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FAQs on Using Kalk/Ca(OH)2/Pickling Lime

Related Articles: Calcium, Understanding Calcium & Alkalinity, The Use of Kalkwasser by Russell Schultz, Calcium Reactors

Related FAQs: Kalkwasser 1Kalkwasser 2, Kalkwasser 3, Kalkwasser 4, & FAQs on Kalk: Rationale/Use, Calcium Measuring/Test Kits, Sources of Calcium, Calcium Supplements, Mixing/Storing Kalkwasser, Dosing Kalkwasser, Kalk Reactors, Kalk Automation, About Kalk Use & Other Supplements, e.g. Magnesium, Troubleshooting/Fixing, CaCl2 (Calcium Chloride)/ Pickling Lime Use, Calcium and Alkalinity


Kalk / vinegar      3/15/18
Good afternoon Bob. Hope the knee is getting better.
<Thank you John; not yet>
I was wondering if you could offer any “rule of thumb” on how much vinegar I need to add per gallon of Kalk to extend its shelf life? Thanks!
<Mmm, the simplest organic acid, acetic; aka vinegar... is unfortunately not a very consistent product; and you don't mention what amount of Kalk you're adding per volume. I'd like to offer this quote:
"I add 60ml of vinegar to a gal of Kalk. I keep my Kalk concentration at 2tsp per gal. Use it as a carbon source and to help keep the Kalk in solution better. 60gal cube with 10gal sump. I add 600ml/day of Kalk which is roughly 9.1ml of vinegar dosed a day"
as reasonable for a start. I would caution you to measure/monitor nutrient (NO3) levels, as you may find that your Nitrate in particular drops precipitously, depriving chemosynthetic and photosynthetic life of necessary fertilizer. Bob Fenner>
Re: Kalk / vinegar

Cool! Thanks Bob!
<Pleasure. B>

2-part dosing schedule       1/26/16
I have been hand-dosing 25 ml of CaCl solution and 25 ml of soda ash solution (and also Kalkwasser in my ato water). This is keeping my calcium, alkalinity and Ph stable at good levels. I just bought a dosing pump to automate the 2-part dosing. I couldn't find much on-line as to WHEN I should dose except that it's good to dose alkalinity in the morning just before lights come on. So I programmed a dosing of alkalinity at 9, 10, and 11 a.m. of 8 or 9 ml; and the calcium I did 5 dosings spread evenly throughout the day (but not at same time as alkalinity) of 5 ml each. Is this fine? Is there a better schedule?
<Mmm; well; only testing during the times then will/can really tell. Likely this is fine, and I would def. pulse the material in during light/day time. More/less calcium is lost, taken up depending on factors such as lighting, the types and amount/biomass of biomineralizing life present, other foods...>
As always, thanks for the advice,
Terry Martin
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Calcium for Reef     8/20/13
Dear WWM,
Good Morning! I have a 55 reef tank. It is stocked with LPS corals, and I do water changes every two weeks. Stocked with: 3 Euphyllia sp, 2 lg Ducanopsammia axifugia, Turbinaria peltata, Caulastrea sp, Platygyra sp, and Trachyphyllia radiata. All of which have had severe lack of growth for some time now.
<What do you think is lacking, or in overabundance here as cause?>

Anyway, several months ago I began to do calcium tests more religiously and noticed my calcium was low (320-340ppm) So, I decided to try more frequent water changes. It didn't fix the calcium though, and I went through a ton of salt mix. I was using Instant Ocean Salt Mix. I then bought some Instant Ocean Reef Crystals, because they claimed to have more Calcium, and Magnesium. After two 5-15 gallon water changes the calcium has risen 40ppm. Is this excessively rapid, and could it cause precipitation of something?
<Is not excessive>
Also, as a side question: What do you consider the care to be of a Seriatopora sp?
<Posted on WWM... see re the family>
 I was mainly curious because I have kept one (in a separate system) for well over six months now, and didn't know how it would compare to Acropora, or Stylophora, or Tridacna clams (Derasa, and Crocea).
<Compare? In terms of growth, about the same... hardiness, more than the stonies, less than the clams>
Tank is lit by a Kessil 150W Pennant.
<... Only one? I'd have two of these on a four foot wide system>

Hope you have a grand day.
<DO read on WWM re Scleractinian systems... including S. disease... Bob

Kalkwasser Help, source, commercial chemical      8/20/13
Hello Crew,
I'm trying to make Kalkwasser for a balanced calcium supplementation in my tank. I'm hoping to go the economical route by purchasing 50lbs for $8 rather than the 4.4 lbs for $50 at my lfs!
<Ah yes>
I've attached the MSDS for this product. It contains 92-100% Ca(OH)2 along with some silica. I'm wondering
if you think this will be sufficiently pure for my tank.
<Mmm; the stated range of Si is 0.1-1 % by weight, the remainder "inert"  ingredient/s most likely water... This is "not too much silica/te for me.
There may be folks who decry such non-reagent or higher grade Kalk for aquarium use... Have seen this sort of quality used by very large facilities. My spiel: no worries>
Thanks for your help!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

RMF not awake enough to repro. just part of the .pdf
Just looked up their MSDS online: http://www.graymont.com/msds/msds_high_calcium_hydrated_lime.pdf

Re: Pickling Lime   10/20/07
I've asked Anthony his thoughts on the use of pickling lime as I was interested in using it.
Jeremy from URI asked me about this on his reply to my query on T5 lamps. Thought you may want to post this in the dailies, if Anthony wouldn't mind of course.
Hi Anthony,
Know you are a busy boy but wondered if you had time to answer a question. I'd like to try using Mrs. Wages Pickling Lime. Should this be treated the same as Kalkwasser, does it have to be dripped into the tank. I'm also wondering what the mix ratio is per gallon of water. I'm thinking about two tablespoons...?
James (Salty Dog)
Heya, James
(answering from a hotel in Madrid... yes, keeping busy :))
Many folks use pickling lime and have no problems... some do... all can in time. The issue is the grade of the reagent. Its low and has impurities. It can NOT be used for Kalk slurries, but it can be used better (but still not great) as Kalkwasser if you decant the supersaturated solution and never admit precip to the tank.
In the big picture... I am an outspoken critic against using low grade reagents of anything in our aquariums. For the time and money we spend on our aquariums, the value of our creatures, etc... it makes no sense to me to save a few dollars on a supplement (versus buying Seachem or lab grad reagents) for a system that is worth thousands if not priceless lives of your captives).
Moreover... algae issues are bad enough in well run tanks. No need to burden the challenge even more with impure low grade reagents.
Kindly, Anth

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