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Hello. i've been running my 20 gallon long reef tank for about 5 months now. corals were added about 1 month after initial cycle stabilized. as of now i have 5 various zoa frags, hammer coral, favia, lobos,2 trumpets,6 acans, 3 blastomussas, cyphaestrea, 2 gsp, war coral, pagoda, and 2 riccordea. all mentioned above are frags when i bought them (i know i added alot of corals way too soon but my LFS had a 5.99/frag deal, (usually 10-18 per)). the only things that have really seen any improvement is the hammer which split into 2 and the blastos are growing new polyps, everything else is either just as was or is receding.

Now to my question, i have a bottle of brightwell A and B 2 part and a bottle of magnesium. i just bought the red sea reef foundation test kit and looked at instructions. it says to get parameters to desired level and then do a test that day and another 1 week later to figure out how much to dose. im new to dosing so i have no idea how to get to the desired level before i do my tests. should it be better to test every day for a week to get a more accurate reading? plus how do i compensate for water displacement? i have 30lbs of liverock in a 20L with a 10G sump/refugium and water is about 8" high in sump. 20lbs of livesand in DT. My current salt mix is Salinity by Aquavitro.

Apologies for the onslaught of questions im just very afraid of the whole dosing idea, don't want to crash the tank.
 

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Have you tested your water to see if you even need to dose at all? Often water changes are enough to replenish the elements that get used up.
 

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Based on your info I would think counting 20 gallons of water volume would be a reasonable starting point.

However I got to agree with ChiWing the corals you listed really are not that demanding that you could not keep up with water changes alone.

Those directions are trying to help you figure out what the corals are consuming so you can figure out how much to dose. I would not does anything at this time. What I would do is test water both before and a few hours after weekly water change This way you know what is being consumed and to bring the numbers up to where you want them just add a tad bit more or less of what ever you need and slowly bring it up.

Again I dont think you need to does anything at this time. Monitor all params as you might have but the tank unto a mini cycle by adding all the coral at once.

Also what are you feeding the corals?
 

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assuming 20 gallons would probably be fairly safe.

I would start by testing immediately before and after a weekly water change, by doing this for 2 water changes that are a week apart you can figure out not only how much (calcium and alkalinity) was consumed over the course of the week, but also how much calcium and alkalinity is replenished by your water change schedule. if over the course of several weeks your levels are dropping despite the water changes you can either increase water change volume/frequency, or begin dosing just enough of the 2 part solutions to keep your levels steady.

dose slowly and start with smaller amounts while testing frequently, you should get a feel for it eventually.
 
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