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RIP Sebastian

Red Sea Reef Care Program- Full Experience Documentation

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Hi all,

 

It's me! I've been quite busy these past few months, which is why I've been away. I also haven't been home that much, so my tank maintenance has fallen behind to say the least. I had been wanting to try the Reef Care Program for a while now, and I also figured that it would help me get back on to my normal maintenance schedule. I saw it on sale at BRS and snapped it up as a Christmas present for myself. Here it is:

 

46413140512_42f1a346aa_k.jpgday 0 by npvalenta, on Flickr

 

 

It  was a lot of stuff. I was a little imtimidated at first. BUT. I realized that I haven't been able to find any documentation on forums with pictures of progress with this program, so I figured that I'd make a journal of my overall experience/progress with this program. 

 

Stay tuned!

 

-Nick

 

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I'm going to be honest, these "systems"  seem to needlessly over complicate things while designed to make reefers spend even more money than is already necessary. 

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This is cool! I’m already on the big three from RS. And I just got the Coral Colors (trace) through NR secret santa. 

I hope you keep us updated on the progress. 

 

1 hour ago, MrObscura said:

I'm going to be honest, these "systems"  seem to needlessly over complicate things while designed to make reefers spend even more money than is already necessary. 

 

The more mature reef tanks are already on some types of systems or another, to supplement depletions between water changes. Most of the times, one won’t think of it that way because the products came via multiple vendors. It’s hard to argue your point on the extra spending, but sometimes it becomes necessary.  Is it worthwhile to stick with a single branded offerings? Is there a premium added costs to it?  Idk, but I’ll want to see some example results for sure. 

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I'm going to disagree, plenty of mature reefs run without having used some trademarked system to get there. I mean if you want to call a mature thriving ecosystem a "system" in the same sense yea it's using a system... But you can get there naturally without a bunch of overpriced nonsense. 

 

Other than 2 part the only thing that often needs to be dosed is trace elements(and that's only if you're trying to get away from water changes, which I don't agree with either personally) which a lot of that above is, but it's just a cash grab imo especially since a young tank is going to consume things at a much slower rate. 

 

I'm just responding to your thread, and this is just my opinion, but it's the complete opposite of my ideology. 

 

 

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Another reason I had been wanting to try out this system is because in the tree or so years this tank has been running, hard corals have never done well in it. I've dosed before and kept up with maintenance, yet LPS and SPS do okay for a while and then just whither away. So, I've pretty much given up on them and I stopped dosing for a while, which is why the levels below are so low. Oh, to measure Cal and Mag, I use the Red Sea test kits and I use a Hanna Checker for Alk.

 

 

Day 1:

 

Parameters (Tested Before Dosing):

 

Cal: 340 ppm

Alk: 7.7 dKh

Mag: 980 ppm

 

Now, a large part of the Reef Care Program is Red Sea's Reef Care Recipes. I've tried a lot of things in regards to Cal/Alk/Mag levels, and I know that many people keep it 420/8/1350, but I'm curious about what results I'll get with Red Sea's Mixed Reef reccomendation of 450/11.5/1350. The one way I will deviate from the recipe is the salt. I've used teh Coral Pro Salt in the past, and I've had the Alk readings on that be 13+, and it burned some of my corals. Ever since, I've used the Red Sea blue bucket and I am continuing to do so.  Obviously, I've got some work to do. I found a calculator, which I'll link here, that calculates needed amounts of Red Sea powders needed based upon the values you input. Obviously, I don't want to raise Calcium by more than 25ppm/day and I don't want to raise Alkalinity by more than .5 dKh/day. According to the calculator, I need to add 2.6 grams of powder every day over 11 days to get to the target level of 450ppm. For Alk, the calculator says that I will need to add 2.8 grams of powder every day for three days and 2.2 grams of the fourth day. I am going to half that and double the amount of time (1.4 grams every day for six days and 1.1 gram on the seventh day) just to be safe. In regards to mag, the calculator says I should add 2.9 grams/day for 18 days and 1.5 grams on the 19th day. Now, I'm raising cal faster than alk, so I figure I'll reduce the mag dosing down to about three quarters the amount (2.1 grams/day for 22.5 days).

 

Added: 

 

2.6 Grams of Red Sea Foundation A

1.4 Grams of Red Sea Foundation B

2.1 Grams of Red Sea Foundation C

 

That's it for today!

 

-Nick

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Day 2:

 

MAJOR UPDATE

 

Well, I feel like an idiot.

 

46438489992_ee2adb5917_k.jpgoops by npvalenta, on Flickr

 

I just realized that BRS sent me two B Powders, but one of them was in a Powder C box. That explains the discrepancy in my alk values that I outline below.  I reached out to them already and some Mag is being sent out to me tonight. They're awesome.

 

Actual important stuff:

 

Cal: 340 (+0)

Alk: 8.4 (+.7)

 

According to Red Sea, the concentration of the A Powder is 3.6ppm/gram. So, my daily Calcium uptake is equal to 9.36 ppm. When I plug this into the calculator, it tells me that I need to add 5 grams of powder per day, half of which would just make up for the Ca absorbed. However, I decided to stick with only dosing four grams today just to be safe. Due to the Alk issue, yesterday I added 1.19 dKh. Today, there was a .7 increase, which means my daily Alk intake is .49 dKh/day. When I adjust that in the calculator, it tells me that I need to add 4 grams per day, 1.4 of which would maintain the .49 decrease. I didn't do that today, but I will tomorrow. So yeah. That was my adventure.

 

Added Today:

 

4 Grams of Red Sea Foundation A

1.4 Grams of Red Sea Foundation B

 

 

Feel free to read below if you want, but all of that is now irrelevant. I just realized that BRS sent me two B Powders, but one of them was in a Powder C box. That explains the discrepancy in my alk values that I outline below.  

 

 

BELOW IS MY ORIGINAL POST.

 

 

Day 2 (ORIGINAL POST) :

 

Cal: 340 (+0)

Alk: 8.4 (+.7)

Mag: 980 (+0)

 

Today's testing results surprised me. I initially assumed that my daily Calcium uptake was nominal since I only have two or three hard corals. However, this does not appear to be the case. I also was not expecting my Alk to have increased that much. More on this later. I'm not surprised that the mag didn't change since the calcium didn't. Today, I'll dose four grams on cal and mag and keep with the same Alk amount. If there is a massive increase in cal/mag tomorrow, I'll dial back the dose a little bit.

 

According to Red Sea, the concentration of the A Powder is 3.6ppm/gram. So, my daily Calcium uptake is equal to 9.36 ppm. When I plug this into the calculator, it tells me that I need to add 5 grams of powder per day, half of which would just make up for the Ca absorbed. However, I decided to stick with only dosing four grams just to be safe. The concentration of the B Powder is .34 dKh/gram. I had an increase of .7 dKh, but I only added about .5 dKh of powder, which means I must have messed up the test, right? WRONG. I redid the test and got a similar output. So I either measured my initial dKh wrong or I was just really bad at measuring out the 1.4 grams. It was probably a bit of both.  They sent me the wrong product. See the very top.

 

Added Today:

 

4 Grams of Red Sea Foundation A

1.4 Grams of Red Sea Foundation B

4 Grams of Red Sea Foundation C

 

That's all, folks!

 

-Nick

 

 

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Cool, thanks for keeping a journal so we can learn from your experience. Would love to see pics of your tank over time as well. 

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25 minutes ago, banasophia said:

Cool, thanks for keeping a journal so we can learn from your experience. Would love to see pics of your tank over time as well. 

Sure thing! You may want to check that post again.....You replied while something interesting was happening. 

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3 minutes ago, RIP Sebastian said:

Sure thing! You may want to check that post again.....You replied while something interesting was happening. 

Whoa! That’s crazy... good thing you figured it out!!!

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Day 3:

 

Cal: 370 (+30)

Alk: 8.9 (+.5)

 

We're heading in the right direction. I'm already seeing some changes- my duncan frag is the most extended I've ever seen him! Maybe it's just my imagination. Either way, nothing too exciting.  The new Magnesium powder should be here on the 3rd.

 

Added Today:

 

4 Grams of Red Sea Foundation A

1.4 Grams of Red Sea Foundation B

 

 

-Nick

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Day 4:

 

Cal: 410 (+30)

Alk: 9.3 (+.4)

 

Nothing too exciting here. Everything in the tank is doing well. 

 

Added Today:

 

4 Grams of Red Sea Foundation A

1.4 Grams of Red Sea Foundation B

 

-Nick

 

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Day 5:

 

Cal: 390 (-20)

Alk: 9.5 (+.2)

 

The results were a little odd today. My Cal dropped. Hmm. I'm not too worried; if it happens again tomorrow, I'll investigate further. My softies seem to have perked up quite a bit, though.

 

Added Today:

 

4 Grams of Red Sea Foundation A

1.4 Grams of Red Sea Foundation B

 

-Nick

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Good Luck with it! I am using KZ 1234 but would not say this type of stuff helps keep SPS, just maybe improves colors. Ca/Alk/Mg, reg water changes, and luck help keep SPS alive. 

 

The nice thing about nano's though is we don't need to go broke to try out products like these. 

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8 hours ago, Tamberav said:

Good Luck with it! I am using KZ 1234 but would not say this type of stuff helps keep SPS, just maybe improves colors. Ca/Alk/Mg, reg water changes, and luck help keep SPS alive. 

 

The nice thing about nano's though is we don't need to go broke to try out products like these. 

1

Thanks for the info! I love all of your tanks.

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Day 6:

 

Cal: 390 (+0)

Alk: 9.9 (+.4)

 

The alk is back on track today, but the calcium is not. Any ideas as to why? I'm totally lost. Is it possible that the higher alk levels have caused certain corals to grow faster,  therefore using more calcium? I dunno. I'm upping the dosage from 4 grams to 6 for calcium. For my water change today, I decided to do it 50-50 with RSCP and the Red Sea blue bucket. The RSCP claims to mix to an alk of 12.2 and the blue bucket claims 7.7, so I figure the average should be okay.

 

Added Today:

 

6 Grams of Red Sea Foundation A

1.4 Grams of Red Sea Foundation B

 

-Nick

 

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Look for precipitation, check the sand bed too, especially around the rocks. 

 

I honestly don't track calcium closely though, test maybe once a month. It stays in range enough. Mine was 400 last I checked which is good enough for me. 

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On ‎12‎/‎31‎/‎2018 at 3:29 PM, Tamberav said:

Look for precipitation, check the sand bed too, especially around the rocks. 

 

I honestly don't track calcium closely though, test maybe once a month. It stays in range enough. Mine was 400 last I checked which is good enough for me. 

I did check, but I didn't see anything. Hm. I'll keep an eye out, though. Thanks again!

 

Day 7:

 

Cal: 410 (+20)

Alk: 10.0 (+.1)

 

Sorry that I missed a day. I did test, just forgot to post.

 

Added:

 

6 Grams of Red Sea Foundation A

1.4 Grams of Red Sea Foundation B

 

Day 8:

 

Cal: 420 (+10)

Alk: 10.0 (+0)

 

It seems to me that the consumption is speeding up again, which means I'll have to up the dosages again. 

 

Added Today:

 

8 Grams of Red Sea Foundation A
2 Grams of Red Sea Foundation B

 

 

That's all, folks!

 

-Nick

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Day 9:

 

Cal: 430 (+10)

Alk: 10.4 (+.4)

 

 

Everything seems normal. The mag should be here later today.

 

Added Today:

 

8 Grams of Red Sea Foundation A

2 Grams of Red Sea Foundation B

 

-Nick

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It'd be nice to have some photos to accompany the statistics - doesn't even have to be daily.  Especially now that you're reaching the targeted parameters, it'd be a good "start" point for documenting corals response.

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29 minutes ago, micoastreefing said:

It'd be nice to have some photos to accompany the statistics - doesn't even have to be daily.  Especially now that you're reaching the targeted parameters, it'd be a good "start" point for documenting corals response.

Yes, I agree. I saw your post in my build thread. I'll add some tomorrow, though I'm a little embarrassed to do so. The tank isn't in great shape. It's not terrible, but it's not where I want it to be.

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On 12/26/2018 at 2:35 PM, RIP Sebastian said:

Another reason I had been wanting to try out this system is because in the tree or so years this tank has been running, hard corals have never done well

This is usually not a mystery these days.

 

Can you post what your test results have been like historically, prior to the switch?

On 12/31/2018 at 1:02 PM, RIP Sebastian said:

The alk is back on track today, but the calcium is not. Any ideas as to why? I'm totally lost. Is it possible that the higher alk levels have caused certain corals to grow faster,  therefore using more calcium? I dunno.

I don't know how much you've read up on dosing, but you want to engage with the concept of balanced dosing.  (Hopefully the Red Sea kit is geared for this basic concept....pretty much all other two-parts are.)

 

Check these out:

When Do Calcium and Alkalinity Demand Not Exactly Balance?

Chemistry And The Aquarium: Solving Calcium And Alkalinity Problems

 

21 hours ago, RIP Sebastian said:

Yes, I agree. I saw your post in my build thread. I'll add some tomorrow, though I'm a little embarrassed to do so. The tank isn't in great shape. It's not terrible, but it's not where I want it to be.

I understand your position, but considering the post is intended to be educational, the folks would really benefit from knowing/seeing where you started....warts and all.

 

Try to keep in mind that ALL of the good looking tanks you see in pictures online DO NOT look like that all the time.

 

And most tanks go through some really ugly phases....they just get posted and seen a lot less often than "all the pretty pictures".

 

 

So NOBODY is going to see anything they haven't seen before in their own thank.  :) :) :)

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45 minutes ago, mcarroll said:

This is usually not a mystery these days.

 

Can you post what your test results have been like historically, prior to the switch?

I don't know how much you've read up on dosing, but you want to engage with the concept of balanced dosing.  (Hopefully the Red Sea kit is geared for this basic concept....pretty much all other two-parts are.)

 

Check these out:

When Do Calcium and Alkalinity Demand Not Exactly Balance?

Chemistry And The Aquarium: Solving Calcium And Alkalinity Problems

 

I understand your position, but considering the post is intended to be educational, the folks would really benefit from knowing/seeing where you started....warts and all.

 

Try to keep in mind that ALL of the good looking tanks you see in pictures online DO NOT look like that all the time.

 

And most tanks go through some really ugly phases....they just get posted and seen a lot less often than "all the pretty pictures".

 

 

So NOBODY is going to see anything they haven't seen before in their own thank.  🙂 🙂 🙂

Thank you very much for your feedback and support. Those articles were very helpful. Unfortunately, I don't have any parameter records from before.

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Day 10:

 

Cal: 450 (+20)

Alk: 10.9 (+.5)

Mag: 920

 

The mag came in the mail yesterday, so I tested for it today. According to Red Sea's Recipe, mag needs to be at 1350. My cal is now at 450, which is where it should be. Using the concentration provided by Red Sea, yesterday I added 26.88ppm of Ca. That means my daily Ca consumption is about 7 ppm. So, I'm going to dose 2 grams of Ca today.

For mag, it looks like the tank consumed 60ppm over 8 days, which means the daily consumption is 7.5ppm per day. Using the calculator, it tells me that I need to dose 15 grams a day for three weeks, with an additional dose of 10 grams. Is that too much to dose per day? It seems like it is, so I'll start with 10. Also, I have been asked for pictures, so here is an FTS (I am a bad photographer, sorry):

 

31662033977_6d2a9ac7ac_k.jpgfts 1 by npvalenta, on Flickr

 

 

Added Today:

 

2 Grams of Red Sea Foundation A

2 Grams of Red Sea Foundation B

10 Grams of Red Sea Foundation C

 


-Nick

 

 

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Day 11:

 

Cal: 450 (+0)

Alk: 11.3 (+.4)

Mag: 960 (+40)

 

Everything seems good. The calcium is stable now and the mag is on the rise.

 

Added Today:

 

2 Grams of Red Sea Foundation A

1.4 Grams of Red Sea Foundation B

15 Grams of Red Sea Foundation C

 

 

-Nick

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Day 12:

 

Cal: 450 (+0)

Alk: 11.9 (+.6)

Mag: 1000 (+40)

 

Things are good. The alk is now a little bit high, so I'm not adding any today.

 

Added Today:

 

2 Grams of Red Sea Foundation A

15 Grams of Red Sea Foundation C

 

 

-Nick

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