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Old 02-16-2005, 03:38 PM   #1
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Kent Marine Kalkwasser Q's.

I've just started dosing my tank a couple of days ago. I've heard it's good if you follow the directions exactly. Has anyone here had any luck with this stuff? If so, did you use a protein skimmer while dosing? How long did it take for you to notice it was working?

Any info you could give would be great. Thanks!
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Old 02-16-2005, 05:01 PM   #2
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What do you mean by "working"?

I use it as part of my dosing regime, Kent products for the most part are quite good. I need to get a reactor but for now I use C-Balance dosed daily (40 ml ea) and Kent kalk every second day. I use ½ gallon of RO/DI with 1 tspn kalk and ½ tspn vinegar.

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Old 02-16-2005, 05:20 PM   #3
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By "working" I mean, when do you notice more coraline algeas start appearing?

Also, I don't have an "automatic doser" (I don't know what else to call it). I've been mixing about one weeks worth of solution (one gallon), pouring only about 1/5th to 1/7th into the tank every morning. The directions said it works better if you only dose a little at a time.

Will this method work ok? Should I be dosing less twice a day?

And what benefits does the vinegar have? I've never heard about that before...

Thanks.
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Old 02-16-2005, 06:21 PM   #4
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I would recommend dripping kalk slowly. Freshly mixed kalk solution should have a pH of close to 13. If "dumped" in, it can increase the pH of the tank too quickly.

This, however, is not the biggest problem. Kalk (calcium hydroxide) captures free carbon dioxide molecules in the water when dripped slowly into the aquarium. It then takes these carbon dioxide molecules and produces calcium and bicarbonate ions. Bicarbonate ions (HCO3-) make up most of the tanks alkalinity.

Ca(OH)2 + CO2 --> Ca++ + HCO3- (equation not balanced)

If the kalk solution is not given adequate time to react with the carbon dioxide, the bicarbonate ions will be converted to carbonate (CO3--) ions. These carbonate ions then will react with the calcium ions in the water producing calcium carbonate (CaCO3). Calcium carbonate is not soluble and will precipitate out of the water. So in essence, if the kalk solution is added too rapidly, the calcium and alkalinity of your tank water may go down because it is being precipitated out of solution.

Adding vinegar will enable more calcium ions to dissolve into solution because the calcium hydroxide (which is basic) is being mixed with an acid.

Vinegar will also add CO2 to the solution to ensure that not much is precipitated out as useless calcium carbonate. HTH.
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Old 02-16-2005, 06:32 PM   #5
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Wow, thanks for the info!!

So is what I'm doing right now going to have a negative effect on my tank? Would reducing the dosing to 3 times a day be better until I get a Kent Marine dripper?
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Old 02-16-2005, 09:19 PM   #6
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How much kalkwasser is dosed depends on your tanks calcium needs. Kalkwasser is intended to MAINTAIN calcium and alkalinity levels (and intern will keep the pH high). Hard corals and coralline algae are probably the biggest calcium users in the reef aquarium. Soft corals use a minimal amount of calcium because they do not have a calcium carbonate structure. Some people who have a lot of inhabitants that quickly deplete calcium and alkalinity, drip kalkwasser continuously (by matching the evaporation rate of their aquarium). However, for me, as well as a lot of others whose inhabitants do not have that high of a demand for ca and alk, dripping kalk continuously would continuously increase the ca and alk in our tanks to dangerous levels. I only drip kalk once a week because that is all my tank demands (calcium and alk are not used up that quickly).

I would shoot for a calcium level of about 400 - 450 mg/L and a alk level of about 2.5-3.5 meq/L. If conditions are right, coralline should grow like crazy. Just give it time.
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Old 02-16-2005, 09:20 PM   #7
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I would just drip the kalk when the lights are off (with a container and airline tubing) to avoid a drastic change in pH.
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Old 02-16-2005, 10:10 PM   #8
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Awesome dude. You have been a HUGE help!!! And I promise this is my last question...I tested my calcium level before I started the kalk. It tested around 600-650, that might have tested a little high either because I did the test wrong or because I just added some CC if that makes a difference.

My question is, will a high calcium level like that have a negative effect on my tank?

And kudos are on the way!!! Thank you!
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Old 02-16-2005, 11:39 PM   #9
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I believe at levels lower than 320 mg/L and higher than 480 mg/L calcification impedes. I know that high calcium will deplete the tanks alkalinity. And conversely, high alkalinity will deplete the tanks calcium. I don't know the chemistry behind it though.

600 mg/L is way too high. I am surprised your tank isn't "snowing." This is when your tank water becomes supersaturated and can no longer hold any more dissolved solids. When this occurs, the calcium and alkalinity precipitate out of solution as calcium carbonate (looks like a snowstorm). If your calcium is really that high, I would bet that your alkalinity is really low. Because coralline algae as well as hard corals use both, a proper balance between calcium and alkalinity must be maintained to ensure their growth and health.

I would retest for calcium and also test your alkalinity. If your calcium is really that high, I would stop dosing the kalk. HTH.
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Old 02-16-2005, 11:46 PM   #10
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Repeat that Ca test. Stop dosing everything if you are getting test readings like that.

If you are truly at Ca of 600+, then I would recommend an immediate large volume water change because who knows what your Alk is like.

Once you've got your Ca and Alk at proper levels with water changes(say...around 400 and 3.0mEq), then you are ready to start to PLAN your Kalk addition.

Take your Ca & Alk readings at a specific time each day. Try to get the readings at exactly 24 hours apart. Write down the results. Repeat this for a week or until the Ca/Alk has fallen too low (say..down to 380/2.5mEq).

This should tell you how much Ca/Alk your system is using per day. Note that. ie. you learn Ca drops by 20ppm over 5 days (4ppm/day).

Now take a measured amount of your pre-mixed Kalk solution...say 500ml. Setup a drip overnight ensuring that all 500mls gets into the system...slowly.

Next day..take your Ca/Alk measurements again at the same time. Did the Ca/Alk readings increase? If so, you've added TOO MUCH Kalk. Based on the knowledge of knowing how much it would have dropped had you done nothing, you should be able to figure out how much Kalk to try on the next night.

ie. Imagine it rose up 10...had you done nothing it would have fallen 4. Therefore 500ml of Kalk in your system moves the Ca +15ppm. Next night try about 133ml. (500 x 4/15).

The only thing that you can accurately control is the AMOUNT of Kalk that you add over a 24 hour period. The idea is to figure out exactly how much Kalk you need to MATCH the Ca/Alk that your tank uses.

Finally..vinegar. Vinegar is only used when you run up against the limits of Kalk. It enables you to dissolve MORE than 2 tbsps/gallon into the Kalk. My guess is that you have a long way to go before you hit the limit. You'll know when you get to that point.
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