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View Full Version : super saturated kalk through a kalk reactor


skunkmere
12/08/2011, 09:39 PM
i got a 90g sps tank that im currently supplimenting with a kalk reactor. the tank's demand is more than my reactor can provide. will a bigger reactor chamber increase the output.

another thought i had was to mix super saturated kalk and run it through my kalk reactor. will this have any negative effects.

thanks guys.
skunk

skunkmere
12/08/2011, 09:43 PM
sorry i forgot to add that i use 180ml of 2 part weekly to maintain my levels.

reefgeezer
12/08/2011, 09:57 PM
I don't think kalk can be supersaturated. A bigger reactor would not help in that case. Evaporating more water so you can add more kalk would help. Adding some fans blowing over the surface of the tank and/or sump will increase evaporation quite a bit.

bertoni
12/08/2011, 10:01 PM
A bigger chamber is unlikely to help. I'm not sure what you mean by "supersaturated" kalk. Do you want to try dosing a kalk slurry?

skunkmere
12/08/2011, 10:13 PM
sorry, i mean by using the 3 tsp per gallon with vinegar method. but i would start at two tsp of kalk at first. can i push that through my kalk reactor?

wesley6610
12/09/2011, 09:21 AM
I find myself in the same situation in which I'm dosing 170 mls of two part and 750 mls of Kalk each day and find that my Calcium starts at near 440 after a water change on Sunday and near 400 on Thursday. I don't have a lot of SPS/clams, but a decent amount; however, my coralline algae has taken off and I experience no precip either.

David Grigor
12/09/2011, 10:50 AM
sorry, i mean by using the 3 tsp per gallon with vinegar method. but i would start at two tsp of kalk at first. can i push that through my kalk reactor?

I don't really even see the point of a reactor if you still need to doctor up the ro resevoir with kalkwasser and vinegar prior to the reactor. Might as well skip the reactor all together and just do the resevoir method.

skunkmere
12/09/2011, 10:58 AM
you are right. i should just take it off line.

reefgeezer
12/09/2011, 11:03 AM
sorry, i mean by using the 3 tsp per gallon with vinegar method. but i would start at two tsp of kalk at first. can i push that through my kalk reactor?

What type of reactor are you using? Are you wanting to mix kalk and vinegar in the reactor?

skunkmere
12/09/2011, 12:19 PM
i have a diy reactor. its about 16". i have a mj1200 plumbed in to mix 6 times a day. i just wanted to use up the pound of kalk i have in the reactor, then take the reactor out of the system.

Randy Holmes-Farley
12/09/2011, 12:24 PM
Dosing vinegar and limewater really only works well from a settled reservoir of limewater. It is technically difficult to use it with a reactor. Diluted vinegar will be unstable toward bacterial degradation and conversion to CO2, which will not enhance the limewater but rather deplete it.

skunkmere
12/09/2011, 12:51 PM
thanks for your input guys. it does make sense that the periodic stirring in the reactor might cause a precipitation.

reefgeezer
12/09/2011, 06:57 PM
Before you abandon your reactor...

Is the calcium demand high in your tank? If used correctly, the reactor should deliver saturated kalk to replace the water that evaporates. In open top reef tanks that have average evaporation, that usually meets demand in all but high demand systems. Putting kalk @ 2 tsp per gallon in your ATO reservoir will do the same thing... and might be a lot more work.

I don't think you will get anything but a mess by trying to add more than 2 tsp per gallon to your ATO, particularly if you add vinegar. That may just make a bacterial bloom.

I'm not a fan and have never done it, but if you want to use a higher concentration of kalk, look into making a slurry with kalk and vinegar that you add all at once manually, usually at night. A slurry actually adds kalk that is not dissolved to the tank. The vinegar lowers the pH of the solution so you don't drive the pH of the tank up.

I'd recommend you use either the reactor or the ATO @ 2 Tsp per gallon, and make up for low calcium and alk with two-part.

m2434
12/09/2011, 07:44 PM
The best thing I ever did regarding ca/alk dosing was take the reactor off line. Now I dose premixed kalk and vinegar from a still reservoir. So much simpler, I have a 20g bucket, a cup marked to the correct level for vinegar, another marked to the correct level for kalk. The 20g lasts about 3 weeks. So, every 3 weeks I fill the bucket, scoop the kalk, dump it in, fill the vinegar cup, pour it in, mix for a few seconds, cover, let settle for a few hours, turn the dosing pump back on. No more fiddling with the reactor all the time and getting inconsistent dosing. Also, it's much more practical to use vinegar. I think reactors are one of those things that seem like a cool toy, but just have no practical or useful value in practice...

reefgeezer
12/09/2011, 08:57 PM
The best thing I ever did regarding ca/alk dosing was take the reactor off line. Now I dose premixed kalk and vinegar from a still reservoir...

If you please, what is the ratio of water to kalk to vinegar? I've been looking for a way to add vinegar. I already use Kalk from a still reservoir. I think I'd like to try your method.

droth335
12/10/2011, 06:17 AM
If you please, what is the ratio of water to kalk to vinegar? I've been looking for a way to add vinegar. I already use Kalk from a still reservoir. I think I'd like to try your method.

I do this from a 20 gallon kalk reservoir with an ATO and it works well for my 210. My SPS CA demand had increased to the point that with kalk only my CA was dropping to about 370 by the time I did my weekly water change. With adding vinegar to the kalk it now is at about 420-440 at the end of the week (for about a year). Here is an exerpt from Randy's article which I used as a guide:

How much can be used? The more vinegar that is used, the lower the pH of both the limewater and the aquarium will be. One reasonable point to shoot for is to add about the same amount of total CO2 via the vinegar as is needed by the lime to form HCO3-. This balance is roughly matched by using three level teaspoons of solid lime per gallon of limewater, and 45 ml of vinegar per gallon of limewater. For those aquarists choosing to use vinegar in limewater, these values are a suitable starting point. Note that the pH of the limewater is still quite high, so slow dosing is usually required.

and a link to the article:

http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2005-01/rhf/index.php#7

reefgeezer
12/10/2011, 10:15 AM
Thanks Dave.

reefgeezer
12/19/2011, 08:51 PM
After reading through this thread, I began to add vinegar to my ATO reservoir on 12/10 at 12 tsp of kalk to 3/4 cup of vinegar to 5 gallons of ro/di. (I'm not a chemist so that's about as precise as I get. :lol2:) I am very pleased with the results so far. After about 14 gallons of top-off my pH has risen a couple of tenths AND... the little dino problem I had is gone! While I had been doing quite a bit to improve water quality and can't contribute all the results to this, I believe it was a big piece of the puzzle. I hope the trend continues.

I'd like to thank the OP as well as those who contributed.

skunkmere
12/19/2011, 11:02 PM
thanks guys, i ended up ditching the reactor and mixing the kalk with vinegar. im on my 2nd 5g batch with 11 tsp of kalk. im waiting on some new alk test kits before i go any higher. im on bio pellets so im going very slow with the vinegar. my plan is to let my pellets in my reactor dissolve away as i increase the vinegar. Maybe run a small bit of pellets if needed to keep my nutients low.

Thanks for all your help Chemistry Forum your the best forum around, and happy holidays.