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Old 11/18/2017, 12:19 PM   #1
Daddi0
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Kalk and vinegar dosing

I recently set up an ATO to run Kalk. I started off with 3/4 tsp per gallon of R/O. After running about 10 gallons my PH started to creep up to 8.55. I dosed the tank with 30ml of vinegar and started using vinegar in my kalk. Yesterday I made a new batch of Kalk. I put 180ml of vinegar into a beaker, added 3tsp. Kalk and mixed well. I then poured this into 4 gallons of R/O mixed well, and hooked back up the ATO. Final ratio is 3/4 tsp Kalk and 45ml vinegar to 1 gallon of R/O.
So hard to find good first hand knowledge of mixing Kalk/vinegar. Does anyone out there dose Kalk/vinegar that can tell me if I am doing this right?
Cheers! Mark


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Old 11/18/2017, 12:35 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Daddi0 View Post
I recently set up an ATO to run Kalk. I started off with 3/4 tsp per gallon of R/O. After running about 10 gallons my PH started to creep up to 8.55. I dosed the tank with 30ml of vinegar and started using vinegar in my kalk. Yesterday I made a new batch of Kalk. I put 180ml of vinegar into a beaker, added 3tsp. Kalk and mixed well. I then poured this into 4 gallons of R/O mixed well, and hooked back up the ATO. Final ratio is 3/4 tsp Kalk and 45ml vinegar to 1 gallon of R/O.
So hard to find good first hand knowledge of mixing Kalk/vinegar. Does anyone out there dose Kalk/vinegar that can tell me if I am doing this right?
Cheers! Mark
Wow that is a whole lot of Carbon dosing your doing, how big is your tank?
If you not mixing over 2 tsp per gallon of Kalk there is Zero need to use vinegar.


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Old 11/18/2017, 12:54 PM   #3
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I run a 65g display that is heavily stocked and plumbed into a 30 cryptic tank and 30 gallon sump.
This is what I found online:

Dissolving the Kalk powder in the Vinegar first will accomplish several very good things.

First, it will get more Calcium ions (Ca++) into the solution because you are dissolving the Ca(OH)2 in an acid instead of water, and forming Calcium Acetate, which exists as a dissociated equilibrium of free Calcium ions and Acetate ions.

Second, the Acetic Acid (Vinegar) provides an equivalent of all the CO2 you need to avoid precipitating the newly-added Calcium ions as useless white Calcium Carbonate powder.

Third, after all the cool Calcium ion chemistry is over, the leftover Acetate ions from the broken-down Vinegar leaves you with free organic Carbon in the water that feeds the bacteria in your tank so that it converts more poisonous Nitrates to NO2 gas (a very good thing).


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Old 11/18/2017, 12:56 PM   #4
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The vinegar will also help me keep my PH in check?


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Old 11/18/2017, 01:02 PM   #5
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From the same article:The problem with allowing the CO2 reaction to occur as you mix your Kalk in a container without Vinegar is that you are mixing it in a comparatively small quantity of water that contains only a very limited amount of CO2. So, instead of having enough CO2 to go all the way to useful Bicarbonate ions (HCO3-, or Alkalinity) as you want it to, the chemical reaction stops at the undesirable Carbonate ion (CO3--). This is what sets the stage for the Calcium ions to precipitate out as useless solid Calcium Carbonate while still in the mixing container -- the Kalk mixes with SOME CO2, but not with ENOUGH CO2.

If your mixing container contained ample CO2, i.e., enough to fully react all the Kalkwasser as Bicarbonate ions, you would indeed then want to do all the mixing with CO2 right there in the container. It's only because there's not enough CO2 present in the small container that you need to limit the mixing to avoid precipitation.

So, you've actually hit on one good reason WHY we want to add the Vinegar to the mixing container -- the Acetic Acid in the Vinegar provides the equivalent of enough CO2 to take the reaction all the way to the desired end products for which we drip Kalk -- that is, to produce free Calcium ions and free Bicarbonate ions in solution in our tanks.

By using enough Vinegar, we can mix to our heart's content right in the container, and don't need to worry as much about dripping the solution slowly into the tank. We have already driven the reaction all the way to the desired outcome, and provided ample CO2 to produce a balance of free Calcium ions and free Bicarbonate ions. This, incidentally, is why Kalk is said to be "ionically balanced" - it produces a one-to-one balance between Calcium and Alkalinity.

By the way, the "stoichiometric" amount of Vinegar, i.e., that amount that provides the exact equivalent of enough CO2 to react all the Kalk powder to Calcium and Bicarbonate, turns out to be about 25ml of 5% Acetic Acid per liter of saturated (0.02 moles/liter or 1.5 grams/liter) aqueous Calcium Hydroxide solution (Kalkwasser). I've used 30ml of Vinegar to a teaspoon of Ca(OH)2 per liter of mix without any problem, but recommend about 15ml to those new to using Vinegar. This means that you still need to go easy on the stirring, because we are not providing quite enough equivalent CO2 to avoid SOME Carbonate ion formation if we get carried away with the mixing.


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Old 11/18/2017, 01:03 PM   #6
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Vinegar will not really help with Kalk unless your trying to over saturate your mix. At 2tsp per gallon your at your saturation point, at that point up to 45ml of vinegar can dissolve another 1tsp per gallon.
You should really read up on carbon dosing before adding to the tank. A 45ml starting point is way too much IMO. http://reefkeeping.com/joomla/index....arine-aquarium


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Old 11/18/2017, 01:28 PM   #7
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As I understand it, the carbon in the vinegar allows the Kalk to fully react into calcium and bicarbonate instead of precipitating out as useless calcium cabonate.
How do you mix your Kalk? Do you add a carbon source?


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Old 11/18/2017, 01:39 PM   #8
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As I understand it, the carbon in the vinegar allows the Kalk to fully react into calcium and bicarbonate instead of precipitating out as useless calcium cabonate.
How do you mix your Kalk? Do you add a carbon source?
I no longer add a carbon source, no need my levels stay where they need to be without. I instead added more LR and a BW bio brick.
I use a Kalk Stirrer now for the addition of Kalk, far easier and more consistant always full saturation.

When I did add carbon I was adding it to the kalk mix to over saturate as my evaporation rate was not great enough to keep up with alk and calcium demand. I was at 12ml per gallon vinegar with 2.3 tsp per gallon Kalk.


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Old 11/18/2017, 04:35 PM   #9
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Thanks for the input @Cheapreef ! I have tried to read everything I can find online. Just seems that everybody does things a little different than the next guy and every reef is different. I got the 45ml of vinegar from an article by Randy Holmes-Farley as a safe starting dose to reduce PH (I pasted it below) I will continue down this path and will keep an eye out for issues and correct as needed.
Cheers! Mark

Addition of vinegar via limewater: Commercial distilled white vinegar can be used to reduce a tank's pH by adding it to limewater that is subsequently added to the aquarium (instead of using limewater alone). Do not use wine vinegars because they may contain undesirable organics in addition to the acetic acid. A reasonable dose to start with is 45 ml of vinegar per gallon of limewater.


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Old 11/18/2017, 04:58 PM   #10
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Thanks for the input @Cheapreef ! I have tried to read everything I can find online. Just seems that everybody does things a little different than the next guy and every reef is different. I got the 45ml of vinegar from an article by Randy Holmes-Farley as a safe starting dose to reduce PH (I pasted it below) I will continue down this path and will keep an eye out for issues and correct as needed.
Cheers! Mark

Addition of vinegar via limewater: Commercial distilled white vinegar can be used to reduce a tank's pH by adding it to limewater that is subsequently added to the aquarium (instead of using limewater alone). Do not use wine vinegars because they may contain undesirable organics in addition to the acetic acid. A reasonable dose to start with is 45 ml of vinegar per gallon of limewater.
Might help with PH but it's also going to dose a huge amount of carbon right off the hope. I hope it works for you, I'd be far more cautious.


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Old 11/18/2017, 07:06 PM   #11
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Might help with PH but it's also going to dose a huge amount of carbon right off the hope. I hope it works for you, I'd be far more cautious.
Yeah, I hope Mr. Farley didn't accidentally leave out a decimal.


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Old 11/19/2017, 04:32 PM   #12
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Parameters seem to be on course. 36 hours in and Nitrates have dropped to 0, calcium is holding at 440, and the PH is pulling back a little from the 8.55 on Friday. Yesterdays PH range was L-8.26 H-8.46 and this morning's low was 8.21 Overall I am not noticing any issues with the vinegar (tank has been dosed approx. 120ml of 5% distilled vinegar in 36 hours). In fact the tank looks great! The cyano on the sandbed has almost disappeared and the whole tank kinda looks cleaner. No sign of any blooms.Will continue monitoring and adjust as needed.
Cheers! Mark


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Old 11/20/2017, 08:48 PM   #13
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Still looking good, Ph range today was 8.18 to 8.36 and calcium is still holding steady at 440 & 8+ DKH - No Blooms, corals and fish look good, cleaned the skimmer and nothing funky there. Mixed up another 2 gallons with the same ratio of 45ml vinegar, 3/4tsp Kalk per gallon.
Cheers! Mark


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