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Thread: Kalk question

  1. #1
    Amphipod
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    Kalk question

    On my 130 gallon system I am interested in using kalkwaaser. I currently have the Tunze osomulator top off, using the tunze pump which draws water from the bottom of the top off tank. The top off tank is a aga 5.5 gallon.

    The tunze likes to pump a little extra water when it kicks on, to keep the pump from cycling off and on several times per day. I use the 5 gallons in roughly 4 days.

    If I were to prepare lime water in a different container, allow the Kalk powder to settle and draw the saturated water from the container and then add it to my top off tank, would it be safe? Would I add one gallon of saturated lime water to four gallons of RODI water in my top off tank, or 5 gallons of lime water in my top off?

    As the tunze pump draws water from the bottom like a sump pump I could not add Kalk directly to the top off tank, as thr pump would draw Kalk powder in and push it into my sump.

    The other concern is that since the tunze top off adds larger portions of top off several times a day as opposed to smaller portions several times a day, is it enough to cause substantial ph swings?

    Thanks for any advise.

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    I know someone that mixes a couple spoons full of kalkwasser to 5 gals RODI water for his auto top off. His is gravity feed though.
    I myself would like to know too, how kalkwasser affects the system.
    I'll be following along to hopefully learn more.

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    BRS has some good videos on the subject. if you go to their site and look at their kalksawwer kalk 'brand' they are on the same page. i don't know enough to comment on it since i watched the videos quite a while ago, and i'm not using it.. but i remember walking away with a pretty good understanding after wathving them.. it just didn't 'stick' because i went with 2 part instead..
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    Surgeonfish
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkimHeavy View Post
    On my 130 gallon system I am interested in using kalkwaaser. I currently have the Tunze osomulator top off, using the tunze pump which draws water from the bottom of the top off tank. The top off tank is a aga 5.5 gallon.

    The tunze likes to pump a little extra water when it kicks on, to keep the pump from cycling off and on several times per day. I use the 5 gallons in roughly 4 days.

    If I were to prepare lime water in a different container, allow the Kalk powder to settle and draw the saturated water from the container and then add it to my top off tank, would it be safe? Would I add one gallon of saturated lime water to four gallons of RODI water in my top off tank, or 5 gallons of lime water in my top off?

    As the tunze pump draws water from the bottom like a sump pump I could not add Kalk directly to the top off tank, as thr pump would draw Kalk powder in and push it into my sump.

    The other concern is that since the tunze top off adds larger portions of top off several times a day as opposed to smaller portions several times a day, is it enough to cause substantial ph swings?

    Thanks for any advise.

    I am currently doing what you are asking about now on my 50 gallon sps/lps tank.
    I am adding 4 teaspoons of kalk powder to 5 gallons of water. Mix real good. Then I let it settle for 24 hours in a 5 gallon bucket with a spigot in the side about 3" up from the bottom.
    I drain the clear liquid off and add it to my 16 gallon top off container.
    I do this about every two weeks.

    I use to use a drip method, but it was a pain to control.
    The amount of kalk powder to ratio of top off water is pretty weak so I really only test once a week.
    Any stronger solution I would test daily until you figure out how much your reef uses.

  5. #5
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    Kalk is Calcium hydroxide

    Ca(OH)2

    When it enters water it dissociates to free Calcium, Ca+2 and 2 (OH)-

    Ca(OH)2 ----> Ca+2 and 2 (OH)-

    The Ca+2 adds to your Calcium levels

    The 2 (OH)- combine with CO2, giving HCO3- ( <--same as that in the Alk part of the 2-part or what is in Baking Soda, NaHCO3)


    OH- + CO2 -----> HCO3-

    Thus, removing CO2, producing HCO3+ which raises the pH and Alk.



    The pH of saturated Kalk is about 12.5 pH. A liter of sat Kalk would give 1 liter about 810 mg/l Calcium and about 125 dKH / l. And about 1 liter of sat Kalk would raise the pH about 0.1pH units in 100 gals. But this can vary due other parameters so it is just a close approximation.

    Some reefers can use just Kalk for their systems, giving all that is needed for CO2, pH, Alk and calcium. However, in many tanks, like SPS, you have to use sups or a Calcium reactor. If you try using just Kalk in such tanks you will end up driving the pH up to much and will be low in Alk and Calcium.

    The issues with Kalk are what are you using it for really ?

    1. To raise the pH due to CO2, where here the Alk and Calcium you get are just a side benifit.
    2. To keep up all your demands in pH, Alk and Calcium
    3. To use Kalk as a pre-sup to your 2-part to help CO2 / pH issues with the side benefit of using less 2-part, as the Kalk is also giving you some Alk and Calcium.

    There are many ways to use Kalk, ie., dosing pumps, Kalk reactors, drip units, manual additions. You need to figure out what your Kalk demands are for one of the above. You may have to cut back on the Kalk solution making it less saturated. Most, by far, use Kalk to control low pH issues and for removing excessive CO2.

    What Mfinn gave above is a good way to start. This is not something you can just calculate out, as it will be different for many, because of their system. It is trial and error.
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  6. #6
    Amphipod
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    Thanks everyone for the advice and direction.

    Marty, I am glad to hear it works for you.

    Boomer, I have always been a water change guy to maintain levels, but I have not grown coraline with this reef hardly at all. I had a bryopsis outbreak that I had corrected by bringing my Mag up to 2200 for five weeks. After this I did a 30% water change which brought my Mag down to 1500. I have noticed the coraline growth to increase slightly, but my cal is sitting at 350.

    All my corals and my ritteri survived 2200 mag, in fact my zoas seemed to jam. My LPS bleached like you wouldn't believe. I had read massively high mag levels can affect Alk, however I did not test it.

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