Dose or calcium reactor.

Nmaran72

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What are your thoughts. My tank is 4 months old small amount of corals. The tank is lps /sps. Just a couple of sps frags. I currently manually dose 2 part. I deciding either doser or reactor. Before I invest in another piece of equipt I want to make the right purchase.
 

blstravler

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I think it depends on how much you are having to dose - if it’s still nominal then keep dosing. If it becomes a lot more then you could look at a Calcium Reactor or Dosing set up. Depending on the equipment you go with they can be very close in cost so long term cost could more of the deciding factor.
 

FlyPenFly

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So much more complex to get the calcium reactor up and running IMO, it's cool and all sure but you have to regulate Co2, monitor pH of tank and of the reactor, struggle with tank pH issues, etc etc. On top of that, you still have to get a doser for it lol!

I use the AF dosing system so I get all the trace elements with my 3 part dosing. If you buy it dry and make it yourself, it's very affordable too.

If you want to make it even simpler, I would check out the Calcium acetate stuff from Tropic Marin.
 

mitch91175

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Kalk in your ATO, then dosing, then reactor. Once you get to that point just use all 3.


EDIT: I guess I should elaborate. Dosing is easier than doing kalk in ATO I'll be honest, but you get more benefits dosing kalk (in my opinion and you can easily find more info about the benefits of kalk), but the number 1 benefit for me would be the increased pH I am getting from having kalk in my ATO (have a custom kalk stirrer coming soon).

Once you get to a point where kalk in the ATO isn't keeping up, then you can add a doser. Cool thing about this is you can dose either kalk or 2-part. I would still choose kalk at this point as well. Once you get to a point where you are dosing a lot of kalk, then add 2-part.

Finally when you cannot keep up with demand, look at a CaRx.

You will notice great growth in your SPS with a higher average pH and stability with your parameters. Once you get to this point and are able to maintain a higher pH, you will see what I am talk about.

This may not be how others would suggest, but this has worked for me and has allowed me to know a lot more about my system.
 
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FlyPenFly

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The problem I found with Kalk especially if your system is less than 80g is that it's inconsistent even with a reactor so it doesn't increase stability.
 

mitch91175

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The problem I found with Kalk especially if your system is less than 80g is that it's inconsistent even with a reactor so it doesn't increase stability.
Haha, dosing doesn't increase stability if you do not know what you are doing, just saying. It's definitely not for everyone for sure, but when you can use it within your dosing regime you will see the benefits. If considering a CaRx in the future, I'd say get yourself familiar with using kalk; specially if you already have pH concerns.
 

jda

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I would make the decisions based upon if you are going to keep the course with heavy stony corals and how long you might be in the hobby. Nearly nobody that gets a CaRx, and takes the time to figure out how to set it up, regrets it - this says something if you are paying attention. Dosing is good too, just more variables into the mix.

I use a CaRx for a few different reasons - input in balanced, so I only test for alk. I will test for calcium every few months. I ignore magnesium, strontium. When melting natural media, you supplement all of the major and minor trace elements that the coral uptook when they once grew. You need to spend 10-15 minutes a day in the first week to figure out how they work, and how to tune them, but once you learn then you are golden. They work slowly and are only capable of maintaining, so rising or lowering is really really slow - they are nearly impossible to crash a tank with unless you stop paying attention for weeks.

I could totally make 2/3 part work... just choose otherwise.

I like Kalk too, but I cannot evaporate enough water to use kalk... just too much demand.

Cost? 2 part used to be cheap, and still can be. However, needing to use an Apex and DOS will get up there in cost. CaRx is never super cheap, but even a super-expensive one does not work better than a normal cost one... just different. A really reliable 2 part system with redundancies and stuff is not going to be any cheaper than a CaRx.

Ease of use? A CaRx will need an hour of time over a week, or so, to tune it and figure out how. If you cannot figure this out, then programming an Apex or doser is not going to work either. In all actuality, both require thought and brains or else you will fail, but we are not sending people to Mars, or anything. Dosing can crash a tank in minutes if a doser sticks on, so in this way, they are not easy if your alk goes to 20 or your calcium to 1000 and everything starts to precipitate everywhere.
 
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Nmaran72

Nmaran72

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Thanks all. I going to dose right now. What I need in two part is minimal. I was only concerned with consistency. It wasn’t the money. The tank is still new. Coral load is minimal.
 

bobcraig10

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I would make the decisions based upon if you are going to keep the course with heavy stony corals and how long you might be in the hobby. Nearly nobody that gets a CaRx, and takes the time to figure out how to set it up, regrets it - this says something if you are paying attention. Dosing is good too, just more variables into the mix.

I use a CaRx for a few different reasons - input in balanced, so I only test for alk. I will test for calcium every few months. I ignore magnesium, strontium. When melting natural media, you supplement all of the major and minor trace elements that the coral uptook when they once grew. You need to spend 10-15 minutes a day in the first week to figure out how they work, and how to tune them, but once you learn then you are golden. They work slowly and are only capable of maintaining, so rising or lowering is really really slow - they are nearly impossible to crash a tank with unless you stop paying attention for weeks.

I could totally make 2/3 part work... just choose otherwise.

I like Kalk too, but I cannot evaporate enough water to use kalk... just too much demand.

Cost? 2 part used to be cheap, and still can be. However, needing to use an Apex and DOS will get up there in cost. CaRx is never super cheap, but even a super-expensive one does not work better than a normal cost one... just different. A really reliable 2 part system with redundancies and stuff is not going to be any cheaper than a CaRx.

Ease of use? A CaRx will need an hour of time over a week, or so, to tune it and figure out how. If you cannot figure this out, then programming an Apex or doser is not going to work either. In all actuality, both require thought and brains or else you will fail, but we are not sending people to Mars, or anything. Dosing can crash a tank in minutes if a doser sticks on, so in this way, they are not easy if your alk goes to 20 or your calcium to 1000 and everything starts to precipitate everywhere.
I agree with 99% of your comment, I have recently figured out, if you have a mixed reef, and not doing water changes, it IS necessary to dose some additional trace elements. The ones taken up by the stony parts of corals is replenished by the calcium reactor media, but the elements (mainly iodine, and iron) taken in by soft corals, and the fleshy parts of Lps, aren't so much replenished. I recently started adding red sea colors again, at about 1/4 the recommended dose for calcium uptake, and noticed an immediate increase in coloration!I really wish I would have sent in an icp sample before I dosed to confirm, but I am confident by my results! If you by chance do an icp test without dosing trace, please share your results! Maybe it was just my system, maybe I have more soft corals than most running a ca/rx.
 

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