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Old 08-31-2011, 08:37 PM   #1
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Question Time for me to do two part dosing?

Ok so I did my tests just now and I;m getting worried. My calcium has come down to 450 but my alkalinity was at 5.7! It used to run around 10 or so but I've been adding corals left and right.

What and how do I do this? I know a dosing pump is the way to go but I totally don't understand how and where I'd put it. And when dosing two part isnt one calcium and the other for alk? I'm good on calcium already though....And is there a "cheap" dosing system? (not that anything is cheap in sw but I figured I'd ask)

I have a buffer I've used a few times that raised my dkh and my ph as well but how often would I have to use that?

Would a system like two little fishies two part be ok? I went looking on bulk reef supply but got even more confused.

As a side note my corals are thriving but now I wonder if they can be doing even better....

Please be gentle with me, I have no idea what to do with this two part stuff. And I;m not totally swift sometimes so I need it explained well and like you were telling a 10 year old. LOL

Thanks guys I appreciate the help as always...
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:37 PM   #2
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There is absolutely no advantage to keeping calcium anything over 420. Higher calcium doesn't make corals grow faster so if your at 450 no worries there. If you use a salt that is high in ca to begin with you may only need to dose alk. You can simply use Arm&Hammer baking soda. I've been using it for years.
This article may seem a little complicated, but it's really not.
An Improved Do-it-Yourself Two-Part Calcium and Alkalinity Supplement System by Randy Holmes-Farley - Reefkeeping.com
Basically you want to use Recipe 1 for alk. Bake 2 1/4 cups of Arm&Hammer baking soda in the oven at 350 for 1 hr. Get a 1 gal milk jug, fill it about 3/4 of the way with RO/DI water and add the baking soda. After it's added, top off the jug with RO/DI water. You now have 1 gal of alk supplement.
The only way to know how much you will need to add is test today, test tomorrow, the day after, and the day after again. See how much your alk drops each day, or every 2 days, etc. If it drops 1 dKH every 2 days you can dose the equivalent of .5 dKH every day....if you want to dose every day. How ever often you decide to dose you should never raise it more than 1 dKH per day.
Use this calculator ('Reef Chemistry Calculator FV') to figure out how much you need to dose. Enter your total water volume, your current dKH and what you want it to be, then for the supplement pick Randy's Recipe 1.
For example, if you have 125g total water volume, your alk is 6 and you want it to be 7, you need to dose 3 fl oz of supplement.

And don't foget about mag. If your corals are using ca and alk, they are also using mag.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:41 PM   #3
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Magnesium was at 1250 last time i checked I think. About 3 times the calcium level if remember correctly.....

So theres no disadvantage to dose just a one part?

Thanks for the clarification, makes sense to me pretty much which is surprising. lol

i will work on brs and see what they have to offer me.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:57 PM   #4
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BRS alk supplement is either unbaked Arm&Hammer (sodium bicarbonate) or baked Arm&Hammer (sodium carbonate). It comes dry so you have to add water anyway. If you feel like paying more for the same stuff you can buy at the grocery store, thats your choice.

If your ca is 420 or higher there is no need to dose.

Mag should be in the range of 1250-1350.

Reef Aquarium Water Parameters by Randy Holmes-Farley - Reefkeeping.com
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Old 09-01-2011, 01:16 AM   #5
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Well if this thread was any more helpful to me, I wouldn't know what to do with myself. Thanks!
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Old 09-01-2011, 09:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccCapt View Post
BRS alk supplement is either unbaked Arm&Hammer (sodium bicarbonate) or baked Arm&Hammer (sodium carbonate). It comes dry so you have to add water anyway. If you feel like paying more for the same stuff you can buy at the grocery store, thats your choice.

If your ca is 420 or higher there is no need to dose.

Mag should be in the range of 1250-1350.

Reef Aquarium Water Parameters by Randy Holmes-Farley - Reefkeeping.com


I'm just a little iffy on actually baking a chemical in my oven, even if it is only arm and hammer. What if I bake it too long or not enough? I worry about these small things....lol

I think they have a dosing bottle too at brs so I could set it up as a drip. That would be my perfect solution.

Is the dkh buffer I'm using for now ok enough? At least til I run out of it? It does seem to bring up the alkalinity and the ph a tad. Just very very cautious about what I put into the tank. Maybe even a little paranoid. lol
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Old 09-12-2011, 03:32 PM   #7
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Ok, so to revive this thread without starting another one.....

I did a huge pwc yesterday. tested a few hours later and the alkalinity was at about 10.5.

Tested today, the very next day and it's down to 9.4.

Should I keep testing each day to see how much I lose each day? How long of a period of time should I be testing for to get an idea of how much to dose?

If I'm loosing 1 dkh each day I would be dosing how much part 1? And does it have to be a drip from a dosing pump or can I dilute it and add to my sump?

Thanks for your help so far, it's been great.
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
What if I bake it too long or not enough?
Nothing happens if you bake it too long. If it's not baked long enough it may not drive out all the co2. Doesn't your oven have a timer?
Quote:
I think they have a dosing bottle too at brs so I could set it up as a drip.
You probably can, but a drip is extremely hard to control.
Quote:
If I'm loosing 1 dkh each day I would be dosing how much part 1?
Using the Reef Calculator I posted above, for a 100g system for example, if you are at 9.4 and want to go to 10.5 you dose 2.6 fl oz.
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:53 PM   #9
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Thanks for the clarification yet again. I know I'm being a bit thick headed with this so please bear with me.

I will take a reading tomorrow and see if it drops another dkh. Then i can assume that I need to dose for a 1dkh increase per day, correct? Should I continue to test calcium? Its always above 450 so I dont check as often anymore.

And finally if I needed say 2.6 fl oz, how does that convert to the powder I would add? On BRS it says to raise one dkh I would add 5.4 tsp of soda ash. Does the amount of water it's diluted to matter?
I know these are probably silly basic questions but I don't wanna screw anything up.

Thanks again
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
I will take a reading tomorrow and see if it drops another dkh. Then i can assume that I need to dose for a 1dkh increase per day, correct? Should I continue to test calcium? Its always above 450 so I dont check as often anymore.
Yes.
Your calcium should also be dropping. For every 2.8 dKH of alk used in the calcification process, aprox 18 ppm of calcium is also used. So if your losing 1 dKH/day alk, you should also be losing aprox 6 ppm calcium.
Quote:
And finally if I needed say 2.6 fl oz, how does that convert to the powder I would add? On BRS it says to raise one dkh I would add 5.4 tsp of soda ash. Does the amount of water it's diluted to matter?
I don't know how you figure out the dry addition. I always bake 2 1/4 cups and add that to a gal of water. I would not dump it into the tank dry.
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