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Dustin1300
07/04/2010, 10:12 PM
I've just recently started to keep SPS and am experiencing problems keeping calcium up (alk seems to stay between 8-9 with a little additive from time to time). My calcium keep dropping below 400 and falling between 380-400.

Currently I have a LiterMeterIII set up with remote pump and water exchange pump so I do 8 Liters of water changes each day and top off with 5.75 Liters of lime water. I thought the limewater would keep up longer but believe I'm going to add some more supplementation for the system. That being said.....I'm wanting to go with BRS two part + mag (http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/store/two-part-calcium-and-alkalinity-total-package-large-1.html).

Do not really have the money to spend (wife would say waste) on a LMIII and two remote pumps. I will probably pick up the three soon enough but in the meantime I'd like to have a solution that is cheaper. That being said I was thinking about getting three of the 'Aqua Breeder 200s' (http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/store/products/calcium-alkalinity-magnesium/two-part-accessories/calcium-and-alkalinity-dripper-aqua-breed-200.html) and suctioning to the back of tank and adding needed calcium/alk/mag in the morning.

Would these be large enough for my supplementation each day as I'm not sure on capacity of these breeders? Anyone have any other temporary solution that would make this cheaper on my wallet a bit longer;)

Thanks in advance!

Dustin1300
07/04/2010, 10:16 PM
System Details before you ask:

- 75 gallon DT
- ~20 gallons in Sump
- 75 pounds of Live Rock
- Tank has a ~15+ Softies/LPS and roughly 20 frags of SPS

ryanrid
07/04/2010, 11:42 PM
dose manually with dow flake or the likes and baking soda.

Dustin1300
07/05/2010, 08:25 AM
I can manually dose daily in the morning before leaving work but do not think adding the full dosage for day would be good for alk. I've heard that the calcium/magnesium would be fine but want a good drip so all three are gradually added to system throughout day until I can get another LMIII and two remote pumps. Any DIYers have any ideas on what I could use to drip the three parts daily? I'd like to get my order in to BRS tomorrow;)

HighlandReefer
07/05/2010, 08:55 AM
For alk, baking soda is the cheapest. If you suffer from low pH problems, you can bake the baking soda to produce sodium carbonate.

For calcium, BRS calcium chloride is fine and has a good purity IMHO.

For mag, you will need to mix magnesium chloride and magnesium sulfate. The BRS magnesium chloride is a fine choice. For magnesium sulfate, you can buy Epson Salts from the pharmacy or grocery cheaper.

Mag Supplementing Recommendations:

Mag sulfate and mag chloride are both important when increasing and/or maintaining your mag level. The mag sulfate will increase your sulfate whereas mag chloride will increase your chloride in your water. The idea is to keep the sulfate and chloride in balance in your water column. This leads to using them in the proper ratio to maintain the proper balance.

Randy calculated the ratios to maintain the proper balance of chloride to sulfate. It will depend on what you are using to maintain your calcium with.

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If you are using Calcium chloride (two-part) to maintain your calcium, then use:

5 cups of mag chloride + 3 cups of mag sulfate in a total of one gallon with rodi water. Mix and you can add the particles in the solution.

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


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If you are using kalk water or reactors to maintain your calcium, then use:

7.25 cups mag chloride + .75 cups of mag sulfate.

Do-It-Yourself Magnesium Supplements for the Reef Aquarium
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-07/rhf/index.php

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If you want to bump up your mag level in your tank or you want to increase the mag level in your salt mix or natural seawater, then use:

7.25 cups mag chloride + .75 cups of mag sulfate.

This is perfectly balanced with what is found in sea water and does not take into consideration any additions of chloride from calcium additives.

Do-It-Yourself Magnesium Supplements for the Reef Aquarium
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-07/rhf/index.php

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If you are using reactors (and/or kalk water) and also supplement with calcium chloride, then perhaps a good ratio to use would be:

7 cups mag chloride + 1 cup mag sulfate. :)

HighlandReefer
07/05/2010, 08:58 AM
I think I misread your post. :lol:

BRS sells dosing pumps you can use. The one they sell for around $80.00 seems to be thought highly of. Many use the cheaper doser they sell for around $30.00 with good results also.

http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/store/products/pumps-and-plumbing/dosing-pumps-and-auto-top-off-systems

Allmost
07/05/2010, 09:17 AM
balling individual plus method.

I use 3 dosing pumps (aqualiftrs) controlled by a RKL :) 160 is the cost of the controller and the pumps lol, (can be done with timers too)

Dustin1300
07/05/2010, 10:07 AM
I think I misread your post. :lol:

BRS sells dosing pumps you can use. The one they sell for around $80.00 seems to be thought highly of. Many use the cheaper doser they sell for around $30.00 with good results also.

http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/store/products/pumps-and-plumbing/dosing-pumps-and-auto-top-off-systems

Highlander,

Thanks for the info anyways. Is very helpful as I was going to have to do some further research into the supplementation anyways.

Steve175
07/05/2010, 10:08 AM
Would get less fancy w/ the daily water changes and instead batch the water changes weekly. You can then pick up only one more remote pump and use the LiterMeter for Kalk, Ca, and Alk. Mg can be batched weekly; I dose it by level and need to add it infrequently due to frequent water changes with Reef Crystals (higher mag salt). That you already have a Liter Meter: you know it is best/safest, and know that you ultimately would prefer to use it for your 2-part: might as well spend a bit more now and not waste $$ on something temporary. $0.02

Dustin1300
07/05/2010, 10:11 AM
balling individual plus method.

I use 3 dosing pumps (aqualiftrs) controlled by a RKL :) 160 is the cost of the controller and the pumps lol, (can be done with timers too)

I realize I could do something like this but am looking for a cheap gravity fed method for the moment. I'd like to just pour in the morning and let drip throughout day. This is all until I can get my hands on another LMIII and two remote pumps. I guess I could just get a few liter water bottles, hang up side down and drill cap and place 1/4" tubing in but not sure how I'd restrict the flow in a manner that I could adjust.

This does not have to be a perfect solution but would like something that I could get a couple months use out of before I break down and get another LMIII as I love them and believe they are the most accurate;)

Dustin1300
07/07/2010, 07:18 AM
Continuing on from what I earlier stated it seems that a number of individuals add the additives to tank manually? I put order in with BRS for Calcium, Magensium, and Alk which I will be taking 'HighlandReefers' recommendations on regarding the amounts of additives using 'Recipe 1'.

My question is whether I should add these per my daily dosage each morning and just add the required amount for the day? Would it be better to do so at night? I've seen that many just add the mag/calcium but drip the alk additive. What are your suggestions on how I should add until I can get another LMIII and two remote pumps?

Thanks again:)

chuckreef
07/07/2010, 09:09 AM
At your current light bioload, you will be fine just batch adding each part. I ran a system like yours for years dosing about 30 ml alk part in the am and the same volume of the ca part in the eve. If you experience a snow storm effect when adding the alk part a good trick is to dilute the 30 ml into a glass (about 8 oz) of RO DI before pouring into a high flow area of the system.

I agree with the post above above re-tasking the liter meter. IMHO, well-controlled stability in alk and ca levels via accurate and timed dosing is more important than the daily water changes.

poolkeeper1
07/07/2010, 09:11 AM
Split the dose up between the morning/evening and you will have less swings in your levels while manually dosing, Or set up a drip method of some sort to add over the course of a 24 hr period. It's not really that hard and can be done for cheap JMHO.
Bill

Dustin1300
07/07/2010, 09:24 AM
Split the dose up between the morning/evening and you will have less swings in your levels while manually dosing, Or set up a drip method of some sort to add over the course of a 24 hr period. It's not really that hard and can be done for cheap JMHO.
Bill

I just want to ensure that I don't have too large of swings as I'm trying to keep it as stable as possible. I'll probably rig some bottles upside down and drill cap for 1/4" tubing and restrict flow on tubing to slow down.

Just not sure how I'll restrict flow on tubing yet! A couple of my ideas include:
- Wrapping zip tie around tubing
- Tie tubing in a partial knot to slow down

***Really not that complicated.

Allmost
07/07/2010, 09:32 AM
its best to dose alk in the early morning hours before lights come on (kh and ph at its lowest)

MG throughout the day

and CA later int he evening, when corals use it most !

something I copied from somewhere else, but seems to be working fine for me.

I personally do not trust gravity fed lines, too risky. aqualifters have almost no risk in over dosing.

to restrict flow, u can always use one of those air restriction used for air pumps, but over time build up will be made on it and it would change the drip rate. best choice is to visit the pharmacy or hospital and see if u can get one of those drippers from them :) those gotta be fail proof. lol

Dustin1300
07/07/2010, 09:58 AM
Allmost,

Makes sense on when I dose the Alk/Calcium but cannot easily dose Mag throughout day. I currently run PCs from 11AM-9PM and MHs from 12PM-8PM. I guess I will dose the MG/Alk in morning (7:30AM) and ensure drip is on both of these. I will then dose the Calcium at night (10PM) and let drip. As far as your concern on gravity fed...I'm just talking about gravity feeding amounts I have added. I'm not going to have the reservoir dripping but will rather measure amount from resorvoirs and then pour into three separate gravity fed bottles that I can restrict flow so its dripped over a few hours.

***My wife is a nurse so I'm trying to get the hook up on some tubing that I can more easily restrict the flow with.

Hopefully by end of summer I can get another LMIII and two remote pumps so I can automate all of this! I love my LMIII and water changes right now that automates all so I'd be happy to pay for another for dosing the three parts of supplements...I just wish with the LMIII that I coudl choose to dose at different times for the three different pumps.

Allmost
07/07/2010, 10:05 AM
oh nice that sounds perfect :)

but to be honest, the amount of MG solution used is REALLY not alot,

I dose about 60 ml of alk solution daily, and about 6 ml of mg solution every 2 days lol

I am not sure about this, but I think adding alk and MG at the same time will cause them to precipitate in sump due to localized increase in those values and increase in PH, but I am truly not sure of this.

good luck :)

Dustin1300
07/07/2010, 10:53 AM
I was planning on splitting the CA/Alk and dosing in different portions of sump so I do not worry about precipitate. Can anyone confirm that the MG/Alk combo will cause this problem too? If so I guess I can just add to DT since it is such a small amount. I have a similar sized system as you with a 75 gallon DT and about ~20 gallon sump. Just started SPS so should not require a lot of Mag either.

bertoni
07/07/2010, 01:47 PM
The magnesium-alkalinity component is unlikely to cause much precipitation, but it could if the flow and volume are very low. I'd just add it with the calcium, which should be fine.

Dustin1300
07/07/2010, 03:44 PM
So you're saying I can just add the magnesium to the Calcium supplement daily and let it drip? I think I'll just plan on having the MG/Alk added in morning where its added to return pump section of sump and the overflow section. I'll add the calcium supplement at night to drip in middle section right after my skimmer.

bertoni
07/07/2010, 03:55 PM
Well, if the magnesium supplement remains liquid enough, that'll be fine. It has a tendency to clump up and settle. If you're dripping the entire container, then it should be okay. It's worth trying, IMO.

Dustin1300
07/07/2010, 05:49 PM
Well, if the magnesium supplement remains liquid enough, that'll be fine. It has a tendency to clump up and settle. If you're dripping the entire container, then it should be okay. It's worth trying, IMO.

That's exactly why I ask/research before doing so. Time would tell me about Magnesium clumping up but that's what RC is for. Learn before you experience;) Thanks for everyones input as, my BRS order should be in on Thursday!:bounce3: