What are the limits of 2 part?

Treefer32

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I have a 350 gallon display that I am using IO Reef Crystals salt for my water changes - every 2 weeks I change out around 80 gallons. (Primarily to keep phosphates under control and replenish trace elements.)

I'm dosing half cup baked baking soda to 500 ml of water and half cup calcium chloride to 500 ml of water and just upped my dosing to 144 ml a day. I'll need larger dosing containers for my bubble magus doser and start dosing closer to 200 ml as my consumption is rising significantly. Yesterday my alk was around 8 dkh (hana checker) and upped my dosing by an additional ml an hour and checked all the dosing connections to make sure nothing was plugged or having issues. And today my alk was down to 7.8. So, I may be ending up close to 200 ml a day to maintain my alk. I don't test calcium unless I see a problem. When I did test it was always between 440 and 480.

So, I'm afraid I'm hitting the limit of 2 part dosing. Or do I move to a larger container (a gallon container instead of 500 ml container and custom build a dosing container for my bubble magus. I've heard calcium reactors can maintain both alk and calcium.

How do these work?
And what is the cost of running the media and maintenance of the media?

I've never ran one in all my years in the hobby. I'm having the best success I've ever had in my life with corals and now need to move out of my comfort zone! Especially since I'll be taking a 11 day vacation this summer and don't expect my friends to worry about mixing my two part media.
 
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blasterman

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Reactors hit a wall long before two part.

You are basically adding 1/2 cup of dry bicarb every 3 days. Welcome to big tanks and lots of SPS. As long as your calcium is tracking with alk don't complain :)

You can increase the saturation of water to dry two part but that hits a wall as well. Really depends on tank evap.

Get some 2.5 gallon jugs from the grocery store water section and use those. Pre mix before going on vacation so all your tank handlers have to do is top off from those.
 
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Treefer32

Treefer32

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Reactors hit a wall long before two part.

You are basically adding 1/2 cup of dry bicarb every 3 days. Welcome to big tanks and lots of SPS. As long as your calcium is tracking with alk don't complain :)

You can increase the saturation of water to dry two part but that hits a wall as well. Really depends on tank evap.

Get some 2.5 gallon jugs from the grocery store water section and use those. Pre mix before going on vacation so all your tank handlers have to do is top off from those.
Awesome! I thought reactors were the evolution not the other way! :) Is there an issue with PH and dosing too much?

Not that my ph is topping out between 8.1 and 8.4 right now with dosing as much as I am. I like the idea of continuing with two part after seeing the prices of reactors. (without reactor media).
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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There's no limit to using a good quality two or three part alk and calcium system, aside from making sure the salinity is not rising (which it does, you need to remove salt water periodically).
 
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Treefer32

Treefer32

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There's no limit to using a good quality two or three part alk and calcium system, aside from making sure the salinity is not rising (which it does, you need to remove salt water periodically).
Any issues with using baked baking soda as the alk supplement ongoing? a single bag of baking soda from Costco has lasted me well over 2 years... $.50 a month is hard to beat. Plus and hour or two to bake it every 6-8 months.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Any issues with using baked baking soda as the alk supplement ongoing? a single bag of baking soda from Costco has lasted me well over 2 years... $.50 a month is hard to beat. Plus and hour or two to bake it every 6-8 months.

No issue with that, but optimal DIY at high levels of dosing is to also use Balling Part C. Short of that, at least be sure to use my DIY part 3 with magnesium sulfate and magnesium chloride.
 

Coastie Reefer

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Not fancy or pretty, but these are 5g jugs from the LFS. I dose 260ml a day and this lasts me just over 2 months.
4F51375C-37F5-4FBA-A6EE-61CF726CDA98.jpeg
 
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Treefer32

Treefer32

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No issue with that, but optimal DIY at high levels of dosing is to also use Balling Part C. Short of that, at least be sure to use my DIY part 3 with magnesium sulfate and magnesium chloride.
my magnesium has always tested high at 1500+ so, I've never worried about it. I usually test annually or twice a year. And it's generally between 1480 and 1540 a year a part between tests, which would be well within the range of testing error. So, with dosing magnesium, this is a dumb question, but, does it raise magnesium.

I've noticed with dosing calcium, it maintains, but it doesn't really seem to ever increase calcium. I dose the same amounts of ratios of calcium and baking soda per the 2 part recipe. Just haven't dosed magnesium because I assumed it would raise magnesium levels when mine have been stable. However if it doesn't necessarily increase magnesium, but, instead somehow just maintains it, then, I'll need to add that in.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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my magnesium has always tested high at 1500+ so, I've never worried about it. I usually test annually or twice a year. And it's generally between 1480 and 1540 a year a part between tests, which would be well within the range of testing error. So, with dosing magnesium, this is a dumb question, but, does it raise magnesium.

I've noticed with dosing calcium, it maintains, but it doesn't really seem to ever increase calcium. I dose the same amounts of ratios of calcium and baking soda per the 2 part recipe. Just haven't dosed magnesium because I assumed it would raise magnesium levels when mine have been stable. However if it doesn't necessarily increase magnesium, but, instead somehow just maintains it, then, I'll need to add that in.

I would not be sure your magnesium testing is accurate, but it might be. My part 3 and Balling Part C does more than add magnesium. Both should keep magnesium where it is, and do other useful things.

IF you want to raise calcium, you must use it independently of the alk dosing. If you do 1:1 dosing, calcium will not rise much before alk gets too high.
 
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Treefer32

Treefer32

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I would not be sure your magnesium testing is accurate, but it might be. My part 3 and Balling Part C does more than add magnesium. Both should keep magnesium where it is, and do other useful things.

IF you want to raise calcium, you must use it independently of the alk dosing. If you do 1:1 dosing, calcium will not rise much before alk gets too high.
perfect, thanks. I probably need a different mg kit, my red sea pro is expired and I've heard the red sea mg kits aren't that great.

I'll definitely add in the part 3. My bubble magus has 3 dosing containers. I've only been using 2 for the past 3 years.
 

alain Bouchard

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I used to dose 2 parts for my tanks at a point were I needed to refill my gal jugs every 10 days until I installed a ca/rx. I dont regret at all. Its the first time I heard someone say ca/rx capacity was limited. I have seen people with SPS heavy 500+gal tank run with them. As long as you take a properly sized reactor for your tank, you should be good to go. Once tuned up, they are good to go without hassle for a few months.
 
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Treefer32

Treefer32

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No issue with that, but optimal DIY at high levels of dosing is to also use Balling Part C. Short of that, at least be sure to use my DIY part 3 with magnesium sulfate and magnesium chloride.
Thanks! I'm just putting an order together. I'm looking at the mixing recipe. So, I've had to recalculate alk and calcium based on your recipes due to my containers being 1.5 L (I was off on my container size being 500 ml... It's 1500 ml.) I noticed that that amount of baking soda is the same as calcium chloride in the mixing ratio.

So, one container is 1500 ml of RODI water with 1/2 cup of baking soda and separate container with 1/2 cup calcium Chloride.

So, for mixing MgCl and Mg Sulfate: Maintenance recipe would be: 3 cups MG cl and around 1/5th of a cup of magnesium sulfate dissolved in 1500 ml of RODI.

Does that sound right?
 
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Treefer32

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@Randy Holmes-Farley, I got Nyos Calcium and magnesium kits yesterday and tested last night. alk was 8.1, calcium 470, and Magnesium: 1410.

In the past 3 years I've never dosed magnesium because it's always been above 1400. This is the lowest it's been at 1410. It usually above 1500 and had to use a second vial of reagent to get the color change. It would change quickly after the 1 ml. so, the fact it's under 1500 is really great.

Do I dose a maintenance dose just to maintain balance. And if so, do I mix the full amount and just dose 1/4th of what I dose of alk and calcium so as not to raise magnesium? I bought the mgcl and mg sulfate.
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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How much alkalinity is in a half cup of baked baking soda dissolved in 1500 ml of water? I couldn't find how to calculate that. I adjust dosing weekly (at most) based on the trends.

This calculator can be used.

When fully baked, baked baking soda is sodium carbonate.

 
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Treefer32

Treefer32

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Interesting. I don't think that tells me how much alkalinity is dissolved in my dosing container though. . . To get consumption wouldn't the calculation be something like this:

X = alkalinity of storage container / 1500 ML
y = x * 144 ml (number ml dosed per day).

Where y = amount of alk dosed per day.

z (alkalinity of storage container) = amount of carbonate dissolved in 1500 ml of water.

I'm not sure how to calculate z, the alkalinity of the storage.

I'm dosing 144 ml per day of: 1/2 cup of carbonate dissolved in 1500 ml of water.

In short: I don't know what that equates to in alk consumption per day!
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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I don't know why you didn't use a standard recipe (like my DIY recipe #1), which makes calculations easy, but here's how to use the calculator for your recipe:

Half a cup (24 teaspoons) of sodium carbonate in 1500 L has an alkalinity of about 3.25 dKH using the calculator.

If you dissolve that in 1.5 L instead of 1500 L, it will have an alkalinity a thousand times higher, or about 3,250 dKH.
 
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Treefer32

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I don't know why you didn't use a standard recipe (like my DIY recipe #1), which makes calculations easy, but here's how to use the calculator for your recipe:

Half a cup (24 teaspoons) of sodium carbonate in 1500 L has an alkalinity of about 3.25 dKH using the calculator.

If you dissolve that in 1.5 L instead of 1500 L, it will have an alkalinity a thousand times higher, or about 3,250 dKH.
3250dkh / 1500ml = 2.16 dkh per ml? * 144 ml = 312 dkh dosed per day? I can't math. I thought the recipe I'm following is your recipe.


2 1/4 cups baked baking soda dissolved in one gallon = 5300dkh

there's 3.78 liters per gallon. So, first decide what ratio is my storage container 1.5 liter to a gallon of water = 1.5 liters * 2.52 = 1 gallon. 2.25 cups per gallon / 2.52 liters per gallon = .89 cups per 1.5 liters. Ooops. Over the last three years, I may have gradually just gotten lax and reduced the amount of carbonate per 1.5 liter from .9 cups to .5 cups. . .

Which may reveal why I'm dosing more. . . Consumption may have gone up, but, the amount of product may have changed over time. . .

This could be my problem. ;)

I'll gradually increase amount of product dissolved to liquid ratio.
 
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