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

BRS

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%

  • Total voters
    46
OP
olonmv

olonmv

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
710
Reaction score
808
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Houston
+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.
I’m gonna start a daily testing regimen on the 3 bigs and see how they move, then I’ll button down a dosing routine. So far it seems that my wc helps keep the trace elements needed for the corals at a constant.
 
OP
olonmv

olonmv

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
710
Reaction score
808
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Houston
I don’t want my Alk to vary anymore that .5dkh at any time, the smaller, the better.
So far I think I’m in the green as far as dosing goes but I’m glad that I have some sort of direction in which to go when it comes to dosing. Now I just have to rummage through all the products out there and see which one(s) suit my tank needs.
 

Aqua Man

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 19, 2020
Messages
891
Reaction score
1,115
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
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.
Some parameters will change throughout the day. Alk is one. Text at the same time every day if possible. I prefer in the morning right when lights come on.

My tanks get a daily dose of alk supplement every day. Water change is every 2-3 weeks.
 
OP
olonmv

olonmv

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
710
Reaction score
808
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Houston
Some parameters will change throughout the day. Alk is one. Text at the same time every day if possible. I prefer in the morning right when lights come on.

My tanks get a daily dose of alk supplement every day. Water change is every 2-3 weeks.

Definitely will do. My tests will have to be in the evening. My day starts at 4:30am so I can leave my house at 5 for work. In between that time i feed my fish and shut off all circulation so that my mandarin can easily eat his frozen treats while simultaneously getting ready for work. Definitely gonna see what swings I get so that I can get on the dosing train and reduce my water changes even though my wc aren’t that demanding since I got a nano tank).
 

Stain

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 13, 2021
Messages
123
Reaction score
138
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Ontario
Don't dose until you are activly testing for what you are dosing. Within a week of adding some acro's in my new tank I needed to stop the daily small water changes (2gal daily, 30gal system) and hit the doser. I use esv 2 part with a doser, and mag by hand in small amounts daily, might put that on a doser as well.
 
OP
olonmv

olonmv

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
710
Reaction score
808
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Houston
Don't dose until you are activly testing for what you are dosing. Within a week of adding some acro's in my new tank I needed to stop the daily small water changes (2gal daily, 30gal system) and hit the doser. I use esv 2 part with a doser, and mag by hand in small amounts daily, might put that on a doser as well.
I don’t tend to jump the gun on things. I will definitely wait on the dosing until I compile enough data to get an understanding on what is needed.
 

fish farmer

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 13, 2017
Messages
2,135
Reaction score
3,129
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Brandon, VT
I may have a different take on this. When I started my first reef years ago(2000) I started dosing/dripping kalk literally a month after I cycled my tank.

Why you may ask? Why not make the mistakes of overdosing, etc. before you have corals in your tank. Why wait until the need arises? If your corals grow and you are successful, you will eventually have to tweek dosing when you have a tank full of livestock. I remember having a good growth of coralline early on so I was confident my tank would handle stony corals.

I was testing weekly and doing twice monthly water changes and was playing with a lot of low budget dosing systems so I made my errors early on. I was also using basic salt mixes like IO which seemed to mix to lower params than I wanted.
 

Dkmoo

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 30, 2020
Messages
1,208
Reaction score
1,352
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Nyc
I would actually recommend against "dosing no matter what the dose level". Many dosers do not maintain perfect peristalic seal so air bubbles accumulate. When the dosage is large enough or frequent enough, this is a non-issue bc the air bubble accumulation is constantly flushed out via each dose. When you do very infrequent or very small doses, this airbubble accumulation becomes an issue and will result in inconsistent or empty pump doses.
 

attiland

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 22, 2020
Messages
1,190
Reaction score
1,011
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
United Kingdom
I’m gonna start a daily testing regimen on the 3 bigs and see how they move, then I’ll button down a dosing routine. So far it seems that my wc helps keep the trace elements needed for the corals at a constant.
The problem with doing it with water change is the swings it causes. With dosing you can keep the 3 mains in level while water changes do the rest. When you start dosing you will realise the water changes can become less regular and who doesn’t like just watching the fis instead of carrying buckets. ;)
 

attiland

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 22, 2020
Messages
1,190
Reaction score
1,011
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
United Kingdom
I would actually recommend against "dosing no matter what the dose level". Many dosers do not maintain perfect peristalic seal so air bubbles accumulate. When the dosage is large enough or frequent enough, this is a non-issue bc the air bubble accumulation is constantly flushed out via each dose. When you do very infrequent or very small doses, this airbubble accumulation becomes an issue and will result in inconsistent or empty pump doses.
Change dozer. I use Kamoer F4. Cheap(ish) doing a brilliant job and no bubbles. I run dosing every 20 minutes of something between 0.5-2ml a time during the day
 

Dkmoo

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 30, 2020
Messages
1,208
Reaction score
1,352
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Nyc
Change dozer. I use Kamoer F4. Cheap(ish) doing a brilliant job and no bubbles. I run dosing every 20 minutes of something between 0.5-2ml a time during the day
When you dose that frequently its non issue. Every 20 mins and bubbles will never have a chance to form. I'm talking about 1 to 2 ml once per day, which very well could be the case for OPs tank given its currently able to maintain stable levels close to the "fresh mixed batch SW" levels, which suggests that his tanks daily consumption is extremely low.
 

Biokabe

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 21, 2016
Messages
1,114
Reaction score
1,697
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Tacoma, WA
You have a nano tank. With a small tank, it doesn't take much dosing to throw your levels out of whack.

Testing every day can get tiresome real fast, and you go through crazy amounts of reagents that way. What I would suggest is this:

Test, at a minimum, twice a week, both at the same time of day. Once, in the middle of your water change interval. Second, right after a water change. It also wouldn't hurt to test a third time - the day before your water change.

The point of that is to see what your tank's consumption rate is. If your levels don't drop more than 10% in between water changes, I wouldn't bother dosing. For example, your CA might bet at 450 ppm right after a water change, and 430 ppm right before a water change. I'd stay away from dosing in that case, especially with a nano tank. If you overestimate how much to dose, or if your doser loses calibration or keeps running when it shouldn't (both of which have happened to me), then you can easily overdo it and possibly hurt your livestock.

The reason that we dose is because sometimes, highly productive tanks consume far more of the essential elements than we can replace with a water change. Keeping up with that situation requires either a more aggressive water change schedule, or regular dosing. Some people could go from 450 ppm calcium to 380 ppm in the course of a day. In those situations, you basically have to dose to keep up with your corals, or you risk them stalling their growth or even dying for lack of necessary elements.
 
OP
olonmv

olonmv

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
710
Reaction score
808
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Houston
Ok, seems like my corals have access to this thread. Got home yesterday from work and noticed my corals a little on the sad side. Got into gear and started testing (tested all twice just to be sure my results were accurate). last water change was on the 17th of July (3 gallons) These were my parameters

ammonia, nitrite we’re at zero (API)
Ph 8 (API)
Nitrate 6ppm. (Red Sea)
PO4 .04ppm (Red Sea)
Cal. 420 (Red Sea)
Mag 1320 (Red Sea)
Alk 7.8 (Red Sea)

my zoas, that have been happy since the dawn of time, looked like some were melting (at 4 am yesterday they were closed with white tops) when I got home they looked dwindled or like they had moved which created gaps between some of the polyps, my hammer that’s also been happy for a long while, was semi-retracted and some of its tentacles looked shriveled. My birdsnest (newish) has been goin through STN. I dosed just over a gram of baking soda with RO water last night as per a dosing calculator. Was that the wrong move? I really don’t wanna do a water change because it seems like my no3 and po3 are where they should be and I’m Leary of dropping it because a while back low No4 and PO4 made it easy for dinos to creep in and that has me traumatized. Is there something that I’m missing because I can’t figure out what’s goin on? Side note: I’ve been running AB+ spectrum with a David saxby twist on my AI prime for a few months and everything has thrived.
 
Last edited:

BiggestE222

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 8, 2021
Messages
449
Reaction score
359
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
carrollton
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?
Test water. It will tell you. That and the corals. There are things like PH that water changes won’t resolve.
 
OP
olonmv

olonmv

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
710
Reaction score
808
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Houston
Test water. It will tell you. That and the corals. There are things like PH that water changes won’t resolve.
After posting this thread I had decided to do a wc on Saturday and start a testing regimen the next day to see what my tank consumption was but, my hand was forced to start yesterday without a wc. I explain in a response above.
 

BiggestE222

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 8, 2021
Messages
449
Reaction score
359
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
carrollton
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

As said many people don’t want to change 20% of water per week might ge easy in a Nani. But if you have a 200* gallon tank it’s not feasible. Yes some do AWC but many don’t. It’s water with major and minor compounds and elements. You test them if they are going down you need to replenish. I only dose kalk. About 3 liters a day. If I did not my calcium and ALK would plummet. Even though I do change about 25% every 2 weeks.
 
OP
olonmv

olonmv

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
710
Reaction score
808
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Houston
Doing WC’s really don’t bother me, especially now that I’ve set up my 32gallon RO/di bin but, that brings my nutrients down to an undesirable level for my comfort. Even with extended wc periods it seemed like everything was on par but yesterday lit a fire under my butt. I just want my livestock to be ok.
 

BiggestE222

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 8, 2021
Messages
449
Reaction score
359
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
carrollton
Change dozer. I use Kamoer F4. Cheap(ish) doing a brilliant job and no bubbles. I run dosing every 20 minutes of something between 0.5-2ml a time during the day
I have a hyggar. Never had air bubble issues. Dose 60 ml of kalk every 30 minutes 24/7. Keeps ALK at 10 DKH calcium 460. Red Sea 200XL
 

Attachments

  • 10933B8A-23F0-40E7-81AE-24B33BA98783.png
    10933B8A-23F0-40E7-81AE-24B33BA98783.png
    464.7 KB · Views: 16
  • D3F0FD82-B1C2-4564-8CF1-CCB9F513DE66.jpeg
    D3F0FD82-B1C2-4564-8CF1-CCB9F513DE66.jpeg
    99.9 KB · Views: 14

Aqua Man

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 19, 2020
Messages
891
Reaction score
1,115
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
. I dosed just over a gram of baking soda with RO water last night as per a dosing calculator. Was that the wrong move?
That seems like a big dose at one time. Calculators are great, they work only if you know EXACTLY your total water volume. Even then I dose on the conservative side.

I dose 5ml solution daily to keep my Alk where I want it. I use soda ash, which is baked baking soda mixed with RO. Since I dose daily, i mixed a whole gallon at once and use a syringe to pull out what I need.

What is your target for Alk?
I’d suggest test for Alk, add supplement, then test again an hr or so later to see how much Alk moved. Take good notes

There is no reason to test for ammonia or nitrite unless you suspect a major problem. Like a fish gasping.

My tank is mostly softy and LPS coral. So I only test for Calcium every few months. It’s always in range. Water changes keep it in check. Alkalinity/carbonates get used up the quickest. All coral need it and if you have thriving Coralline Alk really gets used up.
 
OP
olonmv

olonmv

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
710
Reaction score
808
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Houston
That seems like a big dose at one time. Calculators are great, they work only if you know EXACTLY your total water volume. Even then I dose on the conservative side.

I dose 5ml solution daily to keep my Alk where I want it. I use soda ash, which is baked baking soda mixed with RO. Since I dose daily, i mixed a whole gallon at once and use a syringe to pull out what I need.

What is your target for Alk?
I’d suggest test for Alk, add supplement, then test again an hr or so later to see how much Alk moved. Take good notes

There is no reason to test for ammonia or nitrite unless you suspect a major problem. Like a fish gasping.

My tank is mostly softy and LPS coral. So I only test for Calcium every few months. It’s always in range. Water changes keep it in check. Alkalinity/carbonates get used up the quickest. All coral need it and if you have thriving Coralline Alk really gets used up.
I was just about to put up my test results for today. I’m really tryna button down the hatch’s

alk 9.2
Cal 410
Mag 1280
Temp 78.8
Salinity hasn’t changed (ATO)

Red Sea tests

there’s been no significant change in coral for the worse.

My target alk is 9. It’s a bit above So, for today I’ll just let it ride and rest again tomorrow. Cal and mag are usually in those ranges. Admittedly I haven’t been doing my duties. I’m balancing a ton right now. Got a kid starting college next month and 4 more to groom. But when I have tested I’ve kept note of the numbers. Weekly Water changes were doing the trick but it’s time to graduate and keep up with my demands. I’ve cadillaced long enough and it’s time to cinch the ol belt. I’m looking for hands on experience and critique. I thought last nights dose was a tad much but it seems like things are ok. I hope I’m not wrong.
 
BRS

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

  • Calcium (most)

    Votes: 24 6.2%
  • Alkalinity (most)

    Votes: 275 71.2%
  • Magnesium (most)

    Votes: 3 0.8%
  • Phosphate (most)

    Votes: 24 6.2%
  • PH (most)

    Votes: 42 10.9%
  • Nitrate (most)

    Votes: 36 9.3%
  • 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 31.1%
  • (least) Ammonia

    Votes: 158 40.9%
Waterbox Aquariums: The Finest Aquariums
Top