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Old 01/29/2018, 08:44 PM   #1
RussC
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Looks like its time to starting dosing ALk. Suggestions?

Up until now I've been able to maintain my ALK level with regular water changes every two weeks. I first noticed a change in ALK after my last change a little over two weeks ago. Three days ago I made another water change. The ALK is 7.28. Prior to the last two water changes, a water change every two weeks was holding my tank steady in the 9 dkh range. Obviously that's no longer getting the job done.

I have two BRS dosing pumps for ALK and CAL ready to go with the reservoir and the Neptune system. Now what do I do to get this tank steady? Heck, I've even got the mix of soda ash already to go and on the shelf thinking I was going to need it before now.

I'm shooting for 9 dkh. The tank seems to be averaging 7.3. What now? I'd like to make it automatic and begin using my system to handle it. Just looking for some guidance from those that have been there done that. This part is new. I'm zapping this thread out tonight and plan to begin reading a lot on it tomorrow.


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Current Tank Info: Red Sea Reefer XL 425 88gl Display, 24gl sump, Kessil AP700 Light, Varios 6 Return Pump, Reef Octopus Regal 150ENT Skimmer, Apex controller with 2 Wav Powerheads, AFS & BoB, BRS Dosing System for Cal and Alk, BRS Single Media Reactor, Finnex 800 Heat
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Old 01/29/2018, 09:13 PM   #2
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BRS has a handful of good videos on 2 part using their pumps, they walk you through getting to your target and then show you how to automate it to stay there. I highly recommend checking it out.


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Old 01/29/2018, 09:17 PM   #3
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I have a 112 gallon system. Taking into account live rock, substrate, etc., I'm going to use 80 gallon water volume for the sake of this discussion. I may have more water volume, but since this is the first go at dosing ALK, I figured I'd error on the safe side. After a quick calculation on BRS using the 2 part BRS Alkalinity and 80 gallons of water, the calculator tells me to add 3.3 oz of mix. Now the part I'm not yet familiar with...how to automate it. I was thinking maybe I'd get the tank's ALK level to 9 by manually dosing then come back in 5 days, remeasure using my Red Sea Marine Pro kit and see where its fallen to. That way I can determine the drop and calibrate my dosing pumps accordingly. Don't know how to calibrate the pumps but should be able to figure that out pretty easy. Isn't there a program or something for the apex? Is it better to dose at night or day? I know adding soda ash will increase the PH.


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Current Tank Info: Red Sea Reefer XL 425 88gl Display, 24gl sump, Kessil AP700 Light, Varios 6 Return Pump, Reef Octopus Regal 150ENT Skimmer, Apex controller with 2 Wav Powerheads, AFS & BoB, BRS Dosing System for Cal and Alk, BRS Single Media Reactor, Finnex 800 Heat
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Old 01/29/2018, 09:18 PM   #4
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Mcozad, love the Chris Farley quote. What a funny dude!


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Current Tank Info: Red Sea Reefer XL 425 88gl Display, 24gl sump, Kessil AP700 Light, Varios 6 Return Pump, Reef Octopus Regal 150ENT Skimmer, Apex controller with 2 Wav Powerheads, AFS & BoB, BRS Dosing System for Cal and Alk, BRS Single Media Reactor, Finnex 800 Heat
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Old 01/29/2018, 09:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
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I have a 112 gallon system. Taking into account live rock, substrate, etc., I'm going to use 80 gallon water volume for the sake of this discussion. I may have more water volume, but since this is the first go at dosing ALK, I figured I'd error on the safe side. After a quick calculation on BRS using the 2 part BRS Alkalinity and 80 gallons of water, the calculator tells me to add 3.3 oz of mix. Now the part I'm not yet familiar with...how to automate it. I was thinking maybe I'd get the tank's ALK level to 9 by manually dosing then come back in 5 days, remeasure using my Red Sea Marine Pro kit and see where its fallen to. That way I can determine the drop and calibrate my dosing pumps accordingly. Don't know how to calibrate the pumps but should be able to figure that out pretty easy. Isn't there a program or something for the apex? Is it better to dose at night or day? I know adding soda ash will increase the PH.
You are certainly on the right track, first thing is to slowly get your tank back up to your target... 9dkh i believe you said. Once it is there then measure daily. Lets say you get it to 9 and the next day you measure it and its at 8.7. Use the calculator again and add the amount needed to get it back to 9. Test it the next day. If you get 9 then you know the amount you added was perfect. If its too high you added too much and too low so on. Use these numbers to fine tune your daily dose. Remember the calculator is a starting point you have to zero it in once you're close. Once you know how much you need a day (ml) then you just have to do a little math. Lets say you need 20mls/day to keep it at 9dkh. Well you know the BRS dosing pump runs at a rate of 1.1ml/min. You simply divide your total daily amount(20Ml) by the dosing pump rate(1.1). 20/1.1= 18.18. This tells you that you need to have your dosing pump on for 18.18 minutes throughout the day to dose the right amount of alk. This can certainly be done using the apex or even simple timers. When I was dosing I preferred to dose at night, it helped minimize ph swings. So in this theoretical example I would run my dosing pump for 2 mins every hour for 9 hrs. 11pm-8am (or whatever suits your needs best). The hard part is fine tuning how much you need a day, the rest is simple math. Hope that helped.


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Old 01/29/2018, 09:37 PM   #6
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Mcozad, love the Chris Farley quote. What a funny dude!
Sure was


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Old 01/30/2018, 04:36 AM   #7
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Just remember to only bring your alk up by 1dkh a day. Anymore then that can have detrimental affects on your coral.

As said above, get your daily consumption down. Then setup your doser. I would recommend testing every other day and hand dosing for a week or so before setting up the pumps so you know you have it right.

As far how to setup the BRS dosers in your apex. When I used them I used this calc to get my apex programming.

https://www.reeftronics.net/adpg/dosingcalc.php

Input the volume of the doser, amount you want to dose, times you want to dose, and it gives you the code to put in your apex.

EDIT to add:

If your just dosing ALK, you may want to consider plain arm and hammer baking soda. Loads cheaper then BRS soda ash, and what probably close to 99% of what most of us use for an alkalinity supplement. Just google Randy's DIY 2 part. You can bake the baking soda in the oven for soda ash(to raise PH), or just plain baking soda(lowers PH slightly) mixed with RO/DI.


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Old 01/30/2018, 08:16 AM   #8
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This is great info and extremely helpful. I'll begin this evening (slowly). THanks.


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Current Tank Info: Red Sea Reefer XL 425 88gl Display, 24gl sump, Kessil AP700 Light, Varios 6 Return Pump, Reef Octopus Regal 150ENT Skimmer, Apex controller with 2 Wav Powerheads, AFS & BoB, BRS Dosing System for Cal and Alk, BRS Single Media Reactor, Finnex 800 Heat
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Old 01/30/2018, 08:52 PM   #9
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I'm curious...just how long after I dose does it take a tank to stabilize to the new level?


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Current Tank Info: Red Sea Reefer XL 425 88gl Display, 24gl sump, Kessil AP700 Light, Varios 6 Return Pump, Reef Octopus Regal 150ENT Skimmer, Apex controller with 2 Wav Powerheads, AFS & BoB, BRS Dosing System for Cal and Alk, BRS Single Media Reactor, Finnex 800 Heat
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Old 01/31/2018, 06:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
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I'm curious...just how long after I dose does it take a tank to stabilize to the new level?
Typically within a couple of hours you can test again and get the increased result from the dose. Dependent upon flow/turnover of course.


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Old 01/31/2018, 07:22 AM   #11
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^^^What they have said^^^

Because the change on a day to day can be fairly small, I would suggest bringing it up to your target range and then wait a week to test again. Divide the result by 7 to get your daily consumption. With hobby grade test kits, the difference one day to the next can easily fall within the margin of error for whatever test kit you are using. A little OCD can go a long way in eliminating that as well. Do the test exactly the same way every time.

My only other suggestion would be to make sure you test at the same time of day each time. You can then remove that particular variable from the equation.


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Old 01/31/2018, 08:48 AM   #12
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Thanks for all these tips. I got the "ocd" when it comes to my tank! That's part of the fun of this hobby.


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Current Tank Info: Red Sea Reefer XL 425 88gl Display, 24gl sump, Kessil AP700 Light, Varios 6 Return Pump, Reef Octopus Regal 150ENT Skimmer, Apex controller with 2 Wav Powerheads, AFS & BoB, BRS Dosing System for Cal and Alk, BRS Single Media Reactor, Finnex 800 Heat
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Old 01/31/2018, 12:58 PM   #13
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Keep in mind that your magnisum must be around 1350 or you will never get a correct Alk reading....if Mag is to low....you can dose Alk forever and it will not change.....
Make sure your problem is actually the bio load first, then work on dosing...


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Old 01/31/2018, 04:46 PM   #14
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Keep in mind that your magnisum must be around 1350 or you will never get a correct Alk reading....if Mag is to low....you can dose Alk forever and it will not change.....
Make sure your problem is actually the bio load first, then work on dosing...
Umm never had that issue. Discovered recently my MG was low and I needed to start dosing it. Not sure for how long it was low but I've dosed Alk for a long time and made plenty if adjustments up and down without issue.

Indeed MG should be corrected first and kept stable, my system just didn't need MG dosed until after Alk then Cal respectively.


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Old 02/08/2018, 06:56 PM   #15
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Okay, guys. Let me see if I'm understanding how this will move forward. Double check my math for me.

I manually brought the tank back to my target 9dkh. In 7 days the dkh dropped to 8. Using the BRS calculator, I determined in order to bring the dkh back to 9 I would need 57 ml. I divided 57 ml by 7 days to get 8.14 ml per day of alkalinity consumption. Since the BRS dosing pumps dose 1.1 ml / minute I am calculating I will need to run my pumps 7.4 minutes per day, giver or take. 57/7=8.14; 8.14/1.1=7.4. Does this sound about right? Thoughts?


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Current Tank Info: Red Sea Reefer XL 425 88gl Display, 24gl sump, Kessil AP700 Light, Varios 6 Return Pump, Reef Octopus Regal 150ENT Skimmer, Apex controller with 2 Wav Powerheads, AFS & BoB, BRS Dosing System for Cal and Alk, BRS Single Media Reactor, Finnex 800 Heat
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Old 02/14/2018, 10:37 AM   #16
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I've been working on this Alk thing. Quite frankly, I've ticked off some corals. The SPS are doing fine. But my softies have been very irritated with the change. Which got me reading even more. That's when I came across this article I wanted to share. It helped me understand some things I had questions about. And its got me rethinking some things as well. http://reefinabox.com/right-alkalinity-coral-growth/


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Current Tank Info: Red Sea Reefer XL 425 88gl Display, 24gl sump, Kessil AP700 Light, Varios 6 Return Pump, Reef Octopus Regal 150ENT Skimmer, Apex controller with 2 Wav Powerheads, AFS & BoB, BRS Dosing System for Cal and Alk, BRS Single Media Reactor, Finnex 800 Heat
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