How to start dosing on new reef setup?

elBem80

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I've recently set up a new tank and I'm confused with the best course of action when it comes to dosing. I plan to keep mainly corals (hopefully SPS in future) and a few supporting fish/inverts. My tank is a 170 litre DD reef pro 600.

The saltwater I'm buying from my local aquatic shop tests in at: Ca - 380. Alk - 6.9. Ph - 7.8

I understand these levels are too low and should be aiming for (or there abouts) Ca - 440. Alk - 8.5. Ph - 8.2

My questions are -

- Do I start dosing immeditely to bring these levels upto desired levels? (Tank is currently cycled and ready to go..)
- Do I accept that the saltwater I'm buying is the 'goal' level I should try and maintain? - for example, when Ca or Alk drops try and bring them back to (Ca - 380. Alk - 6.9. Ph - 7.8)
- Start mixing my own saltwater for better starting parameters?

The aquatic store I'm buying from is a big reputable seller which is adding to the confusion (my thoughts are perhaps the water is this way as it's more focused on the fish, than corals?? - this is a best guess)

Any help from you guys in demistifying this would be amazing!
 

Mr. Mojo Rising

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How old is your tank, sounds like there is nothing in it?. Let it mature, the parameters will change for the first few months as the tank matures. No need to dose until you have enough corals that consume elements faster than water changes can replace them, and you shouldn't have corals for a few months until the tank matures.

You should definately get your own rodi machine and make your own water. Water is the lifeblood of the livestock, control the quality of the water you use. The LFS might not have changed the filters in months, maybe parts are rusty? Who knows?
 
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elBem80

elBem80

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What's the salinity test at? Low salinity will throw all the numbers
1.024 - which is low. I measured twice and made sure refractometer was calibrated. This was straight from the aquatic shops saltwater I bought a few days ago. I'm perhaps thinking their water isn't the quality they say it is.
 
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elBem80

elBem80

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How old is your tank, sounds like there is nothing in it?. Let it mature, the parameters will change for the first few months as the tank matures. No need to dose until you have enough corals that consume elements faster than water changes can replace them, and you shouldn't have corals for a few months until the tank matures.

You should definately get your own rodi machine and make your own water. Water is the lifeblood of the livestock, control the quality of the water you use. The LFS might not have changed the filters in months, maybe parts are rusty? Who knows?
My current tank is about 7 months old. So not old. It's the saltwater I'm buying pre-mixed that could be the issue. The parameters seem very low to start off with. Either that or I'm making errors in testing (I'm fairly confident I'm not).

I was told its easier and better to buy the saltwater pre mixed... (it's only a 40 gallon tank afterall!). I will definitely be looking to make my own.
 

Mr. Mojo Rising

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My current tank is about 7 months old. So not old. It's the saltwater I'm buying pre-mixed that could be the issue. The parameters seem very low to start off with. Either that or I'm making errors in testing (I'm fairly confident I'm not).

I was told its easier and better to buy the saltwater pre mixed... (it's only a 40 gallon tank afterall!). I will definitely be looking to make my own.
As I mentioned on some other thread yesterday, my favourite reef quote is from David Saxby "I don't take care of my reef, I take care of the water and the water takes care of the reef". This is my own reefing philosophy, so based on that I would suggest to correct your water source before dosing to correct bad water. You don't know when is the last time they changed the filters or maintained their rodi machine, maybe some parts are rusty, maybe the water been sitting a month, maybe some teenager spit in it? Who knows.
 
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elBem80

elBem80

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As I mentioned on some other thread yesterday, my favourite reef quote is from David Saxby "I don't take care of my reef, I take care of the water and the water takes care of the reef". This is my own reefing philosophy, so based on that I would suggest to correct your water source before dosing to correct bad water. You don't know when is the last time they changed the filters or maintained their rodi machine, maybe some parts are rusty, maybe the water been sitting a month, maybe some teenager spit in it? Who knows.
I completely agree. I should have really tested the aquatic shops water sooner. It would have saved quite some time. They're a big outfit in the UK and I didn't question their advice.

My guess is that the water they use for the display tanks isnt changed (often or at all) and they're dosing these tanks to maintain water parameters - therefore not using the saltwater they're selling?
 
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elBem80

elBem80

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Get an RODI and make your own water. You will never be sorry about it. Plus you need RODI water for top off, don't forget.
I'm on it! just purchased a 75l tub and will do some research into RODI filters - any advice?
 

saltcreep74

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I'm on it! just purchased a 75l tub and will do some research into RODI filters - any advice?
Get a 4 stage and above RODI unit...if budget allows, get 2 DI filters instead of just 1...look at the BRS series of RODI videos to learn more..tons of info and tips to improve output efficiency.

You can buy rodi units on Amazon or ebay all day long really cheap. All though 4 stage BRS units are not too bad either...a dual TDS sensor and rodi pump are nice to have but will cost you a little extra.

Good luck!
 

jag10016

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I've recently set up a new tank and I'm confused with the best course of action when it comes to dosing. I plan to keep mainly corals (hopefully SPS in future) and a few supporting fish/inverts. My tank is a 170 litre DD reef pro 600.

The saltwater I'm buying from my local aquatic shop tests in at: Ca - 380. Alk - 6.9. Ph - 7.8

I understand these levels are too low and should be aiming for (or there abouts) Ca - 440. Alk - 8.5. Ph - 8.2

My questions are -

- Do I start dosing immeditely to bring these levels upto desired levels? (Tank is currently cycled and ready to go..)
- Do I accept that the saltwater I'm buying is the 'goal' level I should try and maintain? - for example, when Ca or Alk drops try and bring them back to (Ca - 380. Alk - 6.9. Ph - 7.8)
- Start mixing my own saltwater for better starting parameters?

The aquatic store I'm buying from is a big reputable seller which is adding to the confusion (my thoughts are perhaps the water is this way as it's more focused on the fish, than corals?? - this is a best guess)

Any help from you guys in demistifying this would be amazing!
pick a solid salt mix, it will make dosing easier
 
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elBem80

elBem80

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Get a 4 stage and above RODI unit...if budget allows, get 2 DI filters instead of just 1...look at the BRS series of RODI videos to learn more..tons of info and tips to improve output efficiency.

You can buy rodi units on Amazon or ebay all day long really cheap. All though 4 stage BRS units are not too bad either...a dual TDS sensor and rodi pump are nice to have but will cost you a little extra.

Good luck!
Thank you! I will look into it. I'm going to buy RODI water from my local aquatic shop (to start making my own saltwater) for a few weeks whilst I do my research.
 
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elBem80

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pick a solid salt mix, it will make dosing easier
I was given a box of Tropic Marin Pro reef a while back and will start off with that (and probably stick with it as it sounds like it's good stuff)
 

Pistondog

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AS others have said, take care of the basics, ato and rodi unit, salinity. When you see your corals consuming alk and calcium, then revisit dosing 2 part.
 

saltcreep74

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I was given a box of Tropic Marin Pro reef a while back and will start off with that (and probably stick with it as it sounds like it's good stuff)
another good salt option with great reef parameters is Instant Ocean "Reef Crystals". That's the brand I use, trusted and available everywhere. Also great pricing at allot of online big box retailers.
 

Slick Willy 46

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The best thing I did was stop using LFS RODI. I was having issues in my tank all of a sudden and for the life of me couldn't figure what was going on. I finally decided to test the RODI water from the LFS and the parameters were horrible.
 

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