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Old 12-05-2005, 09:11 AM   #1
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dripping kalawasser

I have decided to try my hand at this.

I have started by simply trying to drip my top off water so that it matches the evaporation rate. Airline tube tied in knot method. I figure no harm can be done doing that as I experiment.

Provided I can confidently match the evaporation rate of the tank using this method I may try dripping kalawasser.

Only problem is the only convenient place to drip it is right above the skimmers intake pump in the sump. Will the skimmer grab it and skimm it off before it does any good? If so I can make provisions to drip it over the return pump from my sump.
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Old 12-05-2005, 11:41 AM   #2
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Careful...this isn't as simple as one might think. Are you measuring Ca/Alk levels that have led you to conclude that you need Kalk? Once you know you need it, you have to figure out how much you need. How much is controlled by how concentrated you mix it...and how fast you add it.

You can't assume that you need to replace ALL your evaporated water with Kalk. That might be too much. I would guess that is likely too much.

Adding too much Kalk to a system (even slowly) will cause precipitation of Ca and Mg, as well as major Ph concerns.

No, the skimmer won't remove the Ca/Alk from the system. In fact, the air contact will actually help convert the Kalk into Alk. The problem, however, is that if undiluted Kalk tends to go straight into the pump...the heat of the pump will cause the Ca to plate on the impeller of the pump. This will eventually lead to the pump stopping and pump failure. So it is generally advisable NOT to allow Kalk to drip directly near the intake of any pump.
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Old 12-05-2005, 11:53 AM   #3
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Also I wouldnt suggest dripping kalk using an airline tubing knot. Those things can loosen up on you. Check this out. http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...&N=2004+113592
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Old 12-05-2005, 03:28 PM   #4
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OK guys. It appears there are a few test kits I need to buy. I have a a alk kit but it only gives a low/normal/high reading, not a number reading and from what I can tell its barely in the normal reading.

Obviously I should purchase a better one of these and a calcium kit. Before assuming anything.

My PH stays a constant 8.2 ever since setting up the tank 5 months ago.

I have already replaced the knot tyeing method with a venturi valve that seems to give much better control of the drip.

I have no corals in the tank except for a few baby red shrooms that I added to see if anyone in the tank had a taste for softies and don't really plan on any until after the holiday so there is plenty of time for research into this.

Actually for now I would be content to just drip in my top off water so it matches my evaporation rate keeping a nice steady SG. Also larger top offs effect my skimmer so that it stops producing for an hour or so after top offs and often requires daily cleanings of the collection cup before it hits its original stride once again.
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Old 12-05-2005, 10:22 PM   #5
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Based on what you're keeping in tank at the moment, your Ca/Alk usage should be pretty low. I would question that you need it at all. You'll have to mix the KALK VERY dilute in order to replace all your evaporation. (as such, you'll be dripping mostly water with just a small amount of Kalk)

I think that most people who drip in Kalk do so in a measured dose overnight. That way, you don't have to be super accurate about the drip rate. As long as it goes in slowly, you're ok. The dose is controlled by the amount you place in the drip bag.

I tried what you are doing and failed. I either over-dripped or under dripped and could never get truly in synch with evaporation. If I over dripped, I over Kalk'd...Under dripped, under Kalk'd. Then, I realized that my evaporation rate actually changed quite a bit from day to day. Even with a float switch installed, evaporation isn't a constant...but the amount of Kalk I wanted to add is. You don't want more Ca going in just because it was a dry day.
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Old 12-06-2005, 10:31 AM   #6
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You do not need it with a coral load like you have. I didnt begin to use it until I started keeping sps. Some may argue that point but it worked for me. Regular water changes with a good quality salt will keep it up where you want it.
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Old 12-06-2005, 06:40 PM   #7
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Actually I have been quite successful so far with dripping the right amount to keep my sump level constant with just RO fresh.

I do 20 percent water changes weekly but am sure my alk is low. When compared to testing with freshly mixed change water compared to my tank water test. I am assuming my calcium is most likely low also and am using red sea salt mix. Total system water volume is around 100 gallons

Corals are only a month away and there are other reasons I was considering dripping kalkwasser.

I have been told it promotes coralline growth. There is no doubt I have some growth but its slow going.

Have also had a fellow hobbyist claim total elimination of nuisance algae growth including his patches of cyano. From my research I cant see how, but I have seen stranger claims and happenings.
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