My ATI Essentials experience so far

Leyth

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Hey guys, I figured I would post my experience over the last 1.5-2 months of switching to ATI essentials. I keep spreadsheets of almost everything I do so I figured I would share that with you guys for feedback and to provide help to newer people that are interested in getting started.

Real quick, here are the specs of my tank. I can provide more info on request:
Red Sea Reefer 350 (91 gal) Mixed reef SPS, LPS, Anemone
ATI 8 bulb fixture + 1 reefbrite strip
1 Gyre Xf250 running at 30-60% throughout the day and 1 MP40 running at 50% pulsing throughout the day

My inhabitants are:
2 Clowns
2 Chromis
1 Yellow eye Tang
1 Coral Beauty(in the sump about to move him)
Bubble algae

In my spreadsheet, I am only posting the dates from where I started ATI essentials. Before that, I was having fluctuations all over the place as this tank was kind of new. I upgraded my 17 gallon to this so there was a bit of a cycle. So due to that, there has been some awkward balancing act going on due to my calcium was so high as I started the dosing. ATI essentials recommends you dose the same amount for all 3 parts. I believe my scenario made sense to break this rule, hopefully they'll see this post and let me know what they think.

- If the box is blank it's because I didn't run that test on that day.
- Notes are what I've done after performing the test that day
- When I increase and decrease dosing, it's over a 24 hour period

Tank1.PNG


My observations over the last couple months:

- So you can see here at 12/7 to 12/16 I had an alk swing. This doesn't seem like a big difference, but it wrecked a couple of my SPS. JF Fox Flame is the one that got hit the hardest. Now this could have been due to that frag was not as healthy as I thought to begin with. It's pretty low in my tank and possibly wasn't getting the light it needed. Or it could also be my nitrates are at 25 which is a little high for SPS. I'm trying to figure out how to lower it without doing a water change.

- Another thing to consider is that I dosed more nitrates right before this swing, this could have provided much more food to the corals which in turn consumed more Alk. Also, not noted, but I was feeding heavily during this time. I've cut that back a bit, but it's hard to explain how much is a lot or not because it's all relative. You have to figure out the sweet spot for feeding yourself in my opinion. Whatever it was, the key here is to not go a week without testing alkalinity like I did.

This is my current dosing schedule:

- I'm about to spread it out more so that I'm not dumping in so much at one time.

Tank2.PNG


Conclusion:

I just ordered an ATI lab test so I'll report back with my numbers when I get that done. However, so far I'm really happy with ATI essentials. I am really happy not doing water changes. My tank is really happy from what I can tell. I'm getting really good growth on some SPS and LPS corals. It honestly feels like it's starting to pick up momentum as well. For example, I am noticing much more growth than I did a couple weeks ago. That is probably due to the stability that I have achieved in the last couple weeks too though.

Here is a picture of the tank:

 

Fishhands

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I wouldn't really call a few 10ths of a point a swing in alk. Nice job tracking this. I am thinking about what to start a new system with and was considering ati essentials. What did you use before? Are these numbers better?
 
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Leyth

Leyth

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I wouldn't really call a few 10ths of a point a swing in alk. Nice job tracking this. I am thinking about what to start a new system with and was considering ati essentials. What did you use before? Are these numbers better?

Yea, I wouldn't of thought that much of a change would be damaging. I think something else must have caused the bleaching. I'm not really sure.

Previously, I would just do water changes though. I would say this has been better due to my numbers staying a lot more stable.

I played with Seachem fusion a few times, but never followed a serious schedule with it. So I can't really comment on that.
 

Fishhands

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I was trying to decide between aquaforest and this one both are a three part with all nutrients involed. I use aquaforest salt so that is why them. I dont want to use triton since im not going to follow their turnover and fuge requirement. Are there any special requirements with ati?
 
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Leyth

Leyth

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I was trying to decide between aquaforest and this one both are a three part with all nutrients involed. I use aquaforest salt so that is why them. I dont want to use triton since im not going to follow their turnover and fuge requirement. Are there any special requirements with ati?

Nope there aren't really any requirements. You can run a fuge if you want, but you don't have to. Just gotta keep your Alk between 7.0-7.9 and for most people, nothing else is needed to be done.
 

ATI North America

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Great write up Leyth! Glad to hear the system is working well for you. More growth and color is certainly what I have seen.

Have you considered some carbon dosing (Vinegar, Vodka or Sugar) to manage your nitrates? If you are using an ATI DP6 doser you have plenty of dosing pumps to quickly add a bottle of carbon. With nitrates at 25, be sure and start very slowly to avoid a catastrophic bacterial growth and loss of oxygen.
 
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Leyth

Leyth

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Great write up Leyth! Glad to hear the system is working well for you. More growth and color is certainly what I have seen.

Have you considered some carbon dosing (Vinegar, Vodka or Sugar) to manage your nitrates? If you are using an ATI DP6 doser you have plenty of dosing pumps to quickly add a bottle of carbon. With nitrates at 25, be sure and start very slowly to avoid a catastrophic bacterial growth and loss of oxygen.

Thanks. I'm not really sure how I want to take care of that nitrate issue. I've cut back on my feeding amounts so I was hoping that would take care of it in time. What do you think?
 

LiquidFunk

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Thanks. I'm not really sure how I want to take care of that nitrate issue. I've cut back on my feeding amounts so I was hoping that would take care of it in time. What do you think?

I think not enough people dose carbon. Once you see how well it works you'll likely never go back. Back in my days of owning an LFS I even dosed my FO systems to keep nutrients down. It reduced algae, reduced nitrates and made for healthier fish. It seems unnatural at first, but when you realize all you are doing is growing bacteria that gets skimmed out it makes a lot of sense. If you already have a dosing pump, its even super cheap.

Keep in mind you must have a solid skimmer to make it work.
 
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Leyth

Leyth

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I think not enough people dose carbon. Once you see how well it works you'll likely never go back. Back in my days of owning an LFS I even dosed my FO systems to keep nutrients down. It reduced algae, reduced nitrates and made for healthier fish. It seems unnatural at first, but when you realize all you are doing is growing bacteria that gets skimmed out it makes a lot of sense. If you already have a dosing pump, its even super cheap.

Keep in mind you must have a solid skimmer to make it work.

I used carbon on my nano tank and I agree, it looked great and that tank was really striving. What made me go away from it was the claims that carbon strips some good things out of the water. I feel like that's one of the reef topics that starts a debate that never ends so I don't want to do that lol. However, I will ask what do you think is a better way of using carbon? Dosing it or using a reactor? I do have my tank hard plumbed and there is one line off the return that is available for a reactor at the moment. I was considering experimenting with running carbon for a few days a month to see if it made any difference before you guys mentioned carbon.
 

ATI North America

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I used carbon on my nano tank and I agree, it looked great and that tank was really striving. What made me go away from it was the claims that carbon strips some good things out of the water. I feel like that's one of the reef topics that starts a debate that never ends so I don't want to do that lol. However, I will ask what do you think is a better way of using carbon? Dosing it or using a reactor? I do have my tank hard plumbed and there is one line off the return that is available for a reactor at the moment. I was considering experimenting with running carbon for a few days a month to see if it made any difference before you guys mentioned carbon.

Well I am pretty sure bacteria needs more than just PO4, NO3 and C to grow, so I would imagine other "good stuff" is consumed as well. Keep in mind the ATI Essentials will also be dosing it back.

I'd recommend dosing vodka, especially given your pH struggles (vinegar will reduce it further). Just start out with 5ml per day, do it mid day since oxygen will be at its highest. I think even at 5ml per day you will see a fairly significant reduction in your nitrates.
 
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Finhead

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I used carbon on my nano tank and I agree, it looked great and that tank was really striving. What made me go away from it was the claims that carbon strips some good things out of the water. I feel like that's one of the reef topics that starts a debate that never ends so I don't want to do that lol. However, I will ask what do you think is a better way of using carbon? Dosing it or using a reactor? I do have my tank hard plumbed and there is one line off the return that is available for a reactor at the moment. I was considering experimenting with running carbon for a few days a month to see if it made any difference before you guys mentioned carbon.

I used carbon with my last tank (Nano 21gal) as well worked great, the new tank with th ATI Essentials I went with a Brightwell Bio Brick and consistantly have 0-0.5 Nitrates with heavy feeding of the fish. It really works well and fairly low cost to try.

http://brightwellaquatics.com/products/xport_bio_brick.php
 

monkiboy

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I used carbon with my last tank (Nano 21gal) as well worked great, the new tank with th ATI Essentials I went with a Brightwell Bio Brick and consistantly have 0-0.5 Nitrates with heavy feeding of the fish. It really works well and fairly low cost to try.
have you read the aluminum leaching results of the brightwell bricks in the marinepure thread before using them? have your ICP results come back with elevated levels?
 

Finhead

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have you read the aluminum leaching results of the brightwell bricks in the marinepure thread before using them? have your ICP results come back with elevated levels?

I have not found any information on Aluminum Leaching from Bio Bricks, I have read a lot of them from Marine Pure blocks but not Brightwell.

I couldn't tell you what my levels are since you can't get the ICP test kits in Canada at this time. There is exactly one place to buy Essentials in Canada and no place to buy there ICP tests. And all AF and Triton kits are backordered for the last 3 months.
 
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Leyth

Leyth

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How long are you bottles lasting of the ATI essentials. Are the super concentrated like the Triton?

For me, I started with the 500ml box and it's lasted about 2 months. However, I am dosing on the low end. Many people dose much more than me due to their corals are larger.
 

Finhead

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How long are you bottles lasting of the ATI essentials. Are the super concentrated like the Triton?

They work out approx the same as BRS soda Ash or Randy's 2 part recipe #1 if you currently used either should be a fairly close.
 

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