in a small tank, as long as the corals are healthy and colorful, isn't necessarily a bad thing. As of now my plan is weekly water changes and feeding reefroids once a week.  And we'll go from there. Like I said, it'll be a while before my tank is fully stocked. 

I did kalk back in the day. It worked ok. It all depends on what your tank needs. I like 2 part because it includes mag, iodine, etc that you wont get with kalk. 

 

FYI I test for iodine and mag as well once in a while and they’re always spot on. 

 

Rule of thumb is don’t dose what you cant test. If you’re willing to do consistent partials and aren’t housing anything too delicate that should work just fine. 

 

Your tank inhabitants will let you know if they like what what you’re doing or not. 😉

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Krish87

Appreciate all the replies. Thank you so much.

 

I just did a water change. Did a parameter test now and will do it before next water change and derive the diffs. Accordingly, I can see if its needed or not. Thanks for the suggestion @specore 🙂 

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MrObscura

my plan for stocking is... zoas, ricordea down low,  lords and chalices in the middle, and then various monti and birdsnest up top. then maybe down the road a single acro just to see.

 

 

Krish, how many stony corals do you have and how large are they? Anyway, I'm interested in your results so keep us updated after next WC.

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1891Bro
14 minutes ago, nicholc2 said:

 

Your tank inhabitants will let you know if they like what what you’re doing or not. 😉

This. 

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MrObscura

What are the warning signs to look for in regards to low cal/alk? What kind of symptoms do corals display besides slow growth?

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specore

If you don't want to invest in a doser these are a great tool for manual dosing.  And they are free at your local pharmacy. 

 

 

image.png.34d4b7a5862404bf2e4b9eff5a1ca967.png

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Biglex

On my jbj45 I do 3 part dosing Red Sea. Also doing the colors programing on that tank. 

I was doing a two part on my 14 gallon peninsula and just got the polypro “one”  gana try that on the small tank and see what results I get 

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nicholc2
15 minutes ago, MrObscura said:

What are the warning signs to look for in regards to low cal/alk? What kind of symptoms do corals display besides slow growth?

LPS and softies will look deflated and generally unhappy. 

 

SPS can worst case start to RTN or bleach. if alk is high they can start showing alk burn on the tips. 

 

Of course the fun is these signs could be because of something else altogether as well. 

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Nano Nano Boo Boo

It’s funny the “no water chnage” theory came up. My LFS has one of the most beautiful Biocube 32s I’ve ever seen. Torches, Ricordias, zoas, Leathers, and many others. They do zero water changes and run the stock filtration with an eshopps protein skimmer. I always find myself watching the 4 fish in this tank and the coral growth when I swing. Testament to each tank will tell you when it needs. (They do dose FYI but with no real schedule)

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Nano Nano Boo Boo
6 minutes ago, specore said:

If you don't want to invest in a doser these are a great tool for manual dosing.  And they are free at your local pharmacy. 

 

 

image.png.34d4b7a5862404bf2e4b9eff5a1ca967.png

My wife’s a nurse, these are great tools. Little syringes are great for knocking out glass anemones as well. 

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Aurortpa

Yes I dose my tank. Like some said above, there are exceptions depending on many variables such as type of corals you have, saltwater you acquire, frequency and size of water changes, etc....

 

Testing regularly is the only way to be sure if you need to or not—it’s just basic math. If your tank consumes more than the frequency and size that your water change can replace, you should consider dosing.

 

For instance, let’s say my tank consumes on avg only .5 dkh/day and my target is 8 dkh, on a weekly 25% water change with let’s say a salt mix with 11dkh, I’ll ultimately build up a cumulative shortage at a rate of .75 every week.

 

The reason is because .5dkh for 7 days=3.5dkh total consumed, if I was on target at 8dkh on day 1 it would theoretically be at 4.5dkh on day 7 then. The 25% water change at 11dkh would give the tank an added 2.75dkh because 25% of 11 is 2.75), 4.5+2.75=7.25dkh...then next week it would drop to 6.5dkh, and then 5.75...eventually without dosing or a larger water change, I will inevitably run into a problem.

 

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Krish87
36 minutes ago, MrObscura said:

my plan for stocking is... zoas, ricordea down low,  lords and chalices in the middle, and then various monti and birdsnest up top. then maybe down the road a single acro just to see.

 

 

Krish, how many stony corals do you have and how large are they? Anyway, I'm interested in your results so keep us updated after next WC.

I have a mix of SPS, LPS and soft corals.

 

  • 3 SPS on the top area of the rock-work (Pocillopora, Stylophora and Branching Montipora)
  • 8 LPS corals in the mid area to the sand-bed 
  • 5 soft corals

Sure, will share the results on this thread. As of now, the corals are growing slow growth but have been healthy.

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Clown79

Dosing should be done to replenish what corals use.

 

It's important in lps and sps dominant tanks where alk drops significantly to replenish it with dosing. Dosing to replenish the daily consumption keeps alk and ca stable.

 

 But there are people who don't dose and have successful reefs as well and they don't do daily waterchanges. 

 

I have 3 tanks. 2 of them I test and dose, the other 1 I don't. 

The 1 that has no testing or dosing has had no issues. Corals are happy, never closed up, I've had growth. It has lps and mushrooms in it.

 

 

Dosing can lead to problems if done incorrectly.

 

1 should:

 

-Test newly mixed saltwater

-Test the tank after a waterchange

-Test every day at the same time for a week

 

This determines:

 

-What your salts alk and ca levels are

-Determines what your tanks parameters start at(which is your target numbers)

-Determines the daily consumption of alk/ca so you can properly dose.

 

 

The only way to know if you should or how much you need to dose is by testing

 

Blind dosing leads to more problems than not dosing

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pdxnanoreef

Currently I run kalk in my ATO, but once kalk and water changes cant keep up with the demand then I plan to supplement with homemade 2 part. 

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Toxic enigma

My 14 gallon which is just a few soft and lps corals one fish, small urchin, pepermint shrimp and some macros with a skimmer/ filter combo and scrwe in 50/50 bulbs started to thrive when I stopped messing with it. So now I just change a few gallons of water and clean equipment every other week and leave it at that.

    My 29 gallon mixed reef that's leaning towards sps dominate is currently getting kalkwasser dosed with a basic dripper at an 1/8th tsp over three days and aquavitro fuel once a week. But I'm sure things will change as it progresses.

     I've been adding phytoplankton in hopes of getting healthy pod populations in both but don't count that as dosing.

       

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