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Old 12-19-2003, 10:37 PM   #11
steve-s
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Originally Posted by jamal-188
Kent Turbo Calcium which is a powder? They had a liquid but it wasn't called turbo calcium so I figured this was what Steve recommended
He did and still does depending on the tank consumption. Liquid CaCl is fine for smaller calcerous loads but the Turbo Ca will be easier for higher demands. It is also much cheaper

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Kent Superbuffer-dKH which was powder as well, didn't see any liquid?
It is supposed to be a powder. Depending on the amount you need to raise and water volume, it will raise alkalinity and stabalize ph at 8.3. In my 90 gal, 1 teaspoon will raise the alk about 0.25 mEq/l depending on Ca level.

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Then I bought Kent Tech CB part's A & B
I'm confused how to use this stuff, if I'm understanding correctly I'll use the turbo calcium and buffer to get my levels to what I want then use the Tech CB daily like you would use Kalk? Maybe I should have went with Kalk instead but heard it's pretty nasty stuff and I'm not real sure about the whole dripping process
Actually the Tech product will work much the same as the dry buffer and turbo Ca. These products can/will dramatically raise the levels in the tank depending on dosage, water volume and the chem levels prior to addition. The key with them (I find anyway) is to use them to tweek the levels when needed. Although the CaCO3 consumption by animals is somewhat balanced, the affects on the general chem by the system can skew the numbers and become unbalnced or not what we want. When used in conjunction with kalk, it can be very easy to maintain the chem.

Kalkwasser is neither hard nor a nightmare to use. In fact, you can damage the tank chem much faster with the two parts. Kaklwasser when used properly is no more difficult and will not lead to future problems. It has many more benefits and less shortcomings than using the two parts regularly for maintenance.

The easiest way I chose to dose is with a controlable drip dosing tube. That and an empty plastic milk jug. If you test your tank and map the rate of depletion, it will give you some idea of what to dose. Best suggestion is start small. The general dose is 2 teaspoons per 1 gal of RO water. In the beginning, just mix up ½ a teaspoon in ½ gal of water or larger depending on the tanks evap. Fill the jug with RO leaving very little air gap, add the kalk, cap the jug and very gentley roll it so you are not actually aggitating it. You do not want to incorporate CO2. When the mixture looks like skim milk, place it in the fridge with the cap still tighty secure and leave it for at least 5 hrs prior to lights out. Once the tank lights are out, set the jug above the tank with the spike end of the dosing tube in the jug about 1" from the bottom. Be sure you do not jostle or mix the sediment at the bottom. All you want going in the tank is the clearish liquid. Adjust the doser so it drips at 1-2 drops per second. Watch for the first few minutes to be sure it's all good and then go to bed. I would check the alk, Ca and ph just before you drip. Then in the AM after lights on re-test everything and compare the net change. The ph may or may not change depending on your system but I would actually test the ph in the morning before your first nightly kalk dose. This will give you a proper comparison.

Once you have determined the net change in the alk and Ca (if any) you can then determine if a larger/smaller dose is needed and as time passes you will also know how often.

Cheers
Steve
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Old 12-19-2003, 11:20 PM   #12
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Okay so lemme see if I have this straight. As of right now I have tested ALK which is a bit high.. at 5.5 - My pH is at 8.3 and my salinity is at 1.025. I use a two bottle additive which supposedly contains all in two bottles (well the more necessary stuff), called Natureef, though not many have heard of it, it came highly recommended by my vlose friend. He wasn't very consisitent with it and doses with a lot of other stuff (to his tank), so I bought the two bottles off of him and wanted to try it for a couple of months. I have yet to test for calcium levels, but I believe its just about the only test I am really missing. Once I find out my calcium level, and see that its consistent to the regular reading.. is it then that I use Kalkwasser to keep the levels where they are at (as a buffer)?? Also I know I am supposed to find out the drip rate of Kalkwasser on my own to my tank's preference but what would be a good drip rate to start out with and where can I find the supplies to make the drip doser? Thanks everyone for your input!
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Old 12-20-2003, 01:18 AM   #13
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Okay so lemme see if I have this straight. As of right now I have tested ALK which is a bit high.. at 5.5 - My pH is at 8.3 and my salinity is at 1.025. I use a two bottle additive which supposedly contains all in two bottles (well the more necessary stuff), called Natureef, though not many have heard of it, it came highly recommended by my vlose friend. He wasn't very consisitent with it and doses with a lot of other stuff (to his tank), so I bought the two bottles off of him and wanted to try it for a couple of months. I have yet to test for calcium levels, but I believe its just about the only test I am really missing. Once I find out my calcium level, and see that its consistent to the regular reading.. is it then that I use Kalkwasser to keep the levels where they are at (as a buffer)??
Without a proper Ca test, you should not be dosing anything in the tank as far as these items are concerned. It is extremely hazardous. Even after you get the Ca test, I have my doubt the levels will be in the right ratio. Most likely the Ca will be lower in the balance. I would also suggest an Mg test if possible. The balance between alk and Ca depend on proper levels of Mg. Although these are more important to a reef tank, proper chem is always a plus no matter the set up IMO. Even before you find out your Ca reading, I would definately suggest letting the alk drop to about 4 mEq/l. 5.5 mEq/l is on the high side and not really going to benefit you more than a 4-4.25 range. If the alkalinity has always been this level without dosing, check the saltmix to dermine if that is the source. If your additions are the source, stop usig them until you can get a complete picture of the chem.

Kalkwasser is a balanced additive. When used properly it will raise/maintain both alkalinity and Ca in the same ratio. As I said though they can get a bit skewed occassionally and need adjusting but for the most part the kalk will do everything. So yes, once you have the right alk/Ca balance and not as high as you have now that is when the kalk can be used to maintain those levels at the desired balance.

I have never used the product you have mentioned so I cannot comment on it's affectiveness.

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Also I know I am supposed to find out the drip rate of Kalkwasser on my own to my tank's preference but what would be a good drip rate to start out with
Best way to determine the right drip rate is to do a few "dry runs" so to speak. Set everything up as if you would be dripping the kalk but just use RO water only, no kalk powder. This will allow you to establish the evap rate at least. It will not determine the dosage needed to maintain the chem. When you are ready to start dosing the chem, you need to determine the rate of depletion. Testing the levels every few days will let you know how quickly the system is consuming the CaCO3 and give you at least an estimate of how much kalk to start with. Keep in mind that you should not add more than 2 teaspoons per 2 gal of RO water dripped. The excess kalk powder added if any will just be wasted. The water can only be saturated so much and then it just settles out int the bottom of the dosing container.

If you are unsure even after testing keep a record of each test done and later post the results after say three tests done two days apart.

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and where can I find the supplies to make the drip doser?
Might wanna check with some of our sponsors. I am sure you will find something with them...

Cheers
Steve
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Old 12-20-2003, 01:42 AM   #14
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well I know my additions aren't the source its been that high before ad after I used it. Plus the sea salt I use is Red Sea, but am not sure if its the source of my high alk... I guess I'll re test when I get back from winter break and hope for the best, and by then I'll have my calcium test and hopefully the Magnesium test too.
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Old 12-29-2003, 11:46 AM   #15
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I've been insanely busy with rapping up school/work/christmas and I"m so mad at myself that I've never used the products I've bought to correct my tank conditions.

My CA is at 225 and my ALK is still holding at 3 meq/L. So like Steve mentioned I sould raise CA to about 420 with my ALK being at that level. How fast can I raise CA? Directions say 1/8 teaspoon per 50 gallons per day, and I"m assuming I dissolve it in some water and add slowily at an area of high current. I'm just so nervous that I'm going to do something wrong and kill everything
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Old 12-29-2003, 12:01 PM   #16
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I'm just so nervous that I'm going to do something wrong and kill everything
Then do the kalk additions via drip. The "slurry" method of dumping kalk should only be performed if you have something to accurately measure the ph change like a digital reader and know exactly what you are doing. Titration test kits are not really accurate enough for this method and you incure too much risk.

With the Ca that low, you would actually be better off doing a few 20% water changes to get it back in sinc and then using the kalk to raise and maintain the levels where you desire. Dripped after lights out directly into the tank at a rate of 1-3 drops/second depending on the evap rate and amount of kalk to be added. One gallon of water can only hold about 2 tspn of kalk (mabye a little less), the rest just settles out after it sits a bit. Providing you know your tanks rate of depletion and you start dripping in smaller quantities, there should be no concern.

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Old 12-29-2003, 12:17 PM   #17
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I remember you discussing using a drip method for Kalk, I meant the slurry method for the turbo CA. I have to get a drip kit when I go to my LFS today so I can start using Kalk. The water change idea crossed my mind however my RO/DI is not working and I'm hopefully going to order one from Darin today. I currently am buying water at wal-mart with 2 5g containers I bought until I can get another RO/DI unit.

I wish I wouldn't have let me levels get this low

Thanks you soooooooooo much Steve, I honestly don't know how my aquarium would be running without you
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Old 12-29-2003, 12:31 PM   #18
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The use of Turbo Ca does not require it to be dripped. It can safely be added after mixing in fresh RO water as you described in a high flow area. Due to the level you are at now, I would not recommend doing so. It will be much more hassle than a few water changes would be. If you do decide on this method, do the additions slowly every day until it's up to the right range. Never try correcting this type of deficiencey all in one day and be sure to test prior to each addition. Also be sure to monitor both alk and Mg at the same time. That great a change using Turbo Ca will surely push down on the alk and insufficient Mg will just make matters worse. In all honesty, I would stick with the water changes and just use the Turbo Ca to tweek the balance later if needed. Then drip kalk as a maintainer.

Cheers
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Old 12-29-2003, 12:35 PM   #19
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Sounds good Steve, I'll go buy a few more 5g containers at wal-mart today Then do a few water changes over the next couple days/week.
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Old 12-30-2003, 12:49 AM   #20
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I'm assuming I should try to raise the CA levels in my rubbermaid container of water before I do the changes becaues I'm using IO which is 350ppm or should I just let the Kalk do everything?
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