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Equipment - Doser Questions

Discussion in 'Tank Chemistry' started by Sophie1213, Mar 20, 2018.

  1. Sophie1213

    Sophie1213 Amphipod

    Hi guys!
    I have finally reached the point where I need to start dosing in order to keep good growth, and to be able to add corals I would want in the future.
    My alk sits consistently at 7, which is why I am trying to raise it. My tank is a 125 gal. I purchased a two part dosing (can't remember the name now but one part is alk and the other is calcium)
    I definitely don't have it in the budget for an Apex, but was recommended a reefkeeper lite.
    Should I be getting a DP1 Master or just 1.1 ml/minute pumps? Or any different recommendations so I don't have to manually dose every other day?
    Any input would be greatly appreciated since I have never had to look for equipment like this.
  2. SynDen

    SynDen Kraken Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    Cheapest way to do this is with a couple digital timers. Something like this
    Have one come on for 5 min during the day and the other come on 5 min at night. test your levels everyday and adjust by increasing/decreasing the time until you get it into your target range. Retest and readjust as things grow too.
    Apex system and the reefkeeper are basically glorified timers, at least as far as dosing is concerned. The controllers will be able to fine tune to smaller increments for better accuracy, but the they will have more technical setup involved, and of course are fairly costly.
    Either way, start small with the dosage, and work your way up to a stable target range, adjust as needed.
  3. Archit

    Archit Copepod Platinum Sponsor M.A.S.C Club Member

    Personally I'm not a huge fan of ReefKeeper -- maybe it's just because I'm used to an Apex, but none the less, you don't need either a ReefKeeper or an Apex if all you're looking for is dosing.

    I'd personally recommend a stand alone doser:

    https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/doser-2-1-sa-4-pump-ghl.html << on the high end

    Bubble Magus:
    https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/bm-t11-dosing-pump.html << middle of the line

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B014KKCILE << cheapest

    Then you can mix your 2 part in containers, and have that be dosed throughout the day for better consistency throughout the day.

    Hope that helps!

    - Archit
  4. SynDen

    SynDen Kraken Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    yep both GHL and Bubble magus are trusted dosing solution and have been around for a while. I wouldn't trust a Jebao for this kind of thing though, as most jebao stuff works for about a year or two, and then craps out. When it does go out it could potentially crash your tank too, if it fails in the 'on' position.

    There are other options out there too, like Kalkwasser. I've done Kalk on my 75g for years. I just scoop a few tsp into my top off water bucket every time I fill it and thats pretty much it. By far the cheapest and easiest way to dose alk and CA together ime
    Archit likes this.
  5. Sophie1213

    Sophie1213 Amphipod

    Thank you so much for your replies! I will look into GHL and Bubble Magus, and Kalkwasser. I appreciate your responses :)
  6. asn-naso

    asn-naso Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    SynDen likes this.
  7. SynDen

    SynDen Kraken Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    yep those + some digital timers are just a little over $100, and you have a pretty solid dosing solution. Many reefers use and love the brs dosers as they are fairly reliable and inexpensive.
  8. flagg37

    flagg37 Amphipod M.A.S.C Club Member

    I borrowed a jebao for a few months while I saved up for an apex. I never had any issues with it but I wasn’t planning on using it long term though either.

    You mentioned your alk was constantly at 7. That’s for sure on the low end but it’s not unheard of either. Stability is key. If your tank is always at 7 then the corals will adjust and be fine. If it’s 9 and then falls to 7 until you do a water change and then it’s back up to 9 then you’ve got a problem. I would suggest determining what your alk and Ca daily uptake are. Test every day at the same time of day for 3-5 days and record the change. This will also give you a good starting point for when you do start dosing. You’ll be able to use a dosing calculator and dose exactly what you’re up taking instead of going in blind.

    It’s good to try to match the alk and Ca of the salt mix that you use so that when you do a water change it doesn’t effect the values; they will just stay the same.

    Someone recommended kalkwasser, and I would too, but keep in mind that kalkwasser can be used to maintain whatever alk/Ca you already have but it won’t increase them. You’ll need to use a two part system to get the levels you want and then you’ll be able to maintain those levels with kalkwasser.
  9. neil82

    neil82 Sardine M.A.S.C Club Member

  10. zombie

    zombie Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    I wouldn't rule out an apex. You can often find them used for not a whole lot more than a bubble Magnus and the Magnus is a POS.
  11. zombie

    zombie Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    That is not correct. You can most definately increase dkH and Ca with Kalk, you just can't vary the increase of the two independently in cases where you have calcium hungry or alk hungry corals that throw it off balance.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018
  12. flagg37

    flagg37 Amphipod M.A.S.C Club Member

    Interesting. You may be right. It makes logical sense that you would be able to increase Ca and alk using kalkwasser. It is calcium hydroxide, so the Ca just gets added to the system and the hydroxide binds with the co2 to increase the alkalinity (and increases the pH since the co2 is bound up). I had read in other forums that you could not use it to increase them though (everything on the internet is true right). I had tried to increase it in my own system with no luck so I figured it must work as some sort of buffer that would just hold it where it was. I had started out at 1300ml/day (fully saturated) and continued to 2400ml/day trying to increase it but it seemed to stay where it was. The only way I could get it to increase was by adding alk (soda ash) in addition to the kalkwasser and then it still stayed where it was. I’ll have to run some more tests.
  13. zombie

    zombie Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    It can't make a change quickly, but just like a calcium reactor, it can slowly increase levels if you add more than what your tank demands are and they will slowly decline if your tank demand is more than what you can add. 3 part is best if you want more fine tune control and the ability to vary independently. Kalk or calcium reactors are best if you want recurring costs to be cheap, your demand isn't rediculous (less of a problem for reactors), and you can handle a pH change.

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