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questions on 2 part dosing


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  1. #1
    jolson10450 - Reefkeeper
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    Default questions on 2 part dosing

    First question is which 2 part dosing kits do you use?

    I have a feeling that my levels will be getting ate up pretty quick soon and want to start 2 part dosing so i would like a little bit of information first.

    currently after a water change (or right before i am due for one 2 weeks later) my alk is at a solid 7 in my main tank using tropic marin test kit. i think this is a bit low. my calcium is usually 450 after a water change and 375 right before i am due for one. and my mag is usually 1350 after a water change and 1200 before i am due for one.

    Then the past 2 weeks i have added 2 sps mini colonies, 1 frag of sps. and over 20 acans from a few polyps per frag to over 20+ polyps in a colony so i have a feeling these levels will get ate up very quickly now.

    one of the issues i see is that adding alk will raise my PH some, my ph at night is usually 8.25-8.3 and daily it is 8.4-8.5 so raising it might cause a disaster. i see that BRS as a 2 part that says "lowers ph" and one that says "raises ph" i am not sure which to choose? i think my PH level is fine now and if it lower it then it might be to low and if i raise it then it will be to high. which do i choose?

    any info is greatly appreciated!

    i also have a home made top off with 2 float relays that trigger my top off pump (just a small maxijet in a 5 gallon bucket) and i usually use roughyl 5 gallons a week of top off. what are the chances that i can just add the 2 part solution to the top off water and let it just naturally add it to my tank and have it be accurate? i assume the evaporation rate in my tank is fairly steady so it should top off the same but how do i figure out how much i need to add to say 5 gallons of top off water to get my levels in a good range? do i just trial it at a low amount first and slowly bump it up or is there a calculator for it?

    my tank info

    29g tank
    10g sump
    4x 24w t5 HO bulbs
    eshpps psk-75 protein skimmer
    home made ATO

    i ask to please give good thorough answers so that if anyone else has 2 part questions they can refer to this thread for information.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    MizTanks - Reefkeeper
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    I'm tagging along on this one
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  3. #3
    rosebud161616 - Reefkeeper
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    You don't want to add both parts of 2 part to your top off because they just precipitate right out. However you can add kalkwasser to your ato, hook it up to a controller so that it shuts off your ato if your ph goes to high, and as long as your alk needs aren't higher than what you're getting from the kalk, you're good to go.

    ESV makes a good bottled 2 part solution but is a little more expensive. I use BRS's 2 part and mix it myself. It's a pain to mix, but I only mix it every month or 2.

    The amount you use totally depends on your tank's usage. I was manually dosing 2 part before I decided to get some pumps and automate it so I had a pretty good idea where it needed to be. Just start low and increase slowly, monitoring your levels as you go. BRS has some good calculators that will allow you to put in your tank volume, your current alk level, and your target alk level and it will tell you how much you need to use.

    One thing to keep in mind is that you are using your dosing pumps to MAINTAIN your alk levels, not increase them. So if you get them set, then a couple of days later find that your alk is dropping, you don't increase your pumps in order to increase your alk. You increase your pump slightly to maintain the alk and then manually dose the amount that you need to bring your alk back up.

  4. #4
    slapshot - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    I agree with everything Rose said. You can not mix them together. To determain your usage, all you have to do is measure your levels, wait 24 hours and measure again. The difference is your usage. Then add your calcium and alk until you reach the level you had the day before. then dose that amount either manually or by pump over the next 24 hours. I hope that makes sense. You will have to test every day for a week and fine tune it but you should be dead on in a couple of days.

    I use calcium cloride for my calcium and baking powder, baked, for my alk. Cheap and effective.

  5. #5
    Corvette Reefer - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    im not to familiar with two part but iv been dosing kalk and its working great!! iv had good growth lately from it!
    The names Vette, Corvette. . .

  6. #6
    jolson10450 - Reefkeeper
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapshot View Post
    I agree with everything Rose said. You can not mix them together. To determain your usage, all you have to do is measure your levels, wait 24 hours and measure again. The difference is your usage. Then add your calcium and alk until you reach the level you had the day before. then dose that amount either manually or by pump over the next 24 hours. I hope that makes sense. You will have to test every day for a week and fine tune it but you should be dead on in a couple of days.

    I use calcium cloride for my calcium and baking powder, baked, for my alk. Cheap and effective.
    i was going to use baking soda for alk because it is at 7 as it sits and just add that to my ATO water then maybe i will just use something for calcium if need be rather than a 2 part. i do not want to add a dosing pump, my tank is pretty small as it is and i am limited to the amount of plugs i can use as well on this circuit so lesser the better that is why i asked if i could use both in my ATO.

    i will get the test kits and do a daily test and see where it lies but it seems that the past few week every week i test alk its at a steady 7 so unless the test kit is bad then i dont know. i would like to bump it up to 9 and see where that gets me.

    Thanks for the info so far! i can manually use 2 part that is fine i just figured if i can automate it easier then that might be the route. i manually vodka/mb7 dose currently i am just trying to lighten the load if i go out of town and someone watches my tank for me it'll make it easier on them.

  7. #7
    slapshot - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Baking soda is fine but you must bake it first to drive off the moisture. 20 minutes at 350 works great. Then just mix it with r/o. You can get the amounts off line and make up as much as you want. It does not go bad. Your amounts will change and get more demanding as your tank ages and your sps grow. Use it to raise it to 9 and see how it holds up. If it stays your hood for awhile.

    You should be initially dosing equal amounts of calcium and Alk at the beginning. I let my test kits decide how much I dose.

  8. #8
    jolson10450 - Reefkeeper
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapshot View Post
    Baking soda is fine but you must bake it first to drive off the moisture. 20 minutes at 350 works great. Then just mix it with r/o. You can get the amounts off line and make up as much as you want. It does not go bad. Your amounts will change and get more demanding as your tank ages and your sps grow. Use it to raise it to 9 and see how it holds up. If it stays your hood for awhile.

    You should be initially dosing equal amounts of calcium and Alk at the beginning. I let my test kits decide how much I dose.
    but what if my calcium is at 425-450 (cant remember off the top of my head what it was last week but it was the high range, after water change) and the alk is at 7 which is the low range then should i not dose calcium with alk since calcium is already in the higher range?

  9. #9
    slapshot - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jolson10450 View Post
    but what if my calcium is at 425-450 (cant remember off the top of my head what it was last week but it was the high range, after water change) and the alk is at 7 which is the low range then should i not dose calcium with alk since calcium is already in the higher range?
    Correct. Assuming your testing right. I really have never been able to follow the method of equal dosing. I dose based on my test kits. Another thing you have to be carefulabout is that if you are mixing your own be sure that the mix is exactly the same everytime. For me that meant picking up a 19 dollar digital food scale.

  10. #10
    jolson10450 - Reefkeeper
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapshot View Post
    Correct. Assuming your testing right. I really have never been able to follow the method of equal dosing. I dose based on my test kits. Another thing you have to be carefulabout is that if you are mixing your own be sure that the mix is exactly the same everytime. For me that meant picking up a 19 dollar digital food scale.
    good point, i will look into that. i am not looking to make a decision and do it right away but i would like a good game plan before attack.

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