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All-for-Reef via Auto Top Off


phinatic

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  • phinatic changed the title to All-for-Reef via Auto Top Off

It wouldn't break down in ro/di because you use ro/di to mix it in the first place haha

 

I don't think I would recommend it though, ato's are too unpredictable in the amount they dose and when, and AFR as you mentioned requires some time to actually show up on test results. Also I feel like it would a bit of a pain to figure out how much to add each time.

 

I think kalkwasser may be what you're after though, it's much harder to mess up when you dose it through an ato, and it even does a pretty good job at dosing calc/alk evenly

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I wasn't sure if sitting in RODI for a long time would cause an issue. If you dose in tank, the bacteria get after it right away. I suppose it wouldn't be any different than their liquid form though. I was planning on Kalwasser, but AFR seems like a more complete solution without messing with pH. May have to add a dosing pump. The AIO is getting cramped :)

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52 minutes ago, Jaren45 said:

I feel like it would a bit of a pain to figure out how much to add each time

My ATO reservoir is graduated. If I added it to the water, I would just do it based on the volume of RODI I am adding to the tank. I am currently charting my evaporation to see how consistent I actually I am.

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Ditto above.  

 

One caveat is that kalk will kill your ATO pump sooner or later.  Consider using a Tunze 5074 reactor (or similar) to isolate the kalk from the pump if you want to do this for more than a short time. Not a typical kalk stirrer...and takes less space than a "still reservoir", which is probably the best, but requires a compatible dosing pump (eg peristaltic).  The 5074 uses the ATO, so is convenient that way.

 

Also, if you're into Tropic Marin (but not kalk), then maybe just consider one of their other products.  Bio-calcium or Carbo-calcium are both somewhat similar to AFR.  Neither requires a dosing pump.  

 

Bio-calcium is unique (IME) and is meant to be added to the tank as a dry powder though....can't be pre-mixed AFAIK.  

 

Carbo-calcium would probably be the one to check on for your ATO if that's your preferred route.

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13 hours ago, MrP said:

Skip to 20:25. Lou from Tropic Marin explains how to do this using either Carbo-calcium or All-for-reef. 

Perfect. That is exactly what I was thinking. Nice to hear it recommended directly from a Trop Marin guy as well. My ATO reservoir is sealed as well, limiting evaporation, so this looks like it will work. Thanks for the link.

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Hm.  I forgot AFR = Carbo-calcium + other stuff.  It's the same base chem.....so if you wanted to avoid AFR, you'd want to avoid Carbo-calcium too.

 

That leaves you with Bio-calcium.  Easy.  One-part.  No doser.  But I don't know how you automate it as a powder. 

 

Other one-part products are going to require shaking/stirring before dosing.

 

I think I'd maybe consider just using a salt mix with higher ca/alk/mg levels to put off real dosing a little longer.

 

I dosed ESV by hand for a long time and it's very easy.   But if something like that is not for you, and if it's a stony coral tank, then I think a doser is in your future....sooner or later. 😉 

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I've been using AFR for a 10-gallon for about 10 months now and it has performed admirably. It is dosed with a BRS 1.1mL/min doser and split up into 3 doses per day to hopefully dampen the fluctuations. I check ALK about once a week and adjust the dosage accordingly.

 

I'd imagine calibrating the dosage could be tricky and somewhat time-consuming - essentially diluting or adding AFR to the ATO reservoir. Could be done, certainly.

 

Kamoer X1 Pro seems to be plenty capable and has a rather small footprint; could be of consideration if you decide to go with a dosing pump.

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14 minutes ago, PootiNe said:

imagine calibrating the dosage could be tricky

So far, yes. My evaporation rate seems pretty inconsistent. Varies pretty wildly based on if I open the window or not. Going to run the experiment longer to look for a consistent rate before even going that route.

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On 5/4/2023 at 7:51 PM, phinatic said:

So far, yes. My evaporation rate seems pretty inconsistent. Varies pretty wildly based on if I open the window or not. Going to run the experiment longer to look for a consistent rate before even going that route.

If you run HVAC during the hot and cold months, your evap should be MUCH more stable (and faster) at those times.

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The evaporation is stabilizing a bit. Using a little over a 1L per day. I've been thinking about this more and am considering making an auto water changer using a dosing pump that would pull out water and add back saltwater with AFR mixed in. Then I just need to dump the collection tank and refill the saltwater tank periodically. I would need a dosing pump that would allow me to link the heads so I don't have a single head fail. A single head running two lines would be perfect, but I have never seen anything like that.

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2 hours ago, phinatic said:

The evaporation is stabilizing a bit. Using a little over a 1L per day. I've been thinking about this more and am considering making an auto water changer using a dosing pump that would pull out water and add back saltwater with AFR mixed in. Then I just need to dump the collection tank and refill the saltwater tank periodically. I would need a dosing pump that would allow me to link the heads so I don't have a single head fail. A single head running two lines would be perfect, but I have never seen anything like that.

A regular 2-pump setup for 2-part would be better/simpler and better/cheaper than that.  There are decent 3 or 4 head dosers online for $60-$70 that will do the job – whatever you want to dose.

 

What you're talking about is basically an automatic water change system (AWS).  Doable.  (And maybe a good idea!!)  But more complicated and more expensive than just dosing.

 

The setup you're talking about could be done with a (eg) Stenner pump where one motor runs multiple pump heads..like this:

image.png.0f14fdd056a39d6afdc361024bf4e4bf.png

Those pumps are uber expensive (10x the cost), and quite large....but if you happen to have access to one, it would probably work great.  My understanding is that a typical use for them is dosing chlorine for water disinfection.

 

If you're into the rest of the setup and planning for an automatic system, a regular dosing pump (ie $60-$70 online version) can also function in an AWS for a small system.   You'd risk wearing them out trying to do AWS on a bigger tank though....a different AWS setup OR a higher volume pump would be called for.

 

 

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I was thinking of running AWS on a 13.5 gal nano anyway, and thought the AFR would be a good fit there. I'll look at the dual dosing pump. I just wanted avoid overflow for the failure of a single head. Pie in the sky at this point though. I just like gadgets.

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I'm using AFR and a wi-fi kamoer dosing head on my 25g SPS tank. I love it so far. Dosing 18 ml daily. Levels have been very steady. 

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mitten_reef

this is getting way too complicated, why not just mix AFR and dose with a single dosing head like a typical reefer would do? 

 

I get trying to add AFR into the ATO reservoir for simple top up of elements.  and I do this with my calcium component while I travel, otherwise I manually dose it daily. 

 

If you're going to automatic water change route, you'll probably won't need to dose - just use a salt mix that has elevated elements than your target parameters, eg Red sea coral pro.  you won't need to dose element for a while depending on what you're keeping and how fast they're growing.  it took me years to dive into dosing regimen, and even now, I still only have the BRS 1.1ml/min on a programmable outlet for Alk, calcium is dosed twice a day manually.  not everything needs to be super automated. 

 

hit my journal link (tap the screen name) and see what I'm growing with my simple approach - my journal is updated regularly.  there are ppl that get way too deep in the weeds about dosing and parameters from the get-go, IMO, get your fundamentals right, then tweak them to fit your lifestyle.  do you even need to dose at this point, or is a regular water change sufficient?  a quick scan through, I don't see a tank had been started...

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4 hours ago, mitten_reef said:

automatic water change route, you'll probably won't need to dose

Great point. I was only thinking of the auto water changer from a maintenance standpoint. May be able to just go manual at that point if at all.

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  • 1 month later...

I ended up doing it through the auto top off after watching the video in the thread from Tropic Marin. My ATO has stabilized after swapping out my sponge filters with a higher flow variety. The previous issues were due to the flow being restricted by clogged sponges. The higher flow ones (20ppi) aren't clogging anymore and the level stays consistent. So far, I like this solution. The AFR is also slow acting as it is metabolized, so it doesn't spike like kalkwasser when dosed.

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