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Imbalanced Dosing

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kingy138

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Hello friends,

I may be stressing about an issue, which may not be an issue, but it's been ongoing for some time and it just doesn't feel right.

My dosing of calcium and alkalinity are imbalanced by quite a considerable amount (40% less), when they should be balanced, or at least very close.
I feel this is wrong, I've been told "it's ok, it'll sort itself out" etc, but it's not correcting itself, and the question I keep coming back to is if I were running a calcium reactor, it would be perfectly balanced by default and I would have no ability to tweak the relative amounts dosed.
On that basis alone, I feel something is wrong and I should be doing something to correct this situation.

A summary of my tank and general stuff:
  • Triton Core 7 'Other Methods'
  • 200L tank, which is now 9 months old
  • 9 Acro larger frags (1-3 inch), 2 Monti frags, 2 Micromussa
  • 5 fish (clowns, kole tang, couple of wrasse)
  • Live rock, bare bottom
  • Siporax in sump
  • Currently dosing Tropic Marin NP Bacto-Balance
  • ICP tests done every couple of weeks
  • CO2 Scrubber, 2 x Nero 5's, skimmer
  • Carbon every couple of weeks for 3 days
  • Bi-weekly water change of ~20%
Current parameters:
  • Ca: ~450
  • Mg: ~1410
  • Alk: ~8
  • PO4: ~0.03
  • NO3: ~1.5
  • PH: 8.13 - 8.32
Current dosing schedule:
  • Triton 1, 3a & 3b (Mg & Alk): 3ml per day, dosed as 0.5ml 6 times per day
  • Triton 2 (Ca): 1.8ml per day, dosed as 0.3ml 6 times per day

40% less Ca over everything else doesn't seem right at all, and to the main point of my concern, if I were running a calcium reactor, I wouldn't have the ability to tweak the numbers, so surely that must mean something is wrong.

This isn't just a bad batch of Triton, this is my second batch and the issue is the same.

I feel like I maybe need to up my Alk, which in theory should reduce my Ca, then I can correct my Ca dosing to be in line.
I dunno, but something feels very wrong.

Please help :)
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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Not being familiar with all of the Triton dosing solutions, I'm unsure what 1, 2, 3, 4 is compared to the Core 7 names of 1,2, 3A, 3B.

In generally, though, i would not assume it is designed for equal parts dosing unless Triton clearly says so.

They do say this for 1, 2, 3A, and 3B:

" For mixing 3a and 3b: Should you wish to combine 3a and 3b together in order to save a dosing unit, please note that solution must dispensed at twice the amount of the others "

If it is intended to dose equally, there are some reasons the demand may not exactly balance. We discuss them here:

 
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kingy138

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Not being familiar with all of the Triton dosing solutions, I'm unsure what 1, 2, 3, 4 is compared to the Core 7 names of 1,2, 3A, 3B.

In generally, though, i would not assume it is designed for equal parts dosing unless Triton clearly says so.

They do say this for 1, 2, 3A, and 3B:

" For mixing 3a and 3b: Should you wish to combine 3a and 3b together in order to save a dosing unit, please note that solution must dispensed at twice the amount of the others "

If it is intended to dose equally, there are some reasons the demand may not exactly balance. We discuss them here:


Hi Randy,
I simply used the incorrect term with 3 & 4, rather I should have said 3a and 3b.

All triton solutions should be dosed equally, the same as 2 part, it just happens that Alk is split into 2 and the inclusion of Mg and trace elements are both combined into 1.

For arguments sake, we should talk about this as regards to the same issue resulting from 2 part.

I'll take a read of the link and come back if needs be.
I really hoped you'd see this and pick it up, as I've had so much misinformation, and I really don't know what to do.
 
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kingy138

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Not being familiar with all of the Triton dosing solutions, I'm unsure what 1, 2, 3, 4 is compared to the Core 7 names of 1,2, 3A, 3B.

In generally, though, i would not assume it is designed for equal parts dosing unless Triton clearly says so.

They do say this for 1, 2, 3A, and 3B:

" For mixing 3a and 3b: Should you wish to combine 3a and 3b together in order to save a dosing unit, please note that solution must dispensed at twice the amount of the others "

If it is intended to dose equally, there are some reasons the demand may not exactly balance. We discuss them here:

I read through the thread, I've also read your article (a few times in the past), along with various other sources.

The issues that you identified as main culprits for causing imbalances don't appear to apply in my case.

I water change with tropic marin pro and I buffer the alk from ~7 to ~8 to match my tank, the Ca usually comes in around 440-450. TM Pro aligns well with Triton. I only water change every other week and I see no differences in elements afterwards.

My top up water is RO/DI TDS 0 which has also been ICP tested in the past and runs clean.

Other than my siporax (which I don't have much of anyway), I have no anoxic zones, I don't even have sand.

Testing wise, I test Alk, Ca and PO4 everyday using Hanna's and I also have the GHL KHD which tests 3 times a day, likewise I typically send an ICP in every other week.

I don't actually know what my daily consumption is, I just know how much I dose, but I don't actually know by how much it supplements, I'm sure there must be a way to calculate it.
 

Duncan Tse

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Are you doing manual or automatic dosing?

If automatic, what kind of doser are you using?

I find that most dosers are not able to dose under 1 mL accurately and you may want to double check/calibrate to see if you actually are dosing that small amount
 
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kingy138

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Are you doing manual or automatic dosing?

If automatic, what kind of doser are you using?

I find that most dosers are not able to dose under 1 mL accurately and you may want to double check/calibrate to see if you actually are dosing that small amount
Automatically with the GHL Doser 2.1.
All heads are calibrated and checked around every 4-6 weeks.

The GHL can accurately dose down to 0.1ml, which is roughly the same as a single drip from the dosing line.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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It is often the case that folks are not dosing what they think, but if you've checked that, its not the case.

in general, there's no reason to be concerned if you have confidence in your testing. Many things with the solutions, the dosers, and the tank processes might lead to some imbalanced demand and it is not a problem.
 

blasterman

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How can he check it? Reef chemicals are not regulated by the FDA. The manufacturer can put whatever they want want in the bottle and call it what they want. Back when I was a noob I bought a two part kit, and when the alk bottle was empty saw the bottom was caked solid with bicarb that wouldn't dissolve.

This is why you buy bulk baking soda and calcium chloride and make it yourself. You insure the ratio is correct and know exactly whats going in it.
 
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kingy138

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It is often the case that folks are not dosing what they think, but if you've checked that, its not the case.

in general, there's no reason to be concerned if you have confidence in your testing. Many things with the solutions, the dosers, and the tank processes might lead to some imbalanced demand and it is not a problem.
Ok great, I was starting to think some chemical trickery was going on, making me think my calcium was higher than it was.

I am confident in my testing (as confident as you can be), consistently accurate, within reason, against ICP's, which are themselves always consistent and frequent.

It's a young tank with lots of frags, I can only therefore assume as they continue to grow and demand increases, that things will even out.

Thanks for the help
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Ok great, I was starting to think some chemical trickery was going on, making me think my calcium was higher than it was.

I am confident in my testing (as confident as you can be), consistently accurate, within reason, against ICP's, which are themselves always consistent and frequent.

It's a young tank with lots of frags, I can only therefore assume as they continue to grow and demand increases, that things will even out.

Thanks for the help
You're welcome.

Happy Reefing. :)
 
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