Tropic Marin All-For-Reef: Any downsides to it?

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Two apparent drawbacks are cost, and the fact that you are stuck at a fixed alk and calcium ratio that may or may not meet the mix of demands that any given tank has from calcification, water changes, nitrate dosing, sulfur denitrators, and other minor things that can impact the alk to calcium demand ratio.

Two others are lack of ability to immediately measure the alk added (if that matters to you) and a small amount of organic carbon dosing effect.
 
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Waynerock

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I have been On It for a couple months after using fusion 1&2 for years. At 12 ml a month it cost me 33 for the 1000 ml bottle every 83 days and worth every penny. I do need to add about 6ml every week and half of Alk to top it off but cal and mg stay rock solid. If I dosed more per day to keep Alk level my cal and mag would go up. It only really drops .4 in that time and for all I know it could be user error on the Hanna checker.
 

RBReefing

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I've been using AFR for a couple weeks and really like it. Granted I dose a 20 gallon Waterbox Cube without high demand at the moment.

But I feel like a public service announcement needs to be made. Looking at now page three of questions on what it is, how it works, how to dose, and how it compares with two part, I think it needs to be said you really need to understand two part dosing before jumping in with AFR or Carbo-Calcium. All For Reef is maintenance dosing, not for individual point adjustments to Alk, Ca, Mg.

If you've mastered two part dosing (or three when you add in mag) then switching to AFR or Carbo-Calcium should be no big deal. You already know how to accurately measure and gauge the uptake of your tank. You understand why you run the DKH level you do, how nutrients play a role in the proper Alk to Ca to Mg ratios, and decided on a salt mix that matches your target parameters.

I could be crazy here, too. I'm sure some people are thinking "Hey I'll buy All For Reef and magic will happen." It's a bit more than that, and it's not complicated.

1. Get your Alk, Ca, and Mg stable at the level you want to run your tank at.
2. Dose AFR once a day, twice if you understand all this and the impact of doing so.
3. Make dosing adjustments based on Alk, not calcium, not magnesium.
4. Test your Alk at the same time of day, 24 hours after dosing.
5. If Alk is dropping, increase your dose. If Alk is rising, lower your dose. I may see a 0.1ppm to 0.2ppm fluctuation between testing and I adjust the dose accordingly.
6. If Alk dropped or raised dramatically, like near 1 point or more, I suggest not dosing AFR because consumption was not stable to begin with and you need to get back in check before maintenance dosing. Or use two part individually to bring values back in check, then monitor and adjust accordingly.

Sorry if anyone takes this as a rant. I'm really trying to help coach you on what I've learned and how I apply AFR to my tank.
I like what your saying... and you covered a lot of what I’m about to say... it sounds more like Tropic Marin needs to do a better job at educating people on how to use their AFR product. Seems like they would sell more if they made it easier. BRS uses this model of “education” to make reefing easier or more digestible for the masses.

just my 2 cents, but TM could do a better job on this or BRS could do a video.
 

saf1

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Definitely lame! I'll have the team here double check all of the pricing. The kit price should be the same as if you were to buy everything individually. The idea behind the kit was so that you could click order on one "item" rather than hunt down all of the components. By my math, it looks like the "kit" price is $3.00 above the cost of buying everything separate.
Not sure I would have said "lame" but it should equal more or less the same price. Then again if you guys are already grouping it on the shelfs in a box then there is a bit of extra effort on your / brs part so 3 bucks isn't a big deal. Time is money, right?

Then again I didn't have much of a issue finding the parts and adding them to my cart. In any case I had a fun time making the stuff and already started to use it. Tip - if you can find the Voss 800 ML glass bottles they make great dosing containers and perfect size for a single batch.
 

saf1

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I like what your saying... and you covered a lot of what I’m about to say... it sounds more like Tropic Marin needs to do a better job at educating people on how to use their AFR product. Seems like they would sell more if they made it easier. BRS uses this model of “education” to make reefing easier or more digestible for the masses.

just my 2 cents, but TM could do a better job on this or BRS could do a video.
Not sure I agree but not a huge deal. TM on their part is doing something uncommon in this hobby by telling us how to make the product, on our own, cheaper than what they sell it for. Sure, we are buying their products so it is a win win but still. Do we see Red Sea or Brightwell doing something like this? Not knocking them per say - just as a reference.

TO your point about education though. There are a couple videos out there that I believe Lou (TM) is discussing how to use the product. I think it was also mentioned in the DIY BRS thread.
 
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Bpp124987

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I think afr is great, and mixing it up per the instructions is way more even greater-er.

my experience though has it puts my ca and mg quite high for the alk. But from what I’ve tried to infer from randy h-f and others is that those high ca and mg levels aren’t really an issue. I do run my dosers to slightly under dose what’s needed for alk and occasionally dose up with soda ash to correct (seems safer than risking runaway too high alk).
 

Lou Ekus

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There are many benefits to the single solution Al-For-Reef approach. Not the least of which, is the maintenance of the proper ionic balance in the system. This is due to the fact that there is no excess sodium chloride formed when the Ca and alkalinity go into solution.
The ONLY real "drawback", if you can even call it that" is the fact that the single solution of All-For-Reef gives you that fixed ration of Ca, alkalinity, Mg and trace elements. In some cases, periodic individual adjustments will need to get made. When this does show up, it usually shows up as a need for an addition of a small amount of additional alkalinity every few weeks.
The cost is not really a factor, especially if you are mixing the components together yourself, when you consider the amount you are dosing, and that this is a single concentrated solution, in comparison to dosing lower concentrated solutions of Ca, alkalinity, Mg and trace elements separately all with their separate individual costs.
The delay in being able to measure the alkalinity addition, that some people are experiencing, has not proven to be an issue for anyone in the long run. In fact, people seem to find it pretty easy to "dial the product in" to their system's demands over time. It is true that in many systems, it takes a day or so for the alkalinity to show up in the form that conventional test kits use for measurement. We are working on new ways of testing this form of alkalinity that we hope to have available soon. But in the meantime, a relaxed approach to this measurement, in relation to time, with existing kh test kits has proven to be very effective.
Finally, the very small, virtually inconsequential, amount of carbon dosing that is a result of the calcium formate metabolization, could be considered a benefit or a none factor. But I'm not sure how it can be labeled as a drawback considering its extremely small value. I doubt that it could be measured or even noticed in practice.
 

johnz7

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How long does it take all for reef to kick In?
Also I tested my tank today and my calcium was at 500 and alkalinity was at 8.5. What do you guys recommend I do. To adjust or do I keep it like that?
 
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Lou Ekus

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How long does it take all for reef to kick In?
Also I tested my tank today and my calcium was at 500 and alkalinity was at 8.5. What do you guys recommend I do. To adjust or do I keep it like that?
As I said in my previous post..."The delay in being able to measure the alkalinity addition, that some people are experiencing, has not proven to be an issue for anyone in the long run. In fact, people seem to find it pretty easy to "dial the product in" to their system's demands over time. It is true that in many systems, it takes a day or so for the alkalinity to show up in the form that conventional test kits use for measurement. We are working on new ways of testing this form of alkalinity that we hope to have available soon. But in the meantime, a relaxed approach to this measurement, in relation to time, with existing kh test kits has proven to be very effective. "

The amount of time it takes for the alkalinity to show up in conventional test kits varies from system to system. But after five days, you are certainly seeing it. At Ca-500 and Alkalinity-8.5, I would cut back my All-For-Reef dosing a little and let those numbers come down a little. In a perfect world, the Ca would be 420-450 and the alkalinity between 7-9 dkh. If the alkalinity starts to drop too low and the Ca still needs to come down a little, just add a little Balling B solution to supplement dkh a little. The Ca will continue to come down. When the values get to where you want them. Then you can increase the All-For-Reef slightly to maintain those new values.
 

johnz7

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As I said in my previous post..."The delay in being able to measure the alkalinity addition, that some people are experiencing, has not proven to be an issue for anyone in the long run. In fact, people seem to find it pretty easy to "dial the product in" to their system's demands over time. It is true that in many systems, it takes a day or so for the alkalinity to show up in the form that conventional test kits use for measurement. We are working on new ways of testing this form of alkalinity that we hope to have available soon. But in the meantime, a relaxed approach to this measurement, in relation to time, with existing kh test kits has proven to be very effective. "

The amount of time it takes for the alkalinity to show up in conventional test kits varies from system to system. But after five days, you are certainly seeing it. At Ca-500 and Alkalinity-8.5, I would cut back my All-For-Reef dosing a little and let those numbers come down a little. In a perfect world, the Ca would be 420-450 and the alkalinity between 7-9 dkh. If the alkalinity starts to drop too low and the Ca still needs to come down a little, just add a little Balling B solution to supplement dkh a little. The Ca will continue to come down. When the values get to where you want them. Then you can increase the All-For-Reef slightly to maintain those new values.
Thankyou so much
 

JustAnotherNanoTank

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Okay everyone, @Bulk Reef Supply, hold my beer, my time has come.

So I’ve been dosing all for reef for over 8 months now. I’ve gone through multiple bottles. I switched from BRS 3 part. (It’s not 2 part, I don’t care who you are, it needs the magnesium to be balanced in high demand situations. Especially high demand sps nano)

The original post about the brown stuff, yes I’ve bought bottles on my LFS shelf that may have been in the same place for months. There is some brown/red (what ever color you see). I shake the bottle a couple mins, poof, no more settled on the bottom.

Yes there are also some “floating” particles you can see in the bottle. Haven’t seen a problem from them, and I use every last drop from EVERY bottle.

And to be fair, I dose by hand twice every day, so I “swirl” the bottle around before pouring it into my measuring cup to dose it. I love being hands on with my tank every day when I get home from work, but that’s me. I guess I understand some people want to not touch their tanks... I mean, I don’t put my hands actually into my tank very often, but I do put my hands all over the outside constantly with feeding, dosing, and glass/equipment cleanings.

Yes, I use a Kamoer X1 doser when I go on vacation. I set it up usually a week prior to going to monitor it and dial it in. Haven’t had issues with that. If it’s a really long vacation my tank sitter knows what they’re doing. I understand not everyone has that, but believe me, someone you trust can be trained by you for what you want them to look at.

So as to address the fixed numbers you get “stuck at” with using this product. So my tank has stabilized as follows,
Calcium: ~420-440
Alkalinity: ~8.8-9.3
Magnesium:~1420-1440
Now, the reason the numbers I’ve given you are split is because over the last 7 months my tank has been very stable and never gone outside of this window. You have to understand that as coral grows, the rate that elements are used in your tank is not linear and will always change. It’s this thinking that has worked for me. Constant alkalinity monitoring has become all I’ve needed and the calcium and magnesium are always in that range. Alkalinity moves around a lot day to day so as I’ve said, I test alkalinity almost daily.

I have been doing 20%(~5gallons) weekly water changes with Tropic Marin Pro-Reef since I started the tank. Also have been making my own RODI water since then. I’m kind of picky how my water changes are done, the water is mixed for MINIMUM 24 hours before I use it. I almost always make the water for the next change the day after the water change, allowing that new water to mix for almost a week. I ONLY match my salinity, alkalinity, and temperatures. I bump the alkalinity with soda ash around an hour before the water change.

Now, I understand this was all very long winded and can seem like way too much effort/time. But once you’ve developed a rhythm with the animals you’re caring for, it’s nothing.

I want to thank BRS again for featuring my tank on their first episode of #BRStvReacts.

I want to thank @Lou Ekus for always being there for others who use this and all other great TM products. I will continue to use them forever on all of my reef aquariums.


If you want to skip past all that jargon,

It’s great stuff. My tank is very stable.
Oh look how pretty.

29 gallon Biocube dosing 25-28ml daily

Tank started 3-10-19.
4799EDC8-B01B-4A9A-8396-1D0D63705135.jpeg


16719B94-B744-4D82-BF3A-BE2EF95A971E.jpeg


94B72051-7472-493A-B75C-1273C928305C.jpeg


Oh, and I started reefing 11-10-18...

Happy Reefing!!
 
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Filipabp

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29 gallon Biocube dosing 25-28ml daily
And I thought I was dosing a lot with my 16 ml a day for my 33 gallon tank, good to see im not alone :). Ive been using this product for around 8 months also, and its probably my favourite product in reefing to be honest. The only drawback has been the price, but I bought a 5 Litre value bottle, which unfortunately doesn't seem to be for sale any more. I was happy to see you can actually mix it yourself for a cheaper price though, I will probably do that next as the dosing demand in my tank increases.
 

JustAnotherNanoTank

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And I thought I was dosing a lot with my 16 ml a day for my 33 gallon tank, good to see im not alone :). Ive been using this product for around 8 months also, and its probably my favourite product in reefing to be honest. The only drawback has been the price, but I bought a 5 Litre value bottle, which unfortunately doesn't seem to be for sale any more. I was happy to see you can actually mix it yourself for a cheaper price though, I will probably do that next as the dosing demand in my tank increases.
Yep, I like it too. Only downside I see is that as it gets popular, it is getting very difficult to find. I just ordered the individual components to make my own from BRS.
Well actually I’m right below the recommended max dosage per my water volume. I know people who does plenty over the recommended amount and their tanks have shown 0 negative results from doing so. And WOW a 5 liter bottle!? That’s over a gallon! I can only obtain 1000ml bottles from my LFS who brings it in for me.

And to jcolliii I can’t count on BRS to stay in stock so I had to find another way. I stay well stocked up on it now and hunt down more of it when I still have a fresh 1000ml. What ever it takes. I was tempted to do the make your own so please post progress pictures and info here for us!!!
 

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