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Rookie chemistry questions

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zeltar

Proud new papa....
Joined
Mar 18, 2004
Messages
151
Location
Southern Ca.
I am looking for the "cliff notes" version on using Kalkwasser in your tank. I have never used kalk before and am currently in the cycle of my 120. I did purchase a Koralin 1502 Ca reactor but really am confused about the two.

Are they doing the same thing or do they need to be used together? Secondly, when does one start the addition of kalk or using a Ca reactor in the startup of a new tank?
Signed, chemically confused :confused:
 

Curtswearing

Mantisfreak
Joined
Nov 20, 2003
Messages
2,203
Location
St. Louis, MO
A lot of people use both Kalk and a calcium reactor.

Calcium Carbonate, dissolves at a fairly high pH compared to most substances. This is the "buffer" that people are talking about when they say that Aragonite sand is the best for deep sand beds. A calcium reactor basically takes some aragonite and lowers the pH (fwith CO2) to force it to dissolve releasing Calcium and Carbonates.

Kalk (Kalkwasser) is a balanced way of replenishing calcium and alkalinity when dripped. However, it will raise your pH. It is normally dripped at night to level out the pH swings since pH normally drops at night.

If you do both, you will have enhanced calcium and carbonate hardness with little affect on the pH.
 

cwcross

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 18, 2004
Messages
250
Both a Ca reactor and dripping Kalk do the same thing, but in different ways. In a young tank that is not very fully stocked, your Ca and Alk demand will be low. The target is to keep Ca at around 420 ppm with balanced alk. Once the level drops below this then Ca and alk need to be replenished. Kalk can keep up with demand in most tanks. However, fully loaded SPS and/or Stony coral tanks have very high Ca demand. In this case it may be that Kalk alone cannot keep up with demand. In this case, a Ca reactor or buffered Ca additive may be necessary in addition or instead of Kalk.

...sincerely...C
 

jks1

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 29, 2003
Messages
179
I found my Ca reactor did a great job of kepping the ALK in my ssytem up, but the PH and CA were still lacking. I added a Kalk reactor and things have leveled out pretty much where they should be.
 

DonW

R.I.P.
Joined
Dec 15, 2003
Messages
8,753
Location
Tacoma, WA
Your CA reactor will also suppliment trace elements depending on the media used. Kalk is just CA and Alk. Just watch you Mg if your using Oceanic for the initial set-up water. If you use kalk first it will help with the reduced Ph associated with New tank syndrone. It also help precip P so that your skimmer can get out.

Don
 

Katchupoy

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 9, 2003
Messages
2,188
Location
Kent 98031
Hi zeltar, First of all. You need to test your tank for calcium and alkalinity.
Sometimes. Kalkwasser can do the needed supplement if the demand is low. So you might want to keep you calcium reactor for future use.

Now if your tank has aged and you have tons of SPS, then it is time to help the kalkwasser with your calcium reactor.
 

zeltar

Proud new papa....
Joined
Mar 18, 2004
Messages
151
Location
Southern Ca.
Great, thanks for all of the replies in words that my brain can digest. Looks like I get to look in to the DIY Kalk doser section next. Woohoo another project.....
 

Katchupoy

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 9, 2003
Messages
2,188
Location
Kent 98031
Inlcude this in your plan for a DIY Kalk doser.

http://www.marinedepot.com/md_viewItem.asp?idproduct=KTALP
http://www.marinedepot.com/md_viewItem.asp?idproduct=KTALPF
attach it with a timer, and your kalk mix can be on a rubbermaid or a 10 gallon tank. You can configure it so that it will only run during nightime until early morning where PH is at its low.

or you can do this too...

http://www.marinedepot.com/md_viewItem.asp?idProduct=KM1651
just install it at the very end baffle/part of your sump and youre set. And it will drip 27/7 as much as your evaporation.
 
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