Bolus dosing

Domi

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Dear all,

I saw a video about bolus dosing by Fauna Marin (in german). The idea there is to dose the whole dose of KH in the morning 30mins before lights on and then start the light directly at 120% to then decrease throughout the day. The idea is to get a pH boost right at the beginning of the day. FM says this is only possible with their balling light system since it contains bicarbonate which avoids precipitation compared to carbonates.
I was just wondering, why it would be superior to other systems as long as you have a high pH throughout the day?
Has anyone heard about this method or tried it already? They say there is no need for sodalime for the skimmer or kalkwasser anymore because it boosts the pH enough. Their mentioned target level is >8.2.

Kind regards,
Dominik
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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I never seen this idea mentioned. I don’t see the logic of wanting to do this, nor do I agree with the idea that one could not use other methods.
 

DutchReefer420

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Hydroxides tend to have the worst effect as carbon dioxide/carbonic acid is taken up directly by the hydroxide and forms a carbonate ion. Constant depletion of the carbonic acid pool by regular dosing of high pH solutions will cumulatively reduce the amount of carbonic acid available to the buffer system and cause instability in the equilibrium, causing constant re-balancing. Ultimately the buffer system fails to perform the task of absorbing changes in pH leading to, in extreme cases, a pH crash and often tank failure.

 

DutchReefer420

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Dear all,

I saw a video about bolus dosing by Fauna Marin (in german). The idea there is to dose the whole dose of KH in the morning 30mins before lights on and then start the light directly at 120% to then decrease throughout the day. The idea is to get a pH boost right at the beginning of the day. FM says this is only possible with their balling light system since it contains bicarbonate which avoids precipitation compared to carbonates.
I was just wondering, why it would be superior to other systems as long as you have a high pH throughout the day?
Has anyone heard about this method or tried it already? They say there is no need for sodalime for the skimmer or kalkwasser anymore because it boosts the pH enough. Their mentioned target level is >8.2.

Kind regards,
Dominik
Its not only possible with there balling light system!!
Most 3 part/Balling Brands use Bicarbonate
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Hydroxides tend to have the worst effect as carbon dioxide/carbonic acid is taken up directly by the hydroxide and forms a carbonate ion. Constant depletion of the carbonic acid pool by regular dosing of high pH solutions will cumulatively reduce the amount of carbonic acid available to the buffer system and cause instability in the equilibrium, causing constant re-balancing. Ultimately the buffer system fails to perform the task of absorbing changes in pH leading to, in extreme cases, a pH crash and often tank failure.


I am shocked that a company puts out such utterly and grossly incorrect ideas. They need to send someone at the company to study chemistry before spouting nonsense.

I’m on a phone now and it’s hard to write long passages, but surely such misleading info deserves a long and detailed response.
 
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Miami Reef

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Hydroxides tend to have the worst effect as carbon dioxide/carbonic acid is taken up directly by the hydroxide and forms a carbonate ion. Constant depletion of the carbonic acid pool by regular dosing of high pH solutions will cumulatively reduce the amount of carbonic acid available to the buffer system and cause instability in the equilibrium, causing constant re-balancing. Ultimately the buffer system fails to perform the task of absorbing changes in pH leading to, in extreme cases, a pH crash and often tank failure.


The video was hilarious. He was yapping about a bunch of nothing.
 
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Domi

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It looks like a bug was turned into a feature. Great marketing!
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Randy Holmes-Farley

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When the Bolus is dosed there is an adjustment made to the carbonate chemistry in your tank, this is using a completely natural phenomenon where the bicarbonate dosed is converted to a small amount of carbonate but a large amount of carbonic acid. The effect of this is to increase the pH, but the alkalinity will not go up as far as you might expect.

so many conceptual problems with that.

The first is easily verified by ANY reefer: add bicarbonate and pH drops a small amount. Not the pH rise they say.

As to the alk claim, that is so obviously wrong even if the false claim about making lots of carbonic acid is correct.

That process is;

HCO3- + H+ —> H2CO3 (carbonic acid)

That is obviously a net neutral process as it relates to alkalinity. The alk on the left is zero (+1 for bicarbonate and -1 for H+) and is zero on the right (carbonic acid has exactly zero alk).

In reality, one can look at a graph of the speciation of the carbonate system components as a function of pH to know how much of each us present, and what any added component, such as bicarbonate) will turn into at that pH.

Such a graph is called a Bjerrum plot


And one can see that unless the pH is starting well below 7.5, there is more carbonate than CO2/carbonic acid, and thus the added bicarbonate turns more into carbonate than carbonic acid. That net conversion to carbonate is also net alk neutral, but lowers pH

HCO3- —> CO3- - + H+
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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If you have been previously dosing kalkwasser or high pH carbonate solutions, it will take extra time for the Bolus to settle down, this is the process of rectifying the damage that has been done to the buffer system. The Bolus will heal that damage over time, this can take a number of weeks, maybe months.

Hogwash. That damage is purely a figment of their advertising manager. It has absolutely no basis in reality.

As noted in the Bjerrum plot above, all components of the carbonate system are determined exactly by pH (determines the ratio of them all) and total alk (determines the absolute values of them at fixed ratios).

The components come into equilibrium as fast as the additives mix into the water. It takes far less than a second to equilibrate them.

I have no idea where they got this damage idea or what process they are imagining takes months.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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A ‘broken’ buffer system?
If your tank has been using high pH dosing solutions based on carbonates or hydroxides there
is a good chance that your buffer system may be in a poor condition. When your buffer system is not working properly there can be the following indicators:
The tank is unable to maintain a good pH without constant dosing of the high pH additive.
Try not dosing your alkalinity or kalkwasser and observe the pH, if the tank is unable to maintain a reasonable pH then you may have an issue with your carbonate buffer system.
If you are dosing a high pH additive but the pH is no longer being raised. This is a common issue with long-term use of Kalkwasser


I have no idea where they got this fantasy from, but none of it is remotely true for the reasons outlined in the previous post.

Presumably they use meaningless words like broken to disguise the fact that they cannot actually describe the problem in a scientific way.
 

DutchReefer420

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If you have been previously dosing kalkwasser or high pH carbonate solutions, it will take extra time for the Bolus to settle down, this is the process of rectifying the damage that has been done to the buffer system. The Bolus will heal that damage over time, this can take a number of weeks, maybe months.

Hogwash. That damage is purely a figment of their advertising manager. It has absolutely no basis in reality.

As noted in the Bjerrum plot above, all components of the carbonate system are determined exactly by pH (determines the ratio of them all) and total alk (determines the absolute values of them at fixed ratios).

The components come into equilibrium as fast as the additives mix into the water. It takes far less than a second to equilibrate them.

I have no idea where they got this damage idea or what process they are imagining takes months.
not trying to attack your post and i love the effort you put in for this hobby!!
just to add some context

The damage idea comes from the ''Old tank syndrome'' people who mainly ran kalkwasser years back!
its talked about in the video, and maybe more of a EU thing in the end!

Also they are not trying to sell anything!
Most 3part/balling brands i know in EU are using Bicarbonaat
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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The Bolus method is a viable means of ‘repairing’ your carbonate buffer system. This happens over time and slowly re-builds the carbonic acid pool allowing the tank to regulate the pH chemistry without the need for high pH additives.
Hydroxides tend to have the worst effect as carbon dioxide/carbonic acid is taken up directly by the hydroxide and forms a carbonate ion. Constant depletion of the carbonic acid pool by regular dosing of high pH solutions will cumulatively reduce the amount of carbonic acid available to the buffer system and cause instability in the equilibrium, causing constant re-balancing. Ultimately the buffer system fails to perform
the task of absorbing changes in pH leading to, in extreme cases, a pH crash and
often tank failure.



Carbonic acid is not an important driver of buffering or pH stability unless the pH is very low. Buffering if normal seawater above pH 7.5 is dominated by the bicarbonate/carbonate buffer system, not the carbonic acid/bicarbonate system. I have an entire article on the buffering if seawater, but in short, the closer you are to the pH of equal concentration of the two parts if the buffering pair, the more effective is the buffering.

The bicarbonate/carbonate pair has equal concentrations at pH 8.9, and the carbonic acid/bicarbonate pair has equal concentrations at pH 5.8. Thus, at any pH above 7.35, the bicarbonate/carbonate system dominates, and at pH 8.0, the buffering from carbonic acid/bicarbonate is very small.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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not trying to attack your post and i love the effort you put in for this hobby!!
just to add some context

The damage idea comes from the ''Old tank syndrome'' people who mainly ran kalkwasser years back!
its talked about in the video, and maybe more of a EU thing in the end!

Also they are not trying to sell anything!
Most 3part/balling brands i know in EU are using Bicarbonaat

It’s not ANY sort of real thing. Old tank syndrome may or may not be real, but the idea the buffer system is messed up is just plain misinformation.

And of course they are pushing their own product.

That said, bolus dosing itself may be fine. Pushing up alk can enhance coral growth and may have other benefits.

But the statements and reasons are not accurate.
 

MrStoffel

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Thanks for looking into this Randy.

I have to say, many many years ago i had a 120L tank with a lot of easy sps corals, and i used to dose my balling fluids by hand once a day. That was working fine back then, and it could work out fine now as well.
However, i think i mainly dosed later in the day when i got home, rather than in the morning.

What i don't understand, is why FM would put their name on the line for this, as i don't really see any new products being pushed to market? I mean, they probably know very well a lot of people are using standard unbranded balling salts supplemented with all different brands of trace element dosing. Which would work just the same as when using FM branded balling salts, so what is there really to gain here for them?

Following along with great interest!
 

Florian_W

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What i don't understand, is why FM would put their name on the line for this, as i don't really see any new products being pushed to market? I mean, they probably know very well a lot of people are using standard unbranded balling salts supplemented with all different brands of trace element dosing. Which would work just the same as when using FM branded balling salts, so what is there really to gain here for them?
hey! i can easily answer that, it´s all about marketing... the owner is very aware of that to do to stay in the "news"
and here in Germany / Austria he is a big name and people follow most of the things he says and does like it´s the greatest thing since sliced bread!

also following along with great interest
 

HiveTyrant

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An interesting thing is also, despite FM putting a lot of effort into their 'ICP Advisor' program, most people here in the area I live in either get their ICP from Oceamo or ATI Aquatics (they are actually one town over from where I live), those seem to have a better reputation.
 
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Domi

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An interesting thing is also, despite FM putting a lot of effort into their 'ICP Advisor' program, most people here in the area I live in either get their ICP from Oceamo or ATI Aquatics (they are actually one town over from where I live), those seem to have a better reputation.
The problem with FM ICPs and their recommendations for me is that they recommend you to add things because they are low even if it is known that seawater levels are below the ICP-OES sensitivity. Yes, it is good for them to sell more, but not for the user.
 

HiveTyrant

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The problem with FM ICPs and their recommendations for me is that they recommend you to add things because they are low even if it is known that seawater levels are below the ICP-OES sensitivity. Yes, it is good for them to sell more, but not for the user.
Well, Oceamo and ATI do the same. With the former however, they can help you adjust your recipes if needed (like, adding more of a certain trace), or if you have a massive tank where you can't set it straight with a chunky water change, you can get an 'all in 1 or 2 bottles, dosed over a month, to try and set it straight' tailored JUST for you. Instead of buying 15 different supplemental bottles.
 
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