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Should I start dosing?


Brandonmw

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I’ve recently jumped into the world of a SPS (about 2 months now) and was trying to determine at what point waters changes are not enough and the level of fluctuation is too high for sps.
Currently the sps consist of 2 branching montipora digis, 3 encrusting montis, 1 acro tenuis, 1 acro tortus, 2 acro not 100% on certain on species and 1 acro milli. They are all frag and just starting to grow. I also have lps in the tank that are doing extremely well 3 acan colonies, hammer colony, torch colony, Duncan colony, war coral, pipe organ, chalice, then soft some soft coral (mushrooms ,zoa’s, leathers) also few gorgonians and a rock flower nem. That said everything looks to be doing well and growing and I’m having no issues with the tank in anyway. 
I’ve been doing daily testing over the last couple of weeks and and drop somewhere between 0.5-1 Dkh over the course of the week. Water changes bring the level back up easily to 8.2 dkh that my new salt batches test at. My question is does that drop in dkh over a week warrant starting to does with having sps in the tank. I have attached a pic of the tank. And feed back would be great!

2D017C90-295B-4F57-8B97-E241B8F84E94.jpeg

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I don't have any experience with a larger reef, but my little pico drops 1 DKH per day and I dose it manually every morning, I use Red Sea Pro salt which starts at 12DKH and I'm dosing 2 part Cbalance 1ml of each part per day in the morning.

 

I'm sure that more experienced reefers will chime in here, but if it was me, if I could measure a daily drop, I would figure out how much of a dose it requires and dose that without getting crazy about it. 

 

It doesn't seem like, if your frags are growing, that you are in any great peril yet, but as they get bigger they will certainly deplete your alkalinity and trace elements more, so you want to keep an eye on things, which you seem to be doing already.   

 

If you can calculate and correct, daily fluctuation, and your tank is running relatively, low alkalinity salt as it is, it seems like you would be in little danger, by dosing some alkalinity, on the other hand, if it ain't broke...

 

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Yeah, you should. I wouldn't want my acros getting a +1dkh instantaneous fluctuation every week, that's a pretty big jump and putting unnecessary pressure on them. At this point, you'll probably want to be dosing at least once a week between water changes if you do it manually - 0.5dkh fluctuation is okay. It's way better to get used to dosing now and all that comes with it before it becomes critical to the point of missing a day or two means things will start to STN. Better to understand and learn it all now before you absolutely need - some little 3/4" acro frags can turn into a 6" colony in just a year or two.

 

If you automate it with a doser to do it every day, since the amount you'll be dosing is likely extremely small I'd dilute your 2-part (or 1-part if you do AFR) since dosers tend to be pretty inaccurate when dosing just a couple ml. For example, if you only needed to dose 2ml of 2-part per day to maintain alk/ca you could dilute it 10:1 so that you were dosing 20ml of total volume and you'll get better consistency. And always calibrate your dosers (even if they don't have a calibration function!).

 

If you are dosing, you probably want to be using a salt mix that is relatively close to what you run your tank at so water changes aren't throwing things off. Tank looks great BTW!

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Would something like kalkwasser in the ato reservoir be ideal in this case? What’s the best way to calculate the amount? Or better to use 2 part. I do have seachem reef fusion 1-2 part but for .5dkh mid week seem extremely high according to their calculator. It’s calling for 8 capfuls to go from 7.5-8.0. Does that seem right? I don’t seem to notice much of a calc dip at all. Losses 10-20 ca general sits around 440-450 ca and goes down to 420-430 over the week. Im using aqua forest reef salt. Was using red seas coral pro prior to having the sps in the tank but haven’t been able to find it locally on a regular bases so went to the aqua forest which seems to have had no adverse affects on anything and to be perfectly honest my lps look better then ever. 

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