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I have a 50 gallon cube with 20 gallon sump that's been running on an Apex fusion for 4 months. I change about 5-10 gallons of water a week but the alkalinity usually drops off after a couple days (RedSea pro mix).  I usually dose with a 2 part system at 2mL a day that seems to keep things pretty stable, but I want to take it to the next level and start monitoring/dosing for calcium/alkalinity and other nutrients if necessary. 

I read a few threads on this forum about the Trident being incorporated with the Apex but wanted to get some feedback before I jumped into it. Is the Trident all I need to be able to do this or do I need to get some other accessories as well? Any advice or feedback about the Trident or other equivalent dosing system would be great. Thanks!

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The Trident only tests the alk/cal/mag measurements.  It does not actually dose anything on its own.  For that, you need a Neptune DOS, or other 3rd-party dosing pumps.  The advantage of using the DOS over a 3rd party pump is the Trident Controlled Dosing integration, where the Trident adjusts the amount delivered by the DOS based on the current test results.  You can achieve a bit of control using non-Neptune pumps, but not easily and not with as much accuracy.  The drawback to using the DOS is that it costs more than basic dosing pumps.  But in my opinion, it's worth it for the integration.  The DOS retails for $300, and the Trident is $600 (if you can find it in stock).  Each one of these can still be used effectively without the other.

How many and what types of corals do you have in your tank?  Dosing 2 ml per day is a very light load.  My 88 gallon tank full of LPS/SPS requires about 150 ml per day of 2-part, and I have the DOS altering the amount dosed based on time of day when consumption is higher or lower.  On top of the basic schedule, the Trident can then adjust these amounts up or down by 30% as needed to keep the parameters stable.

Screen Shot 2020-05-10 at 1.54.14 PM.png

You can read all about my experience with the Trident from basic setup to configuring Trident Controlled Dosing, to fine tuning in this thread:  

 

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Thanks so much for your reply and precious thread recommendation.

i have:

rock flower nems (5 large)

nems (2 large)

about 10 frag sized encrusting corals

2 colonies “mad hatter” type

5 sps frags (3”)

10 mushrooms

8 torch/hammer heads in total

10 heads of acans

 2” blasto large frag

montipora (4”)

xenia and cloves 

1 large cynarina

baselball sized colony orange yuma

200 zoas 

My tank is packed and I have a problem

 

The reason I dose 2 mL a day is because I don’t want to mess things up and I figure with more frequent water changes I’m replacing most of the lost minerals and nutes. As long as my pH is in the 8.2-8.3 range I figure things are where they need to be. I test for calcium and it’s consistently 420-460 so I don’t want to go any higher. 
 

I don’t want to say “price is no object” but when considering $1000 in upgrades vs getting a therapist from dead corals it’s an easy decision. I just want to be as successful as I can be without the tank dominating my life.

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  • 1 month later...
On 5/10/2020 at 8:43 PM, fairpricetickets said:

Thanks so much for your reply and precious thread recommendation.

i have:

rock flower nems (5 large)

nems (2 large)

about 10 frag sized encrusting corals

2 colonies “mad hatter” type

5 sps frags (3”)

10 mushrooms

8 torch/hammer heads in total

10 heads of acans

 2” blasto large frag

montipora (4”)

xenia and cloves 

1 large cynarina

baselball sized colony orange yuma

200 zoas 

My tank is packed and I have a problem

 

The reason I dose 2 mL a day is because I don’t want to mess things up and I figure with more frequent water changes I’m replacing most of the lost minerals and nutes. As long as my pH is in the 8.2-8.3 range I figure things are where they need to be. I test for calcium and it’s consistently 420-460 so I don’t want to go any higher. 
 

I don’t want to say “price is no object” but when considering $1000 in upgrades vs getting a therapist from dead corals it’s an easy decision. I just want to be as successful as I can be without the tank dominating my life.

You definitely want to be testing for alkalinity. That's way more important that calcium. Your calcium can shift from 420-460 and that would not really be a problem, but that same swing would correlate to your alkalinity moving 5.6 dKh, which is an astronomically massive fluctuation. Alkalinity swings like that would likely kill a lot of your hard coral. I would read up on Alkalinity more and wouldn't bother much with your pH. 

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it is sound advice to just ignore your PH.  IT is a result of many complex things and not really worth chasing.  If I were you i would do 3 things first.

 

1. buy a hannah alkalinity tester.

2. test at the same time of the day/night every 2 days to see what your numbers are doing.  You can't effectively replace your alk amount with water changes when you have a lot of things consuming alk and cal.  

3. WRITE ALL YOUR MEASUREMENTS DOWN!!  

This can not be over emphasized and it is often not told to people enough.  Corals dying is often the result of what you did a week or two ago, not on the day that you see it and test the water.  It seems that almost every "my corals are dying" thread starts with..I checked my parameters, they are perfect.

 

What you are effectively doing by dosing red sea pro.. VERY high alk, is yo-yoing your alk numbers.  It's not the end of the world, but when you start throwing money at acropora you may find yourself saying ... "no,no,no why is it receding? wait, no, [language filter] it, god [language filter] it".  

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Trident/DOS combo is amazing. Can’t recommend it enough (if you don’t mind the price LOL). I have mine doing 8x tests a day. It’s amazing how much you learn about your tanks demand when it is mapped out throughout the day. I even noticed Alk demand changes from minor lighting adjustments. Honestly without testing as much as it does automatically some of the changes would be easy to miss (seeing the daily trends and adjusting dosing to fit is super cool). As you already have an apex you are already invested so that would be the route I would choose. Plus it’s epic to be lazy and get your testing done automatically! 😆

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