New to dosing - corals looks worse after the first two times


New member
Hey everyone,

I started dosing my reef tank two days ago and my LPS look worse. One frogspawn is not as extended as usual and another golden frogspawn has 2 heads almost completed pulled in. I'm dosing 2 part B-ionic. I started with the recommended 1ml per 4 gallons of water. The only other thing that's changed other than I started dosing is daylight savings. All corals have been in my tank for at least 5 months. My back wall is almost completely covered in coralline. Any ideas what might be happening? Should I continue dosing or give it a couple days and see what happens?

Parameters before and after dosing. Using Salifert tests.

Nitrate 0 / 0 (I started feeding more heavily to try and get some type of result. I haven't done a water change in 2 weeks. I have a ton of chaeto hidden in my tank and no sump)
PH 8.3 / 8.4
Phos 0 / 0
Alk 7.5 / 8.7
Ca 360 / 415
Mag 1080 / 1150
Salinity 1.025


Your phosphates and Nitrates are too low. You'll need to dose KNO3(or stump remover) and Phosphate.

You'll want to increase them over a week to not shock your system. You also increased your ALK way too quick if that was 2 days.

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Premium member
Stop dosing. Change 10-20% of water. Wait a week or two and start dosing again. If corals react the same way then you know you have bad B-ionic.


Active member
Increasing the ALK is also kinda like increasing coral metabolism, which makes the low nutrients (NO3 & P04) an issue and runs the risk of burning/starving the LPS. If it was an SPS tank you might be ok with this, but even then you want more nutrients in the tank. When nutrients are "present" the rule of thumb is not to increase ALK more than 0.5 per day...any more will burn things.

So, I agree with the advice above...back off the dosing and do a partial water change.

Since this is your first time dosing, a somewhat non-intuitive thing isthe higher the ALK the more you end up having to dose to keep it there. So, in the beginning you have to monitor it quite a bit to balance it out, and avoid spiking your tank or sending it on a roller coaster ride. That said, unless you are trying to drive growth of SPS I would not target ALK above 7.5...IME it's way easier to maintain stability when you are between 6.5 and 7.5 than 8.5 to 9.5. Yes 6.5 is "low" but it slows everything down, is generally not a safety issue for the corals, and makes it easier to manage everything. In the near term, some spot feeding with something like Two Little Fishies "Julian's Thing" and reef-roids would help the starving LPS. Plus half of it will be lost in the water column and add end up turning into N03/P04.

Another somewhat non-intuitive thing, note that coralline is a somewhat heavy consumer of ALK, NO3, & P04. So, if you have a complete wall covered with it thriving, you may find it could actually be out competing the corals for the little nutrients you have...and will fairly quickly soak up what you are dosing. Unless you love it, you may want to remove some a hair cut, it will grow back :)


Premium member
One more thing. Make sure your doser is calibrated. Mine was off when I bought it new. It may gave you wrong dosage.