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Captain Squid
12/28/2010, 10:20 AM
I had just started using Kalk and was mixing up my second gallon to top off my drip tank. Doing the method on the bottle, mix with RO water, stri, let stand until sediment settles, then pour or siphon off clear water.

Not sure what they mean by "clear" water but it was always milke even after overnight standing. So I did a quick search and ran into this article.

http://www.reefscapes.net/articles/breefcase/kalkwasser.html

Opinions on this would be appreciated! Seems to make sense but once again I am not a a chemist. TIA

HighlandReefer
12/28/2010, 10:47 AM
After you add kalk to your rodi water you will get precipitation occur. The larger precipitant particles will fall to the bottom where they can be removed or not added to your tank. The very small particles can stay suspended for a very long period of time before they would settle out, longer than most hobbyists care to wait. If you go ahead and dose the small precipitants they will be removed by skimming according to the tests we have seen done on skimate which constititues a lot of calcium carbonate (fine reef sand). I would not worry about a small amount of clouding in kalk water.

As far as adding vinegar to your kalk mix, it will increase the output of alk and calcium that you add to your tank. Adding vinegar is not necessary unless saturated kalk water will not meet your tanks alk needs. If you do need more potency than that article will serve as a guide. When you add vinegar to your tank mix, you are also dosing a carbon source which increases bacterial growth and results in nitrate reduction.

Captain Squid
12/28/2010, 11:16 AM
Thanks Highlander. I was actually wondering what changed recently and was questioning the kalk in use. Reason is that my PH was very stable at 8.2 ish. I recently added another 50lbs of pre cycled rock from Marco Rocks, while I did not get a cycle at all, what I did notice was a drop in my PH to 7.8. Not sure if it was related but the timing was right. I struggled to slowly get my PH back up. My calcium has remained in the 450 range. Being winter here in NE PA and my sump is in the basement ( 75 gal ) my tank above it on 1st floor (180 gal ) I wondered if the kalk was actually doing anything with my CO2.

Seems the vinegar/kalk mix method may actually help in that regard, no? I do notice the white specs throughout the tank now, stuck to the glass in my overflows...purple coraline is growing well everywhere as well.

Captain Squid
12/28/2010, 12:01 PM
Thanks Highlander. I was actually wondering what changed recently and was questioning the kalk in use. Reason is that my PH was very stable at 8.2 ish. I recently added another 50lbs of pre cycled rock from Marco Rocks, while I did not get a cycle at all, what I did notice was a drop in my PH to 7.8. Not sure if it was related but the timing was right. I struggled to slowly get my PH back up. My calcium has remained in the 450 range. Being winter here in NE PA and my sump is in the basement ( 75 gal ) my tank above it on 1st floor (180 gal ) I wondered if the kalk was actually doing anything with my CO2.

Seems the vinegar/kalk mix method may actually help in that regard, no? I do notice the white specs throughout the tank now, stuck to the glass in my overflows...purple coraline is growing well everywhere as well.

mr.maroonsalty
12/28/2010, 01:09 PM
Lime dosing should be done per the tanks needs for primarily alkalinity, but calcium as well. If you're using fully saturated lime water and not meeting the daily demands for those two parameters, then you need to use other means to supplement. You can squeeze a little more out by using vinegar, but you are now also dosing an organic carbon source. Further, you may likely soon outgrow that means of supplementing, and be left with either using a Ca Rx or dosing 2-part. Unless your tank can handle the increase in Ca or alkalinity provided by lime it should not be used as a pH buffer. You're at 450 Ca so there is not much room for increasing what dosing you are already doing. There are other means of raising pH: a soda lime CO2 scrubber, getting skimmer air from outside, putting in a whole house air exchanger... I don't know how long you've been at this, but the drops you are experiencing is common in the winter. The loss of leaves raises CO2 levels in the outside air, and we also seal our houses up trapping pH reducing gasses inside.

Captain Squid
12/28/2010, 01:31 PM
Thanks -

My kH is at 8
Just checked ph again and its at 8.0

Certainly not an expert, been at this about a year now. Managed to not kill anything yet ;) corals are doing good, SPS, LPS and softies. Fish are all healthy.

Yes am aware of the raised C02 levels in the winter. I air out the basement every couple days. Its 1200 sf. I also crack windows in the house. daily to gets some fresh. My returns are pointaing at the surface of the water, breaking waves nicely. I take the doors off my hood during the day to circulate more air across the water, and the backs have been removed permanently.

I had recently purchased a C02 scrubber but it arrived with the wrong fittings, and after reading how costly they can be to run in addition to the other costs, decided to return it instead and seek our alternatives. This was one reason I went with Kalk. my Kh was never on the high side so I felt I had room to wiggle, but as you pointed out i would probably outgrow this solution at some point but then again when the weather breaks the windows here will be open, we dont use AC much living at a high elevation, only a few weeks in the summer if that, so fresh air will be abundant and oxygen levels here in the woods will be high so I am thinking that the solution is primarily needed more so during these closed up months.

Considered a calcium reactor but had shied away due to cost, but maybe that is my best solution?

Funny though, seemed I had the ph under control until right after the marco rocks went in. They were dry rock, but pre-cycled. Not looking to blame anyone or anything only trying to resolve. Ive bought rock there before, never noticed an issue but back then iw wasnt watching ph as closely as I am now due to the amount Ive invested in the corals Ive got now.

Seems teh more I test, the more I can find not withing acceptable parameters. Maybe I should stop testing? :idea:

mr.maroonsalty
12/28/2010, 03:18 PM
I don't know how you're reading pH, but a monitor or controller is a nice aid especially if you're dripping lime. I understand about air conditioning. I live a top the eastern side of the Delaware Valley, and live pretty much buried in the woods. High pH has always been my summertime problem.

Captain Squid
12/28/2010, 04:02 PM
Right now I'm using a Salifert PH test kit, I also have the API if I am in doubt but they both seem consistent.

I did make a modification today and drilled a hole through my basement wall to pipe air into my intake for the skimmer.

Thanks for all the advice.

NyReefNoob
12/28/2010, 04:18 PM
if you add vinegar to the kalk it will also lower the ph of the mix, kinda defeating the purpose of trying to maintain ph or raise ph

Captain Squid
12/28/2010, 04:49 PM
I wondered about that as well, adding vinegar but it seems to be a minute amount. I tested the mix and the PH was way off the chart to the upside of what I could test. I believe they said it should be around 12 and taking a guess by the deep purple color of the test I am guessing it is damn near close.

I just checked the tank, so the air intake has been taking air into the skimmer from outside for about 3 hours now. The kalk has been dripping for about 5. My PH is now at 8.2 so I am seeing an increase since my last test which was 8.0. But now of course I am not sure which is helping but if it balances out well, I wont try to fix it :) As long as my cal and alk stay in line anyway.

bertoni
12/28/2010, 07:33 PM
The article has a lot of mistakes. Adding some vinegar, but no extra kalk, will lower the pH in the tank a bit, but not much. The vinegar also adds organic carbon, a food source for bacteria, which can be either bad or good. I don't think it'll make much difference in the precipitation rate in a normal situation.

Captain Squid
12/29/2010, 07:55 AM
Speaking of the organic carbon, what about these people dosing vodka in their tanks?

Captain Squid
12/29/2010, 08:00 AM
One thing I did notice about the mix, is that the kalk does dissolve more completely, I dont have any "clouds" floating in the dosing tank. Possibly, as you mention, an increase in Kalk can compensate for the PH drop, though again the PH of the mix was off my charts so not sure how negative it really is.

Tested my tank again this am and was at 8.2. As I mentioned yesterday not sure if that is a direct result of the outside air mixing more oxygen in my skimmer or the change in the kalk mix. As long as it and other params stay stable Ill keep it like this, unless of course I get an algae issue from the vinegar. I ended up mixing 1 gal of mix using less vinegar than was recommended. I used 45 ml where it called for 60 . The Kalk was kept at the tsp per 2qt.

Boomer you got any input on this?

Captain Squid
12/29/2010, 08:03 AM
After you add kalk to your rodi water you will get precipitation occur. The larger precipitant particles will fall to the bottom where they can be removed or not added to your tank. The very small particles can stay suspended for a very long period of time before they would settle out, longer than most hobbyists care to wait. If you go ahead and dose the small precipitants they will be removed by skimming according to the tests we have seen done on skimate which constititues a lot of calcium carbonate (fine reef sand). I would not worry about a small amount of clouding in kalk water.

As far as adding vinegar to your kalk mix, it will increase the output of alk and calcium that you add to your tank. Adding vinegar is not necessary unless saturated kalk water will not meet your tanks alk needs. If you do need more potency than that article will serve as a guide. When you add vinegar to your tank mix, you are also dosing a carbon source which increases bacterial growth and results in nitrate reduction.

Interesting thoughts here re-reading your post.

The nitrate reduction, along with my current phosphate and nitrate reduction media ( Katalyst and Microbacter ) should result in less food for the algae, excluding the vinegar of course.

But 45 ml dripped into a total of 210 gals of water over several weeks, are we really talking about that much carbon fuel?

HighlandReefer
12/29/2010, 08:54 AM
Not in my opinion. ;)

FWIW, at one time I dosed 45 ml of vinegar per 3 teaspoons of kalk per 1 gallon of rodi water with an evaporation rate of about 1.5 gallons per day. So I was adding about 67.5 ml of vinegar per day to my system. I did not notice any drop in pH from this. I did not notice any bacterial blooms or masses from this. Randy has dosed higher levels of vinegar in his kalk water without problems. Now I'm not recommending this, but just wanted to provide two hobbyists' results regarding pH and bacterial problems when vinegar is mixed in kalk water.

HighlandReefer
12/29/2010, 09:01 AM
For a more accurate article that discuses adding vinegar to kalk water you may find this article interesting written by Dr. Craig Bingman:

Expanding the Limits of Limewater: Adding Organic Carbon Sources (vinegar)
http://web.archive.org/web/20030418110415/http://www.animalnetwork.com/fish2/aqfm/1999/oct/bio/default.asp

HighlandReefer
12/29/2010, 09:23 AM
From Dr. Bingman's article:

"If you use the maximum concentration of acetic acid listed in Table I, you will be able to get about 36 percent more calcium hydroxide to dissolve than if you mixed it normally."

So, if saturated kalk water provides about 1.5 dKH per day to your tank water, which is not unrealistic (this will depend on your evaporation rate), then you can boost up your alk production using vinegar to about 2 dKH. Hobbyists who use calcium reactors seem to have more of a tank pH decrease then using kalk water mixed with vinegar. ;)

I like the advantage that adding vinegar to kalk water reduces calcium carbonate precipitation. Of course one could argue that adding vinegar will increase the amount of heavy metals added, which would normally precipitate out in straight kalk water, but these heavy metals are added in calcium reactors and kalk reactors as well & seem not to cause problems. :)

Captain Squid
12/29/2010, 09:24 AM
Not in my opinion. ;)

FWIW, at one time I dosed 45 ml of vinegar per 3 teaspoons of kalk per 1 gallon of rodi water with an evaporation rate of about 1.5 gallons per day. So I was adding about 67.5 ml of vinegar per day to my system. I did not notice any drop in pH from this. I did not notice any bacterial blooms or masses from this. Randy has dosed higher levels of vinegar in his kalk water without problems. Now I'm not recommending this, but just wanted to provide two hobbyists' results regarding pH and bacterial problems when vinegar is mixed in kalk water.

Thanks again for the reply but......

Im looking at the amount you were dosing, are you saying that you dripped 4.5 tsp of kalk into your tank per day along with 67.5 ml of vinegar? How big is your tank?

Im working with a 180 and doing like one drip every minute and a half. At that rate I expect a gallon to last me quite a while but reading you post it seems you dosed a gallon of kalk mix in less than a day. did I misread that?

Am I going to slow? I was using my calc params to gauge the drip, I was using a different drip prior to the Kalk, calcium chloride. That lasted about two weeks dripping at this rate.

mr.maroonsalty
12/29/2010, 10:17 AM
Usually when we are talking lime all top off is done with it. Saturation is a little over 2 tsps (2.14) per gallon w/o acetic acid added. The more lime you add does nothing but wait for more fresh water to dissolve in. My drip rate is ~.1 ml per 2sec or ~1gal per day. I use a ~5.75 gal bucket and add 11 overfilled tsps when I refill. Therefore I dose ~2.14 tsps lime plus another 30mlsCa rhf #2, and 1/4-1/2 tsp baking soda per day. There is always close to or more than fully saturated lime water. I clean the dregs as I feel. I do find the solution clears much more quickly when starting fresh. There is probably little difference in organic carbon sources (sugar, vinegar, alcohol) other than any impurities it may carry. Your drip rate of 2l saturated lime w/45mls vinegar per 10-14 days will do very little as far as parameters are concerned.

Captain Squid
12/29/2010, 10:46 AM
I'm doing this a little different. My rodi is attached right to a float in my sump and just allows water right in without a pump. This is where I am trying to balance everything. I wanted to eliminate another potential source of failure, a dozing pump. I'm finding this is working well and adds small amounts of fresh in to keep that float closed. The hall just drips right into the exit water from the sump, slowly

HighlandReefer
12/29/2010, 10:47 AM
Captain,

I have a 180 g system with a open top and a fan over the water. I also have a 55 gallon tank (refugium) with an open top that at one time I had a fan over it. I also had a fan over my 15 gallon sump. I was using this to combat heat problems in my system to reduce chiller costs. This caused a 1.5 gallon evaporation rate for my system. ;)

As Dr. Bingman pointed out in his article the maximum alk and calcium you can get out of using kalk water with vinegar is to add 15.5 ml of vinegar per teaspoon of kalk added to your mix. You can add up to 3 teaspoons of kalk per 45 ml of vinegar. After that you may get more alk out of your mix, but that's where Bingman ended his conversation. If you add 3 teaspoons of kalk per 1 gallon of rodi water without vinegar only about 2 teaspoons will dissolve and the kalk water will not accept any more, the rest will remain undissolved on the bottom.

mr.maroonsalty
12/29/2010, 11:19 AM
Borneman has a picture of an old skool lime reservoir in his book. A tank is filled with several pounds of calcium hydroxide (lime) and water looks to be fed through it. Randy never really cared for that method. He felt it would be hard for the constant in and out flow of water to saturate consistently.

Captain Squid
12/29/2010, 12:08 PM
Captain,

I have a 180 g system with a open top and a fan over the water. I also have a 55 gallon tank (refugium) with an open top that at one time I had a fan over it. I also had a fan over my 15 gallon sump. I was using this to combat heat problems in my system to reduce chiller costs. This caused a 1.5 gallon evaporation rate for my system. ;)

As Dr. Bingman pointed out in his article the maximum alk and calcium you can get out of using kalk water with vinegar is to add 15.5 ml of vinegar per teaspoon of kalk added to your mix. You can add up to 3 teaspoons of kalk per 45 ml of vinegar. After that you may get more alk out of your mix, but that's where Bingman ended his conversation. If you add 3 teaspoons of kalk per 1 gallon of rodi water without vinegar only about 2 teaspoons will dissolve and the kalk water will not accept any more, the rest will remain undissolved on the bottom.

Thanks Highlander ( and others ) for all the good info. BTW can you identify this crab? lol no one has been able to yet. He showed up a long time ago and I managed to catch him after several lame attempts in my reef, hes now living in my sump until I can Id him for sure as freind or foe. No hair ;)

HighlandReefer
12/29/2010, 12:26 PM
Your welcome. ;)

Although I'm not versed for identifying crabs, a crab that large is a threat to fish particularly at night when the fish rest. All crabs are scavengers and will eat what they can catch. The larger they are, the more of a threat they are. If you keep him well fed he will less likely be a threat but no guarantees. ;)

Captain Squid
12/29/2010, 12:47 PM
I agree with that as well, not sure how big he would get but I had a couple fish show up with mysterious slices on them, but even now with him out of the tank a firefish woke up yesterday with a slice down the rear side quarter. Looks like she ran across something sharp, but this is the same type of slice Ive seen before too. A couple times fins were actually nipped off but haven't seen that since the crab was taken out. This one actually has a blood blister under it so it was a significant wound. sorry to go off topic here.

bertoni
12/29/2010, 03:13 PM
Some people have reported problems with vinegar in kalk, but that's probably fairly rare. I'd watch, but not worry much.

Captain Squid
12/29/2010, 06:03 PM
Some people have reported problems with vinegar in kalk, but that's probably fairly rare. I'd watch, but not worry much.

Hi Jonathan

What kind of issue reported? Algae? PH? Fish or coral issues?

As I posted earlier I am dripping Kalk very slowly ( dont laugh, I dont need a doctor! :lmao: ) and from what I am gathering, maybe too slow to do anything at all but I like to err on the side of caution.

bertoni
12/30/2010, 05:46 PM
Just manageable bacterial blooms. :) Nothing drastic.