Looking at auto dosing-what to check?

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. 623 views

  • Posts: 727
  • Liked: 299
  • Thanks Given: 125
  • Received: 73
  • Location: Hounslow, Middx
  • Tank Thread: https://reefbase.co.uk/members'-tanks-6/my-5'6'longx20'highx15'wide-tank-thread/

Hi all, only softies at the moment but as the DT is starting to settle and look good, I wouldn't mind the odd sps.
So first off, what's the highest phosphate and nitrate readings I should accept before doing any dosing?
I should say that I have a refugium with light and the chaeto in that is constantly growing (I did read about it depleting iron and iodine, but it's plenty green and not whitened at all).
I have half-built an algae scrubber that will be pressed into service and the skimmer is about to go on too.
I don't want an exhaustive list, but will get a 4 channel doser, any more than that required and I won't bother, I'll just keep softies.
TIA

mightyhatter

  • Posts: 593
  • Liked: 448
  • Thanks Given: 14
  • Received: 169
  • Location: Bracknell

Reply #1

Couple of main options on the dosing - either a combined one (like Triton) or one that does each individually (eg Red Sea)

As with so much in this hobby it is personal prefernece at the end of the day! The 'Big 3' are Alk, Cal and Mag. You can do loads more of trace elements etc bit unless you really get into SPS in a big way you should be in a good place if those 3 are good

Thanks:


ajm83

  • Andy
  • Administrator
  • Posts: 2,731
  • Liked: 1042
  • Thanks Given: 346
  • Received: 668
  • Problems: 99
  • Location: Essex
  • Tank Thread: https://reefbase.co.uk/members'-tanks-6/andy's-reefer-250/

Reply #2

Couple of main options on the dosing - either a combined one (like Triton) or one that does each individually (eg Red Sea)

As with so much in this hobby it is personal prefernece at the end of the day! The 'Big 3' are Alk, Cal and Mag. You can do loads more of trace elements etc bit unless you really get into SPS in a big way you should be in a good place if those 3 are good

Triton's actually a 4 part! (Alk is split into two liquids)


I agree about traces, In all honesty, until you get the big three rock solid, I wouldn't worry about trace elements at all. 

Just pick which ever 3 part (alk/mag/cal) you can get easily and reasonably priced from your LFS and follow their instructions to gradually increase alk/cal/mag to your desired levels, then back off the amount so it doesn't keep climbing.

Example products - Red Sea Foundations A B C, Tropic Marin Balling,  Fauna Marin KH,CA,MG


There is actually a really good one-part option by Tropic Marin called All For Reef.  However it's only for maintaining levels, not increasing them. It would also be pretty expensive in your size of tank.

If ReefBase has helped you, please consider making a donation to keep the site running

Amo Manik

  • Posts: 630
  • Liked: 317
  • Thanks Given: 143
  • Received: 181
  • Tank Thread: https://reefbase.co.uk/members'-tanks-6/amo's-tank-thread/

Reply #3

Have a look at the reef element 2 part, it has all the trace elements as well added.
I used it on my 4ft aquarium and saw very good results, only carried out a water change around 6 times in 4 years.

Thanks:


ajm83

  • Andy
  • Administrator
  • Posts: 2,731
  • Liked: 1042
  • Thanks Given: 346
  • Received: 668
  • Problems: 99
  • Location: Essex
  • Tank Thread: https://reefbase.co.uk/members'-tanks-6/andy's-reefer-250/

Reply #4

Have a look at the reef element 2 part, it has all the trace elements as well added.
I used it on my 4ft aquarium and saw very good results, only carried out a water change around 6 times in 4 years.

6 in 4 years, that's good going!!

@semiroundel  Just bear in mind you usually aren't supposed to use stuff with traces in to raise levels as it would overdose the traces... whether it's an issue in reality? dunno 🤷‍♂️

This is why e.g. Triton and Zlements sell plain KH liquid in addition to Core7 and Z-Complete respectively (which contain traces). 🙂
Last Edit: Mar 30, 2022 9:22:42 am by ajm83
If ReefBase has helped you, please consider making a donation to keep the site running

semiroundel

  • Posts: 727
  • Liked: 299
  • Thanks Given: 125
  • Received: 73
  • Location: Hounslow, Middx
  • Tank Thread: https://reefbase.co.uk/members'-tanks-6/my-5'6'longx20'highx15'wide-tank-thread/

Reply #5

6 in 4 years, that's good going!!

@semiroundel  Just bear in mind you usually aren't supposed to use stuff with traces in to raise levels as it would overdose the traces... whether it's an issue in reality? dunno 🤷‍♂️

This is why e.g. Triton and Zlements sell plain KH liquid in addition to Core7 and Z-Complete respectively (which contain traces). 🙂
Mhm hadn't thought of that. I've ordered AB &C Red sea foundations, what other supplements would you recommend?
And how does one work out if trace elements are lacking?

ajm83

  • Andy
  • Administrator
  • Posts: 2,731
  • Liked: 1042
  • Thanks Given: 346
  • Received: 668
  • Problems: 99
  • Location: Essex
  • Tank Thread: https://reefbase.co.uk/members'-tanks-6/andy's-reefer-250/

Reply #6

Mhm hadn't thought of that. I've ordered AB &C Red sea foundations, what other supplements would you recommend?
And how does one work out if trace elements are lacking?

RedSea Foundations is perfect, you can use those to raise/lower levels to whatever you want as they are just the macros without traces added. 
Once you've got the big 3 stable, then next time you run out of the Foundations, I'd suggest you switch to a 2/3-part with alk, cal, mag and all the traces added in like Reef Zlements Complete, ATI Essentials Pro or Triton Core 7 (or @Amo Manik mentioned "Reef Element" ... I've not used that)

As for working out if trace elements are lacking,  easiest way is to use an ICP test once or twice a year. You send off water and get an analysis back with the levels of your elements.
Here's a random one of mine for example: https://icp.reef-zlements.com/icp-eos-analysis/?barcode=0209-1bp4e-1215


It then up to you how to resolve it, you could do water changes, or just dose the particular element that's low. You can see their advice on the "Recommendations" tab,  take the "seriousness" of it with a pinch of salt though...they have bottles of elements to sell of course!


Honestly though, traces aren't the most important thing, as a rough guide i'd say the order of importance is:

1 light
2 flow
3 stable alk
4 stable nutrient levels (nitrate/phosphate)
5 stable cal & mag
6 stable salinity
7 traces
8 aminos

It's tempting to do the exciting stuff like Red Sea AB+ (ooooh, yellow....) but the results really come from getting the boring basics right and those other things are like the cherry on top.

There's one exception to this, and that is algae in the refugium or algae scrubber. They can deplete some things such as iron quite quickly. If they stop growing, but nitrate/phosphate are still high, then it's an indicator that something is depleted and an ICP test is worthwhile. Brightwell sell a product called "Chaeto Gro" which has all the things needed in it. However often all the requirements are filled just from fish food.


This is all just my opinion though,  some people (like the Reef Moonshiners or Zeovit guys) go nuts with traces and dose many things by hand every day. Others dose just kalkwasser (alk + calcium) and do nothing else apart from water changes and still get excellent results. 
If ReefBase has helped you, please consider making a donation to keep the site running

ScapeEasy

  • Posts: 187
  • Liked: 103
  • Thanks Given: 26
  • Received: 38
  • Location: Forton, Lancs

Reply #7

I can only comment on the algae part of the above… continuum also do a chaeto gro which has a slightly different recipe including more iron which seems a very sensible addition as ajm highlights. Might be worth grabbing a bottle of that instead of the more common Brightwell one
Bossed freshwater planted tanks so making the move...

semiroundel

  • Posts: 727
  • Liked: 299
  • Thanks Given: 125
  • Received: 73
  • Location: Hounslow, Middx
  • Tank Thread: https://reefbase.co.uk/members'-tanks-6/my-5'6'longx20'highx15'wide-tank-thread/

Reply #8

Thanks guys.
As a starter @ajm83 could you give me some approximate low/high/low settings for lighting to start with? I know there's a kelvin measurement that's required and I have a Seneye to do that, but first off, I need some approximate timings to start the ball rolling.
I have Hanna for the main three testing so I don't need an ICP test to start those three. I have 350l approximately DT and sump, the problem I have is working out how much to raise things as I have a type of dyslexia in maths that inhibits me doing such calculations of the red sea additives, so I'll start with 1ml a day of each and see how it works out by testing.
I also read iodine needs replenishing.

ajm83

  • Andy
  • Administrator
  • Posts: 2,731
  • Liked: 1042
  • Thanks Given: 346
  • Received: 668
  • Problems: 99
  • Location: Essex
  • Tank Thread: https://reefbase.co.uk/members'-tanks-6/andy's-reefer-250/

Reply #9

Thanks guys.
As a starter @ajm83 could you give me some approximate low/high/low settings for lighting to start with? I know there's a kelvin measurement that's required and I have a Seneye to do that, but first off, I need some approximate timings to start the ball rolling.
I have Hanna for the main three testing so I don't need an ICP test to start those three. I have 350l approximately DT and sump, the problem I have is working out how much to raise things as I have a type of dyslexia in maths that inhibits me doing such calculations of the red sea additives, so I'll start with 1ml a day of each and see how it works out by testing.
I also read iodine needs replenishing.

Hi mate

Standard kind of schedule would be an hour of low/fade in, 8-10 hours on full then an hour low/fade out.

The spectrum is a bit tricky to suggest, use a preset to get started if your lights have one. If not then get the PAR roughly right using the blue channel(s) then tweak the whites and other channels for your chosen tank appearance (or in my case until the Mrs stops moaning about the lounge being blue...)


The intensity of the light (usually measured in umol of PAR, PAR for short) depends totally on what corals you keep/want to keep. Your Seneye will measure this level for you.

Softies and LPS like zoas and acans generally want PAR of 50-200, whereas SPS like acros & Montis want more like 200 to 500.  It's just a rough guide though, there are always exceptions in this hobby!! 

Trial and error is not a bad approach for the macro elements as long as you make changes nice and gradually.  Just remember to dose into fast flowing water if you can and leave a few minutes between each one.

If ReefBase has helped you, please consider making a donation to keep the site running

Thanks:


Tags:


Related Topics

6 Replies
4077 Views
Last post Jul 3, 2014 10:26:58 am
by olyoz
3 Replies
3704 Views
Last post Nov 7, 2014 11:29:19 am
by T-Bone Tyrone
10 Replies
3510 Views
Last post Aug 1, 2015 7:21:59 pm
by Mike
0 Replies
1075 Views
Last post Oct 27, 2019 1:28:57 pm
by Aqua Splendor
6 Replies
1382 Views
Last post Dec 19, 2020 9:36:25 am
by StKilda