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Old 07-16-2015, 12:14 AM   #11
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No dosing is just lazy in my opinion. Anyone who is not willing to perform a simple tritiation to ensure stability of their eco-system should be asking themselves why they are not. I assume the reason behind your no dose stance would be no testing before hand.

It's also pretty dang hard to over-dose a 2-part system. Even if you dosed it every day your tank would eventually adapt and begin to utilize all of it. Obviously if you have 1 coral you shouldn't dose yet... What's going to get out of whack with a 2-part dosing option though? Everything is supplied in a balanced ratio. And I mean unless you start to get around 8 Meq/L KH, 550ppm calcium, and 1900ppm mg you're not really over-dosing.... So it's really hard to get things out of whack with a 2-part. You really don't even need to test if you have enough corals.

You should be able to just tell by coral growth how much they're using. I think most hobbyist are scared to dose 5 liquids a day because they just don't know what those chemicals are responsible for and how to just look at the tank and see their effectiveness.

EDIT: I also mentioned in the original post how relying on water changes for your hard corals will likely be negative for your live animals as it is very easy to get too busy or forget to do the required water change. And to the same line of thinking you had around water changes slowly picking at nutrients, at this point water changes only slowly re-supply the tank with needed elements. It's more often a tank relying on water changes with hard corals for elements will eventually suffer from low magnesium or low calcium... Very typical for them to also run out of trace elements. Most aquarist do not know you should dose trace elements in combination with calcium..

Sometimes it's just easier to dose a balanced equal portions 2-part system like Seachem Fusion or B-Ionic.

Most of the time aquarist are just too scared too dose. After it becomes a simple method it'd hard to believe it was never done. Especially once the benefits are clearly seen.

You'd be amazed at the growth results you'd get from a calcium reactor or a multi-day dosing auto-dosed

Do you use kawlk for top-off or do you really expect water changes to always be enough?
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Old 07-16-2015, 01:01 AM   #12
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Right now I don't need to do anything besides the occasional dose of alk to get the levels back up to normal. Once I rid myself of that massive birds nest things squared back away pretty quickly and then my coraline growth increased. Adding things isn't necessary for this system, though for the one that comes after it I can only hope to be in a position to need to do it.
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Old 07-16-2015, 03:42 AM   #13
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And are you testing your levels or just guessing? I'm curious if you would even notice if your elements dropped to say 1200 Mag it just happened to be when you did a water change and the negatives hardly if even showed.

You could get away with this poor treatment for a long time but doesn't mean it's right/good.

Dose just carbonates? Wouldn't that result in an immediate decrease in calcium? What's the thought process there? Why raise the carbonate buffer if you're not going to raise calcium? I know Kent salt has very high calcium but none the less it'd still drop calcium immediately.

If your Alkalinity is dropping that clearly means your animals are growing(have a need for elements) or you have a dirty tank... If you still ever need to dose KH up this would imply your water change didn't do enough for you?

So it would be correct to say if you use Kent Marine salt you need to dose because Alkalinity doesn't match up to the nearly 550ppm calcium.. Relying on this salt mix alone for the carbonate buffer would be risky?
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Old 07-16-2015, 11:52 AM   #14
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I test pretty frequently and keep track of all the results. And things are doing pretty well all things considered.
Saying that relying on a salt mix can work. In my case with Kent it is almost good enough, but that wouldn't be the case with everyone because every tank is different.
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Old 07-16-2015, 03:43 PM   #15
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Ya know, a lot of the "issues" you mention with disturbing the substrate are rather conveniently handled by the use of a good old fashioned gravel vac.
What is neato about it James, in case you haven't seen one, is that it allows you to siphon out water AND the detritus in the substrate WITHOUT it going all through the tank and has very minimal impact on water quality.
I've been doing it that way for 40+ years in fresh and salt with everything from a 2' nurse shark to a reef tank.


and what about the guy, Paul B., who has maintained a reef for over 40 years and he regularly runs a DE filter on it stirring the sand bed, and he has one of the most successful reef tanks known to exist, certainly one of if not the longest running one.
He also employs a reverse flow undergravel filter, another supposed "no-no" in reef keeping.


I'm also curious about how many years you have been keeping wet critters.
While your ideas are good general advice, it sounds as if you are reciting learned rhetoric rather than speaking from years of experience as a lot of people you tend to disagree with are relaying years/decades of experience.
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Old 07-16-2015, 07:54 PM   #16
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Well, my fish poo doesn't stick around long enough to need to be cleaned out honestly. I have high flow so my big fish like my trigger that poops almost a powder doesn't cause me issues because the stuff breaks up and floats into my filter socks or is skimmed or eaten by coral. You can't visibly see a single turd in my reef ever. Between my sand sifting goby, my clean up crew and my filtration the poo doesn't need to be sucked out by water changes. I water change to replace trace elements really, my filtration and stocking keeps my water and tank really clean...
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Old 07-16-2015, 10:10 PM   #17
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My Snowflake moray eel sturs up my sand daily. I have asked him not too but like my wife i get constantly ignored.


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Old 07-16-2015, 10:37 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by PB_Smith View Post
I'm also curious about how many years you have been keeping wet critters.
While your ideas are good general advice, it sounds as if you are reciting learned rhetoric rather than speaking from years of experience as a lot of people you tend to disagree with are relaying years/decades of experience.

I'm guessing only a few (less than 10 years) years of experience, so basically only seen the "new" ways of doing things. Doesn't really matter to me though. I won't say that is necessarily good or bad, but it almost seems at times like it is a quest to simply put down experience just for the sake of argument.

I'm a believer that there is some good and bad any way you go when utilizing old versus new practices.


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Old 07-16-2015, 10:38 PM   #19
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In a 60g tank a 50% weekly water change is going to cost around $120 a month! DANG! Liquid dosing isn’t even that much and dry powder is even cheaper.
Only if you are being ripped off by a store that charges the extortionate price of $1 per gallon.
I change on average 20 gallons a week and it costs me less than $40 a month.
My system is a 50 display, 5 gallon refugium and about another 15 gallons in the sump system.

If I mix my own it runs roughly .45 a gallon.
(.25 per gal for RO/DI water/ .15-.18 per gallon for salt)
buying it at the store costs me .49 a gallon.

why would anyone pay a buck a gallon????
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Old 07-16-2015, 10:47 PM   #20
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The same reason people would pay for chemi-pure products or even someone to come and maintain the tank for them. It is EASIER for them. Everyone will apply the KIS effect, it will just look different for each individual. Some are successful with it...others have glass cubes full of algae.
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