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Old 12/15/2016, 07:47 PM   #1
cbear9494
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My AF start experience

I havenít seen many reports of the experience of an AF start per their guide so I thought Iíd share my experience to date. My goal is a mixed reef and Iím SPS curious but not committed to SPS only. This is my first real tank (previously had 29g) and Iíve been out of reefing for almost 10 years so itís been fun getting back in. Iím a month in and can tell you what I have seen. I haven't progressed 100% by the book but results are good.

Aquarium: 180g tank with a rubbermaid sump with 90g of water for total volume of about 270g (1000L).
Skimmer: Reef octopus 200EXT
Lighting: 2x Kessil AP700 - just added 2x 80W T5
Flow: MP40 (x2) and return at 1200GPH on Sea Swirl
Rock: 50# of pukani from BRS (dead)
Sand: Fiji Pink Caribsea (dead)
Filtration: 10L of siporax in sump + small marine pure block - recent add Seachem Matrix
Reactor: GFO and Carbon running both from BRS.
Doser: GHL Doser 2.1
Testing: Salifert Nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, calcium, and Phosphate. Hannah ALK.
Water: RO/DI (0 TDS)

0-14 days
Started with dead rock cured for 2-3 months in fresh then salt water while I got things in order. I checked phosphates and used periodic lanthanum to control them. Added rock to the sump with circulation and heating while I added the BioS daily for 14 days. Ran the skimmer to break in but not GFO or Carbon. All salt was from Instant Ocean mix to 1.025 SG. I intermittently added small amounts of ammonia. I never understood how you could get the BioS to seed without some sort of ammonia source. Never got a nitrate or ammonia spike. Phosphate climbed to about 2.5ppm and controlled with lanthanum. Nitrates went up to 2.5. Added sand and took 3 days for the water to clear - ran carbon and continued BioS until the bottle ran out. Nitrates dipped to 0.2 so was ready to add some livestock.

14-21 days
Prior to adding livestock I added some Dr. Tims One and only which I have had good luck with and a block of marine pure that had been in my cycled quarantine tank. Added 3 fish that had been in quarantine. Ammonia was detectable at 0.12 2 days and then dropped to 0. Nitrates peaked at 2.5 about 1 week in. Continued to dose the leftover BioS. Never started NPpro/ProBio and just was patient. After 1 week Nitrates were down to 0.2 after first water change and phosphates undetectable. Ran a small amount of GFO and Carbon (much less than what was recommended for 270g).

21-30 days
Continued with really the only AF product being BioS to finish the bottle. Feeding was conservative only 1-2 times a day. Nitrates stay at 0.2 and phosphates undetectable. Added first coral frags and started watching ALK and Ca. ALK started at 8.5dKH and Calcium at 450. Didnít do any dosing and saw the ALK drift down to 7.8 over 5 days.
Then I started dosing 1+2+3+ made from mixed chemicals from AF. Got a precipitate in 1+ that others also report. 2+ took some time to dissolve. Made up 4L and dialed in my GHL doser. Again throughout this period phophates undetectable and nitrates steady at 0.2 so I am still not dosing NPpro/ProBio.

30-45 days
Diatom bloom started but began to go away on its own. Added more corals and am still in the process of tuning the doser. Over time I couldnít keep up and had to increase to 45mL per day of each with ALK at 7.7. Then for some reason started going up to 8.5 so Iím backing off. This coincided with a Dino bloom so maybe they didnít like it.

Around this time I wasnít seeing much coral growth so I started Coral ABEV supplements and increased the flow with another MP40. Dosing BA alternating with BEV daily at night. I'm dosing based on the 180g size of the display just to be conservative at first.

Starting to feed my corals as well and they are looking quite healthy. Had an acro frag that is building nice tissue and the tentacles are all out at night on my LPS. Nitrates at 0.2 and phosphates undetectable. I increased my GFO and Carbon dose in the reactors. Continuing with 5-8% water changes weekly with aggressive cleaning of detritus off the sand and on the rocks. Filter socks changed every 2-3 days (mainly to get the diatoms out of there) Added Seachem Matrix on top of the siporax to try to increase filtration further. Am starting to add some Probiotic Reef salt to the tank.

So itís still a young tank but seems like itís settling in. Iím not sure if Iím going to get to need ProBio and carbon dosing or not. I'm not going to chase the nitrate number but maybe I'll get there.

Hopes this helps others - I know that it would have helped me. The AF guide was a basic formula for success in my case in a new tank start. I think the experience would have been totally different if I started with live rock with die off. Obviously I don't have a large bio or coral load yet - but I can only dream!


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Old 12/16/2016, 10:07 AM   #2
madreefer2013
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Good stuff. Very useful.


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Old 12/16/2016, 12:26 PM   #3
plyle02
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Thanks for posting


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Old 12/17/2016, 01:44 AM   #4
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Thanks for sharing!


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Old 12/17/2016, 09:21 AM   #5
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Thanks for your sharing. Would love to see some photos please.


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Old 12/17/2016, 02:05 PM   #6
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Thanks for the very detailed post!

All seems great.

Diatoms are very normal after the initial cycle.

Please keep us updated going forward. (Love the detail)


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Old 12/18/2016, 04:21 AM   #7
jpas
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Wow, thanks for taking the time to write that up! It's great to about others experiences with AF products


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Old 12/20/2016, 12:00 AM   #8
madreefer2013
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I wonder what the difference is between dosing via the 1-2-3 component method and the other one?


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Old 12/20/2016, 06:40 PM   #9
cbear9494
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madreefer2013 View Post
I wonder what the difference is between dosing via the 1-2-3 component method and the other one?


If you mean 2 part which is popular in the US there are many write ups on this. 2 part doesn't necessarily replace trace elements. 3 part of balling type replacements incorporate more than just Ca and Alk. Seemed logical to me so I went for it.

Ultimately when my system matures I'll likely go with a Calcium reactor and ABC supplement


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Old 12/20/2016, 06:44 PM   #10
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https://imgur.com/gallery/F0tWq

FTS. Fish are hiding.

https://imgur.com/gallery/myvaK
Duncan

https://imgur.com/gallery/3IwIS
First acro


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Old 12/28/2016, 10:14 PM   #11
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cbear9494
Thanks for posting your results so far. I too have been using AF for about 3 weeks now.
I tag along to see your progress.


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Old 12/28/2016, 10:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbear9494 View Post
If you mean 2 part which is popular in the US there are many write ups on this. 2 part doesn't necessarily replace trace elements. 3 part of balling type replacements incorporate more than just Ca and Alk. Seemed logical to me so I went for it.

Ultimately when my system matures I'll likely go with a Calcium reactor and ABC supplement


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Af Component 1+ 2+ 3+ (liquids) is very good and my favorite part of the AF product line.

Once locked in to your alk and your ions stabilize out it's a really good dosing system.
Takes care of the Big 3 and keeps adding trace elements for your corals between water changes.

When It locks in you'll adding equal dosing for all 3 components daily.
On to parts My cal dose was always some what different than my Alk dose.


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Old 12/31/2016, 05:12 AM   #13
cbear9494
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoVols View Post
Af Component 1+ 2+ 3+ (liquids) is very good and my favorite part of the AF product line.

On to parts My cal dose was always some what different than my Alk dose.

So if I dose Ca(1) less than Alk(2) what do you match the dose of 3 to - 1 or 2? The lower volume?




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Old 12/31/2016, 10:38 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by cbear9494 View Post
So if I dose Ca(1) less than Alk(2) what do you match the dose of 3 to - 1 or 2? The lower volume?




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I had this same issue when I started 123. I kind of picked a middle point for 3 but overtime they did all equalize to the same. My CA is a little higher than I use to run it at but its well within range.

Took about 2 months to equalize if I recall. I just kept edging Comp1 up until they all became equal.


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Old 12/31/2016, 10:51 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by cbear9494 View Post
So if I dose Ca(1) less than Alk(2) what do you match the dose of 3 to - 1 or 2? The lower volume?




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And one final thing I discovered. You may want to take this time to recalibrate your dosing pumps. I finally did and found the pump dosing Comp1 was 2-3% off from my other units. This also contributed to the imbalance.


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Old 12/31/2016, 10:20 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by cbear9494 View Post
So if I dose Ca(1) less than Alk(2) what do you match the dose of 3 to - 1 or 2? The lower volume?




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Alright, It takes awhile for your ions to equal out to make 3 even daily doses per component + parts.

Simplest way to to look at three Component +'s
Component 1+ = Cal & Mag.
Component 2+ = Alk
Component 3+ = Continual coral trace elements that are in salt mix.

The key is to lock in the dose of Comp-2 to the alk you want first.
Use that dosage for Comp-1+ and 3+ and don't change their dosage unless you have to up or lower Comp-2+ dose.

Most likely your Cal and maybe Mag will drop lower than you desire. (Your Ions have not balanced out yet)

Do not use Comp-1+ to bring up those parameters!
It has other stuff in it and you'll never balance out to 3 equal daily doses per day, per part. You will be just chasing.

So, Here's what to do. As long as Comp-2+ is still got your alk locked in.

Bring up your Cal and or Mag with "pure" chemical forms.
I used SeaChem "Reef Advantage" Cal powder and Mag crystals to keep those two parameters in check until my ions balanced out.

You could use AF pure Cal and Mag to do the same thing. I just had some "Reef Advantage" buckets in my garage.

After two weeks my ions balanced out and was at 3 equal daily doses per all three components + parts and put "Reef Advange" back in the garage.

Always kept dose the same for Comp-3+ to Comp-2+ and never changed that dose from Comp-2+. Again, Comp-3+ is trace elements.

If your Cal is rising too high during this adjustment period.I have nothing for you and never encountered that scenario.

I happened to be one of the first group of reefers in the US to use the AF Reef Salt (Not the Probiotic). So Deep Water was taking time to see if I was happy with the "Reef Salt". They were going into testing out the Probiotic salt in their systems.

When Comp-1+ 2+ 3+ first hit the US, Deep Water Aquatics took time to teach me this method for locking in all 3 parts equally and they were new to it too and were correct on how to do it.

Af Poland should make a You Tube video on this, and other video's explaining their entire product line like "Red Sea" has done.

Hope this helps and is typed in a understandable format.

Regards, GoVols and "Happy New Year"


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Current Tank Info: 2013-RSM S-400 (Merlot) / BB / Mixed Reef / Lighting: Kessil AP700 with S-Series led bar / Bubble King 160 skimmer / GEO 2-Stage Cal Reactor with GLA dual-stage regulator / Teco TK-1000 Chiller & Heater / GFO & Purigen reactor's

Last edited by GoVols; 12/31/2016 at 11:14 PM.
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Old 01/02/2017, 12:49 PM   #17
jsdancer
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Originally Posted by GoVols View Post
Alright, It takes awhile for your ions to equal out to make 3 even daily doses per component + parts.

Simplest way to to look at three Component +'s
Component 1+ = Cal & Mag.
Component 2+ = Alk
Component 3+ = Continual coral trace elements that are in salt mix.

The key is to lock in the dose of Comp-2 to the alk you want first.
Use that dosage for Comp-1+ and 3+ and don't change their dosage unless you have to up or lower Comp-2+ dose.

Most likely your Cal and maybe Mag will drop lower than you desire. (Your Ions have not balanced out yet)

Do not use Comp-1+ to bring up those parameters!
It has other stuff in it and you'll never balance out to 3 equal daily doses per day, per part. You will be just chasing.

So, Here's what to do. As long as Comp-2+ is still got your alk locked in.

Bring up your Cal and or Mag with "pure" chemical forms.
I used SeaChem "Reef Advantage" Cal powder and Mag crystals to keep those two parameters in check until my ions balanced out.

You could use AF pure Cal and Mag to do the same thing. I just had some "Reef Advantage" buckets in my garage.

After two weeks my ions balanced out and was at 3 equal daily doses per all three components + parts and put "Reef Advange" back in the garage.

Always kept dose the same for Comp-3+ to Comp-2+ and never changed that dose from Comp-2+. Again, Comp-3+ is trace elements.

If your Cal is rising too high during this adjustment period.I have nothing for you and never encountered that scenario.

I happened to be one of the first group of reefers in the US to use the AF Reef Salt (Not the Probiotic). So Deep Water was taking time to see if I was happy with the "Reef Salt". They were going into testing out the Probiotic salt in their systems.

When Comp-1+ 2+ 3+ first hit the US, Deep Water Aquatics took time to teach me this method for locking in all 3 parts equally and they were new to it too and were correct on how to do it.

Af Poland should make a You Tube video on this, and other video's explaining their entire product line like "Red Sea" has done.

Hope this helps and is typed in a understandable format.

Regards, GoVols and "Happy New Year"
GoVols I have a couple of questions for you.

I've been using AF products for 3 weeks. All "under" the recommended dose. Wanted to slowly build my system up to it.

I am dosing components 1-2-3
Comp 1 and 3 at 20ml per day
Comp 2 at 5 ml per day
Reason comp 2 at 5ml? I needed to bring down ALK from a high of 12 dkh.

Now my ALK after 3 weeks is down to 7.6. It has stayed at 7.6 for the last 3 consecutive test readings. I believe this means the ALK level is locked in, right?

I also saw my CA and MG levels drop and I have been using MECoral to bring those levels to where I need them. I just did a bi-weekly WC.
Should I start to bring comp's 1 and 3 down towards the 5ml per day?

And finally you stated"If your Cal is rising too high during this adjustment period.I have nothing for you and never encountered that scenario."
I'm not sure I understand what you mean by this other than if your CA rises too high during the adjustment period since you have not experienced this you have nothing to offer this fellow reefer.

Is that right?


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Old 01/02/2017, 01:12 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by jsdancer View Post
GoVols I have a couple of questions for you.

I've been using AF products for 3 weeks. All "under" the recommended dose. Wanted to slowly build my system up to it.

I am dosing components 1-2-3
Comp 1 and 3 at 20ml per day
Comp 2 at 5 ml per day
Reason comp 2 at 5ml? I needed to bring down ALK from a high of 12 dkh.

Now my ALK after 3 weeks is down to 7.6. It has stayed at 7.6 for the last 3 consecutive test readings. I believe this means the ALK level is locked in, right?

I also saw my CA and MG levels drop and I have been using MECoral to bring those levels to where I need them. I just did a bi-weekly WC.
Should I start to bring comp's 1 and 3 down towards the 5ml per day?

And finally you stated"If your Cal is rising too high during this adjustment period.I have nothing for you and never encountered that scenario."
I'm not sure I understand what you mean by this other than if your CA rises too high during the adjustment period since you have not experienced this you have nothing to offer this fellow reefer.

Is that right?
Yes your alk is locked in at 5ml.

That's your dose for all there parts.

Use that dose for Part 1 and 3.

Now, use a "pure" form cal, to keep your cal up in the mean time.
Once your ions stabilize out the Comp -1 will be at the same dose of Comp-2.

Again, Think of Comp-3 as just being the trace elements that are in the salt mix and nothing to do with locking in all 3 parts to a equal dose.

If you need to raise up the dose for part-2 to hold your 7.6 alk during this time of using pure cal, then raise part-1 and part -3 to match the new dose for part-2.

Does this make sense?


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Last edited by GoVols; 01/02/2017 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 01/04/2017, 07:12 AM   #19
jsdancer
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Originally Posted by GoVols View Post
Yes your alk is locked in at 5ml.

That's your dose for all there parts.

Use that dose for Part 1 and 3.

Now, use a "pure" form cal, to keep your cal up in the mean time.
Once your ions stabilize out the Comp -1 will be at the same dose of Comp-2.

Again, Think of Comp-3 as just being the trace elements that are in the salt mix and nothing to do with locking in all 3 parts to a equal dose.

If you need to raise up the dose for part-2 to hold your 7.6 alk during this time of using pure cal, then raise part-1 and part -3 to match the new dose for part-2.

Does this make sense?

Yes it does thank you!!!!!


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