Coral needs (balling, doser and excel)

After a week with new SPS and LPS corals I found out that calcium, magnesium and alkalinity is dropping fast. I already have ordered Tropic Marin Bio Calcium original balling salts and Aqua Medic Reef doser evo 4 doser so I will add these components to my pico reef to maintain calcium, magnesium and alkalinity levels. I have been using Salifert All-in-One calcium acetate from the start. Salifert has been working quite well but now the bottle is almost empty so it is time to try something different.

Aqua medic 4 channel reef doser evo 4 dosing system

Aqua medic 4 channel reef doser evo 4 dosing system

The Aqua medic reef doser is simple 4 channel doser. It is operated by remote control unit which have buttons and small lcd display. First I had to set up date and time and then I run through calibration process. Calibration process was quite easy but there is possibility of bit of a user error involved in the process. I have not yet checked how well pump output will stay on their targets but I found out that in small doses there is little bit variation of output volume.  Pump timer setups can be done for each channel (how many times per day, what time, dose amount). One bit of annoying is that there is no bracket for installing control unit.  More information can be found from Reef Builders introduction of the pump and from Aqua Medic web site.

Tropic marin bio calciums original balling set.

Tropic marin bio calciums original balling set.

The balling salts I have are from Tropic Marin. There is nice introduction about balling method from Hans-Werner Balling in youtube and detailed article from ultimate reef. One bit of a warning about Tropic Marin balling salts. The instructions are very vague (e.g. “125 ml / ½ US-cup / 4 fl.oz of each solution raise the calcium concentration by 25 mg/l (ppm) calcium and 3.5 °dH. The maximum recommended dose is 125 ml / ½ US-cup / 4 fl.oz. of each solution per day.”). As a newbie in the hobby I found these instructions quite hard to to follow. I have calculated my that my calcium demand is somewhat 6 ppm a day so I had to make a excel for calculating right amount of ml to add. I also have to figure how much trace elements to add and which liquids  (I have Tropic Marin -A and +K trace elements).

Screenshot of tropic marin balling calculator

Screenshot of tropic marin balling calculator (click image for excel file)

Let me know if there is an error with calculations. This is just basic help to get amounts correct without spending too much time with calculator. Here is the link for the excel calculator. I will post update how the starting of the balling method went.


Few days later

New corals added in weekend are doing well. Nice polyp extensions on every coral. I also had time to retouch some of the photos I took few days ago. Hope you like them (second on is a new coral in the pico tank).