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Old 06/08/2006, 05:26 PM   #1
Fliger
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The "Balling" Method

I'm trying to learn a little more about this method, recently I've seen two amazing European tanks who use this method for ca/kh/mg (among other things) supplementation. Here is one, and I believe Iwan also uses this method.

German Tank







Here is a post from the tank owner in the thread ...

Quote:
Thanks for your kind replies so far,

Matt,
i use Grotech dosing pumps for supply of liquid chemicals.
Basically its a controller with 3 peristaltic? hose-pump (squeeze-pump?) included.
You can add a max. of 2 modules with up to 4 additional pumps each (which is 11 in total).
You can than simply program them independently with how many milliliters a day and in how many portions they should pump. (Unfortunately for large reefs they support only up to 2 liters (0.53gal) a day so i have to use 2 channels for my NaHCO3 dosage).
http://www.grotech.de/ENGLISH/index.php?c=1&s=teciiing is the vendor-site.

I use the 11 channels for:
1 - CaCl2 solution for Ca support
2 - MgCl2 solution for Mg support
3+4 - NaHCO3 solution for KH support
5+6 - NaCl free Salt solution to prevent Ion displacements
'cause Ca/Mg/NaHCO3 support also puts NaCl in, which'll have to be compensated
7+8 - remove of tankwater (which than is replaced by ro/di water by level controller)
'cause above additions will raise salt concentration
9 - Strontium/Barium solution
10 - Iodine solution
11 - Traceelements from QFI



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Old 06/08/2006, 05:37 PM   #2
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I did find a few decent threads on it (mostly in the reef chem forum), seems to be "similar" to the two part method and mostly seen in German.

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh...balling+method

http://www.andy-hipkiss.co.uk/caalkbal.htm

Interesting enough. RalfP seems to have made it into a real science.


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Old 06/08/2006, 05:41 PM   #3
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That tank is AWESOME!!!!


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Old 06/08/2006, 08:21 PM   #4
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that tank is amazing looking forward to learning about this new method too


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Old 06/08/2006, 10:08 PM   #5
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It's basically just 2 part. The June/July 2004 Giant Clam edition of Coral magazine has a short article on it if you can borrow that from a fellow reefer.
hth, Chris


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Old 06/08/2006, 10:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by CamBarr
that tank is amazing looking forward to learning about this new method too
I dont think it is really that new.

Iwan is supposed to be useing it also.

Nothing revolutionary folks

Just a basic Ca/alk supplementation.


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Old 06/08/2006, 11:11 PM   #7
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But is the Balling method just ca/alk - and the above regimen by RolfP includes other additions - or is the Balling method inclusive of the pumps 2, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11? I wonder how Iwan defines the Balling method. Obviously Iwan and RolfP can afford reactors if they want them, they must truly believe that their method is superior to a ca rx in one way or another.

There are other incredible German reef tanks I've seen that use this method - just as pricey as these two. There has to be something more than just ca/alk supp?


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Current Tank Info: Current: 210G Elos System, 2x400W + 6x54W Photon w/Aquaconnects, H&S skimmer, Deltec FR509/ROWAphos+Elos Carbon, 6101's and 6201's, Ocean GEOtronic 900 Chiller/Heater, Biotopus II Controller w/SMS. Elos System 70.
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Old 06/09/2006, 12:14 AM   #8
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I use the Balling method to add and hold Ca, Mg and KH.
That means:

- CaCl2 solution for Ca support
- NaHCO3 solution for KH support
- NaCl free salt solution to prevent Ion displacements
- MgCl2 solution for Mg support

I was not able to deliver enough Ca with a conventional reactor. This mothod allows to reach the desired values.

To make the solutions:
(According to Hans Werner Balling)

375g of calcium chloride is dissolved in 5000ml of water.

325g of sodium bicarbonate is dissolved in 5000ml of water.

150g of NaCl-free marine salt is dissolved in 5000ml of water.

More about the methode:

http://www.athiel.com/lib7/drj2.htm


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Old 06/09/2006, 09:23 AM   #9
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What is the dosing regimen let say for a 50 that’s middle of the road I think?????


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Old 06/09/2006, 09:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by CamBarr
What is the dosing regimen let say for a 50 that’s middle of the road I think?????
" Dosage: Initially add 30ml of each solution per 100 liters (approximately 25 gallons) of water, daily. Continue this until a carbonate hardness of 9 - 11 dH is reached. 30ml once or twice a week, per 100 liters should then suffice as a maintenance dose. "


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Old 06/09/2006, 10:57 AM   #11
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Im a little confused. So this method is used because a calcium reactor could not keep up with tank demand? Therefore, these people have dumped their reactor and now just use the above mentioned supplements. Interesting.


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Old 06/09/2006, 12:28 PM   #12
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Hi all,
i'll try to describe what i understood of Hans-Werner Ballings (working at Tropic Marin)
"Balling Method". Please be patient :-).
Be warned!, there are lots of different flavours of this method used!

The basic idea is,
why messing around with a calcium reactor were you have problems to exactly dose
how many calcium and how many hardness you add to the system.
So lets simply add the chemicals.
In the original Version of H.W. Balling there is no Mg mentioned but that works simular to
the Ca-Method and is therefore used in combination.

for Ca Support add CaCl2*2H2O
for Mg Support add MgCl2*6H2O (there is also another version, at end of post)
as Ca and Mg usage of the corals need HCO3 also add NaHCO3 which also keeps up the Hardness and regulates it.

With that chemicals you therefore can maintain your Ca/Mg and Carbonhardness and control them independently.
You can of course use different methods to supply it... Putting powders in the sump, use a measuring cylinder and put solutions of them into the water... or highly automatic, using a peristaltic dosing pump.

There of course is a downside...
When you add that chemicals you'll also add NaCl to the system as you can see if looking
at the summformulars of them.
This would change the composition of the different salts in your water, normally only
70% or so? of the salt in your water is NaCl.
To correct this "ion displacement" you have to add NaCl free seasalt, which one can buy from
Tropic Marin or Preis or maybe other vendors also, to compensate the displacement.

If you look at this all, you'll discover, that you also raise the spec. gravity of your water...
adding NaCl and adding NaCl free Salt means adding salt!
So you'll have to remove reefwater and add RO/DI water to correct that.
(Or use less concentrated seawater with your next waterchange).
(I remove water by a dosing pump, because method raises my s.g. from 1.026 to 1.028 in just one week)

The original version of Balling is even more complex, because it also mixes its own
Traceelement solutions, which are added to the solutions of CaCl2 and MgCl2 and NaHCO3. edit: and NaCl-free salt.
I don't use that elements, because its far too complex for me. I use Traceelements like
i think you all do... The ones one can buy and put in.
The good part of that would be that you dose elements according to your Ca-usage, which
could be in conjunction in your reef (but does not have to, because elements also simply
disappear by falling out.)



Uffz, too complex? Still here? ;-)
If you understand the method and get used to it and have a dosing station, you'll only have
to make 4 solutions in 14 days or so (depending on size of container for them).
And of course measure the parameters once a week (and maybe correct them).
To keep up my Calcium, i would have to "burn" about 100g (edit: sorry, again using metric units... *curse* 0.22 pound) Kalk (in a reactor) a day!
Well there are some do's and don'ts like neverever put NaHCO3 together with the other
chemicals in the water... wait between dosages (else they will react with each other).

Everyone seems to have his/her own flavour of Balling, like how much of which salt in
how many gal water, with or without Strontium or traceelements etc.
Some trust in huge waterchanges a week and not doing the part with the NaCl free salt.

Well, i have my own flavour too ;-)
I don't use the elements (I use others like you maybe do)
I also remove reefwater automatically because i have to add so much chemicals, that
i don't want to raise my sg. by 2 points in the week and add RO/DI by levelcontroller.

Not Balling:
As i understand, there is an "old" version of adding Mg to the reef were you
add MgCl2 and MgSO4 in a certain mix.
This is done because Sulfate(SO4) is the major part of saltcontent after Chlorid (Cl) and
one tries to prevent the above mentioned ion displacement with that somehow.
So MgCl2 and MgSO4 addition found its way into the Balling Method.
But as i think i already compensate the SO4 part by adding the NaCl-free Salt,
so i do not use the MgSO4 and use only MgCl2. Else i would create a displacement.

Uffz again... still here?
questions about the concept?
i'll do my very best ;-)

Ralf


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Last edited by RalfP; 06/09/2006 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 06/09/2006, 12:36 PM   #13
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perfectly clear, thanks. I think I will stick with what I am doing.


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Old 06/09/2006, 02:01 PM   #14
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oops,
thanks for the kind words about the tank *bow*.

drock59,
I have seen so beauty tanks with both methods... if it runs smooth for you, you're shurely right... why change a working system...
I built up the new big system and had to think about a method that supplies easily huge amounts of Ca/Mg and stuck to this one.
As i worked as a "skilled laboratory worker"? in my first life... i have a certain sympathy for messing around with chemicals, which i don't do at job anymore ;-)

I have seen people with moderately stocked tanks using "Balling" and then messing around with CO2 dosage to speed SPS growth... well... doesn't sound very smart ;-)

New with this method IMHO is only the strict, planned form of usage maybe together with
the traceelement support. The chemicals are in use for a long long time...
Many of the hardness ++ bottles to buy are nothing else than NaHCO3 (Soda if u know the word in the US) in solution...
Only at $$ where you can buy buckets full of NaHCO3-solution if you mix it yourself
for the same price.

Ralf


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Last edited by RalfP; 06/09/2006 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 06/09/2006, 02:32 PM   #15
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that sounds so compliacted!


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Old 06/09/2006, 03:32 PM   #16
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reefgeek,
if you once figured out how much of the chemicals to use and have a dosing station,
its weighting 4 chemicals, putting them into their container, filling them with water.
With the size of my containers its doin' that once in 14 days.

Its easy to correct individual parameters with this method. Dosing more NaHCO3 means
hardness will raise, dosing more CaCl2 means only Ca will raise etc..

Well, i admit, it's a little complicated... but at least a way to keep "full control" over each
individual parameter.


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Old 06/09/2006, 04:51 PM   #17
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Interesting???


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Old 08/10/2006, 05:57 PM   #18
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When mixing in NaHCO3(Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate) to your RO/DI
water, is this similar to how you would mix up Kalk in a Reactor.
Is it important to keep the solution in suspension for a period of time before using it to dose?

Do you use raw chemicals of CaCl2 and MgCl2. And what is your
method for mixing these up?
How do you calculate your solutions based on your test readings?
As in, what formula or ratio of RO/DI to chemical?


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Old 08/10/2006, 06:52 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tritonian
When mixing in NaHCO3(Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate) to your RO/DI
water, is this similar to how you would mix up Kalk in a Reactor.
Is it important to keep the solution in suspension for a period of time before using it to dose?

Do you use raw chemicals of CaCl2 and MgCl2. And what is your
method for mixing these up?
How do you calculate your solutions based on your test readings?
As in, what formula or ratio of RO/DI to chemical?
sodium bicarbonate NaHCo3 is baking soda heated to 300 degrees to make it bicarb. kalkwasser is CaHo2 which needs a free co2 molecule to form Ca+ and HCo. Dosing NA+ and CL- will create NA CL therefore they want a NaCL free salt.


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Old 08/11/2006, 05:41 AM   #20
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Tritonian,
regarding the NaHCO3 concentration, I use a real solution, no suspension.
What means that there is no solid material (powder) left in the water, it's a clear
solution. You could/should use the above (Iwans posting) concentrations of chemicals.
Personally, I use higher concentrations, because I want to dose less volume.
NaHCO3 I use about 82 g/l (gram/liter) which is somewhere near the max. solutability of NaHCO3 (you can't get more of it in the water).
CaCl2*2H2O and MgCl2*6H2O are very easy to solute in water in high concentration
(be careful, it's an exothermic reaction, means getting hot!).
NaHCO3 is as shown above not very good solutable, so you'll have to mix (little pump?) it for
quite a while to get in solution.

Yes, I use the chemicals, pharma grade (pureness). There are also "technical" grade (i.e. less pure) and of course also higher qualities around.
I use a balance to get the right amount and put it in the container, I later dose from and fill
it with water (knowing how much water gets in there).

Concentrations like the ones mentioned prior in this thread should do fine.
As described there, you should dose same amount of CaCl2/NaHCO3/NaCl-free-Salt solutions.
MgCl2 would be less than that (all of course depending on your system).
You'll have to start with a certain dosing (as prior in this thread) and do daily tests to adapt
to the right dosing-volume (i.e. Ca/Alk is still dropping, so add more solutions.... Ca/Alk is raising, so add less solutions. Same with Mg). Later, testing once a week will do.
If Ca/Alk are raising/dropping differently, simply change the dosing independently.
The amount of NaCl-free-Salt should follow the amount of NaHCO3 solution, not that one of CaCl2.
Btw. it's highly likely, that they will develop differently if also adding MgCl2.

When getting started or later if to correct concentrations for whatever reason,
there are online-calculators around which tell you how much (gram) chemicals to add,
to get the desired concentrations.
http://www.aquaterrashop.de/onlinerechner.php unfortunately in german language. (fields in calculator are: (1) measured Ca in g/l, (2) wanted Ca in g/l, (3) water in tank in liter). It answers with (1) CaCl2 to add, (2) NaHCO3 to add, (3) NaCl-free.Salt to add
I don't use them at all, having to low figures, I simply add more solutions.
Knowing about some chemical reactions etc. you can calculate them on your own.
Having molecular weight of Ca / CaCl2*2H2O etc., concentration, wanted concentration and water amount, it's up to some "rule of proportion" calculations.

Pls. if using this method, never put solutions at same time in the water. Wait
some time between dosing, else they will react with each other and not with
your water.

Best,
Ralf


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Old 08/11/2006, 06:50 AM   #21
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Hi Ralf,
firstly may I say your tank is the most wonderful looking tank I have seen. I dare not even aspire to have a tank like yours as I think for a mere mortal like myself it would be unattainable

As a matter of interest may I ask which trace elements you add and in what proportion,
thanks,
Anthony


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Old 08/11/2006, 07:39 AM   #22
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I would think getting a NaCl-free salt here in the US might make this prohibitively expensive. Anybody know a source of NaCl-free salt in the US at a reasonable price?


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Old 08/11/2006, 08:12 AM   #23
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Anthony,
thank you very much,
I add QFI Trace-Elements at 10% of recommended dosage.
I do 7% waterchange a week and dosing NaCl-free salt, also adding Traceelements that way.
After the pictures you've seen (TOTM-pictures) have been made, I'am adding 50% of
recommended dosage of a product new to the German market, Mrutzeks Oragano-Trace,
which (OrganoTrace) is also buyable from other vendors here.
I got a colour and growth boost on montipora since that.
Basic idea of OrganoTrace is to attach elements to organic molecules to make it easier for
coral to get them.

javajaws,
I use the one from Tropic Marin called "Pro special Mineral", also used to add minerals to Osmosis water for freshwater aquariums, which is relatively expensive.
Normal Reef-Salt is mainly NaCl, so NaCl-free Salz will naturally be more expensive than that.
The price here is about 4 times that of normal Reefsalt.

Ralf


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Old 08/11/2006, 04:06 PM   #24
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must say I am impressed by the tank and the attention to detail you have taken I can only aspire to reach your level and bye the way who makes the NaCl free salt??


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Old 08/11/2006, 05:08 PM   #25
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So how is this different from using Randy's two part mix with the magnesium supplementation as well? If I remember correctly, his calculations showed that the increase in salinity was minimal and probably are offset by the salt lost via skimming.


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