Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by chuckdee, May 31, 2009.
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Im using Seachem's Advantage Magnesium..
Ok so I've been through about 2 1/2 gal of kalk. My second batch was mixed using 1tsp kalk / gallon. I checked my parameters today and they are as follows -
Cal - 440-460
Alk - 3.5meq/L or 9.8 dKH
Ph - 8.0 - 8.1
Mag - approx 1350
So now there is some change in my parameters. I'm very surprised my PH is dropped .1 (I tested PH 3 times). I thought for sure it would climb. Since I started using the kalk, I stopped dosing PH because I didn't want to risk it becoming elevated. Imma have to start a dosing it like usual now. I think I'll ramp up my magnesium a little more but I like where my Cal and Alk are at. I'll fix the Ph and from there hold off on dosing my other supplements to see what happens. I hope the parameters hold.
I have one question though. I am noticing a lot of precipitate on the bottom of my ATO tank. I am mixing the kalk in a seperate jug, and about 12-18 hrs later, I only extract the clear center layer like the directions say.
Is it normal for the kalk to form the white precipitate, constantly, even after it has been seperated??
Ok so I tested my parameters today, and they are as follows -
Cal - 460-480
Alk - 3meq/L or 8.4 dKH
Ph - 8.0 - 8.1
Mag - approx 1350
All I have dosed in the passed 10 days was 5g of Seachem Reef buffer to try and raise my PH, but it didn't change. Im going to dose some more buffer, and hopefully it gets to 8.3 and stays locked in.
What do you think about my Alk dropping? Should I just leave it alone or raise it to 4meq/L where I originally wanted it??
Kalk can continue to precipitate after its mixed, especially because there is still some air in the container, the kalk will react with any CO2 which can precipitate calcium carbonate, it also may continue to precipitate just naturally over time. I don't think you can avoid it really.
Also, I wouldn't worry about your PH as much, it's pretty hard to keep "locked in". Lots of tanks run around 8.0 8.1 and it's not a problem.
If you want your alk higher go ahead and dose it up that high. Might want to doublecheck your test reading though that might be within the margin of error for the kit.
Thanks for the info Screwtape. Your right, I'll leave my PH alone and just wait and see what happens with my alk. If it keeps dropping, I'll dose a little.
About the precipitate, how often should I clean the Kalk tank out? For the past two and half weeks, I've just been topping off the Kalk tank with a new mix. The bottom of the kalk tank has a lot of precipitate, and the crust on top is like a sheet of paper. Basically, I just want to make sure that this regimen I have refilling my kalk tank and dosing isn't going to cause any problems.. I'm worried that if it gets recycled often, the kalk can go bad or something wierd.. I'm a little paranoid...
Sorry for being ignorant about dosing kalk, I just don't want to mess anything up.
I would say clean it out as often as you have the energy to do so.
Really I think every couple of months, maybe even as long as 6 months is fine as long as it's not getting sucked up by your pump. Its probably mostly inert in your topoff container so it's not going to cause a problem just by being in there.
FWIW kalkwasser reactors are designed basically so you can dump a whole bunch of kalk in there and it just dissolves until it's saturated and then pumped off and more water is added so its constantly dissolving more from the batch that was dumped in and that is kept in the reactor. Kalk should not go "bad" unless it's exposed to air or something else that will cause it to precipitate.
Sounds to me like you're doing it right, I wouldn't worry about it.
Another kalkwasser question. I hear this term "Saturated Kalkwasser". I know that saturated kalkwasser means the kalkwasser solution has conductivity of 10.3mS/cm. Now I don't have a way of testing for conductivity, but what I want to know is how many teaspoons of powered Kalk does it take per gallon to make saturated kalkwasser?
I currently use 1tsp per gallon, and I'm just curious to know roughly where I stand in conductivity if it possible to guess..
I've heard of people mixing 2 or even 3tsp per gallon.
About 2 tsp is all that can dissolve naturally without any additives. If you use vinegar you can dissolve more than that, 3+ tsp per gallon. Actually getting fully saturated kalkwasser isn't necessarily as easy as dropping 2 tsp of kalk powder into water, there are some other reactions that come into play I believe.
If you're going for saturated kalkwasser you can just dump 2+ tsp per gallon into your reservoir and just make sure your pump is a couple inches off the bottom so it doesn't grab any undissolved kalk powder or precipitate.
Ok I'm not sure if anyone has been watching this thread or not, but I want to give a conclusion.
Before topping off with Kalkwasser, to keep my levels in check, I would dose the maximum recommended dosage (30ml each part for my tank) of B-Ionic daily, and dose Seachem's PH buffers, Calcium, and Magnesium supplement about once throughout the week. I'm a pretty busy guy, so sometimes I found myself skipping a dosage witch has caused lower then desired levels.
Since topping off with Kalkwasser, my dosage regimen has changed dramatically. I dose B-Ionic only once a week now, and Seachem's PH and Magnesium about once and twice a week respectively. Every so often, I dose Seachem's Calcium and Alkalinity just to help use up the product I still have.
Not only is kalkwasser saving me money from buying expensive additives, it is keeping my parameters in good range and from fluctuating. I have also noted acceptional LPS and SPS growth and health. And the best part, I don't always have to worry about making sure my tank gets dosed whatever addivtive it needs. I once went 2 weeks without dosing anything (accept for the Kalk top-off) only to notice a 20 ppm decrease of calcium.
My parameters today are as follows :
Alkalinity = 3.5meq/L
Calcium = 460ppm
Magnesium = 1400ppm
PH = 8.1
I've been using 1tsp kalk per gallon R/O. I'll be getting rid of the mushrooms in my tank and replace them with more LPS and SPS corals. I have plans to increase the kalk dose to around 1.5 tsp per gallon to accommodate the new arrivals.
So for anyone thinking about trying Kalk, who is in a situation like mine, it is all gain and no loss. You can't go wrong with this stuff!!! I had doubts at first, but it is simple to use and makes keeping a stocked reef sooo much easier to maintain..
Good to hear that it's working out for you, it's pretty great stuff. Just keep your eyes open as the seasons change or if you have big shifts in humidity because your tank will evaporate more or less which will change the amount of kalk that's going into your tank so you may need to adjust your other dosing to make up for that.
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