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Old 03/08/2018, 03:54 PM   #1
HarveyO
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How to Start Dosing

Good Day. I have added a couple beginner frags to my tank. I am currently testing for PH, AM, CAL, MG, ALK, and NO3. I am trying to find out as a beginner the Dosing for Dummies version. I have seen multiple threads and explanations. I am just trying to figure out how to get my Mixed Reef at consistent parameters for corals and don't want to overload or crash my tank. Thank you in advance.


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Old 03/08/2018, 04:01 PM   #2
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What are you intending to dose?
What don't you understand from what you have read?

Without details I can give you the gist: 1) Find out how much your tank uses (e.g. mg/L/day). 2) Dose at that rate using a drip, automated doser, or manual additions. 3) Monitor because corals grow, demands change, and evaporation is not consistent (pertinent for dosing kalk via ATO).

Hamza's reef has useful calculators. Randy's write ups are also a useful source and I would bet there is a 'for dummies' article he has written.

But with a 29 gallon, wouldn't it be easier to use water changes instead of dosing?


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Old 03/08/2018, 04:44 PM   #3
HarveyO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JZinCO View Post
What are you intending to dose?
What don't you understand from what you have read?

Without details I can give you the gist: 1) Find out how much your tank uses (e.g. mg/L/day). 2) Dose at that rate using a drip, automated doser, or manual additions. 3) Monitor because corals grow, demands change, and evaporation is not consistent (pertinent for dosing kalk via ATO).

Hamza's reef has useful calculators. Randy's write ups are also a useful source and I would bet there is a 'for dummies' article he has written.

But with a 29 gallon, wouldn't it be easier to use water changes instead of dosing?


I guess Iím just confused because everything Iím hearing is conflicting. Some people tell me to dose Cal and Alk. Then some say donít. Youíre saying water change. I will check those two sources out that you gave me. I appreciate it.


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Old 03/08/2018, 04:50 PM   #4
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Rule #1. Don't dose unless you need to.
The corollary is that if you aren't testing, you can't know if you need to dose.
So, if you haven't, track your Ca and Alk for a couple weeks. Find the rate at which it is depleting.

What I meant by water chance is that if you want to replenish Ca and Alk you can directly dose those or you can do a water change since the makeup water will replenish levels of both. I had a 29 gallon but it didn't have too many stony corals so I just changed 5 gal/month and that replenished the levels. Once I set up my 125, it took a year before I started depleting 1 kH/week. At that point, I decided I had to dose to keep up with coral growth because I don't want to change water that frequently (N and P aren't a problem either).


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Old 03/08/2018, 07:32 PM   #5
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Thank you. That makes sense. Iíll keep doing my water changes and testing to see what is depleting. I appreciate it.


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Old 03/09/2018, 06:03 AM   #6
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You dose when your current water change schedule is not sufficient to keep parameters in the range in which you choose to maintain them..
At that point you either decide to increase your water change schedule or amount or start dosing..

Then you see what the consumption rate is and dose as needed to maintain the parameters where you want..

Here is a good starting read for you on acceptable parameters..
http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-05/rhf/index.php

Note: typically one would start dosing when alkalinity is dropping more than .5-1dKH in 24 hours period or any will not stay in the 7-11dkh range between dosing..

Typically a few frags will not require you to start dosing..


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Old 03/09/2018, 10:06 AM   #7
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Like others stated don't dose till you have a good log testing daily for a while and seeing what's depleting and in what quantity.
Some tanks with light bioload can survive with water changes only, some require daily dosing of alk or Cal etc.
Most regular thing most reefers dose or chase is alk. Which depending on load can drop 1-2 dkh per day.
Log will help you determine all that.
Hope it helps


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Old 03/09/2018, 10:37 AM   #8
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This is why I love this site. I really appreciate all the feedback. It never fails, you guys always help out us noobs.


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Old 03/09/2018, 03:37 PM   #9
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And my two cents for testing:

Do a water change like you always do. Then test the water and record the numbers for Calcium, Alkalinity, and Magnesium. If by chance the Mg is low, bring it into line first. If it is off, the other two values are meaningless because you will never be able to dose enough of Ca or Alk (especially Alk) if Mg is low.

Then, once all three are where you want them to be, stop testing for 2 weeks. Then test again. Subtract those numbers from your original numbers to get the amount used in a 2 week period. Divide that number by 14 to get the daily usage. The reason I suggest going 14 days rather than testing daily is that the test kits we use have a margin of error that could lead you wrong if you are not careful.

Use that as a starting point for dosing, but even then err on the light side. It is way easier to add a little more than it is to take it out.

Really, as mentioned above, with a tank that's only 29g, you can almost certainly keep on top of things with just water changes for quite some time, possibly forever.


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Old 03/09/2018, 08:47 PM   #10
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I think all of the bases have been covered here, but I'd like to piggy-back on what everyone else has said and add one more thing.

When you purchase a new batch of salt mixture, I would mix per the instructions, and then test that water before adding it to your tank (just test it once). This will give you a good idea of how doing water changes with that particular batch will affect your levels.

Different brands have different levels, and I have found that different salt batches from the same brand (and even same kind) of salt can vary here and there. For example, if you know that your mixture has a base Calc level of 340, it will probably take a bit more dosing to maintain the ideal 400-420 range than it did in your previous batch that tested at, say, 380.

Just to echo the rest of people in this thread: test test test, record record record. After several cycles, you won't even think twice about it.


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