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Kalkwasser Best Practices

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Fatman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fatman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 14 2015 at 7:43am
Reefer86, thanks for the information.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote relethg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 14 2015 at 12:02pm

On my 210 gallon soft coral tank I have a Kalk stirrer that is feed ATO water using a dosing pump. This allows me to continually feed the tank kalk. Currently the tank is being feed 2000ml of this water in 24 hours. This keeps my tank at Ca 400, Alk 8.5-9 DKH. I still have evaporation overhead that is made up using the ATO system. My PH without the kalk was running 7.7-7.9 and now is 7.9-8.1. I do corrections by dosing Mag, Ca and Alk every two weeks. Mostly mag is needed.

In the process of setting up a 120 gallon SPS tank, that I have already purchased a Ca reactor for. I may run Kalk on this tank if I have low PH.

I like the Kalk stirrer and dosing pump setup because I am in complete control of the amount of Kalk going in the tank every day. I have Apex and monitor Tank PH and stirrer PH. The stirrer PH lets me know when to add some more kalk to the stirrer.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fishbot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 23 2016 at 5:14pm
Great idea on a second ph probe in the mixing vat. I never thought of that.

The method I currently use is a 5 gal bucket with tight lid for a resivore and a toms aqua lifter pump connected to my rkl ato controller. Each week i refill with ro water and stir in a tablespoon of kalk. Pretty easy and combined with weekly water changes (reef crystals) keeps parameters spot on. I like to be able to match the amount of kalk i add to the tanks demand and not add any excess.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adam Blundell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 24 2016 at 9:16am
Fishbot- I get what you're saying about not adding any excess.  For most people, running with top off, this isn't possible.  Most people simply can't add enough.  
But obviously if you dump it in your sump you can add excess.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 24 2016 at 10:19am
One tablespoon of lime in 5 gallons of water is not excess, in fact that makes quite a weak Kalkwasser solution. 

I don't remember if I said this above, but I have done a similar thing, except I placed like 3 Cups of Kalkwasser in the 5 gal bucket with a dosing pump set to top off the ~120 gal coral farm system at night. The Kalkwasser bucket got topped off for 3 or 4 weeks, then the remaining ~1/4 cup of Calcium Hydroxide at the bottom was discarded. The remaining solids had combined with the minute impurities in the RO water to form a few black specks in the remaining CaOH2. I had so much coral and coralline growth that weekly I still had to dose ~2 liters of homemade CaCl2 Ice Melt solution and ~2 liters of Baking Soda(NaHCO3)/Soda Ash(NaCO3) solution to keep Alk and Ca up.

I know it sounds like bragging, but I'm just trying to point out that Kalkwasser top-off water just doesn't cut it when there is significant need for Alk and Ca. In my recent coral farm, which was twice as large, I decided not to bother with Kalkwasser, just do dosing. 

Aloha,
Mark Hug
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fishbot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 24 2016 at 9:09pm
It is a weak solution at only one tablespoon. 3 would be fully saturated I think. My current set up is just frags at the moment. I don't plan on adding more until I notice Ca And Alk levels dropping. I am curious though at roughly what month mark you guys hit "peak kalkwasser" and had to bring 2 part or a reactor online.
As for Fishbot, I am glad that someone can manage to be perceived as a bigger dick than me. --Dion
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 25 2016 at 4:16am
Can't give an exact answer to that question, because it's going to be different for every system, due to the differing demand for Alk, Ca and Mg. Yes, Mg too. The following things influence the rate of demand for Alk, Ca and Mg:
- type and amount of coral
- type of sand (need for dosing Ca and Mg is less in the presence of Utah Oolitic Sand)
- amount of sand (advantages of a DSB)
- type and amount of light (sunlight = fastest growth, MH lighting = next fastest growth)
- amount of Coralline Algae
- number of Snails(shell) and other inverts (shrimp/bugs/worms have calcareous exoskeleton/spines)
- number and size of fish (bone)
- level of Alk within the range (there is a sweet spotSmile)

Also note;
When a hobbyist first starts seeing that the demand for Alk and Ca has exceeded what Kalkwasser can deliver, manual dosing once or twice every 10 days is sufficient to bring the levels back up within range so that Kalk can continue to deliver most of the needed Alk and Ca.  At this point there is no need to fret about keeping Alk and Ca at exact numbers every day. The "stability" you may have read about can be ensured by simply keeping these within range on a weekly basis. (Alk 8-12 dKH; Ca 350-500 ppm)

The demand for Mg is slower and can be satisfied by once/month additions. It's okay to raise Mg to something like ~1500 ppm and not dose again until it has dropped to ~1200 ppm.

For me, when the system requires manual dosing more often than bi-weekly, that's when automatic dosing becomes convenient. Smile Your need may differ.

The question eventually comes up, how much to dose? The simple yet IMO most useful answer is to test, dose a little and test again the next day. Following that result, increase or decrease the amount and/or timing of the next dosing accordingly. Testing is an important key to success.
 
Aloha,
Mark  Hug


Edited by Mark Peterson - January 25 2016 at 5:44am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krazie4Acans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 25 2016 at 9:16am
Make sure you test at the same (or close to the same) time each day. Alk does swing and doing one test in the Morning and then dosing and doing another test the next day in the evening will not be quite as accurate. Will it get you in the ball park, yes. For SPS sometimes just being in the ball park isn't enough and you need to be inside the ball diamond.
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