Thinking of going to Two Part Solution Dosing

ken6217

Premium Member
I'm thinking of going to 2 part solution for my 93 gallon reef.

I was curious about some comments regarding an increase in salinity. Is it significant, and is it a major factor to consider?

Are there any other "side effects" besides this in dosing the two part solution?

Any brands better than others? I now DIY is cheaper but would rather go that route later on if I stick with the dosing.

Thanks,
Ken
 
I have read many different reviews. However, I started using the kent brand and am very satisfied. It is easy enough to use. Just get a good calcium and dkh test kit. Keep an eye on it for the first few days and adjust as needed. My corals seem much more happy. Lots of polyp extension.
 

jerpa

Team RC
The salinity increase is very slow unless you have to dose very large amounts due to consumption. It is something I would monitor but at most requires replacing some water with RODI or adjusting the salinity when doing a water change.

I have always used DIY recipes due to cost savings but any reputable 2 part should get the job done.
 

billdogg

Active member
I went with the BRS 2 part kit - very easy to use, good instructions. Just got my marine magic dosing pump after I added too much alk too quickly and my corals didn't like it much.
 

Drae

RAIDER NATION!
Randy's recipe, B-ionic and C balance works pretty well. Randy's being the most cost effective.
 

MrClam

New member
If you have a skimmer you will be taking out a small saltwater volume from the tank and replacing it with topoff RO/DI. 2 part adds a small amount of salt to the tank. In terms of volume and effect I have found both negligible, but my tank has only been running for a short time.
 

this is me

New member
My system volume is ~55gallons. Using BRS 2 parts and magnesium, I dose 120ml of ALK, 120ml of CA, and 50ml of MG everyday. I watch my conductivity probes goes from 50.6ms to 51.4ms in a week. Not a significant amount in salinity creep and if I take out a cup of water to thaw out my food and let the ATO fills it fresh RODI, the swing is a lot less.
 

bertoni

Premium Member
Those numbers seem reasonable to me. I think some tanks see a shift of 0.001 SG units a month, for example. That's the general ballpark for a high-demand tank.
 

ken6217

Premium Member
I have a couple of dosing questions. The instructions say to add 1ml per 4 gallons of each part (separately).

What am I targeting for both Alk and Ca? I mean I know the range of normal but can I shoot for the higher end?
For example, I have used a calcium reactor for years. I only tested for Alk as I knew if that NPR was good, then so was my Ca. I always kept constant at 11 dkh. My SPS grew like weeds. I did not know what my calcium really was though.

So how should I aim for here? Also can I actually aim for relatively finite nbrs of each as I now as Alk goes up, Ca goes down and vice versa.

With regards to dosing, with the instructions based in my first paragraph, I assume that doesn't take into consideration what your parameters are to start. So would that same initial dose be added regardless of if I start off at (for arguments sake) Alk and Ca 7 and 350, or 10 and 450?

I then assume that I should test daily at the same time and dose each day at the same time? Will I know my daily uptake after 24 hours or do I need to see a few days average?

What is a good quality doses for once I get bored of dosing? Does this get added to the sump or does it still have to go into to a high flow area?

My tank is 93 gallons. I probably have about15 gallons in sump and I have about 80 - 90 pounds of rock. How much water volume would you say I have?

Thanks a lot for the help.
Ken
 

jerpa

Team RC
The dosing calculations are just generalizations and I would disregard them. Your first step should be to dose enough of both parts to get your alkalinity and calcium levels where you would like to keep them. If you are altering the levels significantly, such as more than 1 dKh or 20 ppm calcium, I would split the doses over a day or two.

Once your parameter are where you would like to keep them begin checking your alkalinity often. With little consumption it may take a few days before you register a drop. It is best to test at the same time of day. Once you know your daily drop in alkalinity you will begin dosing equal amounts of both parts based on the drop in alkalinity alone. Continue testing and tweak both amounts the same until your alkalinity is stable. You can now begin testing calcium weekly to see if you need to dose more or less due to salt mixes. I wouldnt change the calcium dose until several tests showed a definite trend.

If you Google reef calculator you can find how much of the product to dose to get your desired change for your initial doses and to figure a maintenance dose. I would underestimate your total water volume a little to be cautious. Subtract 20% from your tank, add in half your sump size, and deduct a little bit for insurance.
 

ken6217

Premium Member
Hi Jer,

I understand your second paragraph. Makes sense. I already had the reef calculator.

I'm still unclear about the initial dose. For instance on the reef calculator it says if I want to go from 8dkh to 9dkh, I have to add 1.2 ounces. This is much more than the initial dose of 1 ml per 4 gallons.

If I want to go from 375 to 400 for Ca, I need 4.4 ounces. These are both examples for argument sake. This is higher than the 1 ml per 4 gallons.

Also the calculator mentions about being concerned with a rise on PH.

I guess what I am trying to figure out is what levels am I supposed to strive for initially and how much should I dose at first to hit these levels.

Thanks,
Ken
 

jerpa

Team RC
The bottle is taking a WAG at what your consumption rate is and is assuming your parameters are starting where you want to keep them. With test kits you can disregard them and fine tune your dosing much easier than their directions. Follow the calculator.

The PH rise is why it is best to split your doses up when making large adjustments. The calcium solution will not have an effect on PH but raising levels too rapidly can also stress corals independently of a PH spike. Depending on what the alkalinity solution is it may also have very little effect on PH.

The levels you choose to keep your tank at are up to you as long as they fall within the accepted ranges: 7-11 dKh, 400-475, 1250-1400. I prefer to keep alkalinity around 8.5, calcium around 440, and magnesium around 1350. The levels I chose were close to NSW but give me a bit of wiggle room to account for test kit inaccuracies.
 

Mark 75g

New member
I have been buying BRS for the last 2 years. It has worked very well in my system and is very easy to mix. They also sell 1 gallon jugs that you can mix in and dispense from. I bought the 5 gallon bucket of ALK and CALC. You can also buy their premixed MAG as well which is much easier to use than buying both product and mixing yourself.
 

ken6217

Premium Member
Once you know your daily drop in alkalinity you will begin dosing equal amounts of both parts based on the drop in alkalinity alone. Continue testing and tweak both amounts the same until your alkalinity is stable. You can now begin testing calcium weekly to see if you need to dose more or less due to salt mixes. I wouldnt change the calcium dose until several tests showed a definite trend.
Couple more questions..

So I use the Reef Calculator to get my current levels to my target ALK and Ca levels.

Then you say to add equal amounts of Part 1 and Part 2 to stay at my targets based on my Alk readings.

- So at that point, I know longer use the Reef calculator?

- If I dose Ca based on what my Alk needs are, will the proper amount of Ca supplement be added? If so. Why is this? Are those doses based on a relationship? Is it similar as to why I only tested for Alk when using a Ca reactor because I knew if my Alk was correct, I knew my Ca was going to be Ok based on the reactor's effluent adding the right proportions?

Thanks,
Ken

-
 

jerpa

Team RC
You can plug your daily drop into the calculator to get your maintenance dose but you may need to adjust it a little higher or lower based on your test results over the next week or two.

Alkalinity and calcium are consumed at a rate of 50ppm alkalinity per 20ppm of calcium, and sometimes magnesium ion thrown in there. All 2 part systems, kalkwasser, and calcium reactors add the calcium and alkalinity back in those proportions.

The reason we dose based on alkalinity is because the change in alkalinity is much easier to reliably test for. The precision of the test kits are greater and the changes in alkalinity, relative to the total alkalinity content of our water, are much larger. If alkalinity drops one dKh, which is usually more than 10-15% of total alkalinity, then calcium only drops about 7ppm, which is a change of only ~1.5% of the total calcium. If you could reliable test a drop in calcium of only a few parts per million you could base your dosing off that.

There is a lot more information in the articles stickied at the top of this forum.
 

modernREEF

New member
If you have a skimmer you will be taking out a small saltwater volume from the tank and replacing it with topoff RO/DI. 2 part adds a small amount of salt to the tank. In terms of volume and effect I have found both negligible, but my tank has only been running for a short time.

I was going to say this. There are a few things that cause your salinity to drift downwards, and if anything dosing will counteract that. I've never noticed a problem with my salinity when starting dosing.
 

ken6217

Premium Member
The skimmer I know about. Actually I never even adjust for this. When I do my water changes it always balances out.
Ken
 
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