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katpurdy
01/15/2008, 01:26 PM
from what I have read....the instructions say to dose both parts of Randy's recipe in equal amounts...but this doesn't necessarily give proper values....what i mean is this....
Sunday alk is 3.3meq/l....I want 3.54....so dose 1.6oz (example, but close!)
calc. is 410ppm and I want 430 so dose 5 oz....

next day alk is about the same dosage but calcium needs more...
next day each is about 2.3-2.6 ounces...
next day alk is just over an ounce and calc is a lot more...

so how is it that you are supposed to dose equal amounts when the tests give you a reading, and you put that into the reef calculator and it tells you how much to dose to get the levels you want....why am i not dosing the same amount every day to get the constant levels that i want?! confused? lol....I am!

Nanz
01/15/2008, 02:19 PM
Bump.. Im in the same boat :)

katpurdy
01/15/2008, 02:23 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11606395#post11606395 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Nanz
Bump.. Im in the same boat :)

phew!

bertoni
01/15/2008, 02:36 PM
There's enough noise in the test kits that I wouldn't assume the differences mean anything for calcium. I'd just dose equal amounts and see where the tank was at the end of a week or so.

katpurdy
01/15/2008, 02:48 PM
i have done that in the past and my calcium ended up in the low 300's so i don't want to go that route again.

Randy Holmes-Farley
01/15/2008, 02:49 PM
I agree. Resist the temptation to jigger the dosing every day or two. Wait for there to be a substantial need for a correction before doing different doses. That is, wait for calcium to get too high or too low for comfort, and base the day to day doses for both on the alkalinity needs, since it always fluctuates much faster than calcium.

katpurdy
01/15/2008, 05:20 PM
ok...so if I need to dose 2.6 ounces of alk daily to maintain the 3.54meq/l that I like, then I should dose 2.6 ounces of calcium too? Do this for how long? like a week? Won't my calcium drop into the 300's by doing this? It seems to be consumer at a higher rate than the alk is being consumed...at least according to the test results....ahhhh...still confused!

Randy Holmes-Farley
01/15/2008, 05:28 PM
Yes, keep the doses the same until calcium rises too high (say, over 450 ppm or so) or too low (under 380 ppm or so), or whatever target levels you prefer. If you want, boost calcium all at once to a higher level, then maintain equal dosing. It is very unlikely that calcium will drop much, unless you do water changes with a low calcium and mix.

That is the beauty of the two part system: the doses should match if you made it correctly. Folks that try to overcorrect things often end up in disaster. I know it is hard to believe, but that was the big driving force behind two part systems. It is very hard to screw things up by sticking with equal dosing. it is very easy to screw things up with totally independent dosing.

katpurdy
01/15/2008, 05:33 PM
ok...so tomorrow I will test the water...whatever is needed to bring the alk to 3.54 is what I will dose for both...I will wait a week and test again...my guess is that the alk will most likely be ok, but the calcium will be waaaay low. So then what? one big dose of calcium and then continue with the equal dosing? I'm feeling very thick right now...I swear I'm not!

Randy Holmes-Farley
01/15/2008, 05:39 PM
Most folks need to dose a lot more than once a week, unless the demand is very light. Many folks with two parts dose daily.

What's in the tank?

FWIW, there is NO WAY that calcium can drop much if alkalinity does not, aside from, as I mentioned, water changes with a low calcium mix, or if you are adding other alkalinity supplements, like buffers.

Corals and coralline algae, and abiotic precipitation of calcium carbonate use 18-20 ppm of calcium for each 1 meq/L (2.8 dKH) of alkalinity. There are no other substantial sinks for calcium. Thousands of folks have done this before you and found that to be true. :)

Check out this article:

When Do Calcium and Alkalinity Demand Not Exactly Balance?
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-12/rhf/index.htm

Randy Holmes-Farley
01/15/2008, 05:41 PM
What do you use for top off water? Some tap water has a lot of alkalinity in it.

katpurdy
01/15/2008, 06:00 PM
I use RO water...

Randy Holmes-Farley
01/15/2008, 06:10 PM
Ok, then let's try it and see what happens.

But this is an SPS tank? I can't see how 1 dose per week is adequate for alkalinity. How low does it get after a week? As it drops below 2.5 meq/L (7 dKH), coral calcification will stop.

Maybe your alk kit is way off somehow.

katpurdy
01/15/2008, 06:22 PM
oh sorry...I dose daily...there are about 36 different sps in the tank right now so the need is quite high for a 3 foot tank! I will dose the alk amount needed and equal it with the calcium and go from there...i use NSW that I "buffer" with your recipe before it goes in the tank for water changes.

Randy Holmes-Farley
01/15/2008, 08:21 PM
I will dose the alk amount needed and equal it with the calcium and go from there

:thumbsup:

Sounds good. Good luck. :)

katpurdy
01/16/2008, 08:50 AM
i'll keep you posted cause the reef god knows I'm gonna need more help!

Randy Holmes-Farley
01/16/2008, 10:49 AM
We'll be here. :)

katpurdy
01/23/2008, 12:47 PM
Ok Randy...help time!! I have been dosing the 2 part in equal amounts according the "needs" of the alk....that has been about 2.8oz. per day. This was the amount needed to maintain the 3.54meq/l that i like. So the calcium part has been added in the same amount...tested my water today...the alk needs 3.2oz to get up to the 3.54meq/l that I like....and get this...the calcium needs 11.1OZ!!!! to be a balanced 430ppm...so clearly the 2.6-3 oz doses isn't enough to maintain the calcium, but it is to maintain the alk...so what should I do? my calcium today is 385ppm. and my alk was 2.86 meq/l

bertoni
01/23/2008, 01:47 PM
I'd ignore the "balanced" concept for these two parameters. It's not very useful, in my opinion. The two-part is likely working fairly well, although it's common for calcium to drift down a bit, since some processes in the tank consume alkalinity, but not calcium:

http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-12/rhf/index.htm

Most likely, the tank didn't start in a "balanced" configuration. If you want to tweak the calcium up a bit, adding more of the calcium part is fine on a once-a-month or so basis.

Randy Holmes-Farley
01/23/2008, 02:40 PM
I agree. Just boost the calcium to where you want it all at once, and then check again after a while and readjust as necessary. :)

Nanz
01/24/2008, 07:37 AM
I think I have the oposite problem.. I used the same scheme with dosing 2-part. First I set my params to 9dKh, 420 Ca. Then after dosing 30ml of each per day for 3 days my params are 7.5 dKH and 380 Ca. So I double the dosing to 60 ml day after I set the tank back to 9dKH and 420 Ca. After 3 more days of dosing 60 ml of each my Alk is 7.2 dKH and my Ca is 410ppm. My alk keeps dropping and there doesnt seem a way to keep it balanced. So I dosed Alk up to 9dKH last night and I plan to dose 80 ml of each per day. Am I doing this correctly?

Randy Holmes-Farley
01/24/2008, 08:02 AM
Forget what is happening to calcium for a while, and just dose enough of both part equally each day to meet the alkalinity demand. What happens then?

Nanz
01/24/2008, 08:37 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11675134#post11675134 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Randy Holmes-Farley
Forget what is happening to calcium for a while, and just dose enough of both part equally each day to meet the alkalinity demand. What happens then?

Tonight I will test before I dose and will use the reef calc to find out how much Alk to dose. I will then dose that and an equal amount of Ca. Thanks for the quick response Randy :)

I'll update you in a few days.

Randy Holmes-Farley
01/24/2008, 09:11 AM
Sounds like a good plan.

Good luck . :)

Maudsley
01/25/2008, 06:38 AM
I'm no expert but a quick question....is your Mg in parameters?

Nanz
01/25/2008, 07:38 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11683301#post11683301 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Maudsley
I'm no expert but a quick question....is your Mg in parameters?

The Salifert Testkit reads 1550 but the Lab results are 1350ppm

Reef55
01/25/2008, 08:05 AM
I stopped adding anything but RODI top-off to my tank for 9 days. I measured my calcium / alk on day 1, 5 and 9. Doing this, I had repeatable measurements on both 4 day groups. My tank consumed 9.5ppm calcium and .475 meq/L alkalinity per day (ratio of 19.96:1 calcium to alkalinity) over this time period. I used excel to calculate how much of each of the two part I need to add per day, and set my dosing pump to add it. I recheck my levels every few weeks to see if I need to increase or decrease the amount I add, but it has been very stable this way.

Randy Holmes-Farley
01/25/2008, 08:23 AM
Perfect results. :)

Lonesomme
01/25/2008, 10:08 AM
I have been reading about Randy's two part for a while now, where can I find the recipe for the two part solution?

Randy Holmes-Farley
01/25/2008, 10:09 AM
Here you go:

An Improved Do-it-Yourself Two-Part Calcium and Alkalinity Supplement System
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-02/rhf/index.php

Lonesomme
01/25/2008, 10:43 AM
Thank you very much

Tony

Randy Holmes-Farley
01/25/2008, 10:49 AM
:thumbsup:

Happy Reefing. :)

katpurdy
01/25/2008, 11:04 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11683639#post11683639 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Reef55
I stopped adding anything but RODI top-off to my tank for 9 days. I measured my calcium / alk on day 1, 5 and 9. Doing this, I had repeatable measurements on both 4 day groups. My tank consumed 9.5ppm calcium and .475 meq/L alkalinity per day (ratio of 19.96:1 calcium to alkalinity) over this time period. I used excel to calculate how much of each of the two part I need to add per day, and set my dosing pump to add it. I recheck my levels every few weeks to see if I need to increase or decrease the amount I add, but it has been very stable this way.

I don't know anything about how to use excel..and I don't have a dosing pump...from what I understand about your post...are you NOT dosing equal amounts of both parts?

Lonesomme
01/25/2008, 11:06 AM
Sorry I am not trying to hijack the thread I have a quick question? Say you have a top of system that tops off only on demand of a float switch. Can you mix recipe 1, part 1 and 2 together in the reservoir and let it be added as the system tops off? Or should you just put the calcium part in the top off water?

Thanks

Randy Holmes-Farley
01/25/2008, 11:16 AM
The two parts must remain separate under all circumstances short of being added to the same marine aquarium. Any other combination will lead to precipitation of calcium carbonate. You can put one part (either part) into top off water, if you like.

I don't know anything about how to use excel..and I don't have a dosing pump...from what I understand about your post...are you NOT dosing equal amounts of both parts?

Assuming he did the math right, he is adding very close to equal parts since his measured demand reflects natural formation of calcium carbonate and is as close to the recipe of a two part as one could hope with such testing. :)

Reef55
01/25/2008, 11:50 AM
Here is the file I use... the fields in white are for you to fill in, all other fields are calculated :)

http://www.mspreef.com/images/twopart.zip

Nanz
01/25/2008, 12:38 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11685166#post11685166 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Reef55
Here is the file I use... the fields in white are for you to fill in, all other fields are calculated :)

http://www.mspreef.com/images/twopart.zip

What do you use for a Dosing Pump??

Rand I forgot to mention I do have a Kalkreactor that I use to topoff my water with. Its a ReefTek reactor and it holds about a pound of kalk. Could this be interfering with my 2-part dosing? The kalkreactor doesnt seem to do much bu elevate my pH to 8.2.

Reef55
01/25/2008, 12:50 PM
I use a cole palmer dual headed dosing pump. Whichever pump you have, have it pump for a minute, measure the amount it dispenses, put that value in the excel file :)

zotzer
01/25/2008, 01:02 PM
Katpurdy,
I know Randy mentioned this, but it might have gotten lost amongst the fray. (sometimes I need things spelled out precisely, so maybe this will help)

Step One: Get off on the right foot by bringing both alk and calcium to the desired levels, however much of each part it takes (I do this by using baking soda for alk, and calcium chloride pellets for calcium). If you have big gaps between actual and ideal parameters, you may want to bring the levels up over the course of two or three days, rather than all at once. Here is an excellent calculator to figure out how to get levels where they need to be:
http://www.2partcalculator.com/

Once that is done, proceed to.....

Step Two: Based on tank size and demand, you *maintain* those levels by dosing equal parts of two-part solution daily.

There are charts where you can esitmate what the daily dosage should be. I use this guideline:

Pedominately LPS and soft corals .2-.3ml/gallon
A few hard SPS corals or clams .4-.6ml/gallon
Numerous full sized SPS colonies and clams 1+ml/gallon

At the end of the first week or two, test again. Alk and Calcium should diminish/increase in proportion to each other, if they were at adequate levels to start. If things are high or low, adjust the daily dosage amount a bit until you find the sweet spot.

Tracy

Randy Holmes-Farley
01/25/2008, 02:00 PM
Could this be interfering with my 2-part dosing? The kalkreactor doesnt seem to do much bu elevate my pH to 8.2.

Not interfering, but it might make you need less (or none) of both parts. :)

Nanz
01/25/2008, 02:29 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11686069#post11686069 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Randy Holmes-Farley
Could this be interfering with my 2-part dosing? The kalkreactor doesnt seem to do much bu elevate my pH to 8.2.

Not interfering, but it might make you need less (or none) of both parts. :)

well if its adding anything it seems negligable.

Can I use an aqualifter pump as a dosing pump?

Randy Holmes-Farley
01/25/2008, 03:03 PM
How do you know it is negligible? Demand for calcium and alkalinity likely increases if the pH increases.

Limewater reactors often add less than saturated limewater, unfortunately. That's one reason to prefer dosing from a reservoir.

Som1else
06/17/2008, 05:29 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11686069#post11686069 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Randy Holmes-Farley
Could this be interfering with my 2-part dosing? The kalkreactor doesnt seem to do much bu elevate my pH to 8.2.

Not interfering, but it might make you need less (or none) of both parts. :)

I have a 75 gal sps tank and dose about 9floz (266ml) of each part daily! My coral growth has slowed to a crawl lately too but i'm hesitant to add more than i am already but i have a hard time maintaining my alk at 7-10 dkh, When i test my alk frequently drops to 5 sometimes 4 dkh. Does this seem like excessive dosing? My mag is 1350-1500. Sorry for the hijack.

katpurdy
06/17/2008, 05:36 AM
i too add about 7oz. per day in a 71g of total water system. My alk always drops far less than my calcium...my alk will at time say it only needs 3-4 oz of the two part, but the calcium need 15oz!!! how is this happening? there is no calcium participate on the glass or pumps...it is a totally sps tank. I use the Calcium pellets from bulk reef supply to make up my recipe.

Randy Holmes-Farley
06/17/2008, 05:50 AM
If you do not see excessive precipitation of things like heaters and pumps,s then the dosing is most likely appropriate for the tank. If you have a lot of hard coral and coralline growth, demand can be very heavy. There really is no drawback to dosing a lot aside from the potential for excessive abiotic precipitation of calcium carbonate.

my alk will at time say it only needs 3-4 oz of the two part, but the calcium need 15oz!!! how is this happening?

Most likely due to water changes with a low calcium mix, like IO. What salt mix are you using?

katpurdy
06/17/2008, 05:55 AM
wow...you're up early!! I use the dreaded highly controversial NSW!!! i buffer it with marin bio-calcium so that the levels are alk 3.53meq/l and calcium 430....I do understand that these levels are a bit high according to standards,but I base it on the response of the animals in the tank...color and growth are good. I will take a pic today. For a small tank there are a lot of sps so maybe that is the reason for my dosing amounts to be the way they are...or perhaps my tests just suck!...I am still using salifert...the alk with the regent and the traditional calcium

Randy Holmes-Farley
06/17/2008, 07:00 AM
The NSW and Biocalcium seems reasonable. You seem to correctly understand that Tropic Marin Biocalcium adds both calcium and alkalinity. Most people outside of Europe seem to misunderstand that due to poor labeling.

I don't see any reason for calcium to need more supplement, and there really are no significant sinks for calcium that do not also take up a balanced amount of alkalinity. I'd probably stick to equal parts dosing, based on the alkalinity demand, and then only adjust calcium if it actually gets below where you want it. Then make a n occasional correction as necessary.

benzzz
03/20/2011, 04:08 PM
Your recipe for calcium additive requires DOW Flake, I have read so many different articles about impurities in these. I was wondering if you could enlighten me on your opinion on this concern.
I would like to try your 2 part solution and hope you could give me a reply.

Cheers, Benzzz

Randy Holmes-Farley
03/20/2011, 05:21 PM
Bromide is the only concern. It is discussed here:

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1527547

Otherwise, it exactly matched several high quality hobby brands when tested for impurities (so much that it is clearly the same thing, or at least was when tested).

Now you can buy bromide free (or reduced) CaCl2 from BRS that is suitable. :)