Originally Posted by MikeYQM
Your dosing needs will increase incrementally as you increase demands (adding coral or significant growth). It can be as simple as manual dosing between water changes. Once you get tired of that or can't keep up, then look at dosing pumps etc.
One thing you can do, since you don't have an ATO, is what I started off doing: dosing lime with my manual top off water. I imagine you add a bit of water daily to keep your water level in check so your skimmer operates properly. You can mix lime into it in a 1 gallon jug and slow drip it into your tank (1 drop every 1-2 seconds) over night.
Start with a mix of 1 tbsp per gallon of RODI
water in the jug, drip through airline tubing using a ball valve or knots to control the drip rate. Depending on needs, you can mix up to 2 tbsp per gallon maximum. Don't add the milky stuff on the bottom of the mix & be sure to drip slow so your pH doesn't rise too much. Even if you only do this once or twice between water changes, it can help keep both alkalinity and calcium more stable. You can also do this with 2 part dosing as well on with calcium and Alk
additions on opposite nights.
I was going to go about it just as you said, after seeing the pumps in this thread especially, with manually dosing until its hard to keep up with or I get tired of it one.
I didn't even think about supplements being added to topoff water, that could make things simpler. Right now I'm looking at about a gallon a day with top off but I do think this will decrease some here shortly as I'm using a T5HO fixture now but have LEDs on the way.
I haven't even begun to look into the hows of the dosing (how to, how much, etc.), I know it will vary of course but I hadn't researched how that is figured out yet. Mainly because I haven't tested yet and didn't even know what to expect before asking questions in this thread. I had assumed what corals I had wouldn't have much of an impact yet but wanted to be prepared.
I know once my test kits gets here and I'm able to see what the levels look like in a weeks time I'll certainly have a better idea. Then later, after more corals are added and with coral growth, and I'll have to be dosing (or just whenever that may be, even if its now), I know I'll have more questions.