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What are you dosing?

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    Posted: January 29 2016 at 10:11pm
I thought I'd start a thread on what Ca, Alk, Mag, etc people are dosing to get a sense of what most people in the club are using. It seems like there are a ton of different reef additives commercially available (or DIY alternatives) for maintaining Ca, Alk, Mag. I've been maintaining calcium and alkalinity with kalkwasser in my ATO reservoir, but I'm going to switch over to two-part soon.

What two-part additive are you all using? DIY two-part or commercially available two-part? Also what do you think about two part additives that also contain other components such as borate and strontium etc? Thanks everybody!


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bstuver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 29 2016 at 11:16pm
I've used a few different two parts that are commercially bought I really like B-Ionic if I go that way. Right now I am using the bulk reef supply additives as you can buy the powders and mix them yourself so it ends up cheaper.
Jackie Stuver

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marcoss Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 29 2016 at 11:33pm
I use B-Ionic on both systems. Like Jackie said it can get costly so I don't know how scalable they are as I continue to grow.

I like the convenience of using it and all my levels stay regular. I think eventually I'll switch over to a reactor when I'm ready to tackle learning it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote phys Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 30 2016 at 3:58am
I use seachem reef builder (powder) for alk and red sea magnesium and calcium. Seachem's bicarbonate to carbonate mix is better than most others and causes less issues from what I've seen. Red sea has the proper mix of sulfate to chloride while offering a better price point to others. Their calcium is high quality too. They all mix well and don't have any nasty trace elements. Other stuff I don't like to use (like baking soda, Epsom salts) because I've seen corals react poorly to them. They have more bad trace elements that may be harmful when built up in our systems with dosing.

Edited by phys - January 30 2016 at 3:59am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 30 2016 at 6:06am
Alkalinity(Alk): Arm and Hammer Baking Soda combined with baked baking soda(soda ash/washing soda). Mixed in RO water and left to sit with extra on the bottom of the mixing bottle to concentrate the solution so dosing requires less liquid and makes a pretty cloud in the water. (FYI, the cloud is a temporary reaction with Mg in the water)

Calcium(Ca): Calcium Chloride purchased as any of the common brands of CaCl2 Ice Melt such as Peladow and Morton mixed with RO water and separated from the residue.

Magnesium(Mg): Epsom Salt mixed with RO water. Sometimes MgCl2 flake is used, but Utah Oolitic sand provides a fair amount of Mg so dosing isn't frequent.

I've been growing all kinds of coral for profit for 20 years and cannot recall ever having a problem with my DIY mixes. Why DIY? The less I spent on supplements, the more profit I made. Smile Of course I am somewhat discriminating in what I buy and how I mix it. I'd be happy to offer mixing tips if you're interested. 

Last but not least, I dose Kent Coral-Vite. It has a buffet of useful coral growth enhancers and is less costly than other products made for the same purpose. 
There is more but that's the basics. Smile

Aloha,
Mark  Hug


Edited by Mark Peterson - January 30 2016 at 6:07am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fatman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 30 2016 at 7:43am
I use the Number 2 recipe from Randy Holmes-Farley. http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-02/rhf/

Right now I'm dosing kalkwasser because I had it on hand and adding two part as needed.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Electro4112 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 30 2016 at 8:27am
Originally posted by Marcoss Marcoss wrote:

I use B-Ionic on both systems. Like Jackie said it can get costly so I don't know how scalable they are as I continue to grow.

I like the convenience of using it and all my levels stay regular. I think eventually I'll switch over to a reactor when I'm ready to tackle learning it.



Hey marcos   and jackie they also sell B-ionic by the 5 gallon bucket that makes 4 gallons of concentrate which seams more reasonable priced than the one gallon jug.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marcoss Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 01 2016 at 11:29am
Originally posted by Electro4112 Electro4112 wrote:

 Hey marcos   and jackie they also sell B-ionic by the 5 gallon...

Thanks!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krazie4Acans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 01 2016 at 1:32pm
Been using BRS 2-part for years. Love how clean it is, how there is no residue in the container, and how i don't have to worry about the quality of the ingredients changing. I know what I'm getting every time.

Just started my first system with a calcium reactor so I'll be running both on different tanks at my place.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reefer4Ever Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 01 2016 at 6:44pm
BRS 2 part as well. Always mixes easily and completely. Love the stuff.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote neurotivity Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 02 2016 at 7:41am
I use B-Ionic as well, it's relatively inexpensive opposed to other pre mixed 2-part solutions. As for dosing Mg, I swear by Aquavitro ions (Seachem)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote relethg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 02 2016 at 8:57am

210 gallon uses Kalkwasser stirrer and use BRS two part with Fauna Balling Light Trace 1,2 and 3 added.

45 gallon  uses BRS two part with Fauna Balling Light Trace 1,2 and 3 added

The 120 I am setting up will have calc reactor and make up with 2 part.


I use very little two part on the 210 gallon at this point because of the Kalk Stirrer. It adds about 2500 Ml a day to the system. Doser feeds the reactor and overflows into the sump. I like the BRS two part as it mixes easily and is a know. I have not tried the DYI 2 part.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jsol12 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 15 2016 at 2:33pm
This is a very helpful/informative thread.  My question to add would be how many people manually dose vs use reactors/dosers and why?

Edited by jsol12 - March 15 2016 at 2:35pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krazie4Acans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 15 2016 at 3:15pm
What do you consider manual dosing?

I think a large portion of the users responding on this thread have controllers and use parastaltic pumps to dose automatically. The main reason that most choose this option is for stability. Dosing in small amounts throughout the day ensures no spikes in the system parameters like there are if you dump a measuring cup of 2 part in a couple of times a day. Spikes in pH and Alkalinity from hand dosing can be harsh to SPS and some LPS corals and they will not do well in that setup.

Reactors are along the same lines but can take some of the guess work out of the amount of each supplement to does because they (in theory) break down the media in the exact amounts needed by our corals.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jsol12 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 15 2016 at 8:44pm
Originally posted by Krazie4Acans Krazie4Acans wrote:

What do you consider manual dosing?

I think a large portion of the users responding on this thread have controllers and use parastaltic pumps to dose automatically. The main reason that most choose this option is for stability. Dosing in small amounts throughout the day ensures no spikes in the system parameters like there are if you dump a measuring cup of 2 part in a couple of times a day. Spikes in pH and Alkalinity from hand dosing can be harsh to SPS and some LPS corals and they will not do well in that setup.

Reactors are along the same lines but can take some of the guess work out of the amount of each supplement to does because they (in theory) break down the media in the exact amounts needed by our corals.

That just answered my question :) By manual dosing I meant what you said not to do, adding a measuring cup of whatever once/twice day.  I suppose that may be what my problem is as I mentioned in my post today with the SPS, namely the acroporas.  I haven't gotten any controllers or dosing pumps yet, and I get that a stable level would be much more desirable than a spike(s) each day.  Just more equipment I need to add to my list..
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krazie4Acans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 15 2016 at 9:03pm
Jabao DP-4 is an inexpensive 4 channel dosing pump that works very well and is programmable. So you don't need a separate controller for the whole team. They can be picked up for less than $100 and each channel can be programmed individually. You should check them out.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bstuver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 15 2016 at 9:36pm
Yeah I just got my jebao dp-4 through Amazon for $68 with prime shipping
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jsol12 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 15 2016 at 10:07pm
Thanks guys! I'm ALL about Amazon Prime!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krazie4Acans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 16 2016 at 6:02am
Buy some extra heads or just some extra tubing for it. The tubing in it will last about a year and then needs to be replaced. Seams like a long time but it sneaks up fast.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 16 2016 at 8:08am
In previous coral farms I dosed manually because I could, I had the time to dose. In my most recent coral farm, I had more difficulty keeping Alk where it needed to be for the larger quantity of stony coral I was producing. I got tired of frequent dosing and testing. I was adding about 1-2 liters of homemade Alkalinity solution every week**. Setting up a single doser on an appliance timer to deliver my homemade Alkalinity solution was good for me and good for the coral.



Aloha,
Mark  Hug

** This was a 300 gal full coral farm. See the link below. About that same time, I was learning how to concentrate the Alkalinity dosing solution. Not that it really mattered, but it was fun to add the more concentrated solution and see it cloud up in the usual Mg reaction. 
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