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Old 11-25-2011, 04:59 PM   #1
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Kalwasser Help Please

Once my alkalinity and calcium are where they should be I was thinking on starting kalk dosing. i've been using calcium and soda ash daily but it's geting to be a bother. LOL

I am setting up an ATO today and read thats the best way to dose kalk. My questions would be how much powder do I add per gallon and will the ATO method be sufficient? I'm using a 10g tank as the water reservoir and most likely an aqua lifter pump as the method to get the water over to the sump.

Sound good?

Thanks so much everyone!

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Old 11-25-2011, 10:48 PM   #2
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heres a good link about kalk. i hope it helps ive been considering doing the same way but i decided to go the 2 part route Kalkwasser-Instructions
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Old 11-25-2011, 11:16 PM   #3
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Thanks Paul. 2 teaspoons per gallon it is!
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Old 11-25-2011, 11:46 PM   #4
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2 teaspoons per gallon isnt always correct Testing to see what would maintain your system is always best
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Old 11-26-2011, 07:53 AM   #5
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I've been testing about every other day since I've been using the soda ash and calcium.....should I do the same with the kalk? What is a good recommended starting point then?

Thanks guys! I appreciate the help!
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Old 11-26-2011, 08:28 AM   #6
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2 TSP per gallon is the max dose, at which it reaches 100% saturation in RO water. What I did was measure my weekly drop in Ca without supplementation or water changes then calculate daily loss. Having a rough idea of how many gallons of daily top off I add, factoring that 2tsp Kalk per gallon will raise your Ca by 24ppm, I was able to determine my dosage. My Alk stays up nicely, but really it's a byproduct of the dose I use rather than calculated.

Start small, & work up if you're not sure. Keep an eye on your Mg levels as well as saturated Kalk can cause Mg to precipitate out.
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Old 11-26-2011, 08:32 AM   #7
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Once you get setup and stabilized, you shouldn't need to test that often. If you are doing a continual & equal dose, your levels shouldn't stray from target unless you add something that uses more, or your corals grow fast. I went from every two days at first, now weekly testing and will probably cut back to monthly once I'm confident in my results.
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Old 11-26-2011, 08:43 AM   #8
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I lose about 1-1.5 dkh each day and about 15-25ppm of calcium. My mag has stayed very steady at about 1300-1350. I have some sps and a bunch of LPS as well as the normal lot of softies, all in all I have a lot of coral, about 30 or more at least.

Where would you think i should start off at? Oh, I also lose about 1g a day due to evaporation. I've been topping off twice a day so far. Would 1 teaspoon a gallon be a better place to start?

Thanks very much, I generally have a good handle on things aquaria but this dosing is all new to me. lol
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Old 11-26-2011, 09:24 AM   #9
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I would start at 1.5 tsp per gal and monitor/adjust as necessary. Keep checking your mg as you dose as it may drop. If you don't have your ATO setup, I would run a gallon drip container rather than top off in 2 large amounts in a day as it can spike your pH.

I lose about 3/4 gal per day & drip at about once per 2.5 secs from airline tubing which is pretty close - 2 second drips would be close to a gallon.

One word of caution, I'm not familiar with flow rates of the pump you're using, but have fail safes, 10gal of kalk pumped in at once would be catastrophic.
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Old 11-26-2011, 09:28 AM   #10
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I plan on using an aqualifter pump, it goes at 2.5 g an hour. I am in the process of setting up the ato today hopefully...

Thanks for all your help btw, much appreciated.
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Old 11-26-2011, 09:28 AM   #11
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Despite the added concerns about kalk dosing, the benefits are well worth it. It's cheap, if you buy food grade lime and highly effective at keeping your Ca & Alk at ideal all the time. It even helps keep phosphates in check! With proper research & implementation, I'd highly recommend it to anyone.
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:59 AM   #12
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I just started dosing kalk the day before yesterday. started with 1 teaspoon per gallon. I mixed it thoroughly before adding it to the ato reservoir but now theres white stuff on the bottom of the reservoir tank. Should I remix it or is that normal? I read somewhere that it happens but not sure....

And how long until I see results? I havent tested yet today so I don't know if it's working or not. lol I did check my ph and that seems to have stabilized at 8.3. It was dipping as low as 7.8

any help or further guidance would be very cool.
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Old 11-30-2011, 11:32 AM   #13
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If your dosing via ATO, results should be instantaneous. You will either see a decreased daily consumption of Ca or, ideally, a constant value. Tweak as necessary. Keep in mind, lime is a better maintenance dose than a raising dose.

One of the benefits of lime is that it purifies itself after mixing. That layer on the bottom is trace impurities that have precipitated and settled. I clean it out every few batches; it won't dissolve back into the water, do its safe in your container as long as you don't pump it into your tank.

Another side note: if you mix lime into salt water directly, instead of RO water first, it will cause a precipitation snowstorm of Ca & other beneficial elements.

Good luck & keep posting.
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Old 11-30-2011, 11:46 AM   #14
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Thanks so much Mike.

I had adjusted my alk and calcium before dosing so it was at a level I liked. 450 on the CA and 8.3 on the alk.
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Old 12-01-2011, 11:53 PM   #15
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Tested calcium today and it was at 370 :-( alkalinity was at 7.8 I believe. So this is after a few days and I'm guessing I need to up the dose? maybe try 1.5 teaspoons per gallon?

Not sure how to raise my calcium, can I use calcium chloride while dosing kalk to get back to a good starting point?


Also, been reading some more on all this and I've read that you can stir the reservoir water but that you can't dose with it for at least an hour after it was last disturbed. Isn't that the job of a kalk stirrer, to keep it saturated with the chemical?

Any help you can guys, only so much on the internet and it's all getting jumbled in my head. LOL
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Old 12-02-2011, 02:17 AM   #16
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If the reactor has a constant stirring motion then you can run the reactor continuously. However, some reactors have a pump and use timers to turn on and off. These create a slurry that sits on the water. That must settle out so only the lime water remains - takes about an hour between rapid stir and settling. As long as you have continuous stirring, the saturation will be good.

Never actually done it, but that's what I hear!
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:34 AM   #17
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How long have you been dosing now? What were your readings immediately prior to starting?
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:39 AM   #18
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It's only been a few days. I started with 450 calcium and alk was at 9.3.

I was just planning on testing again in a few minutes to see where i am at. will post that when I'm done.
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:45 AM   #19
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The best reference on the Internet is the Randy Holmes Farley articles on Advanced Aquarist.
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:06 AM   #20
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So this morning my my alk is at 8.56 adn the calcium is at 400 per ssalifert test. I added some liquid calcium last night so I guess it upped the calcium a little bit.

Still looks like I am loosing dkh though even with the kalk.

When I mix the kalk with ro/di water in a separate bucket how long should I mix for before adding to my ATO reservoir? I do have a layer of white on the bottom of that ato reservoir and a slimy coating on top of the water. if I mix that all up and let it sit an hour before I start pumping it into the sump would I get better kalk saturation?

Bear with me and my silly questions, just learning all this stuff lol
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