Auto water top off or to part?

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Dmat21

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Hey guys I’m in the process of setting up my first aquarium/reef tank. And I was wondering how important is it to dosing two-part when having a brand new reef tank versus doing an auto water change? Would it be more beneficial just to do auto water changes or dose two part with an auto water top off?

i’m shooting for a mixed reef tank in my 65 gallon aquarium and I’m a quadriplegic so I’m trying to go about this build with as little as hands-on as I can supporting a healthy mixed reef. So how can I go about this build the proper way being stress-free hands-free and as maintenance free as possible? Thanks guys
 
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Dmat21

Dmat21

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I would definitely say a auto water change system prolly won’t have a need for two part for some time.
Awesome thanks for the response, so what I just add two part when necessary as I add more coral?
how Frequent would you recommend doing auto water changes and how much percent of water changed?
 

WIReefer

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Awesome thanks for the response, so what I just add two part when necessary as I add more coral?
how Frequent would you recommend doing auto water changes and how much percent of water changed?
I have no experience with an auto water change system, I do a 10% weekly water change every Sunday that’s all I do but I do does kalk. Others will chime in that use one. For the two part question, you will know when to start using it from daily test once Alkalinty and calcium are being consumed and your auto water change system is not replenishing this elements enough then you will need to dose. But I have heard from some that dosing is not needed with those systems.
 

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Awesome thanks for the response, so what I just add two part when necessary as I add more coral?
how Frequent would you recommend doing auto water changes and how much percent of water changed?
After 6 months or so you might see some coralline algae on glass. This is a good indicator the tank is ready for easy corals. Monitor the alkalinity, when it starts to drop, somebody is using calcium and you want to start 2 part. Get 2 dosing pumps, which can be run off a timer or controller. I started with b ionic 2 part.
If you have the funds, an Apex can automate many manual tasks.
There are many paths to a good tank.
 
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There are certainly ways to design a system that does not require water changes or other manual maintenance activities. They do require planning & commitment to allowing the system to progress & mature slowly. Biology will become your friend, & it is rewarding once it is achieved. Accordingly, I’d recommend adding a refugium to your build.

To answer your question, I would just use kalk as your top off water. You’ll need this to keep salinity stable, & kalk also adds other elements used by coral to grow their skeletal structures while helping to maintain a stable pH. If you go this route, you won’t need to worry about 2-part.

What other equipment are you planning? Will the 65gal display be supported by a sump? Have you settled on the dry rock vs live rock debate for your build?
 

dwest

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1. Start with an ATO. This will top off water that evaporates. You will want this for sure.
2. Do 10% water changes per week. Later or never you can do AWC at about 1% per day to make water changes easier. Again, this is not required.
3. Monitor alkalinity weekly at the same time of the day (8am for example). When your alkalinity cannot be maintained at at least 7 dK, start dosing 2 part.
 

dwest

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Also agree with the others that you could use kalk instead of 2 part.
 
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Dmat21

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There are certainly ways to design a system that does not require water changes or other manual maintenance activities. They do require planning & commitment to allowing the system to progress & mature slowly. Biology will become your friend, & it is rewarding once it is achieved. Accordingly, I’d recommend adding a refugium to your build.

To answer your question, I would just use kalk as your top off water. You’ll need this to keep salinity stable, & kalk also adds other elements used by coral to grow their skeletal structures while helping to maintain a stable pH. If you go this route, you won’t need to worry about 2-part.

What other equipment are you planning? Will the 65gal display be supported by a sump? Have you settled on the dry rock vs live rock debate for your build?
definitely want to go to the refugium Route. When do I add it to a new tank?
Kalk?? Do you mean kalkwasser? Would it be better to do 10% water changes every week? Or just topping off RO water Daily?
yes a sump with two filter socks, refugium chaeto and ref light, maybe a piece of live rock, couple bio blocks, aquamarine protein skimmer, hygger 1000 gph dc return pump, zetlight LED light, caribsea liferock custom structures by me, (2) hydor Power heads, coralline sand bed,
Neptune; apex, power bar and dos,
tropic marin pro reef salt, 5 stage brs RO water filter 150 gpd, Hanna checkers for alk and phosphoru, Red Sea nitrate, salifert calcium and magnesium, I think I’m gonna go to old school hydrometer for testing salinity
what do you think about it so far?
 
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Dmat21

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+1 for auto top off and refugium
Only auto top off of ro water? How do you Replace your minerals In your tank after they deplete from just adding water in your tank after they deplete from just adding water? I know you’re salinity will stay the same but what about your trace elements
 

Pistondog

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Ato replaces water that evaporates, and should be automatic.
Water changes and some 2 part replace minerals.
You might want to search for ulm or ultra low maintenance in the forums. One method, Triton, replaces minerals by dosing them daily. It targets no or minimal water changes. I decided to try this 2 years ago since I don't like water changes. Good refugium and skimmer required.
 

Rob.bucek

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Awesome thanks for the response, so what I just add two part when necessary as I add more coral?
how Frequent would you recommend doing auto water changes and how much percent of water changed?
I would say neither honestly. If you're just starting out and adding things in responsibly you shouldn't be taxing your system to the point you need either. Exceptions being you travel a lot and are gone more than you're at home or you're adding corals faster than you really should be. AWC is a luxury, not a necessity unless you travel extensively. Water changes to maintain chemistry is not a solution. Two part is great too meet coral needs, but if your just starting out, that shouldn't be significant. I always recommend using kalk to start out for balanced alk/ca needs before using salt based additives. Just my two cents.
 

attiland

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Only auto top off of ro water? How do you Replace your minerals In your tank after they deplete from just adding water in your tank after they deplete from just adding water? I know you’re salinity will stay the same but what about your trace elements
The point is to keep sanity steady. Dosing not required till you have loads of corals. Weekly water changers also overkill if you ask me but many old schools will cut my head for this statement.

Have a look of this. Loads to learn from this.
 
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Dmat21

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I would say neither honestly. If you're just starting out and adding things in responsibly you shouldn't be taxing your system to the point you need either. Exceptions being you travel a lot and are gone more than you're at home or you're adding corals faster than you really should be. AWC is a luxury, not a necessity unless you travel extensively. Water changes to maintain chemistry is not a solution. Two part is great too meet coral needs, but if your just starting out, that shouldn't be significant. I always recommend using kalk to start out for balanced alk/ca needs before using salt based additives. Just my two cents.
Kalkwasser?
 
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Dmat21

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Yessir... It will take you a long ways at minimal cost and effort. Until you get into the hardcore sps realm which is not the beginner phase, it's really a fool proof approach in my experience.
Awesome thanks a lot
how often do you dose kalk? Manually or dose?
 

Flippers4pups

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Calcium Hydroxide since day one in my ATO reservoir in my current system.

I would recommend half the dose at first just starting out and increase as the need increases.

485C47D7-1B53-4028-88B3-9AB7731F5908.jpeg
 

Rob.bucek

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Awesome thanks a lot
how often do you dose kalk? Manually or dose?
My first tank, I manually calculated my daily evaporation rate and mixed a kalkwasser solution in a bucket and gravity dripped it into my tank daily. Today I'm much lazier and use a kalk stirrer that maintains a saturated kalk solution that I only have to fill once every couple weeks that's tied into my auto fresh water top off (tunze 3155) and that adds a balanced ratio of alkalinity and calcium to my tank.
 
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