Reef nutrition

All for reef alternative

svreef

BOD
Staff member
I’m about 10 days from running out of AFR and there’s no sign any vendor will have it in stock anytime soon. Is there a readily available alternative that combines KH and CA? Or should I switch to two part?
 

H2OPlayar

Supporting Member
Kalkwasser in the ato would also combine alk and ca. That is what I would recommend if you really don't want to go to 2 part for any reason. It wouldn't give back trace elements, which is what I understand the large benefit to be for "all for reef", but is a single alk + ca solution.
 

Adit0

Supporting Member
you can also greatly increase the potency of kalk by adding vinegar, if your tank has a high demand
 

H2OPlayar

Supporting Member
you can also greatly increase the potency of kalk by adding vinegar, if your tank has a high demand
I knew I had some research to do, I hadn't heard of this one before.

 

rygh

BOD
Staff member
Just switch to 2 part.
As a bonus, you can set dosage of each differently if you want, as your tank changes.

I recommend B-Ionic as well.
I used DIY for years, using BRS Alk/Ca chemicals.
At the urging of some others, I switched and gave it a try.
The theory being DIY is only Alk/Ca, where B-Ionic adds other elements.
I really feel there was a slight difference, and I am usually fairly skeptical about these things.
I tried various salt mixes, but zero difference there for example.
 

svreef

BOD
Staff member
Just switch to 2 part.
As a bonus, you can set dosage of each differently if you want, as your tank changes.

I recommend B-Ionic as well.
I used DIY for years, using BRS Alk/Ca chemicals.
At the urging of some others, I switched and gave it a try.
The theory being DIY is only Alk/Ca, where B-Ionic adds other elements.
I really feel there was a slight difference, and I am usually fairly skeptical about these things.
I tried various salt mixes, but zero difference there for example.
Do you get the concentrated B-Ionic?
 

svreef

BOD
Staff member
Yes, the big pails.
The Alk is sometimes a clump. But a powerhead takes care of that.
And how long do they last you? Do you remix it when you refill your dosing containers?

I find it a little bit sketchy that the trace elements are mentioned briefly and without any details.
 

rygh

BOD
Staff member
And how long do they last you? Do you remix it when you refill your dosing containers?

I find it a little bit sketchy that the trace elements are mentioned briefly and without any details.
For me, they last months.
The pails come about 1/5 full. You just add RO water once, to fill them up. Then they are added to dosing containers as normal.
It just saves shipping costs.

Yes, I also hate these proprietary things. But pretty much all of them are that way, and I cannot
test and mix the trace elements myself, so you have to trust someone.
Only other alternative is very large regular water changes with natural seawater. Some people on BAR do just that.
 

H2OPlayar

Supporting Member
I use Red Sea trace elements with the BRS 2 part + mag, and really like the flexibility of tuning the trace elements, calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium all independently. I also get the 5 gallon buckets from brs, and don't see any reason to switch anytime soon. I have been looking into the balling method which contains the "salt free salt" which is somehow different from trace elements. I don't entirely understand that part yet, but it is basically everything in your salt bucket without the Na Cl.

B-ionic combines the Ca (Ca+) with the trace elements soluble in that solution, then has the alkalinity (OH-) and the trace elements soluble in there. So long as you have each part accounted for, it shouldn't matter too much which method you end up with. You end up running into sourcing issues if you use a more obscure one, and brs 2 part was the most cost effective (ignoring dosing pump investments) which drove my decision.

On my mom's system, which is much smaller and more simple, when the time comes for dosing, B-ionic and 2 dosing pumps will likely be the winner.
 

svreef

BOD
Staff member
I have the materials to make your own if you want to come by SJ with a 1L container, I can whip you up a batch

I purchased the DIY kit from BRS
Thanks for the offer - but I have some left and should be able to get by for a bit. I've been buying the DYI kit from BRS as well.
 

svreef

BOD
Staff member
@rygh i started dosing bionic calcium (using left over BRS soda ash for Alk) and my dosing tube looks like this today:

5D5B63BA-F60D-49D8-906F-D08BBAB4DA9D.jpeg

Should it be dosed directly in the water?
 

JVU

BOD
Staff member
@rygh i started dosing bionic calcium (using left over BRS soda ash for Alk) and my dosing tube looks like this today:

View attachment 26642
Should it be dosed directly in the water?
Looks like the Ca is touching Alk on the way out. If your Alk line is the one we can see right next to it with no lower drip part, that could be how.
 

svreef

BOD
Staff member
Looks like the Ca is touching Alk on the way out. If your Alk line is the one we can see right next to it with no lower drip part, that could be how.
Ooh. It is. First time dosing two part. I’m not sure my dosing tube holder will let me add a lower drip part…
 

xCry0x

Supporting Member
I believe you should also make sure you dose then at different times. I spaced mine out 30 minutes.

I think that was important . I set it up a long time ago and vaguely remember something about precipitation if you side dose both at the time time.
 

xCry0x

Supporting Member

I run something like this to hold all my dosing tubes, and put the CA and Alk on opposite ends

Do you have a solution for the tubes curling?

I use the same thing, issue I always have is the airline tubes curl a bit and I always end up dripping solution against the back of the tank and it makes a giant mess of precipitation.

Was thinking when I eventually get the pump going again I need to connect some ridgid tubing to the airline.
 
Top