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    Mixing and Dosing Fauna Marin Balling Salts with Profilux Doser

    Now that our reef, the glassbox, is back up and running with corals and fish it was time to remix some Fauna Marin Balling Solutions and dial them in with the Profilux Dosing Pump. For those unfamiliar with the Balling Method, take a look at this article which explains what it is intended to do […]

    Now that our reef, the glassbox, is back up and running with corals and fish it was time to remix some Fauna Marin Balling Solutions and dial them in with the Profilux Dosing Pump. For those unfamiliar with the Balling Method, take a look at this article which explains what it is intended to do and how it differs from two part. The Fauna directions are not confusing, with some simple math the proper amount of salts can be determined for any water volume.


    It is important to note that the Balling method uses Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate, also known as baking soda. This is an important distinction as it is roughly half as strong as Sodium Carbonate and balances with half as much Calcium Chloride. Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate also lacks the pH buffering effects that Sodium Carbonate has. For more info on this topic, see Randy Homes-Farley DIY two part article that outlines his Recipe 1 and Recipe 2. To my knowledge there should not be an issue using Sodium Carbonate with the Balling Method. (If you already have Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate and would like the stronger Sodium Carbonate, use a cookie sheet or oven safe container and cook the Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate at 300F for one hour. Be sure to increase the Calcium amount appropriately.)

    Since I have not used the full line of Fauna Marin Balling Salts myself I stuck with their recommended dosing amounts for the Balling Light Method. Using a converter I calculated that I would need the following amounts for 1 gallon of Calcium and Alkalinity solutions.

    • 270g CaCl (Calcium Chloride)
      • 19ml Strontium-Barium Complex
      • 19ml Heavy Metal Complex
    • 310g Β NaHCO3 (Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate)
      • 19ml Iodine Flouric Complex

    While calculating the proper amounts you’ll need is smart so you do not waste excess salts–using a precise scale is not needed. If the solution is too strong it will precipitate out, leaving some material at the bottom of the container. If this happens, don’t fret.

    As you can see I also threw in the Balling Light trace elements. These are from Fauna Marin’s Ultra Trace B line, shown in the earlier photo. The smaller bottles are 250ml, and with only 19ml used per gallon of solution they should last some time. I added these amounts after using just the Calcium Chloride and Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate solutions by themselves for one month.

    I had hoped to show you all some new Balling containers by now, but a local acrylic place was unable to create what I had wanted. For now I resorted back to the trusty 1 gallong plastic container. For those looking to save a buck or two, I coincidentally realized the same exact container was used in Jewel brand Vinegar in the 1 gallon size. The container is exact, I only realized when getting it out to clean some coralline encrusted items and had it placed next to the balling containers.

    With the 3 containers in hand I set up the appropriate Profilux dosing program. I have found by now that the manual timing program is really an over complication for supplemental dosing. Only when adding the obscure (e.g. Vodka, Phytoplankton, Amino Acids) would such an option be needed. The auto program is a breeze and saves many headaches by spacing the dosing times out–preventing any calcium-alkalinity precipitation events from occurring in the sump. I always opt for 24 doses a day to keep parameters as stable as possible.

    60ml Alkalinity and 50ml Calcium has kept levels rock stable. The Calcium is lower due to Seachem Reef Salt’s frustratingly high calcium content. As the corals settle in the amounts dosed will need to rise. A few presses in the Profilux navigation pane and this can be done.


    As expected I was not able to notice any observable differences in the tank when dosing the calcium, alkalinity and magnesium solutions (without any trace elements). However, once adding the trace elements Acropora tissues did slightly lighten with time. This is most likely due to zooxanthellae toxicity to heavy metals–one of the various effects trace elements can have. The lightening effect is and was very mild. Sidenote: Vince commented on the “open container” when using the gallon jug shown at right. Some air to escape is needed, to prevent any suction to form from the peristaltic pump. Typically a small hole drilled in the jug’s cap will do–enough to minimized evaporation while preventing vacuums.

    As I have gotten more comfortable with the Fauna Marin balling line, I will switch over the Full balling method using NaCl free salt to “maintain the ionic balance”. I will also try using Sodium Carbonate to reap the pH benefits. I am not fully convinced that the full Balling Method is superior, but I will reserve judgement until I have actually tried it.


    1. Kurt
      September 1, 2009 at 9:43 AM | Permalink

      How does this compare cost wise to using the raw chemicals from Bulk Reed Supply?

    2. Michael
      January 16, 2010 at 4:14 PM | Permalink

      Fauna Marin salts can not be judged in the same catagory as raw chemicals as they have a multitude of added polymers which I will leave fauna Marin to explain their benefits.

      Many economy salts are food grade not designed for “just balling” where as Fauna Marin salts have been developed just for Balling purposes in reef systems by Claude Scuhmacher over many years of research and development, and as such you will get a very stable system. Furthermore Fauna salts are assured pure and lab batch tested.

      Hopefull Claude (Fauna Marin) can chime in with more info for you.

    3. Christian
      January 18, 2010 at 1:58 PM | Permalink

      Are you sure those numbers are right? They seem low…

      FM uses 2KG of salt in a 1G, Randy’s 2 part is 500g and here you only have 270g

      I’m just about to do the same thing and I was just wondering πŸ™‚

    4. Christian
      January 19, 2010 at 5:40 AM | Permalink

      Are you sure the conversion was done correctly, teh ammount of salt to traces seems high. FM uses 4lbs of Ca salt, Randy's 2 part is at 500g and you only have 270g. what formula did you use to convert?


    5. glassboxdesign
      January 19, 2010 at 7:58 AM | Permalink

      This is more along the lines of the Classic Balling method. Users often get tripped up on FM's light method because they fail to mention that their instructions will create an Alkalinity solution is much less potent than their recommended Calcium solution. This is fine, as each can be added independently, but unless you calculate this yourself it goes unnoticed. Many users than have issues with Alkalinity because it will actually require twice the amount of CaCl solution to stay 'balanced'.

      If you're looking at Randy's recipe, be sure to look at formula #2 which uses Baking Soda (Sodium Carbonate). This recipe calls for 250g of CaCl. The additional 20g when converting to Fauna's numbers can likely be attributed to their additional polymers that are add by FM.

    6. Christian
      January 19, 2010 at 8:14 AM | Permalink

      Ha ok this is a conversion to “Recipe #2”

      So how would this look for “Recipe #1” (I have a low PH)
      500g of Ca
      -20ml Strontium-Barium Complex
      -20ml Heavy Metal Complex

      594g of Baking Soda cooked @ 400 deg F for 1 hrs
      -20ml Iodine Flouric Complex

      720g (3cups) of Epson Salt + 1120g (5cup) of Mg Flake

    7. glassboxdesign
      January 19, 2010 at 8:33 AM | Permalink

      A few folks have used the recipe you list above with good results. It should not be a problem.

      If this is your first start with trace elements, you may wish to reduce their initial strength and judge how your animals react.

    8. Christian
      January 19, 2010 at 8:52 AM | Permalink

      Ok thank you

    9. Christian
      January 19, 2010 at 8:51 AM | Permalink

      Ok thank you πŸ˜›

    10. FaunaMarin
      January 19, 2010 at 12:16 PM | Permalink


      very intersting your discussion , my only question is why you will not work like the manual said.
      If balling light will use like themanual you will not have any alk issues , the issues is coming due to a calculation based on 2 part or Balling classic , but with the balling light methode you need no calculations only the dosing
      like i write in the manual

    11. January 19, 2010 at 3:38 PM | Permalink

      This is an issue we see more and more, people think Fauna marin balling light is two part or even some of the DIY 3 part systems, then they run into trouble and blame the system

      FM Balling light is like no other you need to follow the manual

    12. Christian
      January 20, 2010 at 7:36 AM | Permalink

      Oh come on George, why this do you have this negative attitude and what is it really adding to this discussion?

      Claude, If I read you correct, you are saying that we could replace the salts with commonly available, less expensive salts (I know they are now as good) and still follow the FM Balling light method? I’m not trying to cut corners; I’m just looking for a solution that works for me. I find it very unfortunate that by the time I received a 2KG of salt from you I have paid more than 3x in shipping then the actual value of the salts.

    13. glassboxdesign
      January 20, 2010 at 8:28 AM | Permalink


      As I have mentioned to you before, the instructions imply a game of guess and check with no indication of the strengths of each balling solution.

      Per the manual it states:

      'Therefore you start with adding 20ml/100 liter and measuring the actual value before and some hours afterwards”

      It gives no hint that the calcium solution and alkalinity concentration and this will take time to find out by adding the recommended dose and testing. It also places significant weight on inaccurate hobbyist grade test kits.

      A simple 20ml of Ca will raise 100l of water by XXppm and 20ml Alk solution will raise 100l of water by XXppm is all that is needed and will save users plenty of headaches.

    14. FaunaMarin
      January 20, 2010 at 8:39 AM | Permalink

      Hi Glassbox

      I try to understand the whole Postings here , i see often that the system light is not understandly completly iΓ‘m wondering a little bit about it cause i create a system which works without weigh the salts and calculate . The right dosing will come byself and due to the salt mixes it is not necessary to add the same amount of every salt like other receipts do .

      In germany we use that methode so long and there is absolute not such a discussion about it. so sometimes for me hard to understand what exact is the question.
      Maybe we can do that step by step πŸ™‚



      I never can be the cheapest company high purity materials / salt mixes with Biopolymers, Trace elements and stabilizing salts costs more then a cheap salts with unknown elements in.
      Transport / Costums, dealer margins also costs .

      The main different between cheaop salts is that you will lost your chemical stability over the time , add to much unwanted Trace Elements in , and in depending of the stock you will get aver the time brown corals and algea grow.

      my salts are mixes to avoid all inbalances and overdosed trace elements.
      also it helps the corals by good coloration and grow
      look at this tank
      http://www.cashh.de he uses over years my salts
      such effects you will never have with chaep salts

      many greetings πŸ™‚

    15. george
      January 20, 2010 at 1:53 PM | Permalink

      my apologies to eric, glassbox and michael. i didnt mean to create a reefing internet garbage discussion.

      i am just a FM user that has gotten very frustrated with manual. there are different versions. some of the salts say different things. i also have a low ph and i bought this because i was told it would raise my ph. i then found out it is like recipe 2 which lowers ph.

      other than this the salts seem to work well and mix well. looking forward to trying more fauna stuff. i just hope the manual is improved!

    16. michael
      January 20, 2010 at 1:57 PM | Permalink

      Hi George, all salt under the bridge, lets get this back on track πŸ˜‰

      My suggestion would be to let us know what salts you are using and all your paremeters, I think (complete guess) your calcium maybe too high and you are buffering with too much sodium bicarb.

      If Eric will allow us to help you here then great, if not then please contact throug normal channels to assist πŸ˜‰

    17. glassboxdesign
      January 20, 2010 at 2:37 PM | Permalink

      Per agreement with all parties the prior discussions have been removed–communication lapse is all

    18. FaunaMarin
      January 20, 2010 at 4:12 PM | Permalink

      Hi Goerge
      Maybe you want contact me that i can support you
      the salt mixes always work on the same base so it is important to find out what is going on in your tank to find out the right dosing
      If you want ..info@faunamarin.de

    19. Christian
      January 21, 2010 at 9:57 AM | Permalink

      Interesting but I tought that the water change was helping in keeping the stabily and that was teh same reason we had to do it with your system also?

      that's a really nice tank!

    20. Christian
      January 21, 2010 at 3:57 PM | Permalink

      Interesting but I tought that the water change was helping in keeping the stabily and that was teh same reason we had to do it with your system also?

      that’s a really nice tank!

    21. You_Wrasse_is_mibe
      November 17, 2013 at 12:02 PM | Permalink

      I’m am really confused now. I’ve seen 10 or more mixing ratios and no two are remotely similar

    22. You_Wrasse_is_mibe
      November 17, 2013 at 12:04 PM | Permalink

      Just noticed how old this topic is. I’m not expecting any reply.

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    1. […] 3 part dosing : CA-ALK-MG and some elements like iodine, Si and others. here you can find more info http://glassbox-design.com/2009/mixi…rofilux-doser/ You look up on RC as […]

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