View Full Version : Yes! Yet another dosing poll. For those using Randy Holmes-Farley recipes ...

12-17-2009, 07:33 AM
If you use Randy Holmes-Farley DIY dosing recipe, do you use recipe #1 or recipe #2? What made you decide to use one over the other?

Some background: I've been using recipe #1 for some time. I based my choice to use recipe#1 simply on the say-so in RHF's article that "most people use this one."

I am considering switching to #2 only on account I find it a huge PITA to prebake the baking soda, which recipe #1 requires. I am resisting the urge to switch until I can install a larger reservoir, as I do one gallon mix at a time, which lasts me around 3 weeks, so the same volume at twice the dispensing rate means it will have to be done more often, or a much larger volume at one time (which I guess I'd be OK with, since I wouldn't have to prebake it).

12-17-2009, 03:01 PM
I forget which is which but from what you say I use the #2.
I bake three 500g boxes of baking soda at a time and this makes 5 two litre bottles of additive.
I have changed the concentration of the magnesium chloride hexa, so that I dose the mag portion each time I dose the other two, and, in the exact same proportion.
Because I have so many tanks, I would have no way to know how much magnesium to add to each tank doing it the specified way in the article.

12-17-2009, 04:13 PM
I'm not sure which recipe I use, maybe #2? I have the calcium and magnesium from chemmaster and I just use a box of baking soda to a gallon of water. I was baking the baking soda but I had precipitate forming the Matterhorn in my sump so someone suggested just using plain baking soda. My pH is a bit lower but no lower than it used to be when I was using a calcium reactor.

Tom R
12-17-2009, 04:20 PM
I am using the Bulk Reef Supply recipe #2.

The new BRS web site is great it has a reef calculator with their products and recipes.

Tom R

12-17-2009, 04:49 PM
I use recipe #1 because as you said, Randy said to do so :-) My pH is typically at 8.3 during the day so he recommends recipe #1 for that. (recipe #2 if you have a pH of 8.4 or higher i think? ).

I don't find baking to be a big deal for me. I bake like 3 or 4 boxes of baking soda at a time, and then do like 5 gallons worth. I store it in one of those spring water bottles that you can get at superstore.

12-17-2009, 05:53 PM
Maybe I should have linked to the article, so here: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-02/rhf/index.php

In short though, if you bake the baking soda first, I consider that "recipe #1". If you DON'T bake, that's "recipe #2." The only difference is the alkalinity additive and the end concentration being different thus needing to dose more of the #2 than #1 to maintain the same levels.

I didn't think it was a big deal to bake the baking soda but I find as time goes on that it's losing it's charm. I end up with a large mess on my hands to clean up afterwards, and the mixing has to be done ever so carefully, otherwise I risk the baked baking soda instantly binding into one large piece of virtually undissolvable shelf rock.

I notice a lot of comments in passing from reefers (well Ok, fishytime and Snappy are the only two I can think of for sure, but I'm sure I've heard others) who don't bother baking and therefore that means recipe #2 for them.. and I'm curious how many others as well.

I guess I'll put this out there ... I find the pH reasoning to be a little sketchy at best. I'm betting that for the most part, most people who chose recipe #2 for reasons other than pH, don't have any reason to regret their reasoning anyhow. Ie., I bet if we drill down deep enough there isn't a significant difference, you just dose a little more to compensate and that's that. Maybe it's more significant if you still dose kalk but even if you don't dose kalk it's still probably fine.

But that's something I'm hoping to find out by the responses here. I see the results do show a significant trend towards recipe #2 so I think I may indeed consider switching from #1 to #2 and seeing how I like it...

Thanks all, please continue responding with your thoughts and comments and votes :)

12-17-2009, 06:03 PM
My tank has never run at the appropriate SW pH of 8.3, its always been about 7.8-7.9 or so. When I first started dosing I couldn't believe the magic number had appeared, whee 8.3! However, my tank wasn't more fantastic than it had been previously. Colors were still there although growth did increase. However, not baking the baking soda didn't slow down the growth when the pH dropped to 7.8-7.9.

I didn't really find baking the soda to be a pain in the arse, it was more the precipitate issue and the fact that its so friggin humid here, I swear the stuff sucks up moisture the instant it comes out of the oven. Then again, it was keeping my pH up so it must have been doing its job, sorta kinda.

12-17-2009, 06:13 PM
So are people doing a recipe 1b?

1. Bake and mix 594 grams for 1 gallon
1b. Just mix 594 grams for 1 gallon
2. Just mix 297 grams for 1 gallon

12-17-2009, 06:20 PM
Oh thanks a lot Kien. Do I go back and add that as option now ??? :p Start a new poll because now the results are wrong??? AAAAAIIIIEEEEEEEEEE!!!

(Seriously, if anyone's doing "1b" as per Kien's explanation, please just post that that's what you're doing..)

12-17-2009, 06:37 PM
I have no idea what I do. I think it might be 1b. I don't use the little box and I don't use the big box. I use one of the 8 pack I get from costco :razz:

12-18-2009, 01:23 AM
I use recipe #2....my ph is low...7.6- 7.9, but I dont do recipe #1 because I feel the PH swing I get when I dose recipe #1 is more harmful then having a slightly lower stable PH....

12-18-2009, 01:33 AM
For those with low pH, and if your alkalinity readings are good, then you most likely have a problem with the air exchange at the waters surface.
Either there is not enough turbulance at the surface or, the more likely cause is too much CO2 in the household air.
To see if this is the problem, take a sample of water and check the pH.
Then, aerate the sample outdoors for about an hour or two.
Recheck the pH, and if the pH is now higher even by a little bit in that short time, then you have a CO2 problem.
This problem is common in households that are shut up for winter heating or for summer air conditioning.

12-20-2009, 06:40 AM
I use recipe #2 because I top off with Kalk.

Tom R
12-20-2009, 06:18 PM
I have no idea what I do. I think it might be 1b. I don't use the little box and I don't use the big box. I use one of the 8 pack I get from costco :razz:

My system is approx 500G.
I mix 3 Costco boxes into 5G of RODI. Each box is 2 cups or 500 ml. I then dose this on my ProfiLux Doser at 48 ml per dose at 20 times a day. The 5G mix will last approx 1 month.

My PH is steady at 8.24


My ALK is steady at 8.30 DKH

I sometimes bake the Baking Soda but most of the time I don't. I have not noticed a change in either the PH or the ALK.

When I bake the Baking Soda I take 2 cookie sheets and put 3 boxes or six cup on each sheet. I then bake at 300 degrees for 60 minutes. I then seal it in a plastic bag and store it in a Tupperwear container until needed. I have not had any problems with this and my consistency of both PH and ALK have never been more consistent.

Tom R

12-20-2009, 06:40 PM
Thanks Tom. Yeah, I think my issue has been that I only bake enough to make one batch, which used to be good enough for 1 month, but is nowadays is closer to more like a week. Making more than needed and storing the excess makes a lot of sense.

I think my first order of business is switching to larger reservoirs.

12-20-2009, 06:52 PM
For those that manually dose what do you use? Jug with pump into a measured cup?

12-20-2009, 09:49 PM
I just use 4 litre jugs and siphon the limewater into the sumps using 3/16" airline tubing.

12-20-2009, 11:22 PM
In my old tank I always struggled to keep my PH up so I used to use recipe one and also prebaked large amounts to store but now in my present system I use recipe #2. For whatever reason I don't need to increase the PH and it's so easy. I keep my alk mix in an 18 gallon tank and just top it up every few weeks with R/O & Arm&Hammer. I also have a heater & powerhead in the storage tank to help keep it in solution.

Also when I dosed manually I just used 3(ca, alk, mg) cups with pin holes at the bottom sitting on an eggcrate shelf I laid across the sump and poured the solutions into them for a slow drip. They needed regular cleaning to unclog them but for a ghetto DIY it worked fine.

Tom R
12-20-2009, 11:54 PM
I think my first order of business is switching to larger reservoirs.

I use those Blue 5G water tanks used for camping availble at Canadian Tire.

I use hard 1/4" tubing from the jugs to the ProfiLux doser and soft 1/4" from the jugs to the sump.