Jebao auto dosing pump and Tropic Marine balling salts

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So I've just ordered a jebao 4 channel dosing pump  :cool:
Looking forward to being able to dose everything automatically.

I've even built its own "mission control" cupboard to house it and the mixes, which brings me on to my question.

Has anyone used the tropic marine balling system?
It seems endorsed by the creator of balling himself, plus my LFS stock all the powders to make up the dosing liquid.

Any info anyone has would be great, or alternative systems?

I drop about 0.8dkh a day so a cost effective system would be good.
Would like to use the 4th channel to add acro-power if its left un-used from the balling.

Thanks.

Mike

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Reply #1

I just buy sodium bicarbonate to maintain alkalinity in bulk from a chem supplier, and "dow's flake" Calcium Chloride Dihydrate which is also very cheap. I've not needed to dose magnesium as it's not consumed really, other than to keep calcium and alkalinity separate, so my water changes maintain that adequately.
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olyoz

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Reply #2

Cool. So your just paying for fancy packaging?
What about all the trace minerals and ionic balance stuff? Marketing? :)

Mike

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Reply #3

They're only trace elements. They're not consumed nearly as much as the big 3 and so take considerably longer to deplete. Maybe with the exception of iodine, which is used in crustacean moulting, water changes and food addition is more than enough to keep the levels of trace elements up.

"Ionic balance" is ambiguous, can refer to many things. A well maintained alkalinity is akin to a good ionic balance as it stabilises pH. I can't be sure the reef buffer products don't contain anything else, but they sure taste a lot like sodium bicarbonate and have the same effect...

The calcium chloride you buy from Kent marine, etc is exactly the same as calcium chloride from a chem supplier.

As for magnesium, some mag suppliments contain a few types of magnesium salts, I'm not sure if one type would suffice, or if you could buy the different types and blend yourself as I've never had to dose mag.

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olyoz

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Reply #4

I agree I've never seen my mag deplete with a 10% weekly change. I will probably order some bicarb and calcium chloride then and make my own solutions.
The reef calculator should make that easy to work out.

What kind of volume of ro do you use in your solutions before they become saturated?

Also on a kind of related note I'm noticing a pH of 7.5/7.6 no matter when I measure. I dont believe this is a CO issue as I've always got a window open as its summer.
Could my alk of 10dkh be too low?
I settled on 10 as it seemed the best of both worlds between my salt of 12dkh and my potential new target of 8dkh due to the targeted ultra low nutrient setup that my bio pearls should provide.

Reef keeping is full of questions...  :huh:

Mike

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Reply #5

What kind of volume of ro do you use in your solutions before they become saturated?

I started out with 1KG to 10L, so it was easy to work out (1g = 10ml) but then @Mayo advised I make it much stronger as to not have the doser doing as much work. I now have doubled it and have 2KG into 10L, which still isn't a strong solution, but 2KG is all I ordered. It now means 1g is 5ml.

I think you could probably dissolve 3 or 4 KG into it before it'd become saturated though, but I don't know.

It helps a lot to heat the RO up to about body temperature when dissolving the powders. I did it by putting a baking tray of water on the cooker and sitting the 10L jerry can in that, so it warmed it over about 20 minutes.

If you're sure that pH is accurate, then that is a bit too low. The alkalinity is fine and won't be the cause, you can maintain a higher pH than that with lower dKh than that, so I'd look elsewhere.

Have a read of this: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-09/rhf/index.php
Last Edit: Jul 3, 2014 9:51:14 am by i-CONICA
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olyoz

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Reply #6

Cool. Thanks for that info. Seems simple enough  :grin:

I've just recalibrated my pH checker. It was a little out  :O

The tank is 7.9  :cool:
Much happier with that, will check it later in the day too.

Thanks for the help @i-CONICA

There is a lesson for everyone there. If you get odd results, check the test equipment!  :tongue:

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