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Old 12-17-2003, 10:04 AM   #1
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Raising/maintaing Alk and Calcium

Ok, Calcium is at 400 which isn't that bad but from what I've read 450 or even slightly higher is pretty much the optimal level. My Alk is also at 3 last time I check and my new book on corals suggests levels of 3.2-4.5 mEq/l. So my levesl are not that bad but I'd like to start dosing something to maintain them before I run into problems. I"m using IO salt which I guess I should test a fresh batch to see what my levels are however I remeber Steve-s testing with results of around 350ppm CA and 4.5+ mEq/l ALK.

I know nothing about these products so any recomendations would be great!
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Old 12-17-2003, 10:49 AM   #2
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Those were the levels I had when testing the IO salts. I have since not repurchased the brand so I cannot verify if it was a reoccurring problem. It is still a good idea for you to be sure though.

The numbers you have right now are not that bad at all. With an alk at 3 mEq/l you only need bump the Ca up to 420 ppm or close to it anyway and you should be fine. Higher numbers may be desired but they are by no means neccessary for proper coral/coralline growth. You are also just looking for things to be in the right ranges. Exact numbers are not needed.

Once the levels are in the right ranges you desire, kalkwasser will be your best additive for maintaining them. It is a truely balanced additive and will maintain both alk/Ca in the same ratio's. Might take a bit of fiddling at first to figure out how much and how often but testing several times per week for two weeks to map the rate of depletion would be the best place to start. That will help you uderstand what the tank uses and when to suppliment.

Each and every tank will vary depending on CaCO3 load as well as the acids/wastes produced from the animals. To give you an indication, my tank uses ½ gal of water and 1½ teaspoons of kalk nightly. Others may use less or more with differing frequencies.

Cheers
Steve
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Old 12-17-2003, 11:55 AM   #3
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Is there a certain calcium addiative and kalkwasser that you would recommend, I've heard the calcium powders can be problematic. I have no idea what brands or specifics I should be looking to purchase, I know there are a lot of products out there that don't do what they "claim" to do
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Old 12-17-2003, 12:10 PM   #4
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Agreed it can be a bit of a dogs breakfast when choosing products but for pure maintenace, kalkwasser or pickling lime will still be the best addition. Personally I use Kent kalkwasser but you can also use Mrs.Wages or Balls pickling lime as they are chemically the same thing. Since most all heavy metals precipitate out in the high ph value, food grade limes are just as effective and sufficiently pure enough.

When it become neccessary for you to correct the levels of either due to imbalances, a good marine buffer and either a dry or liquid CaCl product will do fine. Again for these I prefer Kent. Superbuffer-DKH and Turbo Ca for adjusting when/if the levels become unbalanced.

I have used several brands before but these seem to give me the desired effects consistantly. Others will also have their preferences....

Cheers
Steve
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Old 12-17-2003, 01:51 PM   #5
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Sounds great Steve!! I test IO and got 350ppm CA and 4mEq/l ALK. I also tested my water again since my last test was probably a week ago and CA was 375 and ALK was 2.5 so I'll hopefully get to my LFS tomorrow and get some stuff.
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Old 12-17-2003, 01:59 PM   #6
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I would go with B-Ionic. It is pretty mch the best in the hobby.I t balances your Ca and Alk very easily.It is a two part additive. I have it on sale right now for $23.99
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Old 12-17-2003, 02:44 PM   #7
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I use Kent Tech CB additives, they are similar to the B-Ionic supplements. No messing with powders and having to worry about sucking up kalk dust or getting it on your skin. I would switch to B-ionic but every time I run out I forget to order it ahead of time
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Old 12-17-2003, 07:17 PM   #8
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The calcium concentration in the Kent additives is alot lower than the ESV. Ca levels should be easy to maintian with B-ionic unless you have a massive SPS or clam load in your tank.
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Old 12-17-2003, 07:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captivereefs
The calcium concentration in the Kent additives is alot lower than the ESV. Ca levels should be easy to maintian with B-ionic unless you have a massive SPS or clam load in your tank.
Actually I find the Kent product to be quite potent. I use the Kent two part for my 27 gal and must add the Ca part slowly to avoid abiotic precip....

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Old 12-19-2003, 06:17 PM   #10
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Ok so I went to my LFS to burn off more of my store credit and got the following:

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

Kent Superbuffer-dKH which was powder as well, didn't see any liquid?

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
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