Jump to content
DyloHeath

How to dose?

Recommended Posts

Clown79
3 hours ago, jservedio said:

Absolutely right, it isn't necessary at all. Just wanted OP to know that having salt that mixes up close to where your tank is already at definitely simplifies the math and reduces any swings (especially if he's at 8-9dkh and his water is 11 or 12dkh).

 

And you know I am all about  stretching "acceptable range" and "looks good enough," but that comes with years of experience and Obi-Wan levels of reef-force to just instinctively know what parameters are. OP should probably be as precise as possible in the beginning before getting all lazy.

Very true.

 

I was far more spot on in the beginning but after 5yrs, I am more relaxed about things.

 

You get to know your tank and can definitely see when something isn't right but that comes with the maturity of the tank and experience.

 

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
DyloHeath
7 hours ago, jservedio said:

This looks correct based on your testing - you will want to change your salt to match your parameters so that water changes aren't throwing things off once you are dosing. RSCP (and Reef Crystals) are not good salt mixes to use when you are dosing.

 

That said, you will want to test alk much more frequently than many of us that dose do because your pictures do not really match the levels of usage you are going through. Something is definitely using up that alk, and from the number and size of the corals you have, my suspicion is that it isn't the corals taking up the bulk of your alk/ca. Your magnesium usage still really doesn't make a whole lot of sense from a reef chemistry standpoint since your corals simply will not use more magnesium than calcium (should be roughly 6.5:1 Ca to Mg) and you shouldn't need to dose it unless you are using a ton 2-part (like a couple dkh/more) and your water changes won't keep up. For example, I use about 3x the alk/ca you do and only need to adjust magnesium a couple times per year or just do a few big water changes.

 

Do have you have a boom in your coralline algae growth going on? Have you checked your pumps and heater recently to make sure there is no build up on them? Any macro algaes taking off?

Do you mean change my salt brand or dose my salt before adding it to the tank for a waterchange? I use red coral pro salt.

 

Hmmm that's interesting.

 

Well I don't know  if its a coincidence, but after adding the the ATO, Skimmer, cleaning the sand bed, and dosing Build/energy & Aminio/Vitality the purple coralline is starting to take off all over my rocks. Pumps and heaters are perfect, clean them every month. Corals are growing much quicker than before.

 

My Chaeto always grows like crazy in the HOB refugium. And even though its not as bad, I still have diatoms on the sand but way less than before.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
DyloHeath
6 hours ago, mitten_reef said:

while it is true that new mixed sw can throw off the parameters at wc time, if you're manually dosing once or twice a week AND know what the anticipated after WC impact is supposed to be, you should be able to account for it on the weekly/each WC-cycle basis.  Just want to point that out.  again, I reef based on "acceptable range" rather than "precision", 😅.

 

Okay, so basically test the water after a water change and take note of what needs to be dosed correct?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
mitten_reef
5 minutes ago, DyloHeath said:

Okay, so basically test the water after a water change and take note of what needs to be dosed correct?

Yes.  

Share this post


Link to post
DyloHeath

If this information is getting annoying I apologize, I'm keeping this as a diary to myself to keep track.

 

Tank uses this each day:

 

Mg: 4.3ppm per day

Cal: 3.6ppm per day

Alk: 0.3dkh per day

 

 

Day 1:

 

Cal: 415

Mg: 1300

Alk: 7.9

 

Dosed after testing:

Cal: 1/2 (3.3ml)

Alk: 1/2 mL/ per each gallon (5ml)

Mg: 1/3 (6.3mL)

 

Day 2:

 

Cal: 430 (+15) - Using salifert, these could be slightly off (Didn't really account for tank usage per day)

Mg: 1320 (+20) - Using salifert, these could be slightly off (Didn't really account for tank usage per day)

Alk: 8.4 (+0.5) - Hanna Checker, almost accounted for tank usage per day

 

Dosed after testing:

Cal: 1/2 (3.3ml)

Alk: 1/2 mL/ per each gallon (5ml) (will dose 5ml again as Alk only went up by 0.5)

Mg: 1/3 (6.3mL)

 

Day 3:

 

Cal: 445 (+15)

Mg: 1320 (+0)

Alk: 9.0 (+0.6)

 

Not sure what happen with magnesium. But this shows me that:

 

1ml of dosing is equal to:

Cal = 4.5ppm

Mg = 4.8ppm (Average of Day 2 and Day 4)

Alk = 0.11dkh

 

Dosed after testing:

 

Cal: +18.6ppm = 4.1mL

Mg: 6.3mL (Will see what happens in 24 hours)

Alk: 0ml (not for 24 hours) then I will dose 2.7ml which accounts for the daily 0.3 usage)

 

Day 4:

 

Cal: 465(+20) (I was testing Cal incorrectly, with salifert I need a light blue, not a dark blue. I will keep it consistent at light blue)

Mg: 1360 (+40)

Alk: 8.4 (-0.6) - Using the hanna checker/this is quite a significant drop. But I'm noticing coralline growing very quickly.

 

Dosed after testing:

Cal: 0

Alk: 0

Mg: 5.45mL

 

Day 5:

 

Cal: 460(-5)

Mg: 1350 (-10)

Alk: 9.1 (+0.7)

 

Dosing: Nothing

 

Day 5:

 

Cal: 455(-5)

Mg: 1345 (-5)

Alk: 8.1 (-1.0) ???????

 

Dosed after testing:

 

Cal: 1.1ml

Mag: 1ml

Alk: 5ml

 

Day 6:

 

Cal: 450(-5)

Mg: 1350 (+5) - within testing margin of error

Alk: 8.7 (+6) (New alk goal is 8.6 - 9)

 

Dosing: Nothing

 

Next, will be testing right after my water change to see how these are affected. Water change is 8 hours. 😄 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
mcarroll
On 6/28/2020 at 9:51 PM, DyloHeath said:

Was targeting my coral pro salt level of 11.5 dkh. Is this not the right level to aim for?

It is correct to do that.  👍

 

It is not correct to lose more than a point or so of alk, however, dose (or water change) more frequently to prevent it....big adjustments like those (as noted on the reef chemistry calculator) should be made in smaller parts.  (Think the recommendation is for about 1 point per day of adjustment, but double check.)

 

On 6/28/2020 at 11:08 PM, mitten_reef said:

high alkalinity can promote growths, but the inherent risks are too high in my opinion. 

I've only seen "trouble" with alkalinity levels like you're referring to in "ULNS" systems, or systems that were otherwise troubled.  

 

There's definitely no problem per se with alkalinity levels around 11 dKH, especially if they're kept stable (as it should be at any level).  👍

 

On 6/29/2020 at 2:01 AM, DyloHeath said:

Makes sense when you say most corals come from an alk of 7 from the LFS.

That's not a great assumption.  Coral system tend to be kept at higher salinity, which tends to carry higher alkalinity.  Either test the water you get from your store, or ask them....or both.   (Not something you can take our advice on.)

 

 

On 6/29/2020 at 2:01 AM, DyloHeath said:

I agree that acclimating will be a lot harder at that much of a difference in Dkh. More of a shock.

Not ideal, but I'm not sure it's worth stressing a lot over.   If your dealer is keeping normal salinity levels, dKH levels should be close enough.

 

Keep in mind that an "alk spike" is a dosing error or testing error.....a spike is not another way of saying "high levels".

 

Notice all the emphasis these three vendors place on this aspect of acclimation:  (ie. none)

https://vividaquariums.com/pages/livestock-acclimation-guide

https://uniquecorals.com/pages/acclimation

(WWC) https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0021/4958/0912/files/acclimationSHEET.pdf?5163759591363989738

 

On 6/29/2020 at 10:21 AM, jservedio said:

RSCP (and Reef Crystals) are not good salt mixes to use when you are dosing.

It's not that they are "bad for dosing".  

 

Actually the opposite...they were created for the days of manual dosing.  

 

The idea being that alk (and ca and mg) starts higher....which then takes longer (more usage) to drop below crucial levels....allowing the reefkeeper more time before an absolutely required dose or the next water change.

 

Maintaining levels around 10-11 dKH fell out of favor when everyone jumped on the low-nutrient bandwagon, starving their corals, creating the novel concept of "tip burn" in the process to explain things.  🙄

 

There's nothing at all prohibitive about keeping those levels (10+ dKH) even with a doser running....it just isn't so necessary.

 

Just for an anecdote:  I manually dosed my reef at 4.0 meq/L or 11-12dKH for around 7 years before I got a doser...kept it the same after I deployed a doser....no issues.  After a year or so I scaled the system down to 8dKH "just because" to see if there was any change or benefit.....nope.  No difference.

 

It's still a good idea for your tank levels to match your salt's levels....it's un-wise to make alk swings for no reason.

 

On 6/29/2020 at 5:48 PM, DyloHeath said:

Build/energy & Aminio/Vitality 

I would either avoid or go extremely easy with any organic carbon supplements or amino acid supplments.

 

On 6/29/2020 at 5:48 PM, DyloHeath said:

My Chaeto always grows like crazy in the HOB refugium.

Remember to watch your N and P levels as your chaeto is directly competing with your corals for these resources.  (There are other issues too, but no tests for them.)

 

FYI, I'd yank the chaeto out completely in a heartbeat as soon as I thought it was having any downward impact on nutrients or any other effect on the corals or tank in general.  It's considered mandatory for new reefs by the common knowledge, but it is not helpful to most new tanks and can cause more problems for tanks already having issues....it's "supposed" to be for old tanks with stubborn nutrient issues...which describes my tank, but even I don't use it.  I really don't know who actually needs this stuff.  🤷‍♂️

 

On 6/29/2020 at 6:19 PM, DyloHeath said:

I'm keeping this as a diary to myself to keep track.

Hopefully you have a note card or something at home where you're logging this data for yourself too.....you'll find it useful to have all the data in one table/page after some time passes.  👍

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
mitten_reef
2 hours ago, mcarroll said:

I've only seen "trouble" with alkalinity levels like you're referring to in "ULNS" systems, or systems that were otherwise troubled.  

 

There's definitely no problem per se with alkalinity levels around 11 dKH, especially if they're kept stable (as it should be at any level).  👍

I’m sure your thoughts have some truth to it with nutrients-alk relationships.  You can keep stable dKh at 11 in your tank; but if a frag comes in from dKh 7 or 8, that would constitute a spike that that frag will be experiencing when introduced to your tank — just as you said it later, nobody cares about coral acclimation as far as tank chemistry goes (emphasis appears to be on temp and light). 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
DyloHeath
3 hours ago, mcarroll said:

 

 

I would either avoid or go extremely easy with any organic carbon supplements or amino acid supplments.

 

Remember to watch your N and P levels as your chaeto is directly competing with your corals for these resources.  (There are other issues too, but no tests for them.)

 

Hopefully you have a note card or something at home where you're logging this data for yourself too.....you'll find it useful to have all the data in one table/page after some time passes.  👍

 

 

Always love your detailed responses. Thanks

 

1) Why would you avoid the Build/Energy & Amino/Vitality? Interested in your thoughts

 

2) Cheato: Phospahte is now controlled, but my nitrates come up as 0 with the salifert test. I may test trimming the cheato down to the size of a golf ball and see if nitrates rise.

 

3) Yep have note cards for a full log 😄

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
DyloHeath
35 minutes ago, mitten_reef said:

I’m sure your thoughts have some truth to it with nutrients-alk relationships.  You can keep stable dKh at 11 in your tank; but if a frag comes in from dKh 7 or 8, that would constitute a spike that that frag will be experiencing when introduced to your tank — just as you said it later, nobody cares about coral acclimation as far as tank chemistry goes (emphasis appears to be on temp and light). 

This is what I love about this hobby. It seems everyone has there own way of what works for them. After reading these forums, and receiving responses for questions I've come to realise that it comes down to what works for your situation. Test the theory and see if it works. So many different variables in this hobby. Love it!

 

(I don't mean this to any crazy extent)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
DyloHeath

Now that my magnesium is 1350 (at 9am in the morning), to keep it at 1350 will it be best to dose tomorrow morning? In 24 hours?

Share this post


Link to post
mcarroll
On 7/2/2020 at 7:55 AM, mitten_reef said:

but if a frag comes in from dKh 7 or 8, that would constitute a spike that that frag will be experiencing when introduced to your tank

That opens up a whole other question of "what is an alk spike" where the coral is concerned, and I don't think we really know at this point.  I think we only know it as an observed phenomena within aquariums, and not much if anything about what it actually means to a coral.  I suspect that any harmful effects are tied to variations in pH rather than the level of alkalinity per se.  Other factors, such as the overall rate of aeration, flow, etc can have a dampening effect on the side-effects of alkalinity changes.  (Ie. In a healthy system, alk spikes within a range (7-11 dKH?) may have less significance...or even no significance.)

 

There are also big differences in what a frag can take in terms of "stress" vs what a colony can take.  Frags seem to be much more forgiving to changes of all kinds (light, flow, etc) than colonies are, generally speaking.  It would be interesting to know more about this aspect of change from the coral's point of view, and even interesting to do some experiments with  different acclimation procedures for identical coral frags which adjust alk in different ways.  

 

On 7/2/2020 at 8:24 AM, DyloHeath said:

1) Why would you avoid the Build/Energy & Amino/Vitality? Interested in your thoughts

Not to be rude but I'd turn the question around:  Why would you use them, and do you know what they are?  😉. Unless you have pretty solid answers (eg. it's fish food.  it's for feeding my fish) you probably want to lay them aside, for now at least.

 

To me, one sounds like an organic carbon source.  Not something most tanks should need.

 

Amino's are a nitrogen and carbon source, along with a small amount of trace elements.  Unless you aren't feeding your tank, or are feeding something very low-quality, these shouldn't be necessary.  Even if you aren't feeding, the need would be VERY low, bordering on zero.

 

On 7/2/2020 at 8:24 AM, DyloHeath said:

2) Cheato: Phospahte is now controlled, but my nitrates come up as 0 with the salifert test. I may test trimming the cheato down to the size of a golf ball and see if nitrates rise.

Don't worry so much about the control aspect of your refugium...your control is all in what you feed and how much.  

 

If you feed "too much" or otherwise have "high nutrients", a ball of chaeto isn't going to make things better vs not having a ball of chaeto.  Having "lower nutrients" isn't going to give you a better tank.  🤷‍♂️

 

On 7/2/2020 at 8:28 AM, DyloHeath said:

This is what I love about this hobby. It seems everyone has there own way of what works for them. After reading these forums, and receiving responses for questions I've come to realise that it comes down to what works for your situation. Test the theory and see if it works. So many different variables in this hobby. Love it!

 

(I don't mean this to any crazy extent)

I think that's pretty much true.  You definitely should customize the hobby for your own situation.  But that doesn't go equally for all aspects of the hobby.

 

There's a saying in the hobby that goes something like "there're a million ways to reef".

 

What usually gets left off is that not all of those ways are good.  Not all of the good ways are equally good.  Nor are all of the good ways equally easy to use or equally well understood.

 

Experimentation is great, and exactly the state of mind you want to be in (especially when starting out), but a good many experiments have already been done by others and not all deserve repeating...maybe even "not many".

 

Now as to whether newbs should be very concerned with experimentation – as in "going off the beaten path" – that's a whole other question, and I tend to say no.  

 

As a newb you want to be more curious about the core basics and getting them established and well-understood than you want to be concerned about "pushing the envelope".

 

That's why I'm not so much a fan of dead rock and bottled startup methods.  Yes, you can compress a 30-40 day cycle down to "instant".  But newbs miss out on a huge amount of experience (and with it, understanding) going that route, not to mention other significant differences.  Yes you can avoid some of the work that comes with live rock, but again you miss out on so much.

 

There's a good reason that Nothing Good Happens Fast In A Reef Tank  has been the long-standing mantra of the hobby.  👍

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recommended Discussions

×
×
  • Create New...