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dcforester1
01/21/2010, 08:41 PM
I am new to using kalk, and fairly new to reefing(1yr). I have approx 80-85gal mixed reef. I was having trouble keeping my Alk up. I use Randys rec. I started dripping Kalk about 3-4weeks ago. I started with 1Tbs/gal, now I am using 2Tbs/gal. I am dripping as my top off, and evap 1- 1 1/2galper day. My Alk still doesnt stay up I start at 10, and the next day I am down to 6-7, is normal? I thought dripping the kalk was suppose to keep it up?

I am mixing it in a 5gal bucket, letting it sit for 24hrs, and letting it drip in. I dont know if I let it sit long enough, because everything in my sump is turning white from the kalk. The inside glass of the sump was all white, chalky. I am wondering if my skimmer is not removing fine particles from the water because I am also having issues with that as well.


I am just wondering if I am doing this the right way? Does anyone have any ideas/suggs on what I should try doing? I am just putting the solution in a bucket, but I am thinking of putting together a kalk reactor with some acrylic tube I had laying around. Am I at the point where maybe I have to much to be maintained by kalk alone? I was thinking of stop dosing for acouple of days to see how much the kalk adds. If I have to add ALk, and Calc anyway, I dont see the point in mixing the kalk. I see people who have alot more than I do maintain there tanks with it, and I dont know what I am doing wrong.

TIA Derek

phil519
01/21/2010, 08:51 PM
I am no expert - but if there's white slurry mix on the bottom of the sump -then the kalk did not saturate correctly before you dosed it. The kalkwasser mix sits on the bottom of the reactor/container and the clear saturated liquid is what gets dosed into the tank.

julie180
01/21/2010, 09:05 PM
Since kalk will never completely dissolve, you need to keep your feed line about an inch off the bottom of the container.

I thought kalk was used more for ph and calcium control???

dcforester1
01/21/2010, 09:34 PM
I dont have a slurry in the sump. It is just on the glass, like a residue. I have the hose 2-3in off the bottom.

drparker
01/21/2010, 10:22 PM
The lime water your using for top off should be clear, yes? You might be low on your Mg or Ca and that could be keeping you from raising your Alk and might even be precipitating some out. What's your pH, Salinity, Ca and Mg.

lighthouze08
01/21/2010, 10:33 PM
kalk will only dissolve in water until the water is saturated (can't dissolve anymore). that would take 2-3 tbs/gallon. Let it sit for a couple hrs and dose the clear water

dcforester1
01/21/2010, 11:26 PM
The lime water your using for top off should be clear, yes? You might be low on your Mg or Ca and that could be keeping you from raising your Alk and might even be precipitating some out. What's your pH, Salinity, Ca and Mg.

At first I was having a problem with that, but all levels have been good for the last 5days.

Sal 1.025
Mag 1400
Cal 440
Alk 10

Can I keep the levels up that high just with the kalk, or will I have to keep adding supplement with the kalk. If it doesnt keep it up, what are the benefits of using it?

Thanks Derek

buddfernite
01/22/2010, 04:50 AM
add a little white vinager to solution it dissolves kaulk better

Randy Holmes-Farley
01/22/2010, 06:37 AM
Yes, vinegar helps lime to dissolve, but be warned it also drives bacterial growth, uses up O2, reduces nutrients, etc.

So while it can be a fine procedure, and I directly dose vinegar saturated with lime, one must be aware of these other aspects. :)

This has more on limewater use:

What Your Grandmother Never Told You About Lime
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2005-01/rhf/index.htm

drparker
01/22/2010, 07:53 AM
....Can I keep the levels up that high just with the kalk, or will I have to keep adding supplement with the kalk. If it doesnt keep it up, what are the benefits of using it? Randy's articles on tank chemistry are the best. Will it keep up depends on your live stock and how much they pull out of the water. I have two tanks and use kalk on both, in my SPS tank I need to do additional dosing and on my mixed reef full strength kalk is too much.

After you stabilize CA, Mg and Alk at the right levels you should see Ca also drop if Alk is dropping, as Randy's article covers, corals use them in a set ratio.

A 4 point drop overnight in an 80g mixed reef seems very high to me, what's the Ca level when Alk is down to 6? What's the pH at both times? Have you verified all the test results with other test kits and by taking water to a LFS for testing? How soon after dosing are you measuring to get the 10. What's the Alk and hour after dosing read?

Chris27
01/22/2010, 07:58 AM
You wouldn't happen to be mixing your kalk powder with saltwater would you?

dcforester1
01/22/2010, 10:01 PM
Randy's articles on tank chemistry are the best. Will it keep up depends on your live stock and how much they pull out of the water. I have two tanks and use kalk on both, in my SPS tank I need to do additional dosing and on my mixed reef full strength kalk is too much.

After you stabilize CA, Mg and Alk at the right levels you should see Ca also drop if Alk is dropping, as Randy's article covers, corals use them in a set ratio.

A 4 point drop overnight in an 80g mixed reef seems very high to me, what's the Ca level when Alk is down to 6? What's the pH at both times? Have you verified all the test results with other test kits and by taking water to a LFS for testing? How soon after dosing are you measuring to get the 10. What's the Alk and hour after dosing read?


I have been test fairly soon after dosing, maybe I should wait alittle longer. I tried with 2 different tests

I didnt check the calcium this time, but before it stayed up.

I have alot of frags, but not that many that I should be getting such big drops.



Yes, vinegar helps lime to dissolve, but be warned it also drives bacterial growth, uses up O2, reduces nutrients, etc.

So while it can be a fine procedure, and I directly dose vinegar saturated with lime, one must be aware of these other aspects. :)

This has more on limewater use:

What Your Grandmother Never Told You About Lime
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2005-01/rhf/index.htm




Randy I have read your articles numerous times, but I cannot seem to get it right. I havnt figured out how much I use each day, and just dose it. I tried to drip the kalk, because people told me it would keep my levels up, but it hasnt.

I am just getting discouraged, because I just got some nice stuff that I am losing due to Alk swings I believe.


You wouldn't happen to be mixing your kalk powder with saltwater would you?

I am mixing with RODI

I will recheck everything tonight, and let you know what I have. It is now 24hrs later. I am also rereading Randys Article on Alk and Calc in Adv aquariest



After checking and calibrating my refractometer I realized my salinity was off, but I dont know if that would affect it. I know to keep Alk up salinity should be at 1.025

Alk 7
Cal 430
Ph 8.2
Mag 1400
SG 1.022

Last night (24hrs ago)
Alk 10
Cal 440
Ph 8.4
SG 1.022


Should I bring my Alk up to 10 again? Or should I leave it, and see what happens in 24hrs?
Thanks so much Derek

drparker
01/22/2010, 10:30 PM
In combination with Randy's article's I find this calculator very valuable when dosing my tanks. Chemistry calculator (http://home.comcast.net/~jdieck1/chem_calc3.html)

dcforester1
01/22/2010, 10:47 PM
In combination with Randy's article's I find this calculator very valuable when dosing my tanks. Chemistry calculator (http://home.comcast.net/~jdieck1/chem_calc3.html)

Thanks dr, I have been using that, and it has been working. Do you think the lower salinity would make it drop, or is it not a big enough difference?


Should I leave it to see if it drops more, or add some Alk to raise it?



Thanks Derek

dcforester1
01/22/2010, 11:55 PM
I am running an airstone in my sump. Could this affect my Alk, and/or the addition of the Kalk?
Thanks again Derek

drparker
01/23/2010, 12:06 AM
Stand pat and measure for a few days now that your salinity is up to correct levels.

My guess is your were measuring to soon after dosing and was not really at 10 or you were dosing to much at one time. When I needed to shift my 75 gal tank say from 7 to 9 it takes me several days to do it. There is a spike in the pH right when your dosing alk but it drops after that. If you dose to much to quickly the spike in pH could be to much of change for your tank.

If I dose more than 15ml at a time the pH shifts way more than the .2 recommend shift and stays high for way to long. every tank's different so YMMV.

I suggest you do several smaller doses over the course of the day not all at once. Take your measurements at the same time each day and not right after dosing. Track day to day changes and you should see it start to rise.

dcforester1
01/23/2010, 12:22 AM
Thanks for the help. No wonder my coral is dying. I was raising my Alk from 7-10 in on night. I was dripping it over 3-4hrs but still alittle to much. If my calcium is not depleating is that normal, or should they go down together, so I should have to dose the same amounts to bring it back up?

Is the airstone affecting anything?

Adding 1 1/2gal of kalk in a 24hr period, should that maintain my levels with a light load, or should I have to add suppliments?
Thanks

Randy Holmes-Farley
01/23/2010, 07:06 AM
Yes, dripped limewater alone should work for most folks with a light load. It works for my medium load. :)

It is best to use limewater best to try to keep things relatively stable, not for large boosts to alkalinity (and it will never work to make big boosts to calcium, since alk and ph would get way too high).

Airstone in the sump is fine. :)

garzaci
01/23/2010, 07:18 AM
You just need to measure each day and see how much its changing. After about a week make those adjustments and retest. Eventually you'll be able to dial it in.

drparker
01/23/2010, 09:19 AM
I'm sorry sometimes we get so use to terms and expected meanings of them that we forget to clarify our use of them.

We never use Lime water to dose(adjust a parameter) it is used in our top-off water to replace evaporation. It helps to replace Ca and Alk used by the corals. This reduces the amount of dosing we will need to do with a two part solution.

When one or any of Ca, Alk or Mg are not in the proper range then we dose using Randy's two part solution or one of the commercially available ones. I buy it from Bulk reef Supply, it's much cheaper than buying commercial mixes.

After you get everything dialed in to the correct levels then monitoring just Alk will give you an idea of what's going on. Now that I've got an established tank with stable parameters I know i need to dose about 15ml ca and alk every three days. I test alk every three weeks to see if new coral growth has increased my use of these. Every other month I test Ca, Alk, and Mg and that is when I dose Mg.

dcforester1
01/23/2010, 09:09 PM
Thanks to all that replied, Randy do you ever lecture locally? I live over in Malden, not to far from you, and after read many of your articles it would be nice to meet you.

In my rush to fix everything I dont think I clearly stated what was going on, and what I was doing. I have been dosing using Randys rec for about a year. The problems started when I started to drip Kalk, and couldnt keep my Alk up. I think I know what I need to do at this point, and I am just going to take it slow, and track whats going on. I wasnt sure on a couple of things, but think I will be OK.

Thanks again, and I will keep you posted.
Derek

Randy Holmes-Farley
01/24/2010, 07:15 AM
I don't have time to travel to give talks, but I do occasionally give a talk or a question and answer session with the Boston Reefers. They have many good speakers, monthly. SO I'd check them out:

http://www.bostonreefers.org/

dcforester1
01/24/2010, 08:43 PM
Thanks Randy for the help. I have been with the reefers for about a year now. I have gotten alot of help from a couple members there, but was getting tired of bothering them. I would be sick of listening to me, so I figured they were as well.LOL I am going to just monitor it for the next couple of weeks, and see what happens.
Thanks Again Derek

Randy Holmes-Farley
01/25/2010, 06:33 AM
OK, sounds good.

Good luck. :)

dcforester1
01/28/2010, 11:13 PM
I have been monitoring my water, and it seems like my Alk is dropping more than my Calc. I am having to use approx 2-3oz of Randys rec everyday(Just Alk, keeping it at 8, it drops to 7). I was wondering, I am using a 5gal bucket with a mixture of RODI, and kalk for top off. I was wondering could I add 10-15oz of Alk to the top off? Or am I asking for trouble? Is it going to have some type of reaction when I mix it? or not stay mixed up

Randy Holmes-Farley
01/29/2010, 04:55 AM
That's normal for underdosing of both calcium and alkalinity. A drop of 1 dKH is only accompanied by a 7 ppm drop in calcium, and the latter is not detectable with a test kit.

So if saturated limewater alone is not adequate (are you adding enough solid to saturate the fre4sh water? 2 teaspoons per gallon of fresh water?) then try using some of a two part in addition to the limewater. Not mixed with it, but dosing both to the same tank. :)

dcforester1
01/29/2010, 06:28 AM
Thanks or the help Randy. The Calc is dropping slightly, that would explain it.
TIA Derek

dcforester1
01/29/2010, 06:17 PM
When raising the Alk it raises my ph from 8 to 8.4-8.5. I am using Randys rec 1, and adding it slowly, taking about 3min to add it. Should I be adding it slower over a longer period of time, it is only about 2-3oz?

I am also adding my Calc about an 1hr later. Is it OK to add them both on the same night? I have a perilastic pump that I am using for the top off, should I be using that to add my 2part? I could drip 3oz of each over a couple hr period, instead of all at once, then use something else for the top off. Just when I think I know what I want to do, I get a curve ball thrown at me. Any Suggs

Randy Holmes-Farley
01/30/2010, 07:20 AM
I think that rise is OK, but separating it into two doses will halve the ph effect of each. Dripping is fine, but not mandatory like it is with limewater. :)

Both within a few minutes is OK, as long as one disperses before the next is added.

dcforester1
01/30/2010, 10:06 AM
The last question I have is. If am going to have to dose Alk, and Calc everyday? What is the benefit of dripping the Kalk? Is the kalk going to keep my levels up higher, and more stable?
Thanks for all the help Derek