Dosing Regiment For A Nano Help

Discussion in 'Corals' started by T'sTropicalTanks, Jun 16, 2019.

  1. T'sTropicalTanksValued MemberMember

    What supplements do you recommend dosing in a nano reef?

    My tank
    16 gallon
    Kenya tree
    Zoas
    Gsp
    1 Clownfish
    1 royal gramma
    Aqua Knight led

    I currently want to speed up growth in general . I broadcast feed reef roids once a week. I am considering trying the seachem line of reef supplements. I planning on trying using Reef Complete, but if I use one product do I have to use them all? Im just curious what are the bare necessities for reef supplements
     
  2. stella1979ModeratorModerator Member

    Hmm, when talking about dosing a reef tank, we're usually talking about maintaining calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium, aka, The Big 3, which are used in the growth of stony corals... You have no stony corals, only softies are listed above. Also, we should not dose anything we're not testing for, nor should we dose until we know we need it.

    For example, for the first year, my tank was getting loaded up with small frags, who all needed their own time to adjust and begin to really thrive. During this time, I monitored calc, alk, and mag (as reefers should and I still do), and found that my weekly water changes (which also replaced minerals to some extent) were enough to maintain steady and healthy levels of the big 3. Around the tank's first bday, when lots of little corals were thriving and beginning to become big corals, our weekly testing revealed that calc and alk were steadily, slowly dropping. This meant that our coral's growth and use of calc and alk outweighed the replenishment from water changes... and that meant that we needed to start dosing the tank. So, with lots of research and daily testing, we decided to go with a standard 2-part solution and figured out the tank's uptake, and thus, how much we needed to dose to maintain levels where we wanted them/where they needed to be. This wasn't the end of water changes or regular (not daily, thank goodness) testing because a tank is ever evolving, corals are hopefully always growing... larger corals inherently produce more growth than small frags... some corals may be lost, etc. So, a tank's uptake will change over time and so must dosages.

    Reef complete is a calcium product, and yes, if dosing for calcium, you must also dose for alkalinity... and mag, sometimes.;) For example, my tank gets calc and alk every day via an auto-doser. Calc and alk must be managed together and while less... idk, sensitive? Mag is not needed daily like the others, so is not auto dosed, but is manually dosed as needed as evidenced from testing. I usually need mag once a month.

    Soooo... dosing is not to be taken lightly. What corals like most of all is stability within their environment. Without proper research, monitoring, and just plain being careful, at best you would cause slightly unstable parameters which would make corals unhappy, while at worst, you'll end up wildly off on one parameter or another (which is exactly what would happen if you dose calc without also dosing and monitoring alk) and corals would then easily die. MOST IMPORTANTLY... (sorry to yell, I just know I talk too much and sometimes fear the point is lost through no one's fault but my own)... stony corals use these minerals to build their stony skeletons. Without a skeleton, softies do not use these minerals to a noticeable extent if at all. So, you have absolutely no reason to dose at this time and dosing these things will not lead to your goal of thriving, growing soft corals. If you are still curious about dosing and want things presented to you much better than I can, then I'd highly suggest checking out BRStv on YouTube. This channel is managed by Bulk Reef Supply and it is a wealth of information on a number of aspects of reefing. Most importantly for me... they present excellent visuals to aid in understanding reef chemistry. :)

    So, what can you do to achieve your goal? Maintain stability in every way you can... meaning, water quality, lighting, and flow. Keep feeding and if your nutrients (nitrates and phosphates) aren't getting too high, perhaps increase feeding... though, perhaps not, dependant on your coral's responses. I'm not terribly experienced with softies but seem to think that some do not actually eat at all. Instead, they are fed via lighting and the nutrients they can find in the water column. Very low nitrates and phosphates are usually suggested for reef tanks, and for good reason, because if your corals aren't using the nutrients, algae sure will, and then you'll end up with a garden you didn't want.:p However, softies generally like the water to be a little 'dirty'. So, I wouldn't recommend ultra-low nitrates... but I wouldn't recommend levels over 10-15ppm either. If you do find that you want/need to raise your nutrient level, do so slowly, so you may judge how much is enough without going overboard.

    Please... do lots and lots of research before ever starting a dosing regimen and do not dose anything you're not testing for.;)
     
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