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View Full Version : alk and crushed coral, how do i raise it?


nemosworld
07/07/2010, 08:56 AM
As the tittle states, i'm dripping kalk to raise my dkh, but my api test kit keeps reading 7dkh.
little more about the system:
it's a 75 gallon new set, already cycled.
substrate is crushed coral (I like it ok)
sump light on reverse light cycle, actually runs from 10pm -7 am
live rock in display and in sump.
Sump is a diy 20 long
no skimmer, adding bubble magus later, but trying the skimmerless thing for now, seen some nice systems on rc like this.
calcium is over 500, this is a issue i have in any system i setup in my home, calcium is always high without dosing, dripping or adding anything.
magnesium, I need to check.

water change every 2 weeks, this week will be my second.
Livestock
anthias x1
2 damsel/chromis fish
saddle back clown fish x1 adding second one tommorow

pick of drain section:
http://jandrstudios.smugmug.com/Other/75-gal-sps-dominated/drain-area/909352105_sTMhQ-M.jpg
pump in pick is for chiller.

tank when i was filling it. need to update:
http://jandrstudios.smugmug.com/Other/75-gal-sps-dominated/DSC00793/898646272_9QAZP-M.jpg
rock work has not changed.

this is going to be a sps dominated with zoas on the substrate.
Any idea how i can raise this above 7?

Allmost
07/07/2010, 10:01 AM
Hello,
well dosing Kalk increased calcium, so you are dosing calcium and seeing high values, so you need to lower the drip rate.

what is your PH ? as kalk increases PH alot.

to increase KH you can use sodium bi carbonate (baked baking soda) which has minimal effect on PH (still should be added in AM time)

nemosworld
07/07/2010, 11:39 AM
actually, the calcium was already high with out dosing anything. in my house i have two tanks and i always have high calcium. I started dosing to try and balance my alk and calc
plus if i remember correctly, kalk will help with the reduction of phosphates.

Allmost
07/07/2010, 11:42 AM
actually, the calcium was already high with out dosing anything. in my house i have two tanks and i always have high calcium. I started dosing to try and balance my alk and calc
plus if i remember correctly, kalk will help with the reduction of phosphates.

kalk COULD help with reducing po4 in the following manner : they will raise the PH of water, and o4 will bond with calcium carbonate and percipitate (making sand) at any time the PH lowers, these bonds can be broken down and po4 released back.

many salt mixes have high CA, and at 500 you dont have that MUCH to worry about, but kalk does for sure add to your calcium level. so to lower that, and increase KH, you need to lower the drip and add baking soda to the tank to increase KH :) you can use the calculators to find out how much baking soda to add :)

mixer911
07/07/2010, 01:23 PM
actually, the calcium was already high with out dosing anything. in my house i have two tanks and i always have high calcium. I started dosing to try and balance my alk and calc
plus if i remember correctly, kalk will help with the reduction of phosphates.

What Salt are you using? This could explain the high CA. As far as Kalk raising DKH it will not. It will actually lower it over time. It will precipate phosphate over time also as Calcium phosphate. Just having crushed coral as a substrate will not increase your calcium to those levels. What you are thinking about is a calcium reactor that uses CO2 to dissolve crushed coral to raise your dKh.

blasterman789
07/07/2010, 01:33 PM
Dumb question:

Why are you dripping kalk in a new tank with nothing in it other than fish? I don't even see much coraline growing.

IMHO, the calcium is just going to precipitate out anyways.

mixer911
07/07/2010, 01:40 PM
Dumb question:

Why are you dripping kalk in a new tank with nothing in it other than fish? I don't even see much coraline growing.

IMHO, the calcium is just going to precipitate out anyways.

I think that he thought that Kalk would raise his dKh. This is what we are trying to help him with :) Nothing wrong with raising the dKh at this point.

bertoni
07/07/2010, 01:58 PM
Kalk generally can't be used to raise dKH very effectively, not in a short period, anyway, because of the high pH. It also adds calcium, at the same ratio as which coralline and corals consume the alkalinity, which is convenient.

I'd use baking soda to raise the dKH. This calculator will help with a dose:

http://home.comcast.net/~jdieck1/chem_calc3.html

The calculator requires a guess as to the actual water volume of the tank, so it's best to be conservative when dosing.

Kalk might cause calcium phosphate to precipitate, but that's never been demonstrated to happen. The calcium levels in your tank are not high enough to cause any substantial abiotic precipitation, so I wouldn't worry about that. I suspect that coralline is consuming the alkalinity as quickly as it's added, which is very common for an additive like kalk, because it is dilute and the high pH encourages coralline growth.

nemosworld
07/07/2010, 05:25 PM
to answer some questions:
this is my second tank, my main tank is a 110 mixed reef. not too much sps, but softie and lps.
it also has high calcium and low alk and mag.

the pic i showed was a pic from when i first setup this tank, i was at work when i posted and did not have a updated pic to show.
I have a monti cap and annother sps frag in the tank, i was using them to see how the dripping would affect them.

the tank is roughly a month old. and i use an pai test kit to do my test.
going to retest tonight.

without dripping or supplementing, my calcium test over 500-550.
mag usually around 1100 with elos mag kit. with the api test kit my alk reads 6dkh a buddy of mine told me he did some test and the api is off by 2, so if i get 6 i am really getting 4.

the salt i am currently using is oceanic, i have used seachem and coralife in the past, still have high calcium.

i do not think that crush coral will raise calcium, i know that it helps buffer my ph.that's why i'm using it.

what i am going to do is turn off the kalkwasser stirrer and do some dosing to try and bring it up and then slowly add more sps.

my intention was to try and balance it out now before losing any pieces to rtn. i am going to take ya'll advice and use the calculator and try to raise the alk.

hope i answered everything.

nemosworld
07/07/2010, 05:40 PM
just tested ph, still at about 8.0-8.3 with api test kit.
this was with 3 days of dripping.
mag 1600 using elos test kit.

bertoni
07/07/2010, 10:10 PM
Crushed coral won't buffer pH, although it gets advertised that way. It won't dissolve in your tank to any measurable degree. Some animals like it for digging, though.

Magnesium at 1600 ppm is very high, although that's not usually dangerous.

This thread lists the water parameters for a number of salt products at SG 1.0264:

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1714505

I'd check some freshly mixed saltwater, as a sort of sanity test. The API test kit gets fairly good reviews, and I don't agree that subtracting 2 is necessarily more accurate. 6 dKH seems more likely than 4 dKH. Any test kit can fail, though.

nemosworld
07/08/2010, 07:38 AM
I'm going to have a sample taking to one of my local fish stores and have it tested with two diff test kits, salifert and elos. will post results.

tmz
07/08/2010, 10:10 AM
Jonathan has it covered well.

Also 500ppm calcium is not a problem to worry about ;calcium hydroxide(kalk) adds both calcium and carbonate alkalinity while raising ph and is a fine way to add both.When you need to booost only alkalinity baked or unbaked baking soda works well.

As for PO4 precipitation via calcium hydroxide dosing it is considered a well reasoned hypothesis but unproven. The final part of the thought is that the precipitant gets covered with organics and is then skimmable which is why dosing near the skimmer intake is recommended.

I'd definately check salt mix water.What is the sg of your tank?

The reverse photo lighting in the sump doesn't seem useful since there don't appear to be any photosynthetic organisms in there. Adding some chaetomorpha algae would complete it.

nemosworld
07/09/2010, 09:41 AM
Jonathan has it covered well.
The reverse photo lighting in the sump doesn't seem useful since there don't appear to be any photosynthetic organisms in there. Adding some chaetomorpha algae would complete it.
what about for the live rocks? I noticed that without a photoperiod the rocks turn white. isn't that like cooking them?

Allmost
07/09/2010, 09:46 AM
what about for the live rocks? I noticed that without a photoperiod the rocks turn white. isn't that like cooking them?

if no light, the algea on live rocks die and it looks white.

it would have been like cooking htem if the water temp went up to 95 degrees C.

lol

nemosworld
07/21/2010, 07:48 AM
using salifert test kit:
magnesium: 1320
DKH:7.2
Calcium: 500
salinity: 1.026

I am now using and testing brightwells alkalin 8.3-p.
added 2 teaspoons 2 days ago, will test tonight.

I should add that, a buddy of mine who owns a store, gave me a bunch of sps frags just to see how they would do in my system, so far they have being doing good, some are brown, but i got them that way. and i'm still dripping. I noticed the stupid nozzle gets clogged every coupple of days though. need to change it for something better.

bertoni
07/21/2010, 03:55 PM
Those numbers are all fine.

I had problem with drip lines clogging, too, but I never found a good solution. Sigh!