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Old 11-26-2004, 12:19 AM   #1
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Alk and CA Levels

Now that i've learned both my alk and ca must be balanced before i can dose kalk I have a few other questions about this. A good CA reading could be 430 ppm with a 3.45 meq/l ALK reading. I understand if one of these two are off before dosing kalk I can balance each one by either using baking soda (to raise alk) and liquid calcium to raise my CA until both are balanced than switch to kalk but my next question would be when i reach this desired level and start with my kalk dosing after a water change wouldnt everything be out of whack again which would require more baking soda or liquid calcium?

OR maybe im just very confused.
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Old 11-26-2004, 06:08 AM   #2
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Side note: My CA is over 400 constantly and I do not dose Kalk for that reason. I only keep softies as of now, and I might need to dose if I add a LPS, but I don't know that Kalk is required. I hear a lot of horror stories about people dosing Kalk that aren't in tune with the facts 100%.
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Old 11-26-2004, 11:33 PM   #3
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Your water changes should not be large enough to throw anything out of whack. As long as your CA and ALK are in the proper ranges you can use kalk to keep them stable. Test your ph many times during your first dosing to make sure it doesn't change by more than .2 Test your CA and ALK daily and adjust the amount of kalk you are dissolving accordingly. I wouldn't recommend kalk if your tank is less than 40 gallons.
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Old 11-27-2004, 01:50 AM   #4
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I've found Kalk to be very effective at maintaining my Ca/Alk, and my tank isn't much more than 40 gal, including the sump volume.

Coraline alone seemed to drain my Ca/Alk levels down faster than I could replace with two part liquids. Using the A/B parts, I was constantly fighting to maintain balance (mostly adding more Ca). Once I switched to kalk I find the balance to be quite consistent.

It is a pain in the butt, however. I also believe that I have experienced some Ph swings which I attribute to troubles with my skimmer. OH in the kalk needs to react with CO2 to minimize Ph swing and a lot of that reaction can occur within the skimmer. I drip Kalk 24/7 equal to evaporation. So far, I have not had to mix the kalk to maximum strength to replace the demand.
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