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Vacation dosing

Why? Why are you dosing? What are your parameters? How much do they change from day-to-day? I glanced at your tank journal and you don't have a lot of corals that are Ca/Alk sponges at all.
I’m still a little confused about this whole premise. I have a couple small acro frags, a couple large acro frags, and a mini colony. I’ve got a monti digitata and a monti plate. These uptake calcium and alkalinity no? In a 20 gallon system.

You're fighting yourself. Those numbers are all elavated skewing the ratio. When you do that, you get precipitation of mg/alk/ca. Shoot for alk of 6-8 / ca 420 / mg 1300.
As for this, I recognize that there are multiple ways of reefing. I don’t think drastically changing my style of reefing will improve coral health, especially when my tank is new and is tentatively doing well for me
 
I used to stick with water changes, but parameters would change. I don’t remember how much, but that is why I started dosing.

I water change every 2-3 weeks, ~40%. I do smaller water changes of like 5% once a week or so, when rinsing out filter stuff.

What size is your tank again?.

I do 5 gallons a week on my 32 cube, counting rock and media etc probably only 20/25 gallons of actual water?

I dose all for reef and mag. because my tank is packed with corals. Before it was full, I only did water changes.
 
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Tank is 20 gallons. It’s not full full, but there’s multiple acros, including a mini colony. There’s a couple montis in there as well. I have quite a bit of rock so there’s probably less water in there than 20 gallons.

Things are growing, too. All my acros are encrusting quite fast and growing - new growth tips on all acros older than a month
 
I think if you changed 20% water weekly instead of every 3 weeks constantly you wouldn't have any issues. Not keeping to a routine is most likey why you are seeing potential fluctuations. I wouldn't think you should need to dose at all, judging by your pictures with routine water changes.

Fyi I have a crap ton of sps frags (more than all other coral), and a good bit of euphyllia.

Anyways just a suggestion. Keep in mind i'm no expert and what I said above is only my personal experience relating to my tank. I only found I needed to start dosing in the last 6 months do to daily depletion.
 

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I think if you changed 20% water weekly instead of every 3 weeks constantly you wouldn't have any issues.
I intend to. Laziness isn't an excuse for bad reefing, and I got lazy with water changes. Just did a big one earlier today

My two cents. Let your parameters get lower by not dosing. Closer to what @BAYMAC suggested. I’d say 7-9 alk, but he’s got the right idea.
When you do a water change, it will bring your alk ca mg up some, but that’s ok. You can let it drift down slowly until the next water change. Or until you need to dose to prevent it getting too low.
I've been following (somewhat) another reefer who gets results and whom I trust. Maybe it's heresy but I subscribe to the elevated minerals method. Maybe I'm missing some point about the method you suggest?

It's also not like I'm messing with alk 12dKH and Ca 500ppm, I've been aiming for the typical 9-10dKH, calcium 450ppm. Only thing I intentionally keep high is magnesium, and that's for all the LPS.

Things have running just fine up until now, and this post was just about how to keep it going while I'm away, not about me rethinking my whole reefing philosophy. I don't really know! Is there an advantage to lower levels? With the way I've been doing things, SPS has been growing quickly, LPS have been doing LPS things. Unless there's a really big reason I should change the way I run my tank, I'd rather stick with the original point of the post and just keep things dosing on vacation.
 
There are many ways to skin a cat. That is one of the best parts about reefing. But there are general safe guidelines that are tried and true over the years. We do question when someone is not adhering to the general guidelines. There are certain cases when the tank journal or a full tank shot can tell us that the person administering the unconventional methods clearly knows what they're doing by a full, lush and established reef tank. We question even harder when we can see that the tank is not quite established or that the hobbyist is newer to the hobby.

Please realize we don't do this to patronize you. As a club and collective, we want to help anyone become successful with their reef tank. Many of our members are 20+ years in this hobby and have been there done that and figured out that some of the methods out there just aren't efficient, effective or beginner friendly.

Having a mentor is great, especially when it's someone who has a long time running successful tank. But in those cases you usually only want to take advice from them and only go to them when you have a question as something we might tell you may not align with the way they (and in turn you) do things.

With all that being said, I have some 4 head jebao wifi dosers you can have if you want them. Fair warning I never used or tested them since I got them. I have some spare dosing heads for them too.
 
I intend to. Laziness isn't an excuse for bad reefing, and I got lazy with water changes. Just did a big one earlier today


I've been following (somewhat) another reefer who gets results and whom I trust. Maybe it's heresy but I subscribe to the elevated minerals method. Maybe I'm missing some point about the method you suggest?

It's also not like I'm messing with alk 12dKH and Ca 500ppm, I've been aiming for the typical 9-10dKH, calcium 450ppm. Only thing I intentionally keep high is magnesium, and that's for all the LPS.

Things have running just fine up until now, and this post was just about how to keep it going while I'm away, not about me rethinking my whole reefing philosophy. I don't really know! Is there an advantage to lower levels? With the way I've been doing things, SPS has been growing quickly, LPS have been doing LPS things. Unless there's a really big reason I should change the way I run my tank, I'd rather stick with the original point of the post and just keep things dosing on vacation.
Fair point and just to clarify, I wasn't speaking against your methods or levels i only wanted to stress for you to just be constant with water changes, if its every 3 weeks do every 3 weeks not like 3 weeks next time 2 weeks and so on. If you keep to a set routine that it creates a type of control, and removes varribles. Only real goal is stability. But ensuring you have a large enough container for ato while your gone to keep salinity stable will be a must if you don't have that already in addition to your dosing plans.
 
Get dosing pumps it is then!
How do you handle auto top off currently?
I have an amazon ATO. It was not a good buy, but I have it - at the time there was no money for something better

We do question when someone is not adhering to the general guidelines. There are certain cases when the tank journal or a full tank shot can tell us that the person administering the unconventional methods clearly knows what they're doing by a full, lush and established reef tank. We question even harder when we can see that the tank is not quite established or that the hobbyist is newer to the hobby.
I do appreciate you guys' input. I'm mainly just hesitant to change what I'm doing because it looks like it's working to some degree, and I've been told so many times to "pick something and stick with it". I'm sure low levels work too, it's just that I've been doing high levels since I started testing.

I am a little confused about what's unconventional. Calcium 450 and alk 9-10 seems pretty standard now, and my magnesium I run 1500 simply because I heard it was good for LPS. Are these parameters vastly different from the average reef tank?

As for the dosers: Thank you for the offer :) If you'll be at the 6/1 swap I think I can make it then, it leaves 2 weeks to test and troubleshoot. I guess in the worst case I'll scrounge around for some money and buy the pump myself - might try to compete in some writing competition... I've made a little spending money that way before.

Fair point and just to clarify, I wasn't speaking against your methods or levels i only wanted to stress for you to just be constant with water changes, if its every 3 weeks do every 3 weeks not like 3 weeks next time 2 weeks and so on. If you keep to a set routine that it creates a type of control, and removes varribles. Only real goal is stability. But ensuring you have a large enough container for ato while your gone to keep salinity stable will be a must if you don't have that already in addition to your dosing plans.
And yes, I agree I need to keep up on water changes - plan is 20-25% a week. After the water change earlier today, basically every coral is looking nicer than before. The reservoir is big enough for much longer than the time I will be gone.
 
I am a little confused about what's unconventional. Calcium 450 and alk 9-10 seems pretty standard now

This right here is what’s unconventional. :)

Current convention is 7.5-8.5 alk. FWIW, I don’t think it really matters at all and to your point - if it’s working, stick with it 100%.

BUT I agree with everyone too - if you want to be dosing daily you…need a doser. And because your parameters are fairly high and your consumption is fairly low, you could probably just walk away for a few days on vacation and let your levels fall to a more “conventional” range and the world would keep turning.
 
This right here is what’s unconventional. :)

Current convention is 7.5-8.5 alk. FWIW, I don’t think it really matters at all and to your point - if it’s working, stick with it 100%.

BUT I agree with everyone too - if you want to be dosing daily you…need a doser. And because your parameters are fairly high and your consumption is fairly low, you could probably just walk away for a few days on vacation and let your levels fall to a more “conventional” range and the world would keep turning.
Oh really?? I thought alk was one of those things that "anywhere from 7-12" and just keep it steady would work. Heck, Coral Pro salt mixes to 12dKH according to Red Sea's own website
 
I have an amazon ATO. It was not a good buy, but I have it - at the time there was no money for something better


I do appreciate you guys' input. I'm mainly just hesitant to change what I'm doing because it looks like it's working to some degree, and I've been told so many times to "pick something and stick with it". I'm sure low levels work too, it's just that I've been doing high levels since I started testing.

I am a little confused about what's unconventional. Calcium 450 and alk 9-10 seems pretty standard now, and my magnesium I run 1500 simply because I heard it was good for LPS. Are these parameters vastly different from the average reef tank?

As for the dosers: Thank you for the offer :) If you'll be at the 6/1 swap I think I can make it then, it leaves 2 weeks to test and troubleshoot. I guess in the worst case I'll scrounge around for some money and buy the pump myself - might try to compete in some writing competition... I've made a little spending money that way before.


And yes, I agree I need to keep up on water changes - plan is 20-25% a week. After the water change earlier today, basically every coral is looking nicer than before. The reservoir is big enough for much longer than the time I will be gone.
I was speaking more toward dosing without knowing your consumption amounts, not necessarily the levels you are aiming towards. CA and MG typically do not need to be dosed daily and a corrective dose at a choosen and consistent interval is fine for these elements.

Dosing elements in daily and them staying steady with testing does not necessarily mean that your corals are consuming these elements in the amount you are adding daily. They might be, but until you take the time to stop dosing and start testing your tank in 24 hrs intervals, you won't know.

My suggestion is to keep dosing alk daily and let your ca and mg ride for a week and test daily at the same time each day to see if your tank really is consuming those like you think.

CA and MG get used up at a much much slower rate than Alk.

I won't be at the frag swap unfortunately as I'll be flying out to Pheonix for a coral show.
 
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