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Old 01/02/2008, 07:26 AM   #1
Hendersonracing
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lets Talk Kalkwasser how & why??

I understand KINDA what it is used for...If the calcium reactor can not keep up with the calcium consumption then dripping kalk is used? But what else can I run it with my cacium reactor to help maintain the calcium??? or should I wait til my sps grow?

what are some good points of using KALK
and bad???


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Old 01/02/2008, 07:42 AM   #2
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I use it with my 54g, and it does all I need: I have a reactor, but the stirrer is a mess. I gave up and just put a pound in my ro/di reservoir [32g], and cut a circle of eggcrate to hold the topoff pump on a fake bottom about halfway up the tub [to keep it above the slurry at the bottom. WOrks like a charm, cost, about 2.00 worth of eggcrate, compared to 300.00 worth of reactor and an 80.00 stirrer.

As for what it does chemically---it's pretty safe: if you ever goof and shoot a little slurry into your system, granted you're doing it from the sump, it's not going to be too bad. I wouldn't, understand, advise it, but it's a lot safer overdose than a lot of things. It will not raise calcium or alk, but in the presence of adequate magnesium, it will maintain the level you set by hand dosing. If mg falls, those readings will fall, so if you just test mg and keep ahead of the game and keep your kalk supply going, it never will drop.
It does have some grunge with it that won't dissolve, so ultimately you have to scrub the bucket out, every month or two. Simple trip to the household shower or backyard.

I don't know the fine points of dosing from both kinds of reactor, except that it is supposed to help support a calcium reactor, maybe also to help with ph.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, chromis, royal gramma basslet, tailspot blenny, ocellaris clown, yellow watchman, chestnut turbo snails, bristleworms, couple of hermits.
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Old 01/02/2008, 07:47 AM   #3
Hendersonracing
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so you run it with your reactor? or just dose the KALK by itself?


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Old 01/02/2008, 07:59 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hendersonracing
so you run it with your reactor? or just dose the KALK by itself?
Like I do skater adds it directly to the top up reservoir stirring it up every so often when i add more top up, i also have a small rio powerhead in my resevoir to keep it from getting stagnant and slowly mix in kalk

some people add kalk via a slurry of RoDI and kalk poured right into the sump.


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Old 01/02/2008, 08:02 AM   #5
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I'm a little tank---54g, and the kalkwasser from the ro/di tub is quite enough for me. Holds my alk at 9.3 and my cal at 480. I run lps, sps, and a clam, of my high calcium users. I'm coming back after a house move, in which I lost most of my sps, started kalk this summer, fought a balky KALK reactor for months, settled on this simpler method, and now have rapid growth starting: heads of lps dividing like crazy and montipora starting to grow a number of growth-heads. No crankier sps, yet: they all perished. If I can get the montiporas to grow, I'll put in some ac. valida or bali slimer.

If there were more corals, a tank of the month candidate, I would have to use a calcium reactor. If I were a BIG tank like yours and packed to the gills I might have to use both a calcium reactor and a kalk reactor.

Again, as I understand it, and I'm no expert: a kalk reactor LETS kalk [lime/calcium] powder dissolve in ro/di, which it does readily, and shoots it out into the tank.

A calcium reactor uses the injection of CO2 from a cylinder of gas in order to FORCE the dissolution of calcium beads into the water, so there's no practical limit, I suppose, to the amount of calcium you can feed in---except that it will affect ph. So does kalk, but I believe they affect ph in opposite directions: somebody check me out on that.

The fact that there's no practical limit with a calcium reactor means, too, as I dimly understand, that OD'ing with a calcium reactor is more dangerous than OD'ing with a kalk reactor.

A kalk reactor, too, works by topoff: how much goes in is dependent on your evaporation. At 1 gallon a day, my 54 g sucks in a nice amount for stability. But the amount of kalk that WILL dissolve in ro/di is a set and stable amount, so no overdose, even if the evap rate increases.

With a calcium reactor, because the calcium is FORCED into solution, this is not evaporation dependent, again as I understand.

My little tank at full stretch was sopping up 2 teaspoons of calcium a day: this made my leaving it pretty difficult, when I was hand dosing. And at 18.00 a jar, it was expensive. Not to mention the buffer.


Kalk, at 5.00 for 2 pounds, is cheaper. I dump in a pound [steady rate of dissolving in ro/di, no great need to measure, really] and that will do it for some number of days---up to a month, as my tank is now: probably a couple of weeks, once I get it going the way it was.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, chromis, royal gramma basslet, tailspot blenny, ocellaris clown, yellow watchman, chestnut turbo snails, bristleworms, couple of hermits.
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Old 01/02/2008, 08:23 AM   #6
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On a large tank with a high calcium demand the kalkwasser is going to have a very insignificant effect on your Ca and alkalinity. The only reason to dose it in a larger system is to keep the pH up. It does a fairly reasonable job doing this.

Without kalk my pH swing is from 7.75 to 8.0

With kalk my pH swing is from 7.95 to 8.12


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Old 01/02/2008, 08:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sk8r
...WOrks like a charm, cost, about 2.00 worth of eggcrate, compared to 300.00 worth of reactor and an 80.00 stirrer.
or $220 for a no-nonsense deltec copy

http://www.championlighting.com/prod...cat=530&page=1


..been using mine for some time.. 0 issues.


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Old 01/02/2008, 08:29 AM   #8
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Lol! Yep, if I were getting another reactor, that's the way I'd go, for sure.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, chromis, royal gramma basslet, tailspot blenny, ocellaris clown, yellow watchman, chestnut turbo snails, bristleworms, couple of hermits.
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Old 01/02/2008, 09:34 AM   #9
Hendersonracing
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Quote:
Originally posted by DocG
On a large tank with a high calcium demand the kalkwasser is going to have a very insignificant effect on your Ca and alkalinity. The only reason to dose it in a larger system is to keep the pH up. It does a fairly reasonable job doing this.

Without kalk my pH swing is from 7.75 to 8.0

With kalk my pH swing is from 7.95 to 8.12
mine runs 7.75 night and 8.0 day...should I run some kalk as a top off to raise my ph?? My calcium load is kinda low right now!

I run my reactor ph on 6.4 and a slow drip..


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Old 01/02/2008, 11:40 AM   #10
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I use kalkwasser because:

A)precipitates phosphates
B)keeps my ph high and that helps deter unwanted nuisance algae and actually in some studies has shown to be useful in accelerating calcification rates
C)Adds CA/ALK

Some negatives are:

A)can slowly over time cause a drop in MG levels which is easy to fix...you just dose more mg



I use fully saturated top off water at 2 tsp/1g of kalk and water. This keeps my Salinity and Ca and alk levels in line. I do have to hand dose some 2 part occassionally but with a smalller tank kalk does it for the most part. You can supersaturate the water with a higher level of kalkwasser using vinegar, but I also carbon dose so I refuse to do this but that is a whole other ball game.

I use a persitalic pump/refurbished medical pump which pumps down to the ml/hour so that CA/ALK and top off water are constantly stable and added dripped slowly through the day without ever worrying about overdosing.

I hope this helps.

Even if I had a much larger tank with hundreds of full grown colonies and a calcium reactor that could keep up I would still use kalkwasser for its other benefits.


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Old 01/02/2008, 12:34 PM   #11
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these should help

http://www.kipsreef.com/forum/showthread.php?t=224

http://www.kipsreef.com/forum/showthread.php?t=225


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Old 01/02/2008, 01:24 PM   #12
Hendersonracing
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thanks alot...so my calcium is 430 and my alk is 8.5dkh...should I keep my calcium reactor the same and just start dosing kal..I have a 5 gallon mix and it will drip slowly...the water evaporates at about 2-2.5 gallons a day?


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Old 01/02/2008, 01:47 PM   #13
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yeah.. keep the c-reactor the same... dose saturated kalkwater

kalk does more for Ca than dkh
C-rx does more for dkh than Ca
... so they really work well in tandem
+ the pH balancing thing

2-2.5 gpd isnt that much on a 210g system...

when i was running an inefficient c-reactor that let a lot of carbonic acid pass into the tank... i'd do everything i could to push more evap so the kalk would top off more and help keep the pH up.... some fans blowing across the sump will do this for ya

in time... you swap out that manual kalk drip for a dosing pump and k-reactor... that way the dosing is more precise (regulated by ATO) and you dont have to mix so often (about 2 cups to the reactor every month should do it on that sized system)

now... what all this does to your tank chemistry depends a lot upon what kinda scleractinian load you have


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Old 01/02/2008, 02:32 PM   #14
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thanks alot!! I think Ill give it a try!! But I don't want to overdose anything so Ill start slow and watch my ph monitor and see what it does & test the calcium!!


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Old 01/02/2008, 03:04 PM   #15
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i run several pH controllers in my system

1) to keep from over kalking

2) to keep pH in the c-reactor chamber from getting too low

3) to shutdown the c-reactor if the whole system pH gets too low

then later i bought an AC3 and it coulda done all of that for me without the seperate devices... live and learn


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Old 01/02/2008, 05:14 PM   #16
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I run a 5 gallon drip of Kalk into my tank. It lasts at most 5 days. I read that I shouldn't mix up more than 5 gallons, but I can't remember the reason. Does anyone have any luck mixing 10-20 gallons of water with Kalk? I kinda think that it might get all Kalk'd up if I were to try this.


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Old 01/02/2008, 08:40 PM   #17
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kalk container has to be vented to drip... sucking in ambient air reactor with the salution making it less potent over time


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Old 01/02/2008, 11:19 PM   #18
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if i put kalk into my top off water, will it clog my aqualift pump?


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Old 01/03/2008, 08:46 AM   #19
Hendersonracing
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kip
kalk container has to be vented to drip... sucking in ambient air reactor with the salution making it less potent over time
Mine is vented....I'll start today and post my results....

My alk was 9dkh this morning and calcium was 410 I'll use 1 teaspoon per 5 gallons of rodi water in my auto topoff!!

Ill post my daily calcium-alk!!


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Old 01/03/2008, 10:19 AM   #20
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to see that decline in efficacy over time with the kalk container.. take a pH reading (fresh should be right at 12)... then take another reading after 5 days.... (will have dropped marginally)... but then let it sit for 10days and there will be a big drop off


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Old 01/03/2008, 10:54 AM   #21
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i use the kalk slurry method. add a pre determined amount to some fresh RO water a few times a week and dump it into my sump. keeps my dkh at 9 and my calcium in the mid 400s. i noly have a 30 gallon tank, so i dose purple up to raise my calcium. no need for any reactors on such a small tank IMO.


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Old 01/09/2008, 06:12 PM   #22
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Thanks to advice from a member here on RC I dose kalk at night now with a doser. I set the evaporation/replacement volume and don't worry about overdosing.


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Old 01/09/2008, 06:48 PM   #23
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I have it down to the control of my finger tips with 3 litermeter pumps, 1 dosing kalk the other 2 dosing 2 part.. all I have to do is make more saturated lime water and add it to the bucket that doser is drawing from. It's probably less "potent" that way but that's it for now. Later maybe I will raise the draw tube and add a small power head on the bottom that runs 1 minute every few hours (easy to do on a digital timer). That will kind of stir and keep the bucket very potent. If it dose right after it stired, it draw a little bit more powder out but that's OK as it's just going to the beginning of the sump and it has plenty of area to dissipate.

The question is how would you divide the demand between the 2 part and the kalk, say I am adding about 10ppm of CA and (equivalent Alk) per day via the 2 part. and 5 ppm via Kalk.. (not enough to cause high PH problems yet). Using the reef calculator is easy to figure out how much to add..

As for benefit, it is supposed to reduce some phosphate on the spot but I don't know why but the whole tank looks better whenever I get back to dosing kalk.. more coraline and SPS grow faster.


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Old 01/09/2008, 11:55 PM   #24
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Kip, have you done that experiment? Randy's Kalk article showed that not to be the case because the crust and the lid to the container basically kept the CO2 out.

Quote:
if i put kalk into my top off water, will it clog my aqualift pump?
I have ran 400 gallons of limewater through my AquaLifter and only needed to clean it once (just run it for a few hours in vinegar. The tubing itself has clogged up more than the pump.


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Old 01/10/2008, 06:46 AM   #25
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i never dripped using large amounts or a wide open container... i just played with a half-gallon to see if what i thought (and what others had told me) was true. i never saw a definite layer of CaCO3 on top of the water. but i did see it on the container walls and bottom. regardless, when the CaCO3 forms... the Ca and OH are then bound and useless and you see the pH fall as you'd expect. doesnt mean the whole kalk solution is useless, just not as potent. (and pH fall is upper 11s-12ish down to upper 9s-10ish)

i havent messed with a gravity kalk drip in about 4 years (been using k-reactors on my various systems)


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