Going to start two part dosing in my reef tank

Discussion in 'Saltwater Beginners' started by LiterallyHydro, Jul 5, 2015.

  1. LiterallyHydroWell Known MemberMember

    I just placed an order for Bulk Reef Supply's  .

    I've never done dosing in a reef tank before, so I want to keep it simple the first time I'm getting around to trying this. I will have a calcium and alkalinity test kit on hand before I start dosing, and I'm going to follow the instructions from this video on youtube.


    I just want to make sure I do this right from the beginning. Are these the right steps for just getting started with dosing? Is there anything else I'm going to need to know? I will do further research on dosing when my budget allows, and I want to upgrade the tank further, but for now I just want to get dosing started so I have more stable parameters and hopefully see better growth.
  2. Claire BearWell Known MemberMember

    Hi, what type salt are you using? I ask because the salt can make a huge dfference in how stable your tank is and how much extra chemical you will need. I use seachem reef but there are many out there. I am thinking about switching to Tropic Marine Pro sea salts. Based on the reviews I have read, I think it may keep my coral much healthier-at least that is my thought.
    I also have a 29g (seahorse) and a 55g with a second 55g reef tank. Then a 36g bowfront and a 10g shrimp tank. With the number of tanks I have, I don't want to dose them all. Looks like this salt may have a better overall balance.
    As far as two part, I used a vinegar lime mix but stopped as I think my tank didn't need it. I now just do a 20% water change every two weeks and things seem to be going well.
  3. LiterallyHydroWell Known MemberMember

    Thanks for getting back to me on this.

    I'm currently using but I'm more than willing to change to a different brand if it's still relatively affordable. Right now my calcium drops to 380ppm between water changes, and my alkalinity I don't yet have a test kit for (Getting one very soon though).

    My current water change schedule is 5G (With the rock, around 20%) every week. I don't think I'll need to dose much yet, as the corals are still mostly frags with a few just beginning to form into colonies. I want to drop the water change schedule to bi-weekly 10-20% water changes if that's possible. The first thing I wanted to figure out was dosing, so the corals would still have what they need for growth.

    The next thing I'm going to have to figure out is nutrient export. Since I don't have a sump at the moment, most of the better options for skimmers are out of the question. The nitrates are currently hitting around 20ppm between the weekly water changes. I could probably reduce that number by lowering the amount that I feed daily (A bit more than necessary, admittedly.) but I'm not sure what else I could do.

    Back on the main topic though..

    I'm going to be dosing Soda Ash and Calcium Chloride. I'm not going to start messing with the magnesium side of dosing until I have the ability to test that as well. What I want to aim for at the moment is around 420ppm calcium and 9dKH alkalinity. I think this, mixed with decent lighting and flow should result in a decent amount of coral growth.

    If the corals are not using much calcium or alkalinity at this time, I'm going to start with dosing every other day, and as they grow into large colonies I'll begin daily dosing.

    I just want to make sure I'm not going to be doing something wrong here and risk causing problems to the tank.
  4. Claire BearWell Known MemberMember

    Good plan to not dose anything you cant measure! :)
    I am totally not dosing at this time-pulled it off a few months ago and things seem more stable.
  5. LiterallyHydroWell Known MemberMember

    I wish it was that easy. Right now, it's as simple as doing water changes to maintain the proper Ca and Alk levels, but as the corals begin to grow, and I add more corals, it's going to get really expensive to be constantly doing water changes. I'd rather save the money and start with some simple dosing for now.

    Is the brand of salt mix you're going to switch to? It's a bit on the expensive side for salt mix, but since it's only a 29G reef, I could probably use it as well. If I can reduce the water changes to a low amount, I'd love to switch to a better brand of salt.
  6. LiterallyHydroWell Known MemberMember

    So I just got my Alk test kit. From the Red Sea pH / Alkalinity Test Kit. my Ca is 440ppm and my Alk is 11 dKH.

    I thought these were going to be lower since I have corals in the tank and don't actively dose yet. Is there something that is wrong here? I don't have the ability to test Mg yet so I don't know if that's in a good range or not.
  7. SlugWell Known MemberMember

    Your corals may just not be using it as fast as you think right now. How dense is your coral stocking currently? Obviously the more you have the faster things will drop. Corals with skeletons will also use these elements faster than soft coral so if you are lacking hard corals or corals with skeleton then you won't see much drop. The levels you are at seem normal and fine to me, no point in dosing currently IMO.
  8. LiterallyHydroWell Known MemberMember

    I suppose that is a likely possibility. There are currently 7 frags in the tank at the moment (Xenias, Star Polyps, Torch, Frogspawn, Kenya Tree, Alveopora, Zoanthids) And none of them are very large yet.

    The star polyps are closed up for some reason but everything else is doing good. I'll just test the two weekly or bi-weekly until I start to see the numbers going down, then I'll start dosing.

    For now I'll just store away the dosing kit until it's needed.