To dose or not to dose, that is the question.

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How often do you dose?

  • Always.

    Votes: 25 54.3%
  • Never.

    Votes: 4 8.7%
  • When needed.

    Votes: 17 37.0%
  • What is dosing?

    Votes: 0 0.0%

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olonmv

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I’m new into the reef game and am curious about when or when not to dose. I’ve been pretty good about keeping up with my weekly water changes but, there are times when life just happens and I can’t get to it. Which brings me to my question. If weekly water changes are performed and kept up with, is dosing necessary? And, if water changes are put off for whatever reason, when is the right time to dose? I ask because there have been times when I couldn’t perform water changes but am able to test water and usually my numbers are within range. What is the dosing procedures you guys use and when and why?
 
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olonmv

olonmv

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There will come a point relative to your Stoney type corals where they will consume more Alk and CA than your water change can replenish.

This would be where you start.
I’m trying to gauge when that point is. So I’m looking for options and opinions on the subject.
 

LordofCinder

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personally I don't think there is any need to even consider dosing until a tank has hit the one year mark (except for advanced hobbyists)

The animals and corals use certain elements to grow (calcium, magnesium, etc...), depending how many animals/coral you have, they might absorb the elements faster than your water change can replace. By testing, you can figure out exactly which elements are being used faster than can be replaced by water changes, and you can actually figure out how much of that element is being used on a daily basis, and thats how you figure out what you need to dose, and how much of it to dose.

Its something thats important to fully understand because you can easily ruin your tank with dosing mistakes.
 
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olonmv

olonmv

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There are a ton of dosing options, how does one decide which dosing methods to take? I’m in the infancy of reef keeping and there’s so much info out there when it comes to dosing that it’s overwhelming. Even if I’ve gone a lil
less than a month without a WC my parameters test out within range of my normal parameters. This is why I’m confused on when or not to dose.
 

jamesdomini4

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My tank is a little over 2 months old and I keep only SPS. I started dosing last week when I saw a steady consumption of 0.1 dkh per day.

Test alk everyday at the same time. Once you see a decrease of 0.1 a day, it is time to start dosing (not an expert opinion, it’s just what I did).

I started dosing tropic marine all for reef. It can be a little confusing to dose (as it is a slow release formula and has a carbon dosing effect). ESV b-Ionic is a crowd favorite 2 part dosing solution.
 
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olonmv

olonmv

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My tank is a little over 2 months old and I keep only SPS. I started dosing last week when I saw a steady consumption of 0.1 dkh per day.

Test alk everyday at the same time. Once you see a decrease of 0.1 a day, it is time to start dosing (not an expert opinion, it’s just what I did).

I started dosing tropic marine all for reef. It can be a little confusing to dose (as it is a slow release formula and has a carbon dosing effect). ESV b-Ionic is a crowd favorite 2 part dosing solution.
I’ll give it a go but it just seems like weekly WC’s replenish what drops. My tank is a nano and has been up and running since October. I have a mixture of LPS and easy SPS. It just seems that whenever I test there’s never really a change in my parameters. Either I’m missing something or my coral just don’t consume a whole Lot.
 

jamesdomini4

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I’ll give it a go but it just seems like weekly WC’s replenish what drops. My tank is a nano and has been up and running since October. I have a mixture of LPS and easy SPS. It just seems that whenever I test there’s never really a change in my parameters. Either I’m missing something or my coral just don’t consume a whole Lot.
I didn’t have much alk consumption until the 1.5 month mark. That’s when it ramped up.
 

Dkmoo

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Entirely dependent on how much is consumed a week, at some point wc will not replenish enough to keep up to the minimum levels.

Ie, assume your salt mix has 9dkh and your talk consume 0.5 a day. After 1 week you will be at 5.5dkh. Math will tell you that a 20% WC will only get it to 6.2dkh which will still be too low.
 

Jekyl

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I’m new into the reef game and am curious about when or when not to dose. I’ve been pretty good about keeping up with my weekly water changes but, there are times when life just happens and I can’t get to it. Which brings me to my question. If weekly water changes are performed and kept up with, is dosing necessary? And, if water changes are put off for whatever reason, when is the right time to dose? I ask because there have been times when I couldn’t perform water changes but am able to test water and usually my numbers are within range. What is the dosing procedures you guys use and when and why?
Sounds like you're not testing parameters. Dosing kicks in when normal water changes don't keep parameters in an acceptable range. I dose, but hardly ever change water anymore.
 
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olonmv

olonmv

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Sounds like you're not testing parameters. Dosing kicks in when normal water changes don't keep parameters in an acceptable range. I dose, but hardly ever change water anymore.
I can post the results from my tests on the paper I keep them on (dates back to a lil after October). I test. Perhaps not as much as I should but, I test non the less. That’s why I’m here asking the question. My parameters are pretty darn stable. This is why I’m confused on the dosing. I change water almost weekly and have never dosed. My alk, calcium and magnesium are always within acceptable ranges when I test.
 
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olonmv

olonmv

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Entirely dependent on how much is consumed a week, at some point wc will not replenish enough to keep up to the minimum levels.

Ie, assume your salt mix has 9dkh and your talk consume 0.5 a day. After 1 week you will be at 5.5dkh. Math will tell you that a 20% WC will only get it to 6.2dkh which will still be too low.
Every time I test, my DKH is always above 8 below 9. I’ll start doing daily test on alk but it barely changes from that realm, wc or not.
 

Kellie in CA

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I’ll give it a go but it just seems like weekly WC’s replenish what drops. My tank is a nano and has been up and running since October. I have a mixture of LPS and easy SPS. It just seems that whenever I test there’s never really a change in my parameters. Either I’m missing something or my coral just don’t consume a whole Lot.
I have a nano too. Now that it has been a few years and it is fully stocked with coral I have to dose for alk and calcium. Before, weekly water changes were enough. It may be a while before you have to worry about it.
 
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olonmv

olonmv

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I have a nano too. Now that it has been a few years and it is fully stocked with coral I have to dose for alk and calcium. Before, weekly water changes were enough. It may be a while before you have to worry about it.
This is reassuring. Thank you. I don’t have a ton of coral at the moment, maybe that’s why my numbers stay relatively within limits?
 

Jekyl

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I can post the results from my tests on the paper I keep them on (dates back to a lil after October). I test. Perhaps not as much as I should but, I test non the less. That’s why I’m here asking the question. My parameters are pretty darn stable. This is why I’m confused on the dosing. I change water almost weekly and have never dosed. My alk, calcium and magnesium are always within acceptable ranges when I test.
Then there's no reason to dose. I usually go a couple months between water changes and have to keep up on the big 3
 
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olonmv

olonmv

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Then there's no reason to dose. I usually go a couple months between water changes and have to keep up on the big 3
Longest I’ve gone without a wc is close to a month and I tested periodically but noticed that my numbers really didn’t vary. Corals would slow a little im growth but that was it. I’ll keep up with the wc routine for now. I just needed some clarification on the matter because reading about when and how to dose was making my head spin.
 

Daniel

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Voted for dosing - solely for consistency. I think it removes the human element out of it too, which if it involves me will be prone to error :D

Of course, monitoring what you're dosing is very important... each hobbyist will have different husbandry preferences, habits, and approaches. What works best for you is the most important!
 

attiland

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+1 on dosing no matter how little the daily dose you need. Simply because it happens no matter wat it is worth it. Latter you just bump up the dosage.
My tank need 10 ml of All For Reef + some extra Alk and MG on top but I still spread it out over the day wit 1ml portions. Simply because I noticed the corals like it that way more.
 
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olonmv

olonmv

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Voted for dosing - solely for consistency. I think it removes the human element out of it too, which if it involves me will be prone to error :D

Of course, monitoring what you're dosing is very important... each hobbyist will have different husbandry preferences, habits, and approaches. What works best for you is the most important!
I keep an eye on my corals and fish behavior and they are consistently happy (except when I almost murder my monti cap). My numbers have been consistent as well but I kept reading about dosing and I just wanted to make sure that I wasn’t neglecting my responsibilities. I’m glad that dosing is one less thing I have to worry about right now. My cap is recovered and my mandarin is on frozen foods!
 
BRS

PICK the Most Tested & Least Tested Parameters of your Tank (Pick 2)

  • Calcium (most)

    Votes: 24 6.2%
  • Alkalinity (most)

    Votes: 275 71.4%
  • Magnesium (most)

    Votes: 3 0.8%
  • Phosphate (most)

    Votes: 24 6.2%
  • PH (most)

    Votes: 41 10.6%
  • Nitrate (most)

    Votes: 36 9.4%
  • Nitrite (most)

    Votes: 2 0.5%
  • Ammonia (most)

    Votes: 8 2.1%
  • (least) Calcium

    Votes: 6 1.6%
  • (least) Alkalinity

    Votes: 2 0.5%
  • (least) Magnesium

    Votes: 29 7.5%
  • (least) Phosphate

    Votes: 5 1.3%
  • (least) PH

    Votes: 14 3.6%
  • (least) Nitrate

    Votes: 3 0.8%
  • (least) Nitrite

    Votes: 120 31.2%
  • (least) Ammonia

    Votes: 157 40.8%
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