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Dosing confusion


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So, forgive me, I’m still under a year with corals and have a lot to learn. My coral are now absorbing alkalinity, so I’m dosing about 20 ml of Fritz 2 part Alk. I am not dosing the cal or mg yet as I would like those lower still. Cal closer to 430, mg closer to 1380 ish.

So, I always thought when you dose ALK, your cal goes down some, then when you dose Cal, your Alk goes down a bit. Why in the world is my cal and mg rising when I dose my Alk?!?!?! I’m so lost. 
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I am planning on upgrading to ca reactor, just don’t think it’s realistic at this time with as little as I’m dosing. Do you agree with that, or is using a ca reactor something that can be used now with that low of a dose and ramped up when my corals grow more and new ones added? @obrien.david.j

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1 hour ago, Yourmedic said:

I am planning on upgrading to ca reactor, just don’t think it’s realistic at this time with as little as I’m dosing. Do you agree with that, or is using a ca reactor something that can be used now with that low of a dose and ramped up when my corals grow more and new ones added? @obrien.david.j

I agree the numbers don’t make sense and personally don’t think with the little you are dosing you need to jump to a calcium reactor and dosing is just fine. 

The numbers don’t make sense so probably should double check like others have said. I like the Hanna alk checker but also use lamotte.

calcium is used up much slower than alk so that could be part of the problem. I rarely see my calcium fluctuate much compared to the alk. I forget the exact ratio.  
 

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Most likely the consumption of those 3 parameters are still not significant and when you do water change most replenishment is from the new water.

I will not worry so much about calcium and magnesium levels because it will not affect the health of coral, the calcium will precipitate if too much. Alk on the hand is very significant to the health of coral, so need to keep this at a steady level. If you dose 20ml to keep your alk level then you need to dose the 2nd part the same amount. This is because you want to have ionic balance in the system. Dosing one and not the other can cause ionic imbalance and will make the system more problematic in the future.

When consumption increases everything will balance out. Right now probably even 20ml daily for part 1 is too much if you don't have much coral in the tank. I would determine the exact dose for part 1 then dose part 2 the same amount.

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Doesn't quite make sense.  For what's it worth, I tend to think of the Balance as more of a triangle in ways, change 1 and you affect the other 2.  Mag can pair with the Calcium in an ionic balance instead of the Alk.  

Generally you won't cause any issues with higher Mg (1500ppm).  It adds a nice "buffer" and lets you run with higher Calc and Alk for coral growth with less chance of precipitation.  As goldenbasketreef shared, starving your corals of Alk can cause coral health issues and pH swings.  So watch it the closest.  Calcium can cause pH issues if not monitored, but your system has more tolerance.

If your Calcium & Alk is being consumed daily, that's a good sign your corals are consuming for skeletal structure.  If you are doing a 2-part method, you'll need to keep up with dosing both each day as others suggested.  Just don't do both at the same time.  I spread them out over 8 hours at night alternating every other hour for smaller tweaks rather than one big bump all at once.  (Ca, Alk, Ca, Alk, etc.)

I changed over to the ATI Essentials 2-part system from pure Ca + Alk.  Their solution adds Mg and most other elements in balance, so i don't have to dose those separately or do water changes to replace those minor trace elements.

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