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What is your tank consuming in 1 day

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LakeCityReefs View Drop Down
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    Posted: April 05 2016 at 7:03pm
I realize that a little time and daily testing will help me evaluate how quickly my tank is consuming Ca and Alk but I am curious what you all are experiencing with your setups.

FYI I am running a 50 Ga. mixed reef that is moderatley stocked. I am keeping Ca. 420-430, Alk. 8-9.
Currently dosing Seachem Fusion but would like to switch to Kalk in my ATO soon. Water changes will be monthly and I hope this will be able too keep up with Mag and trace elements.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bryce Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 05 2016 at 8:29pm
Each tank is going to be very different depending on corals/coral size and water change schedule. I have a 65gallon but actual water in it and the 20gallon sump is probably 55gallons. I dose about 70ml of sodium carbonate (alk) and Calcium a day but with the same tank a year and a half ago it was 30ml. I never dose mag, water changes take care of that and if you had low mag its the easiest of anything to tell even without testing as your alk and cal bind and your pumps and anything with heat gets coated in white. Just test over 3 days once in morning and night each day and dose both alk and calcium enough each day to only raise alk by 1 dKh and calcium by 20ppm (brs bulk chemicals calculator for 65g makes this very easy - 1 tsp dry soda ash/sodium carbonate (alk) and 3.5 tsp dry calcium chloride mixed with RODI. This gives you a baseline, if your dkh drops by more than 1 dhk you know its using 1, 2, 3 dkh a day and so on, same with calcium. On the other hand if these go up you know your tank isnt using 1 dkh or 20ppm a day. Ultimately you need to test and test and dial in your ml of alk and cal and mag that your tank is using.

Edited by Bryce - April 05 2016 at 11:03pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bstuver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 05 2016 at 8:38pm
Just like Bryce said it all comes down to individual tanks. Mine is full of LPS and I dose about 25ml of alk and cal a day I also dose about 10ml of mag a week because if I don't my level falls lower than I like in between my weekly water changes. Mine a 42g display with 20 gal sump.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LakeCityReefs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 05 2016 at 10:28pm
Originally posted by Bryce Bryce wrote:

I have a 65gallon but actual water in it and the 20gallon sump is probably 55gallons. I dose about 70ml of sodium carbonate (alk) and Calcium a day but with the same tank a year and a half ago it was 30ml


So based on your dosing it seems that you are now compensating for a 10 ppm Ca drop and a 2 dkh Alk drop daily now???

Im guessing that once coraline really starts to take hold and my corals start establishing my needs will increase as yours did.
Thanks for the info.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Bryce Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 05 2016 at 11:01pm
I am not sure how you came to those figures, there are two primary ways to dose the BRS bulk chemicals, 1st is to mix it up with RODI in a gallon jug per the instructions which is 2 cups to 1 gallon water or 2.5 cups to 1 gallon water (one is alk and one is cal but I cant remember which get the 2.5 cups dry mix and which gets just 2 cups) this gives you the liquid you dose by the milliliter and i'm dosing 70ml over a 24 hour period in small amounts with automated dosers. The other way is what I call manual adjustment dose which even using automated dosers I still do when things get out of wack for whatever reason (water changes). If you mix up 3.5tsp of dry calcium and a small amount of RODI that will raise my tanks calcium by 20ppm per the brs online calculator for a 65g tank and if you mix up 1 tsp of dry sodium carbonate with some RODI it will raise my tank's alk by 1 dKh for a 65g tank. I have no idea what my tank is consuming daily from a dkh/ppm perspective when it uses 70ml of the automated doses, im sure you could mathmatically figure that out but I have never bothered to try the key is just figuring out how many milliliters you need to dose to maintain a level and that could be different from month to month which is why I test alk every 3 days and calcium every 2 weeks and manually adjust and or adjust my doser timing to dose more or less ml per day. Do not make the mistake many make and set auto dosers up and not continue to test and make manual dose adjustments if needed. Also any premixed 2 part is like burning good money, your paying like 1000% mark up for water, buy the chemicals and mix your own and spend your hard earned money on coral/fish, why anyone who has a tank that needs alk/calcium would ever buy premixed is crazy to me.

Edited by Bryce - April 05 2016 at 11:13pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LakeCityReefs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 06 2016 at 7:42am
Thanks for the info Bryce. It certainly helps. My previous assumption cannot be correct because I did a little more research and actually found that corals consume Ca. & Alk. at the same rate (1:1). The issue is that Alk is less prevalent in the water (1 DKH = 18 ppm). So this explains why you are testing Alk more often. It also explains why Kalkwasser would work so well since it is an even addition of the 2 elements.

Originally I wanted to see what kinds of depletion folks were seeing in their systems, and your post has done exactly that. I used your daily dose of 70 ml and reversed it into the BRS calculator. It appears that you are replenishing about 10 ppm Ca. and .5 DKH Alk. daily. 
WOULD YOU MIND POSTING A PHOTO SO I CAN COMPARE THE SIZE, QUANTITY, AND TYPES OF CORALS YOU ARE CARING FOR?

Unfortunately I do not have a lot of room for a dosing system so I will have to add whatever I intend to dose to my ATO for now. I will continue to test, test, test again, and keep an eye on things. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 06 2016 at 8:02am
Well said Bryce.  
It may seem complicated at first but that's exactly what must be done.
After you get in the groove, it's a simple matter of test and dose, test and dose, test and dose, at intervals of from 3 days like Bryce with his small yet high demand tank or every 2-4 weeks for tanks that are less demanding.

The demand is created by the life in the tank. These stony coral, snails, clams, crabs, sea stars, soft coral and even Coralline Algae are living things. In order to stay alive they must consume, or in other words, they must eat Alk, Ca, Mg and other trace elements. Stony coral and Coralline Algae have the greatest need for this food because their life purpose is to grow/create the tropical reef.

We usually call it tank chemistry, but these chemicals should really be thought of as food, because... they are food. Though part of a colony, each individual polyp needs to eat these chemicals from the water. They are each tiny reef builders. The more polyps and Coralline Algae cells we have in our tank or in other words, the larger the coral colonies and more colorful the rock, the more chemical food is needed to feed the tank system as a whole.

This idea of what is food may change your perspective, but that's an important and necessary change. Smile

Aloha,
Mark  Hug

P.S.
Also consider this, too much chemical food can kill these polyps and Coralline Algae. That's why we point out the need for frequent testing and taking it slow and steady to avoid over-reacting.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 06 2016 at 8:20am
Originally posted by LakeCityReefs LakeCityReefs wrote:

WOULD YOU MIND POSTING A PHOTO SO I CAN COMPARE THE SIZE, QUANTITY, AND TYPES OF CORALS YOU ARE CARING FOR?

Unfortunately I do not have a lot of room for a dosing system so I will have to add whatever I intend to dose to my ATO for now. I will continue to test, test, test again, and keep an eye on things. 
The pics of Bryce's tank, he recently posted here: http://utahreefs.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=79095

I would caution and advise... Dosing Alk and Ca together in the ATO/top-off water can only be done if using Kalkwasser powder for that balanced dosing you mentioned. And this only works to a point, after which the pH of the water becomes dangerously high. Because Kalkwasser is so limited in it's capability to supplement Alk and Ca, I have chosen to forego that method altogether in favor of dosing the 2-part Alk and Ca chemicals described and discussed above.

It's also important to understand that calculators are based on a known amount of Alk and Ca in the dosing solution(s). When using our own DIY solutions, whether Kalk or 2-part, or when alternating between one premixed solution to another, the simple calculator is useless. That's why we continually talk "test and dose, test and dose, test and dose."

Aloha,
Mark  Hug

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Did you know that using all capitalized letters and/or bold type face is considered "yelling".


Edited by Mark Peterson - April 06 2016 at 8:37am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LakeCityReefs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 06 2016 at 9:03am
HEY MARK I'M NOT YELLING, JUST EXCITED!!!!! You're funny
Thanks for pointing me to some of Bryce's photos. 


What a beautiful tank Bryce! I don't expect my consumption to be close to what yours is for quite some time.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote love2skiutah Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 06 2016 at 9:14am
At year 1 of my 400 gallon system and 100% SPS, my tank was consuming about 700 mls of each every day.  It was a pain in the rear to dose that much.   In the last 6 months, I've been converting to a lot of LPS and I added a calcium reactor.  Now I don't have to dose anything.  It's really nice.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marcoss Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 06 2016 at 9:20am
ML is just a measure, however, it does not account for the strength of the solution. For instance- it may take 100 ML of one solution to raise my Alk as much as say 70 ML from another solution. Some solutions vary dramatically- I might need 200 ML of what I would only need 30 ML of with another solution. There are people that might dose 2000ML with a calcium reactor but with two part it may only need to be 1/4 of it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LakeCityReefs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 06 2016 at 9:35am
Originally posted by Marcoss Marcoss wrote:

ML is just a measure, however, it does not account for the strength of the solution. For instance- it may take 100 ML of one solution to raise my Alk as much as say 70 ML from another solution. Some solutions vary dramatically- I might need 200 ML of what I would only need 30 ML of with another solution. There are people that might dose 2000ML with a calcium reactor but with two part it may only need to be 1/4 of it.

Makes total sense to me Marcoss.
Here's the calculator I have been referring to unless I'm looking at BRS stuff then I use their calculator. You're absolutely correct about mixing your own solutions and having variance from the manufacture's recommendations. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote love2skiutah Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 06 2016 at 9:35am

You're correct, I should have specified.  I was using BRS


Edited by love2skiutah - April 06 2016 at 9:51am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jfinch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 06 2016 at 2:25pm
Originally posted by Bryce Bryce wrote:

... Also any premixed 2 part is like burning good money, your paying like 1000% mark up for water, buy the chemicals and mix your own and spend your hard earned money on coral/fish, why anyone who has a tank that needs alk/calcium would ever buy premixed is crazy to me.

One might argue that a premix (i.e. B-Ionic) is an actual balanced additive while BRS is just calcium chloride and soda ash and might/will lead to an ionic imbalance in your tank.

That leads to two more questions.

Does an imbalance matter?

Is B-ionic really what they advertise it to be?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marcoss Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 06 2016 at 8:18pm
Originally posted by love2skiutah love2skiutah wrote:


You're correct, I should have specified.  I was using BRS

I hope I didn't come across as an ass! I was writing that message before I saw yours. :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sabeypets Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 06 2016 at 9:00pm
Originally posted by jfinch jfinch wrote:

Originally posted by Bryce Bryce wrote:

... Also any premixed 2 part is like burning good money, your paying like 1000% mark up for water, buy the chemicals and mix your own and spend your hard earned money on coral/fish, why anyone who has a tank that needs alk/calcium would ever buy premixed is crazy to me.


One might argue that a premix (i.e. B-Ionic) is an actual balanced additive while BRS is just calcium chloride and soda ash and might/will lead to an ionic imbalance in your tank.

That leads to two more questions.

Does an imbalance matter?

Is B-ionic really what they advertise it to be?

Well don't just leave us hanging, we need answers!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jfinch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 06 2016 at 10:47pm
Maybe I don't know the answers Shaun :)

I think the question of imbalance mattering is answered with "it depends".  If you don't have a tank with lots of calcification and/or you do fairly frequent water changes then it likely doesn't matter.  But if you have a tank with high calcification rates and you don't change water much, or at all, then it does.  I searched the internet for an old article written by Craig Bingman that show the effects graphically but I couldn't find it.  It's out there somewhere tho.

The answer to question 2 is I honestly don't know, but until convinced otherwise I'll believe their advertising.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bryce Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 07 2016 at 9:59am
Ionic balance...change 10% of your water every so often with a balanced salt, that or dump your money into these "balanced additives" then double dump it down the drain when you do a water change, of course we are all free to do what we want and have our own opinions and two people can certainly be right...most of mine I stole from Randy Holmes Farley. In 4 years my heavy sps dominate tank which Mark linked to appears to be just fine with just soda ash and calcium.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LakeCityReefs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 07 2016 at 11:19pm
Im going to pickup a BRS kit next week. I just havent decided if im going to get the kit that has the kalkwasser or not. Pretty much the same price. Both kits come with Ca. Alk. Mag., one comes with mixing jugs, the other comes with Kalk and is designed to be used in your ATO.

Btw my mag is running low at 1180 so I want to get it fixed soon. I think my salt has low Mag. Its regular Instant Ocean.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 08 2016 at 6:39am
Though each batch is slightly different, IO Salt mix is typically not low in Mg. It is usually in the acceptable range, over 1200 ppm Mg with Alk around 9 dKH and Ca at ~400 ppm. The test result is telling you that Mg is being consumed and needs to be bumped up by the addition of a cup of Epsom Salt dissolved in the top-off water. Epsom Salt is so cheap it's almost like free.

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