Who has a dKH controller and what do think about it?

Discussion in 'General Reef Discussion' started by csb123, Jul 11, 2019 at 11:26 AM.

  1. csb123

    csb123 Senior Member
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    Hey folks,

    I’m looking into a dKH controller, now that there are several brands out there, and they have had around 2 years to get the bugs out.

    Those of you, that have a KH controller, I was wondering what your experience has been?

    Has it made a difference to your corals? Is it more or less work? What are your on going costs? What is your maintenance rhythm? Did it save you from a crash? Would you buy one again? What brand do you recommend?

    Thanks for your input!
    Sean
     
  2. Ben Nicholls

    Ben Nicholls TCMAS Old Timer
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    I'm running Neptune's Trident controlling a DOS. It has really tightened up my Alk and Cal levels. Before I would test once a week (sometimes getting lazy and not testing for a month). I'd change dosing if Alk got about 1 dKH off my target. Now it is testing multiple times a day and keeping things within a couple tenths. Corals are liking the stability.

    Maintenance cost is $46 every 2 months for reagents, $29*2 every two years for the dosing heads, and the Trident will have a recommended 18 month maintenance. Price not set but should be $150-$180.

    Only work with it is filing the 2-part, and changing out the reagents. I do look at my numbers a couple times a day and make small adjustments if things start drifting more than the control limits are allowed to correct. My tank is at a growing state so the 2-part requirement are slowly increasing.
     
  3. eschulist

    eschulist That Office Nano Guy
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    I currently use the Trident. I've been running it since Jan on my 12 gallon SPS tank and its been awesome.

    [​IMG]

    It has definitely made a difference in my corals health, color, and just survivability in general due to the tanks low volume and instability.

    My tank was good for many years but I just went off frequent water changes and hoped the salt mix and kalk kept everything stable. And it did for awhile but at some point things got out of wack and it was a downward spiral I couldnt get out of.

    Oct 2018 as the crash was reaching the bottom.

    [​IMG]

    I picked up some corals at the Fall Swap and by Dec they still started declining. Some of my favorite corals I lost during the crash was a Nauti Spiral Monti and Oregon Tort. I replaced both and here you can see their health. Bare spots starting to receed, and poor color.

    [​IMG]

    By April, a few months in to Trident testing, I was seeing corals encrusting nicely, regaining their vibrant saturated colors, and actually surviving.

    [​IMG]

    I went from a dKH around 6.5 and 7 that was fluctuating up to .5 dKH or more every few days. After getting the Trident going and following not only the daily trend but even day to night ebb and flow I was able to dial it into to less than a .1 dKH swing. Over the first few months I kept it around 8.5 and latetly I've been edging it up to 10 dKH to see if I can get bit faster growth. The whole time I can monitor it as well as set the DOS to make up subtle variations.

    [​IMG]

    Here was a cool observation in my tank. Because the water volume is so low salinity greatly effects Alk. A slight drop in salinity causes a fairly decent swing in Alk at the same time. I have my typical evaporation and top off events but one day I had a mishap with a fish getting stuck to my overflow. This causes the tank water to rise, sump level to fall, and kick on my top off for way more than what is usually needed. Salinity drops and at the same time the Alk dropped right along with it. After fixing the issue I did a water change and that evening both the salinity and Alk were back to their correct positions.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. H2OHOH

    H2OHOH Senior Member
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  5. infinityends

    infinityends Senior Member
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    I'm running a trident as well. I don't have automated dosing set up at the moment. But just having the constant insight to Alk, Ca and Mg levels has helped tremendously. My tank has been a bit neglected since our daughter was born 2 years ago, especially last fall when I worked overtime for a couple of months straight. Once I get things more straightened out, I will probably set my DOS to adjust automatically, but I wanted to wait to get things a little more in line first.

    I always hated testing and avoided doing it. Even using the Hanna checkers, it was still tedious, so I avoided it. I maybe had a 4 month stretch prior to having a kid where I was actually good about testing weekly. But once the trident was announced I immediately knew I would buy it because overall my system would be better off with me knowing I needed to take action, rather than waiting for noticeable consequences of my laziness to find out my alk had dropped extremely low and the corals were suffering.

    Not to push the trident too much, and I know they are still hard to get a hold of due to limited supply. But at least for me, something would have to have a significant edge over the trident. Just for the sake of it is all right in Apex Fusion. I don't have to look at another app, if a problem occurs, the notifications are all right there in apex, and depending on what the situation it, the apex can take some pre-programmed measures to resolve a problem (Stop dosing with the DOS, or turn off ATO if you use kalk in your ato)
     
  6. OP
    csb123

    csb123 Senior Member
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    How often do you folks need to calibrate your machines and do independent alk testing to confirm accuracy?

    I don’t have an Apex, so I’m looking at the GHL stand alone device.
     
  7. Fishfoo

    Fishfoo I contributed!
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    KH Director for me and it’s been rock solid. The adaptive dosing function takes the guess work out of adjusting my dosing schedule.
     
  8. OP
    csb123

    csb123 Senior Member
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    Are you able to use other brands of pH probes?
     
  9. Nezw0001

    Nezw0001 I contributed!
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    KHD for me too. love it. took a little bit to get the hang of it but now it is rock solid.
     
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  10. Fishfoo

    Fishfoo I contributed!
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    That I am not to sure on, sorry.
     

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