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Old 07-01-2004, 01:07 AM   #1
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Automatically adding chemicals to the tank?

Well we just got hooked up with a 150g in-wall reef tank in our living room and it is just awesome. I'm so hooked on this new hobby of mine and look forward to spending a lot of time here.

The shop that did all the work and set everything up is also doing bi-weekly "servicing" of the tank including water changes, etc. At least for now until I learn everything I need to know.

Aside from feeding, the other thing I do every other day is add the various chemicals. There are 5 or 6 in all. It's no big thing but I was thumbing through an aquarium book and it mentioned something about some automatic system that will add the chemicals for you in whatever dose you need, etc. etc.

This sounds like something I might be interested in. Does anyone know what I'm talking about, and where I can find more info on this type of thing? I'll ask the guy who services our tank the next time he comes out but I just figured I'd start here.

Thanks for the awesome forums. I have a feeling I'll be up late tonight!
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Old 07-01-2004, 01:10 AM   #2
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WELCOME TO AA!!!

Can you post a pic of your new setup?

Great to have you aboard!!!
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Old 07-01-2004, 01:18 AM   #3
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I will post a few pics tomorrow, all the lights are off now. =) Also I need to figure out how to take good pics. I tried taking a few with my digital cam and they turn out horrible. I think I need to tweak the camera some...
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Old 07-01-2004, 01:23 AM   #4
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Ya I have the same problems. I cant take any good pics of my tank!!
Oh Well.

PS. We have some awesome photographers on this site. They will help you out alot. Here is a link to the photography show off site. Just post some questions there and you'll get some good answers. http://www.aquariumadvice.com/index.php?c=14
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Old 07-01-2004, 02:51 AM   #5
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Re: Automatically adding chemicals to the tank?

Quote:
Originally Posted by limitup
Aside from feeding, the other thing I do every other day is add the various chemicals. There are 5 or 6 in all. It's no big thing but I was thumbing through an aquarium book and it mentioned something about some automatic system that will add the chemicals for you in whatever dose you need, etc. etc.
Until the tank matures some and you start adding corals, dosing will not be needed. Once you start adding animals that have higher demands than regular water changes can keep up with you will eventually need some. For now, rely on the water changes.

Alkalinity (buffers) and calcium are usually the two biggest ones. There are many ways of going about it. Kalkwasser, two part liq additives and reactors. Before you buy anything I would first decide on what type of tank you will have (FO, FOWLR or reef) and plan accordingly. Above all, buy some test kits. The one golden you rule you should always follow is never add any chemical to the tank you cannot test and verify the levels first.

I would familiarize yourself with what the different items are and what they do. Here are some links you may find interesting.

Chemistry in the Aquarium
Calcium for...

Cheers
Steve
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Old 07-01-2004, 03:07 AM   #6
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Being a former freshwater hobbyist, I've grown accustomed to the idea that you shouldnt need any chemicals if you take proper care of the tank, so I cant make a recommendation. However, it seems saltwater isa bit different....I'm interested to see what it takes to keep a larger tank going.
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Old 07-01-2004, 03:52 AM   #7
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steve-s,

I may have gave the impression that my tank is brand new - but it's not. I've had it for about 6 weeks now and it is almost fully stocked with live sand, live rock, various corals, snails, crabs, and a handful of fish. At this point we are just going to slowly add more fish until we're "done". All of this is being done under the watchful eyes of the "expert" who setup the tank for us.

We are using a Berlin system. Here are the chemicals we're currently adding 3 times per week:

Strontium supplement
Lugol's Iodine supplement
Trace element supplement
B-Ionic 2 part alkalinity/calcium

We are using using something called Reef Solution for the first few months, and I also rotate other stuff like Selcon, Garlic and Hufa with the feedings.

From what I can tell the guy who set up the tank really knows his stuff, but does this all sound about right? The 4 items I listed first are done 3 times a week and these are the ones I guess I would like to automate if possible.
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Old 07-01-2004, 06:03 AM   #8
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Thos supplements are nesecary for a fully stocked reef. Do you have the test kits for them? 6 weeks is very fast to add all of that. imho I wouldn't have that much till the tank has been up for 3-4 mos
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Old 07-01-2004, 02:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by limitup
We are using a Berlin system. Here are the chemicals we're currently adding 3 times per week:

Strontium supplement
Lugol's Iodine supplement
Trace element supplement
B-Ionic 2 part alkalinity/calcium
Discontinue the strontium. It will not be needed unless you have very heavy coralline growth and even then I would urge caution. At the very least be sure to test it.

Same goes for the iodine. While many people add it, the tank inhabitants rarely use what's added. Most needs are taken care of through the ingestion of foods not from the water itself. Even if being tested properly not all components of iodine will register and poisoning could result. It also greatly fuels algaes, most times the unwanted kind. If you decide to continue that one, use ½ the recommended amount for your actual water volume.
Iodine in Marine Aquaria: Part I
Iodine in Reef Tanks 2: Effects on Macroalgae Growth

Trace elements additions are a bit "hoaky" as well. Believe it or not water changes, food additions and the vitamins you are using are plenty. This one will also cause unwanted algaes over time. If again, use ½ the recommended amount if you continue. These kind of products do more towards lightening your wallet than benefiting the tank.

B-ionic is a great poduct but be absolutely sure you are testing the alkalinity and caclium levels of the tank to be sure you are not overdoing it. Depending on the types and growth rates of scleractinians and coralline, you may even need more that 3x/week. Salifert and Seachem multitests are two good suggestions.

Quote:
We are using using something called Reef Solution for the first few months, and I also rotate other stuff like Selcon, Garlic and Hufa with the feedings.
Reef solutions is basically a vitamin. Never used it myself so I leave that to your own observations wether it is having a possitive effect or not. The others are just fine and I encourage you to continue using them. Might not need them daily. 2-3 times a week at most should be fine. Used too much they can affect water quality unless you have a good export system.

Darb2 makes an excellent point. 6 weeks is still quite young for a tank and I would urge caution on coral additions and types of corals. More sensitive corals will not tollerate the conditions of a young tank. It usually takes about 8-12 months before a tank can support more sensitive invertebrates. Most soft coral and polyps should fair okay if more hardy. Generally speaking, it's best to wait about 3 months before starting coral additions.

Which types of corals and fish do you have now?

Cheers
Steve
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Old 07-02-2004, 01:58 PM   #10
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Thanks for the all info Steve. I guess what I'm finding is that there is no concrete answers to a lot of this stuff, as with many other things. A lot of what I've read on the Berlin system says that dosing iodine, strontium, etc. is highly recommended. On the other hand, what you're saying makes a lot of sense too.

Anyway, we have a bunch of corals in our tank already, with a small handful of fish. Here's what we have so far. Sorry if these names aren't all right I'm just reading off the receipt as I don't know the technical names, etc.

Fish:

2 Tiger goby
1 Purple fire fish
1 Flame Hawk
1 Imperator angel
4 Green chromis
3 Zebra dartfish
5 cleaner shrimp
5 fire shrimp
Bunch of turbo snails, hermit crabs, etc.

Corals etc:

1 Polyp rock
2 Green star polyps
3 Mushroom rock
1 Large leather coral
1 Finger leather
1 Wessophylia
1 Bubble coral
1 Blastamussa
1 Frog spawn coral
1 Colt coral
1 Goniporra
1 Alveopora coral
1 Pagoda
1 Cynarina button coral
1 Metallic plate fungia
2 Hammer coral
1 Zenia
1 Tongue coral
1 Open brain corals
1 Bubble coral
1 Montipora
1 Fox coral

What do you think?
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