Please visit our Sponsors

FAQs on Supplementing With Kalkwasser 3

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

Related FAQs: Kalkwasser 1Kalkwasser 2, 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, Alkalinity Interactions, About Kalk Use & Other Supplements, e.g. Magnesium, Troubleshooting/Fixing, CaCl2 (Calcium Chloride)/ Pickling Lime Use, Calcium and Alkalinity

Osmolator and Kalkwasser question  11/19/05 Hi! My first question would be directed at Anthony Calfo (or anybody that is able to answer it if he's not available...). <Have sent to Antoine, and am responding here> On p.185 of "Book of Coral Propagation", it is said: "To maximize phosphate fallout and calcium uptake, it has been observed that Kalkwasser additions are more effective if they can safely dosed into the main display rather than the sump". Does it really make a significant difference and why is that? <Can... in that a good deal of the phosphate one might be trying to precipitate out is located in the main system water... and much of the Kalk is used up very quickly... in the sump if administered there> I am trying to make a 52" high DIY Kalk-reactor at the moment following plans found on the internet but the idea of having it drip into the display makes me a bit nervous. But maybe there is no risk if I have it dripped where the output of the return pump is. It's not a very high flow tough (270 gal per hour, my tank is 90 gal). <A good place/exit point to do this, yes> My second question regards safety back up when using an auto top-off system. I am thinking of using the Tunze osmolator connected to a small RO-DI water reservoir. The water reservoir will be connected to the RO-DI and self-filling (with a float). From my understanding, it is impossible (or close to impossible) that the Tunze Osmolator gets stuck on (there are two sensors plus a 10 min. time out). But it still can get stuck off.  Do you think it could be a good idea to install a second osmolator set (pressure sensor + solenoid + float) 1" below the normal water level so if the Tunze osmolator/pump fails, the other osmolator prevents the water level from dropping more than an inch? <I have yet to see a situation where this failure occurred> Some will argue that it would just duplicate the possibility of equipment failure. The way I see it, with a "fails closed" solenoid and a float, the second set cannot really stuck open and just gives a second chance to avoid a salinity increase when the Tunze osmolator fails (especially if I left on a summer trip...). What is your opinion? <I would not be concerned. These units have invariably "failed closed". Cheers, Bob Fenner> Many Thanks! Regards, Dominique 

Osmolator and Kalkwasser question Visited Upon by Adam Cesnales  11/22/05 Hi!   My first question would be directed at Anthony Calfo (or anybody that is able to answer it if he's not available...). On  p.185 of "Book of Coral Propagation", it is said: "To maximize phosphate fallout and calcium uptake, it has been observed that Kalkwasser additions are more effective if they can safely dosed into the main display rather than the sump". Does it really make a significant difference and why is that? I am trying to make a 52" height DIY Kalk reactor at the moment following plans found on the internet but the idea of having it drip into the display makes me a bit nervous. But maybe there is no risk if I have it dripped were the output of the return pump is. It's not a very high flow tough (270 gal per hour, my tank is 90 gal). My second question regards safety back up when using an auto top-off system.  I am thinking of using the Tunze osmolator connected to a small RO-DI water reservoir. The water reservoir will be connected to the RO-DI and self-filling (with a float). From my understanding, it is impossible (or close to impossible) that the Tunze Osmolator gets stuck on (there are two sensors plus a 10 min. time out). But it still can get stuck off. Do you think it could be a good idea to install a second osmolator set (pressure sensor + solenoid + float) 1" below the normal water level so if the Tunze osmolator/pump fails, the other osmolator prevents the water level from dropping more than an inch? Some will argue that it would just duplicate the possibility of equipment failure. The way I see it, with a "fails closed" solenoid and a float, the second set cannot really stuck open and just gives a second chance to avoid a salinity increase when the Tunze osmolator fails (especially if I left on a summer trip...). What is your opinion? Many Thanks! Regards, Dominique  <More than a few reasons, but leading: Highly aerated/oxygenated and/or heavy water flow sumps can cause much of the added Kalkwasser to form insoluble calcium carbonate whereas little or at least less do when added to the diffused, bubble-less flow in the main display. AdamC >

Aerate Prior To Mixing Kalkwasser? - 11/12/05 Hello - <<Hello>> Just a quick question. I know that you are supposed to aerate RO/DI water first, then add buffer and aerate some more, then add your salt and aerate more. My question is: When using RO/DI water for Kalkwasser, do I aerate the water first and then add the Kalkwasser. Or should one not aerate the RO/DI water when using it with just Kalk. <<Hmm...the purpose of the aeration is to drive off CO2/reduce acidity of the fresh RO water. When mixing Kalkwasser I feel this has little relevance <<relevance?>> on the "quality" of the Kalkwasser mix. Not aerating may in fact even increase the amount of Kalkwasser that "dissolves" within the given water volume, but I would expect the difference in this case to be negligible. What I'm getting a is this Bonnie...I see no reason to aerate the RO water prior to mixing with Kalkwasser, but neither is there any harm.>> Thanks, Bonnie <<Regards, EricR>>

Mixing Kalkwasser With Other Additives - 11/10/05 Hi. <<Hello>> Very quick question.  I can't find a definitive answer anywhere.  Can one add iodine and strontium to the Kalkwasser mix to dose all at the same time?  Sorry, I am not chemist. <<Neither am I, but I would not do this.  Kalkwasser is very caustic, no telling what affect it will have on the other compounds.  Better to dose separately in my opinion to insure you preserve the integrity/benefit of the other compounds.>> Thanks <<Regards, EricR>>

Top Secret Chemistry Project? … No Just a Reef Tank.  10/21/05 Hi Gang, <Gang? Man I hope Bob doesn't order any hits….Hi TJ, excuse my humor.> I've been absorbing all sorts of useful knowledge on your site on a variety of topics. Its helped me considerably in bringing great joy to the residents of my reef tank. <Cool, glad you have enjoyed this resource.> My question concerns calcium supplements. In my latest tank, I've been using SeaChem Reef Calcium or Reef Complete for years. Calcium levels are excellent, and alkalinity is good too. I occasionally add a SeaChem buffering compound if alkalinity goes a little low. I do about 5% water change weekly. <Good Regime.>  I've read a bit on this site about ionic balance related to using anything other than Kalkwasser, so now I am about to start using the slurry method. But, I got to wondering; WHY? <Kalk's a little easier/more convenient in my experience.>  Everything seems to be fine and its less work. <If your methods is yielding results then don't change.> I have very happy corals for the most part, great coralline growth (heck, its even growing in my skimmer!). Are the only indications of an ionic imbalance a precipitation of the calcium? <Yes like a rain cloud absorbing water, your tank water can only hold so much, calcium that is. The precipitation is often a sign of "bad" or not ideal alk. or pH levels.> Since this has not happened in years, how do I know if I am poised on the brink of disaster? <If you are testing the water and all levels are satisfactory I wouldn't stress.> Or do we just worry a little TOO much about all this...?? <Sometimes but its good to ask, no worries.> TJ <Adam J.> RO water for Kalkwasser auto-top-off - 10/17/05 Hi There, <<Hello>> I have perused the FAQs but have not seen a direct yes or no as to whether RO water can be used to automatically refill a kalkstirrer without pre-aerating or buffering. I am sure I have seen schematics on manufacturers websites showing an RO plumbed directly to a kalkstirrer. <<It sure can be added straight in.>> Thanks for your help David <<TravisM>> 

Kalkwasser help 8/28/05 Hello crew, You folks do a wonderful service here. It is greatly appreciated. Anyway I was wondering how I should go about raising the calcium when I do a water change. I try to keep my calcium around 400ppm. When I make a fresh bucket of water with IO it is only about 300ppm. I have recently started using Kalkwasser to supplement with but when trying to make fresh saltwater the calcium doesn't seem to change after mixing with Kalkwasser. I do mix the Kalkwasser first with my ro water a day before I add the IO salt. I just didn't think it would be good for the tank to have the calcium drop that much and also having to change the dosing amount after making new saltwater. <Mark, personally, it is much easier and safer to use Sea Chem's Reef Calcium.  It also contains other trace elements needed to support corals, etc. If you are concerned with growing coralline, add some Kent liquid calcium along with it.  This does wonders for growing coralline. James (Salty Dog)> Thanks for all your help <You're welcome> Mark

Kalkwasser And Top-Off Systems - 08/08/05 I have a 29 gallon reef with a 175w metal halide and two T5 actinics with a Remora hang-on skimmer and running some Rowaphos in an Aquaclear filter.  My inhabitants are mostly softies, xenia, star, zoos, Ricordea and also some SPS (Stylos, Montipora, stag frag).  I will be upgrading to a 55 gallon corner tank soon. <<neat>> I plan to build a remote sump system in my garage and want to make a dependable freshwater top off system using a 7 gallon container (salt bucket size) filled with R/O water and using a float switch and an Aqualift pump (2-3 gallons per hour). <<ok>>   I have been told I can use Kalk solution in this setup. <<yes>> Basically mix Kalk and 5 gallons of R/O then after it settles, siphon off the water to fill my evap makeup reservoir.  I was told I could run this setup 24 hours a day since it just adds water in small amounts many times a day, just refilling with this Kalk solution once a week or so. <<As needed, yes.>> The next better option may be to use a Kalk reactor??    <<Matter of preference...the reactor is less troublesome in my opinion (easier/quicker to service). Can you help me be smarter about these two setups and how they would work for my tank? Any suggestions or "counseling" is really appreciated. :) <<Well Bob, either would/will work fine.  Many, many folks do what you propose (or similar) with mixing up Kalkwasser solution and using it to top up your tank evaporation.  This is one of the easier/more simple methods for dosing Kalk (aside from Anthony Calfo's slurry method).  My preference is to use a Kalk reactor, but these are more difficult to build/expensive to purchase.  Both methods utilize your makeup reservoir and pump (water is pumped through the reactor) to dose the Kalk, the reactor just does the "mixing" for you.  But don't fret, you don't "need" a reactor, you're original plan sounds fine.  Have a look at our FAQs on water top-off systems: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/h20makeupfaqs.htm>> Thanks Bob <<Regards, EricR>> Couple of Advanced Kalk questions 8/4/05 Hi WWM Crew, <Dan> Long time reader, first time poster would like to know, when making Kalk water to drip into a sump, is any of the Kalk powder actually dissolved into the mixture? <Mmm, yes... most folks use supernatant solutions... that is, ones that have as much Kalk as will go into solution, with some solids... that at that temperature... are still in solid form... on the bottom>   I was rushing around, preparing for a trip away and realized that I needed to make 3 bottles of Kalk top off water for the week away.  My thought is, why not make the mixture, shake it well, and then pour it through a (paper) coffee filter to remove the sediment, then having clear, Kalk water ready for use? <Can be done... but...> Secondly, if the coffee-filter idea would work, could you put 5 teaspoons in the filter and make 5 gallons (sort of like coffee-we could call it the Ms Kalkee). <Heee, yes> I have read and read, but nothing states that the DI water needs to come in contact with the Kalk powder for a specific amount of time-it just needs to settle to the bottom before using the distillate. <A few to several minutes> Any clarity you can offer on this cloudy subject would be appreciated (pun intended). Dan <Worth trying. You likely are familiar with the admonition re mixing Kalk solutions with air... You might benefit from understanding Anthony's bit re slurried solutions... Bob Fenner>

Kalk slurry 7/30/05 Hey guys, While Anthony was in  town I purchased his amazing book. His method of dosing Kalk is confusing me since all other info I come across directs one to decant the top portion of a settled container. So what's the benefit of the slurry vs. the decanted solution. <The short story is that you are spared fro the tedious and messy (always clogging/clotting) limewater drips that limit your Ca additions by the rate of evaporation in the tank and not by the daily demand for calcium. Its rather fast and easy too. We have some discussions of the matter in the archives if you'll do a keyword search of the phrase from our home page. Also... a synopsis here: http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=638828&highlight=kalk+slurry> Anthony, it was great to meet you and thanks for writing in such a refreshing style. <Thank you kindly for saying so :) Its a labor of love... and vanity, I suppose :D At least opinionated. Heehee... best of luck/life. Anth->

Kalkwasser reactor 06/09/05 Hey guys. I currently have a 30 gallon reef tank and it is doing fine all inhabitants get along and all corals are healthy but growth rate is not fast.  I have a sump less system and was wondering if I could use a Kalkwasser reactor in order to help with the calcium in the tank again I have no sump and am relatively new to the Kalk./ca. reactors so I don't know much about them.  I have heard that the Kalk. is much easier to keep. if it is safe for me to keep a Kalkwasser reactor which one do you recommend . <<This depends on the type of corals you are talking about.  You could use a Kalk slurry instead of an actual reactor since your evap probably is not that high.  Check out these FAQs.. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/kalkh2ofaqs.htm Oh, by the way I thought you should know that I am successfully keeping a pink skunk clown in an artificial long tent. anemone from "sea Garden". he took to it in about two hours.  << Very nice and Good Luck.. EricS >>

- Kalkwasser Overdose, Get Controls Out of Reach of that Two Year Old! - Hi Bob, hope this finds you and your team well. <JasonC here today.> I had a small disaster this weekend and would like you experienced opinion on the after effects of the accident. Basically I overdosed my system (200Litre) with about 20 liters of Kalkwasser last night!! <Whoops.> Usually I dose maybe 1- 2 litres over night, every night give or take. I don't have an automated top up switch, just keep the top up rate in line with the evap rate. The Peri pump mysteriously (as in having a little 2 year old running around!!) got adjusted to maximum output, and over the course of 4 hours dosed just under 20 litres overnight! <Time to move that pump out of reach. Am reminded of an old friend who's high-end stereo equipment was destroyed by his two year old son who found the volume knob very interesting.> My first reaction was, as you can imagine shock!!... the ph was 9.92 - Most of the corals had closed up, although some were fine, leather, candycane, Favia, poly colonies. My metallic green tip xenia was open, but looking pretty jaded! I changed over 5 gals of water, but pH was still very high, added some diluted citric acid to try and temper the alkalinity. <Careful with the acid additions there... you can very easily go the other direction just as quickly.> This morning the pH is back to normal, 8.4, most of the corals look ok, just not as fully expanded, however the candy can looks pretty unhealthy as does the metallic green xenia, and most of my pulsing xenia is looking green/ grey and shriveled! So all in all not a good situation. <Yet a situation to learn from.> I was hoping you could give me some idea of the recovery rate of the corals, after being stressed out like this, if this pH spike would of effected the long term health of the corals and if you had any further advise with regards to managing the systems recovery. <Hard to say exactly... could be the damage is irreversible. It's a general rule of thumb that invertebrates are better suited to handle water quality problems as they can't run away like fish can. But a pH of 9.2 is outside of the normal bounds of a water problem. I'd give them a week or so, and keep an eye on your pH.> Thanks in advance for any advice offered. <Cheers, J -- >

Questions Regarding Alkalinity Hi there, I've searched the FAQs and the net for some quick answers to my questions, but haven't found what I was looking for. It seems that the responses only complicate the answer and confuse me more... So here are the questions Thanks in advance! 1. If my alkalinity is low can I use Kalkwasser to increase it? <Mmm, no... calcium hydroxide has no carbonate, bicarbonate content...> 2. Will Kalkwasser impact my pH? <Yes... hydroxides are strong bases...> 3. Is Kalkwasser's main purpose to 'maintain' KH and Ca at the current levels (not used to increase them)? <... please see WWM re...> 4. Assume that Alk is low and CA is low... should I use separate additives to reach desired levels... and then begin dripping Kalk? <You can...> 5. Dripping Kalk won't actually increase levels unless it drips faster than the evaporation rate correct? <What? No... almost all that evaporates is simply water... Please take your time here, learn what these concepts are, their interrelationships... not difficult with some application of your time, focus. See here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/calcalkmar.htm and follow where the linked files at top lead you. Do you have a marine aquarium book? I'd look into Baensch Marine Atlas V.1... for simple, complete explanations of the basics of aquarium chemistry and physics... Bob Fenner>

Kalkwasser slurry and xenia pulsation 5/13/05 Hey guys, <Howdy!> As usual, I have a few questions.  I have a 155 gallon tank with live rock, powerheads, MH lighting.  I'm still waiting for my overflow box order so I can set up my sump.  Water Parameters as follows; PH 8.4 at night Temp 80 Ammonia 0 Nitrite 0 Nitrate 0 Alk 4.5 meq=12.6 KH Phosphate .3 Calcium 260ppm very low <The high Phosphate is an even bigger concern, frankly. Do consider a Phos-ban reactor or the like.> Magnesium unknown at this time, will be testing today by LFS.  I'm assuming normal because I've been doing weekly water changes of 10-15%. Inhabitants 1 purple tank, 1 clown Corals: 1 leather, 1 green star polyp, 1 yellow polyp, 3 mushrooms, and 3 xenia stalks( recently added, attached by a tooth pick). Tank is fairly new, corals even newer, about a month for all of them. Question 1.  I've been using the Kalkwasser slurry method to raise my calcium.  I've been adding 1/4-1/2 tsp per gallon to fresh water and then adding it to a stream of water at night.  I know that the amount is very conservative but I don't want a snow storm.   <Actually... I'm concerned that you may be adding this without knowing what your daily demand for calcium is (very low in this tank by the list of corals). Thus, if you are adding too much per day, you may be precipitating Ca without actually causing a "snowstorm," yet it is the reason for your depressed Ca. We must test for the daily loss of calcium, then how much of a calcium supplement (calcium hydroxide in this case) is needed to make up for that daily need. Tossing in random shots is scary <G>> I'm planning on adding hard corals soon and would like to get my level much higher.  I've been doing this for about a week but with no success.  I think that possible causes maybe the Alkalinity (which I've brought down  from 16KH to it's current level) or the unknown Magnesium level, or just low dose.  Any thoughts?   <Ah, yes... 16 dKH is high for Alk. Avoid going over 12 dKH. And yes, it can depress the Ca when high> By the way, my PH has been climbing slowly about .05 each time I dose. <Very fine> Question 2.  I know that typically, the slurry method is to replace daily calcium use but is it ok to use it to raise the levels too? <Yes> Question 3.  I purchased a couple of xenia stalks this week to my tank.  The first day they were pulsating but no more.  The PH and alkalinity favor this motion, iodine is .05, water movement ok, occasional marine snow given ( every second day).  Again what do you guys think? <Xenia can be very slow to "settle in" - often taking several months before you see consistent growth, pulsatile function, etc. No worries> As always, I really appreciate your help. Nilesh <kindly, Anthony>

Crystallization of Kalkwasser 4/2/05 I have a problem with my 40 gal SPS reef. I am using a Chem tech dosing pump to dose Kalkwasser and I run the discharge hose into my sump ( with the end submerged). The pump sits in another room about 35 feet away. Anyhow, I get a buildup of what I guess is calcium. If I don't continually pull it out it gets quite large. <This is quite normal with the use of Calcium Hydroxide. Do search our archives for notes on using a "Kalk slurry" to avoid all of the tedious mess of such Kalkwasser applications> I also have a 10 gal nano reef that I use an AquaMedic dosing pump for Kalkwasser but I don't get any buildup on the end of the hose. Why does it only build up in my larger tank. I mix fresh Kalk every 4 days.  Your help is really appreciated. Mark <Best regards, Anthony> 

Kalkwasser Use I have a pH controller with two outlets. Outlet 1 is energized when high set point pH is read and outlet 2 is energized when low set point is read. I have CO2 reactor on outlet 1. My pH never reached set point of 8.2, so CO2 reactor never is running. Got bright idea to put mini powerhead in doser container full of Kalkwasser and plug into outlet 2 to bring up pH. (I have since read through site and learned not to use Kalkwasser for pH control). Also mini powerhead let Kalkwasser siphon out (at slower rate but still drip). I came home and water was cloudy like I had stirred gravel.  Not what I was under impression white snow effect looks like. All in all about 2.5 gallons of Kalkwasser added to system in less than 24hrs. I have fish only tank. My fish were struggling, and I quickly moved to my quarantine tank. After several hours they were doing fine. My question, is pH spike cause of stress for fish, or is it something toxic still in water?" <That much Kalk in the water will raise pH to ungodly levels and that will definitely stress if not kill the fish. Good you caught it in time>  I have started water changes (have done 2 30% changes and plan on more when make up RO water is ready) and water is less cloudy, but not completely clear. I need to try to get fish back to main tank as soon as possible because of size of quarantine tank. My pH is stable at 7.9. Could the spike or other cause? Affect biological filter?  <Probably not since the problem was caught.>  Thank you in advance. I will quit tweaking with system. It has run for years with no problems.  <Dave, you know the old saying "If it doesn't need fixin', leave it alone". James (Salty Dog)> 

Storing Calcium Hydroxide 3/2/05 Kalkwasser can be stored in plastic and it won't dissolve it. Back in Chemistry class (at SJSU), we used to store our bases in plastic bottle because they would dissolve/etch the glass they were stored in. I currently store my Kalkwasser in an old gallon milk jug. Hope this helps! David <thanks kindly for sharing! Anthony> 

Can Kalkwasser dissolve plastic - 2/28/05 Thanks for the reply,  <no problem>  I have another question that I have not been able to get answers on, may be a no- brainer but my wife is concerned. Here goes, I have been mixing enough Kalkwasser to top off my tank for a week (about 10g) and keeping it in a trash can with a lid. The question, is there any chance that the mixed solution would be caustic enough to dissolve the plastic trash can.  <not that I have experienced. For sure you should keep an eye on it but I have never experienced this.>  I would have not considered this but I promised I would try to find out.  <anyone out there in FAQ land experience anything to contrary? ~Paul> 

Algae and a link problem 2/27/05 Thanks for everything. I am reading one of the books that you recommend (I cannot remember the name) but they talk about the effect of Xenia's that are not at optimal health on hair algae blooms. Do you have any other info on this?  <not sure what you are asking or what book you are referring too, my friend> Also, this link: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/kalkwasser.htm  leads to a blank page.  <duly noted... will look into it - thanks kindly><<Mmm, not blank... there's a title et al. there... just no article... as yet. RMF>> My ignorance was reaffirmed again when I read that Calcium reactors do not replace calcium supplementation!  <huh?!?! Ah... misread or a misstatement. Calcium reactors are very helpful for providing calcium and alkalinity. Some folks do like to add Kalkwasser too though for added benefits> So, I would like to read on simplified Kalkwasser dosing techniques. I have Anthony's book which I understand is addressed in that as well, so if you are busy do not worry about it.  Thanks for everything. Scott <best regards, Anthony>

Kalk and Vinegar, please 2/9/05 I'm new to the hobby and have no experience at all (YET!), but I am a ravenous reader and a true believer in doing research at the beginning of a new enterprise. <Good to hear!> I'm now reading about Kalkwasser. Many of the articles refer to levels of CO2 which must be present to ensure the proper ionic balance (to avoid snowstorms), and I came across one article that recommends dissolving Kalkwasser in dilute acetic acid instead of water.  <Some help, yes> The ions in the acid provide the CO2 necessary. Is there a "short course" available on the detailed METHOD of Kalkwasser addition? <Yep... an outstanding series of articles from Randy-Holmes Farley on advancedaquarist.com, reefkeeping.com and his chemistry forum at reefcentral.com (a keyword search will get you there)> I like to know what I'm getting into BEFORE I buy/do something. :-) Thanks, John <Rock on bro. Anthony>

Kalk Dosing & Reverse Light Cycles Heya Crew... <David> I'm sure any one of you fine folks could help me tonight. I recently started dosing with Kalk. I did so because the growth of my clams and corals have significantly raised the calcium requirements. The two part additives that I was using became real expensive to keep up with. I have a 75G reef (SPS & Clams) with a decent sized sump w/refugia (55 gallons) in the stand that is lit opposite the photo period of the display tank. <Okay> My question is; can I dose slowly and drip 24/7? Or should I drip only at night? <Night on the main tank> I'm thinking that because of the reverse photoperiod in the sump and fuge, it won't much matter. However, I'm always the newbie and would appreciate your advice. PS.. Anthony... I'm sure you don't remember, but a couple/few months back I had questions about Banggai Cardinal gestation etc.. You pointed me to Dr. Frank M's work and I've never looked back since. The babies were born and are eating prepared foods, and are old enough to go to new homes. Just last weekend, I sent a nice young lady home from my house with her new cardinals, some food stuffs and a smile. It's a wonderful feeling to do so. I couldn't have done it without Dr. Frank and also the WWM crew! Thanks! Respectfully, David Perry <Outstanding. Will fwd. to Antoine here. Bob Fenner> 

- Kalkwasser Top-off - Hey how's it going. <It's going.> Well I'll make this short & sweet since I know you guys are busy. I'm looking to add Kalkwasser to my make up water. I have a five gallon bucket with a powerhead attached to a hose that feeds my sump water when the float switch sinks below water level. I want to add Kalkwasser to the make up water but the water that is added ranges from roughly 2-9 oz. at a shot. My tank is a 37 gallon cube with a 8 gallon sump. If I do this would I be adding Kalkwasser too fast. Any ideas, if not, I'm probably going to go with a calcium reactor. <I'm not a fan of combined auto top-off/Kalkwasser systems. Think, especially with tank of this size that you'd be better off adding your Kalkwasser manually and leaving your top-off system as it is.> Thanks    Oscar. <Cheers, J -- >

- Kalkwasser Addition - Gang: <Dude.> I have been reading the numerous previous posts on Kalk addition but my problem is a tad different.  Let me paint a quick picture of my system first. <Ok.> 120g display tank with 30g sump.  Water returns in my sump to a chamber that houses the skimmer which then runs through some filter floss prior to getting to the next chamber where the pump suction sits. I am adding Kalk (approximately 1.5 teaspoons per gallon) to my makeup water (RO/DI) and my makeup water reservoir holds approximately 3 gallons  which lasts about 2 days. This is gravity fed to a float valve which resides in the pump suction chamber. Water parameters seem fine: Salinity - 1.021, Ca - 420 ppm, Alkalinity - 12.6 dKh, pH - 8.2, temperature - ~77 deg F. Here is the problem, I get a large amount of calcium carbonate formation right at the float valve which I must skim off weekly. The only theories I have are these: A) My RO membrane is ruptured... but this doesn't quite add up because I am not having problems with nuisance algae. B) The float valve is located near the surface of the water level (obviously) and perhaps there is not sufficient water volume flow to prevent localized high calcium content... thus causing precipitation right at the valve. <I choose B... sounds the most likely to me.> Any help you guys can provide will be greatly appreciated. Thanks again,
<Cheers, J -- >

Coral ID Help Please, actually a corallimorph, and driving the Kalk mahcheen Hello WWM Crew, <Gisho> I have attached a picture of a coral that I purchased recently.  According to the LFS, it is a cup coral, but I just can't believe that it is. <Tis not> I searched the WWM site and I have searched books and can't positively ID it as none of the pictures of cup corals that I find look at all like it.  I did ask the LFS (who have proved to be reasonably trustful in the past) about lighting, placement/water flow, hardiness, feeding, etc before I bought it.  To me it almost looks like a giant mushroom coral of some type. It is about 10 - 12 inches in diameter fully expanded/extended. <See here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corallim.htm .  Looks like an Amplexidiscus to me> Another question;  I have a recently (4 months ago) converted  my 260 gallon FOWLR to reef.  pH 8.5 at peak daylight hours. Ammonia: 0 Nitrite: 0 Nitrate: 2 ppm.  Euroreef skimmer producing tons of skimmate, refugium w/ Chaetomorpha, MH lighting with three 250 W 10K and VHO's .  Livestock doing fine.  My question is in regards to my low calcium and high dKH/Alk readings.  They are 300-320 ppm and 15.4/5.49  respectively.  I drip Kalkwasser. <Bingo... read over... WWM re alkalinity AND calcium... use of Kalk...> I would like to get my calcium up to  400 -450 ppm.  Should I add a calcium supplement?  Is my consistently high dKH/Alk going to cause a problem in the short or long term? Thanks and I always appreciate and trust your advice! Gisho
<Study my friend. Bob Fenner>

Kalk slurry  9/28/04 I think I must have read every Kalk-dosing FAQ that had slurry in the text and I still have a question. Some answers by the Crew have said that one should only pour the clear liquid into the display while other answers have suggested that there is no problem with pouring in the sediment as well. Which is it? <Well to be completely clear... both!  Ha!  I personally prefer to drip just the clear (or nearly clear) top layer over several hours, generally at night.  This avoids large pH swings and also ameliorates nighttime pH drop.  However, smaller doses may me mixed into a small amount of water and dumped into a high current area of the tank.  The slurry method has the advantage of being quick and easy and creates no waste.  The disadvantage is larger pH swings and possibly greater risk of calcifying pumps and sand beds.  The clear liquid method is a bit more tedious and creates a bit of waste, but results in more stable pH and reduces the likelihood of calcifying equipment.  Another important factor is that if the Kalk is allowed to sit and settle, it is "self purifying".  The high pH precipitates metals and other contaminants that then fall to the bottom of the container.> Seems to me that if I should only pour in the clear, then I must make sure to use enough water to dissolve the entire target dose. <Most folks add some excess and accept the waste to be sure that the solution is completely saturated.> If that is not done, and I do not pour in the sediment as well, then I am not sure exactly how much I am adding to the tank. <The key here is to establish a routine.  Measure Ca and Alk occasionally and adjust your routine accordingly.  There is no good way to be 100% accurate, but if you are consistent in your technique you should be able to make safe reliable adjustments.> Many answers talk about a "cup" of cold water, and that does not seem like nearly enough to dissolve even 1/8tsp of Kalk completely. Thanks, George.  <It isn't, that is why it is a slurry.  Using this technique, you are relying on the Kalk being diluted in enough tank water to dissolve there.  Best regards!  AdamC.>

Calcium hydroxide quality 8/28/04 Hi, Greetings, "Hola, ?Como estan?" from Guatemala, Central America. <cheers, my friend! It is wonderful to hear from you> Kalk is just calcium hydroxide, <yes... essentially true. To be specific though.. "Kalkwasser" is simply the supersaturated solution of calcium hydroxide in water... AKA "limewater"> so in theory is possible use lime or Kalk is lime hydrated. I suppose that the difference is the grade of purity that you will find in aquarium type or construction type. <yes... exactly correct... and there are sometimes considerable differences in purity. If you want to save some money on calcium hydroxide, I recommend that you avoid construction or agricultural lime, and at least purchase food grade ("pickling lime")> Looking for an alternative I discovered a brand of lime in Guatemalan market that is intended for agricultural use.  the technical sheet says: "at least 90% of Ca(OH)2 (at least 65% of available CaO), less than 2% SiO2, less than 1% of combined Al2O3 and Fe2O3 (aluminium an ferric oxide), less than 5% (weight) of magnesium oxide and less than 3% of carbonates. <yikes! this is not very pure my friend... you might suffer algae problems from it> In your opinion, this lime will work as good as any branded Kalkwasser? <unfortunately not> Thank you for your input! Carlos D?z <best regards, Anthony>

Dosing Kalkwasser 8/3/04 Hello. I have been starting to dose Kalkwasser in the manner suggested by Anthony Calfo; dissolving it in a cup of water and pouring it directly into the display tank. (I've got good alk, 10.6 dKH but pH is 8.0 and I want to bump it up a bit. Also Ca is on the low end of the scale, 360ppm when only running calcium reactor, and I figure that could stand an increase as well.)   <agreed... the ALK is fine... the pH is flat and the Ca could be perked up a bit. Frankly, though... stability is more important. And if the tank stayed dead even at 360ppm, you'd grow corals faster than if spiked periodically to 425ppm. Do consider this and not worry so much about inconvenient high Ca targets> I've been doing this daily in the morning before the lights come on at a rate of 1/8 tsp per 200 gallons net aquarium water. <nicely conservative> I did this once after the lights just came on and noticed that the polyps on most of the Acropora retracted almost immediately upon dosing and returned to normal in about 10-15 minutes. <not surprising or any big problem... you just need to ameliorate/dilute the dose more... or feed it to a stronger stream of water> Cutting the dose in half has about the same effect. Is that temporary high pH shock harmful? <bad husbandry really... just too slow flow for dispersion> I like the method, but don't like the response from the Acropora. <really no biggie either way. I dose mine with a watering can in the big tanks/pools! <G>> Every polyp does not retract, just patches that happen to be in the Kalkwasser stream before it thoroughly mixes. After a week of this, they look healthy at all other times. Regards, George. <good eye for detail overall my friend... no worries/no harm here. Anthony>

Calcium Hydroxide grades 7/7/04 Could you tell if all calcium hydroxide is the same?  I was going to buy 5kg off the internet for 60.00-80.00 bucks...any info would help. <not all are the same, my friend... there is a wide range of grades and you generally get what you pay for. The cheaper grades have more impurities. For the average home aquarium and how little is used in one year... its not worth the risk. Ask them for a chemical assay if you want to pursue it further to see/compare quality Anthony>

Kalkwasser Question Dear Bob- Hello, I have been reading your articles and FAQs and have come across some varying opinions concerning the boosting of ca and alk to a tank from what others have informed me. I have a 46 gal FOWLR and have decided to partake in corals. My questions are: what would be the best product to supplement ca and alk? Also, what is the best way to administer the supplement? Are mechanical dosing pumps necessary? How do you in the beginning stages boost the ca levels without harming current inhabitants? I recall Kalkwasser being high on your list while others have told me Bio Calcium by tropic Marin is more beneficial to a system.  Only one problem is the budget-I know that you favor calcium reactors and have heard of their wondrous contributions to reefing but under monetary constraints I am unable to purchase this machine. I plan to save up and eventually purchase one but the coral bug has bitten earlier than expected.  I understand that I hit you with quite a few questions but any insight would be greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Steven Marandola <Well-stated opinions here. For most (the vast majority) of small, home-based systems "two-part" supplements (like B-Ionic) are best IMO... they provide sufficient/excess alkalinity and biomineral content safely and reliably. I do not endorse the use of Kalkwasser generally... too toxic, unstable to use, easy to get "out of balance" (with magnesium, alkaline make-up) in general... But, Kalk can be a very useful adjunct to other means of boosting, maintaining conducive water quality, particularly with situations where folks have similarly boosted lighting, and a concurrent desire to enhance growth, biomineralization. Reactors are still the best available, most appropriate technology, but I agree with you re their cost. Perhaps a marine club near you will have a "do it yourself" reactor get-together (many do) and you can make your own, find a CO2 cylinder (still the most common types in the U.S. use carbon dioxide, though there are other moda), regulator, needle-valve... at a low price. Considering what folks "put into" their systems, mainly electricity, but also supplement, and livestock cost-wise, reactors are not expensive. Bob Fenner>

- Upgrading the Tank, Follow-up - O.k. -- This is going to sound really stupid, but I am in a slight jam - or pickle -- whatever you may choose to call it -- I usually use a Kent buffer once a week to ensure that the PH remains stable -- and also use liquid calcium in my reef on a daily basis. My old tank is still doing well (knock on wood) -- However, the new 220G tank I am setting up had a slight complication -- after making a 4 inch sand bed, making 220G of RO/DI water, mixing all the salt and filling the tank -- I added a couple of bags of live sand - a handful of sand from my old tank into the new one to get it seeded, and finally a couple of large pieces of live rock -- I thought I was doing well -- till -- I decided to add some buffer to the tank (or so I thought) -- unfortunately, in my haste, I picked up the wrong jar -- and instead of the dKH -- added four table spoons of Kalkwasser into a small bucket of water, mixed it a bit -- like I usually do the dKH, and added/spread the whole mix directly into the tank in one go -- like I usually do the dKH -- except for a small fact -- it was not dKH -- but Kalk. Now my tank is cloudy -- I have a film of white powder like substance on my walls.  That in summary is my pickle -- did I ruin the who new tank setup -- and do I need to start from scratch -- new water, new salt mixing, new live sand and new live rock -- or will the tank clear up in a little/long while - and I could just wipe the walls clean? <This will clear up in time... all is not lost.> Will this action have any lasting effects? <You should have very high calcium now.> Should I do anything to minimize/mitigate any effects? <No... perhaps a regular water change.> It took me two days (the whole weekend) of pain - 6-8 hrs a day adding/mixing/lifting/moving to get to this point. I would hate to start fresh -- but would much rather do that than risk moving my entire reef setup in a less than perfect environment. <No worries... this tank should be ready to go.> Luckily -- no fish/coral or any living beings except for the live rock and live sand were in this tank -- so any damage would be limited to these guys. I really really appreciate your help and love your forum. Thank You <Cheers, J -- > Kalk Slurry Method? Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen, <Scott F. back with you today!> I do stand corrected regarding the UK being so far behind in the marine hobby. <Good!> I guess it is because I live in Kent which appears to be a bit of a "dead spot" regarding good shops and good stock. I know of 5 LFS's in a 25 mile radius and not one of those will save anything for you even if you pay for it in advance. <That's a bit annoying. Perhaps some of the stores in London or other major cities might offer online purchases? Worth checking out.> Moving on- Dave Saxby's Tank although I have never seen it personally (but would love the chance? If you're reading this Dave !!)  is really quite a stunner. I do believe his tank has been used as a subject in "Marine World" and probably other fish mag.s too. <Yep. It's also in Michael Paletta's "Ultimate Marine Aquariums". Truly one of the best reef systems ever created!> Anyway I write here tonight with the hope that you will be kind enough to help me yet again in my perseverance in this hobby. Anthony Calf's "Kalk slurry"...... Can you give me any info on how he achieves this w/out Calcium reactor i.e.. just using Kalkwasser? <Well, it's a relatively simple procedure, which he outlines in his must-have "Book of Coral Propagation". I personally use this method in one of my tanks with great success. What you are essentially doing (through careful and regular testing) is determining your system's calcium demand, and mixing a "shot" of calcium that satisfies the daily calcium demand of the system without more than a two tenths of a point increase in pH (which, as Anthony points out, is generally felt to be an acceptable pH fluctuation for most animals). You'll find that, once you get things dialed in, you can supplement the calcium very easily and efficiently. I highly recommend this method if you are not using a calcium reactor. Do get purchase a copy of Anthony's book; it gives a great description of this process, and is a terrific "primer" for any hobbyist ho is interested in maintaining corals> And secondly, since putting a few pounds (20lb) of live rock in the main display tank and yup, getting an outbreak of whitespot about 3 weeks ago, ( I am treating the sick fish in a hospital tank and fingers crossed it does not seem to have spread) I have noticed tonight on the front glass hundreds of almost microscopic beetle like life forms. To give a brief description they are (the largest of them) about half a millimetre long, the smallest a tenth of this size. They have two front antennae, two segment bodies and some appear to have a tail-like appendage.......Have you any ideas? <Sound like amphipods of some sort, or one of many similar related creatures. All of these function as essentially harmless "scavengers", and can benefit your system by providing a supplemental food source for your fishes. You are probably seeing an "explosion" in these creatures in the absence of the fishes, as they have a chance to avoid becoming someone's menu item!> Well, I would like to thank you for imparting your hard earned knowledge in my direction in the past. You have helped me no-end !! And thank you Scott on your advice regarding Tunze's Turbelles.....I am going to try them out, they sound v-good indeed. <You're quite welcome! The Tunze pumps are excellent, and will really serve you well!> One last quickie. Does the water flow in a DSB (5") refugium have to flow right through the sand or just over it and also how fast? should it basically be  a fast or slow turnover through the refugium? <Well, I'd just let the water flow over it at whatever it rate it typically goes through in the system. No special flow rate is required, IMO. And, a refugium should actually have a fairly brisk flow rate, IMO.> I want to put this just higher then the tank, supply it with a power head and gravity fed back to the main display......Do you think this will be ok? <I've seen this work just fine before in several systems. Definitely worth attempting> Cheers to you all !! Simon <And to you, my friend! Good luck with your system! Regards, Scott F>

Hardening Sand 2/17/04 Hey Gang, Anthony, after adding the new Kalkwasser drip to my system, I'm realizing I may have added it to quickly, the sand is beginning to develop a crust on the surface. Will a few major water changes save the bed, or, would you recommend R&R? Peace & Thanks, from Denver! Stormbringer <correct my friend... added too fast and/or inadequate water flow even with a safe dose (not your problem here I suspect/realize). The same thing (hardening of aragonite) can happen with other Ca/ALK/pH supplements just the same. No worries though... mash it up in time/on occasion with a stick/prod (perhaps with weekly sand stirring to feed some inverts) and just dose slower or dilute doses bigger here on out. Kindly, Anthony>

Hardening Sand 2/18/04 Anthony, Thanks for setting my mind at ease! <excellent bud> I knew there was something wrong when the Clove Polyps started looking very wilted the other day, going from a cream/green color to a grey, very unhappy look. <true... good to spy and recognize key species like this clove as bio-indicators of the first sign of bad trends> I did a 25g water change (Tropic-Marin) earlier & plan on another in a couple of days hoping it'll perc em up . Another question, which 65w PC spectrum is more beneficial to blue tip Acro, 7100k "ultra actinics" or actinic 03's? <no question the daylight colored lamp... actinic 03s do not sustain corals (few)... they are mostly for aesthetics> I like the way the 03's "light up" the green candy cane & Hydnophora, <agreed> but, the blue tips aren't the neon blue under the 03'S, like they were under the 7100K's. Just curious! <with modern reef lamps (6500-20k K), 03 blues are no longer needed... only to be used for aesthetics IMO> I know the those in the R.M.R.C would want to say hey, so, "Hey" from the gang! Thanks again Bro  ....'Bringer <howdy back atcha! I'll be back in CO in just a few weeks in fact. Perhaps  a Hey in person :) Anthony>

- Kalkwasser -  Hi,  I have reading a little about using Kalkwasser. I currently don't use it. I have a 55 gallon reef tank, and I use B-Ionic for the calcium and Alkalinity needs. I tested my water last night, and the KH was 9.6 and the alkalinity was 3.4. I have read where dosing Kalkwasser was a good thing to do, but I don't know that much about it. <Do realize then that Kalkwasser is really only good for adding calcium to your tank - it doesn't really do much for alkalinity.> I have a couple of questions about using Kalkwasser.  1. If I used Kalkwasser, would I still need to use B-Ionic? <I wouldn't use both simultaneously... certainly without a calcium test.> If I would still need to use B-Ionic, would I be adding too much "stuff" to my tank? <B-Ionic is water based so it doesn't really qualify as 'stuff'... it's really just calcium additions.>  2. From what I have read, most people seem to use Kalkwasser by using a dosing pump or some kind of dosing setup and add it at something like a drip a second. Could you, instead, mix Kalkwasser in your evaporation refill water and use it that way, or is that too inconsistent? <It's consistent either way, but typical top-off systems dole out water in large amounts, which could be disastrous if Kalkwasser were tossed into the mix. Much better to deal with each issue [calcium - top-off] separately.>  3. I read that if Kalkwasser was used, by dosing, a calcium reactor would not be needed. <Both would be better.> Is that true? <Not necessarily.> I know I have another question or two, but I can't think of them right now. I am setting up a new 135 gallon reef tank, and I am trying to figure out and learn the best way to do things... not necessarily how I am doing them now. Thanks for your time.  Paul  <Cheers, J -- >

Kalkwasser & Softies 1/11/04 Hey Gang, Top 'o the day from Denver, Anthony, <cheers, Scott> I'm asking a question about adding Seachem's Kalkwasser to my softy reef tank, all the while hoping you remember my tank! Ca-309.6, Alk-2.4, ph-8.3, Am-0, Ni-0, SG-1.024 Temp-79.6 are the water parameters. Question; Are the gravity fed, IV style drip devices a consideration for us that are high tech equipment challenged? <they are indeed easy and effective. No disadvantage other than convenience- they tend to clog rather quickly. No biggie though. In time as you daily Calcium demand grows in the tank, you may find that the need is higher than what can be delivered through a dripped supersaturated solution. At that point, you may wish to consider my "Kalk slurry" method [see the WWM and RC archives for more on this... or my BOCP1]. The best long term solution is perhaps a calcium reactor> Thanks for your treasured advice! Scott (aka; Stormbringer) <always welcome my friend. best regards, Anthony>

"Pickling Lime" 1/8/03 This is for Anthony - I had the question below and looked up the Google reference but nothing came up. Do you (Anthony) have any input? Thanks! Pickling Lime v. Kalkwasser (1/7/2004) Thanks very much for the advice/counsel. <You're Welcome.> I have another question concerning the use of "Pickling Lime". I've heard it is a very cost-effective substitute for Kalkwasser. Do you know anywhere that describes the use of this product in terms of preparation and dosing. Again, thanks for any help - An invaluable resource I see! <Go to www.google.com and search on the terms  "pickling lime, aquarium" You should find what you need there. If not, you can direct an inquiry to Anthony. Steve Allen.> <<I'm not sure what the problem was Don... I typed in pickling lime for a search of WWM only and it reported 14 hits. There is much more info too on this topic on the big message boards. Frankly, I do not recommend it to folks that put any amount of solids in their aquarium. Pickling lime is a low grade and as they say, good things are seldom cheap and cheap things are seldom good. If, however, you only do a decanted supersaturated solution of limewater (no slurries), you can safely use such lime as it is self-purifying by its caustic nature (precip'ing most contams out). Anthony>>

Pickling Lime: Use in the aquarium 1/8/03 Anthony, Thanks. Yes, I will only use the diluted decant as I understand that, once saturated, the excess precipitates out of solution as an insoluble deposit. <true... and contains any contaminants> What I'd like to know is how to prepare and dose it. I.E., Do I prepare the solution and include a certain amount per gal in each water change or should I periodically add some of the solution in an amount per gallon. <hmmm... the question indicates that you are or may be very new to the reef dosing game here my friend. Not a bad thing either :) But you should only dose as much calcium daily as your tank needs as per the readings from your calcium test kits. Its not a matter of X grams per gallon or water change. The supersaturated solution is merely a means to deliver it... not a measure. So what you need to do is first calculate what your daily demand for Calcium is (even go three days without dosing any calcium. and test tank before and then after and divide the diff by 3 days to get a more accurate measure). Then you can measure how much limewater it takes to meet that demand.> If the latter method, how often would you suggest adding. Also, can the prepared solution be kept in an appropriate container for an extended period of time or is it necessary to prepare it immediately prior to each dosing? <it cannot be kept for very long, should never be aerated or exposed to air (forms insoluble carbonates)... always mix fresh daily and generally add with FW only to make up for evaporation> These are the types of questions I have and I hope you can either let me know based on your firsthand experience or direct me to the relevant resources. <do a keyword search for Kalkwasser, limewater, calcium hydroxide and such terms on reefcentral.com and reefs.org and look for the writings of Randy Holmes-Farley amongst the hits... excellent data from him> I did searches as suggested and, while there were a number of references to the use of Pickling Lime in the marine aquarium, none of them actually explained exactly how it would be applied in practice. Again, thanks for any advice/direction you can provide.  Don <again... I fear for you a bit being so eager to save a few pennies in a system that has a considerable investment (your tank in lives and thousands of dollars). Really play it safe and just buy a manufactured Kalkwasser mix and follow the established protocol/directions. The quality and peace of mind are worth the few extra dollars each year. Best of luck, Anthony>

Kalkwasser Dosing... Hi, I am a new to the marine aquarium hobby, I just set up a 29g reef tank this past Christmas, I have aqua clear 200 filter (with Chemi pure media), a Prizm protein skimmer and Coralife compact 130w (2-65w) lighting. Recently I have added about 27 pounds of aquacultured live rock. The coralline algae was abundant at first but is now fading and seems to have a grey film. Is this because it still needs time to cure or is it being baked by the lighting? <Well, it could be due to a number of factors, including the light intensity, water current, and nutrient availability. Coralline requires magnesium as well as calcium and other nutrients. Most of these nutrients can be replenished with regular water changes, although supplemental calcium replenishment is helpful. And, as you suspect, a certain percentage of the coralline will die off after import...> I can turn each of the 65s on or off, would I be better with just one on at a time? <Well, I'd keep both of 'em on for the sake of the other inhabitants. Many species of coralline will "adapt" to the conditions and come back strong, so don't give up hope yet.> And also I made a big mistake, (I read the instructions very wrong hehe) I put 29tps of Kalkwasser to a small container and let it set for several hours then added it slowly to the tank, only the liquid of course though. Will all that calcium kill the live rock? thx for your time ~Greg <Well, it's not great to dump in all of that calcium in at one time, as it will spike the pH significantly. I'd very carefully monitor the pH for a while. In the future, you'll add Kalkwasser slowly, according to the needs of your tank. It's probably best to utilize a regular regimen for Kalkwasser supplementation and stick to it. You may want to check out Anthony's "Book of Coral Propagation" for details on his simple, but effective "Kalk slurry" method of dosing Kalkwasser. It's easy to dose Kalk, but the important thing is to test for your tank's calcium consumption to avoid over dosing...Lots of other good information on Kalkwasser usage is available on the WWM site! Enjoy the research! Regards, Scott F.>

Kalkwasser Sources Happy New Year Bob; What do you think about this thread ???? <Hey Maurice! Have heard, seen folks using pickling lime for reef systems, propagation facilities... can work... and not much risk from impurities... I still vastly prefer carbon dioxide type calcium reactors for providing all necessary biominerals... in proportion, on a continuous basis. Be seeing you, Bob F> >Randy, All, >FYI "pickling lime is CACL2 (Calcium Chloride) not CAOH) (Ca Hydroxide) Ca Chloride is a great way to boost your Ca levels but it is not "Kalkwasser" >Keith >Randy Sanchez  wrote: >Steve, >I've been using pickling lime from Wal-Mart for about 6 yrs now - $1/pound - it is exactly the same thing, only marketed for the food and not pet trade. >It's amazing what the pet trade will charge for products you can get much cheaper advertised differently. I believe there might be a 0.1 or  0.2 difference in purity but when you're talking about the difference  between 99.7 and 99.8, I can live with that, especially at the savings. >If you want to get even more technical, I know of several "big boys" in the reefing world that use garden lime (purity is slightly less, you'd have to look at it since it varies by brand) - you can get a 50# bag for about $15 or so - I forget. I personally always felt weird putting something meant for the garden into my tank but I know that they've been doing it for years. >That's about as good a deal as you'll ever find! >Randy >Subject: [SDMAS] Kalkwasser Sources > > I dose with Kalkwasser exclusively. I usually buy 4 lb. containers of > > Kalk powder over the internet (direct from ESV - $21 for 4 lbs.). > > Does anyone purchase Kalk powder in bulk and can recommend other sources? > > Thanks, > > Steve

Pickling Lime v. Kalkwasser (1/7/2004) Thanks very much for the advice/counsel. <You're Welcome.> I have another question concerning the use of "Pickling Lime". I've heard it is a very cost-effective substitute for Kalkwasser. Do you know anywhere that describes the use of this product in terms of preparation and dosing. Again, thanks for any help - An invaluable resource I see! <Go to www.google.com and search on the terms  "pickling lime, aquarium"  You should find what you need there. If not, you can direct an inquiry to Anthony. Steve Allen.>

Kalkwasser On (Acetic) Acid? Dear WWM crew, <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> Happy Holidays! <Thank you! Hope you're having a great holiday season!> I was recently patrolling the net and came across this article: http://www.reefscapes.net/articles/breefcase/kalkwasser.html It discusses mixing dry Kalk with acetic acid before use. I currently use Kalk the old fashioned way- but was wondering if this method had any value. Would you mind taking a look when you have the time- and letting me know what you think?  Thanks!  Tom L <Well, Tom- I have read this article before and have heard about this technique. It is a valid methodology for dosing Kalk, but I have always done what you've done- dosed it the "old fashioned way". There is nothing essentially wrong with this method, IMO. It does assist in maintaining acceptable calcium levels in the tank. However, like any method, you do need to be very careful about the potential pH effects that this technique can cause. Personally, I like keeping things simple; I'm a big fan of the "Kalk slurry" technique outlined by Anthony in his "Book Of Coral Propagation". It's relatively simple to perform, offers the aquarist a high degree of control, and it works! I guess my philosophy, with regards to adding things to your tank, is to keep things simple. If you've got a system that works for you, and you're getting good results- stay with it! Regards, Scott F>

Aerating Kalkwasser 12/3/03 For starters, in my opinion your Book of Coral Propagation and the new Reef Invertebrates book with R. Fenner are the two best books EVER on reef keeping! <wow... outstanding compliment that I/we do not take lightly. Kind thanks my friend> I have a 100-gal reef that gets approximately 10 to 15 gallons of replacement filtered natural seawater daily, using a Liter-Meter III, pulling from a 125-gallon pond that I fill about once a week from Scripps Institute's public supply in San Diego, CA.   <I do have serious concerns about the long term (years) safety of this practice. If you need anyone to help convince you otherwise, do chat with some of the folks in the San Diego marine club (like that great chap Maurice Bullock). And Bob Fenner has worked at Scripps on those very seawater filters some time ago and can testify that they are only (very) grossly prefiltered. Natural seawater is variable at best and a liability in time for the nature of heavy populations and pollution/pathogens near most all shores (too many people/too much run-off)> For evaporation-replenishment water I add about 1-1/2 gallons of RO daily, also using the Liter-Meter III.  (This pump controller rules the world!)  I know you don't really like this idea, but to simplify life I add Kalkwasser to the replenishment-supply bucket.  I have been changing the evaporation water about once/week and dumping whatever is left.  Using Salifert test kits, Ca is about 385 to 390ppm, dKH is around 11 to 12 .   <all good> pH with an electronic Pinpoint probe is about 8.2 in the morning and rises to a maximum of about 8.6 in the early evening after a full day of HQI lighting.  So I think my water-quality parameters are pretty good.   <agreed... but .4 is a very large swing for pH in one 12-24 hour cycle... do examine your circulation/aeration aspects... I wonder if you don't need more water flow here. Sel 10-20X minimum. Else, I would look to testing ALK with another brand of test kit to confirm accuracy for fear of it actually being too low> I have four questions: Is there any reason that I cannot just stir up the remaining Kalkwasser-RO water and then just add more each week, so that I don't waste any? <yes... two big reasons: 1) contaminants in lower grades of calcium hydroxide are precipitated in the solids and should be wasted, not stirred back into solution. And 2)any excess aeration of a Kalk solution causes the formation of insoluble calcium carbonate which is useless for your corals/inverts but shows on the test kits as present/helpful> Your coral-propagation book suggests aerating evaporation-replenishment water.   <correct... to raise pH and soften burden on buffers in sea salt/supplementation> Can I aerate the Kalkwasser-RO water? <alas, no... as per above formation of insoluble Ca Carbonate> In order to encourage coralline algae growth, is it a good idea to further supplement Ca, maybe to about 450ppm with Part II of the B-Ionic solution, in addition to the Kalkwasser? <better yet... use an organic sugar-based calcium like Seachem's ReefCalcium... outstanding for growing coralline algae but not as useful for coral growth (stick with calcium hydroxide for this)> Is my range of PH too broad, and if so, how do you recommend I tighten it up? <correct intuition my friend... addressed above> Thanks for a fantastic website! Carl Beels, M.S. <and very glad to hear of your apparent dedication to being a conscientious and successful aquarist. Keep learning/growing and succeeding. Anthony>

The Kalk Trick Bob, <Rich>   Just wanted to drop a note to say thank you again for taking time out of your busy schedule to visit the MARS group in Sacramento.  Your presentations are always animated and informative to all levels of the marine hobby. <Always a pleasure and a privilege. Thank you>   In your algae talk, you mentioned dosing calcium hydroxide to raise the pH, thus causing phosphate to precipitate out of solution rendering it unusable to nuisance algae growth.  I was wondering if you could provide me additional details as to this application (what pH, how long, etc.).  I'm most likely experiencing some amount of undetectable phosphate in my reef, as even with the addition of new rock and substrate, I'm noticing the start of hairy green patches.  If a little neglected maintenance in years past resulted in the binding of phosphate to calcified surfaces, I'm certainly paying for it now. <Sure... involves addition of Kalkwasser solution toward nighttime (lights out) with testing (for pH) to a point of about 8.5... this will drop over night likely... and your "testable" phosphate will also go to zip. Bob Fenner> Thank you again, Rich VanDusen President Marine Aquarist Roundtable of Sacramento

Kalkwasser Dosing I read quite a bit of information on the site about Kalkwasser dosing and have sort of become confused.  So many opinions and methods to choose from. <my opinion on the matter is summed up here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/calcalkmar.htm and in my Coral Propagation book which I believe you have <G>. The gist of it is really simple though, my friend... always test for daily demand for calcium before dosing... else its like potluck. Go 2-3 days without adding and calcium or new seawater... test the CA before and after the period and divide by the number of days to get your daily drop/demand for calcium. Then experiment with increasing doses of Kalkwasser to determine how much is needed to reach that daily goal> So I thought I would tell you how I am doing it and ask for an opinion.  I have a 120 reef tank and am using a Kent Aquadoser.  Basically, I am mixing the Kalkwasser in a half gallon of non buffered RO water and letting it drip slowly at night into the sump right near the return pump so it gets shot quickly into the display.  I have nowhere to hang it so that I could let it drip into the display.   <no biggie... this is fine> I am not letting it sit for extended periods of time.  I mix it when I get home from work around 6:30 and begin dripping it around 9:30 that same evening.  Any problems with this?   <as long as it does not raise you pH by more than .2 over that 3 hour period you are fine> Am I going to have problems with my return pump or skimmer pump? <indeed it will need cleaned more often for calcium deposits> I have been dosing 2 tsp per night and that has been maintaining my Ca levels between 390 and 410. Thanks in advance.  Much appreciated. Andy <2 tsp sounds like a lot for a young tank or a tank without a lot of coral. I wonder/fear is some of this isn't just precipitating out as insoluble calcium carbonate and becoming a burden on your buffers (is your Alkalinity low... under 10dKH?). Anthony>

RE: Kalkwasser Dosing Thanks Anthony - my dKH is hanging around 11.   <excellent> I haven't noticed a snow storm or anything.   <actually... precips can occur without a crash/snowstorm... evidenced by depressed ALK and chalky residue in sump, etc)> I have been dripping the Kalk over probably an 8+ hour period (half when I go to bed, half when I wake up, all with the lights off).  I have been testing Ca daily and it is hanging around 390-400.   <all sounds fine> My corals include: 1 green brain (appears splitting into 2 heads - purchased from you in Cheswick years ago) 1 Lobophyllia (Pink outer, turquoise inner) 1 Fox Coral (approx 5") 2 Candy Coral Colonies (about the size of a softball each) 1 Montipora digita Frag 1 Hammer (5 heads) 1 Torch (3 heads) Xenia (baseball size) Loads of Briareum Green Star Polyps Gorgonians Zoanthids (2 small frags) <I would say you have a moderate load of corals.. not too demanding for CA. I still suspect 2 tsp is too much... but the water tests will reveal all/the truth> Yes, I have the book and am contemplating going to the slurry method, but right now, I am feeling my way around with daily testing (Seachem Reef Status Test) and slow drip dosing. One question on feeding them - With regards to corals with a bunch of heads i.e. candy, does each head need fed or will hitting a couple heads take care of the whole colony?   <alas... they are individuals> It is difficult to hit each and every one but will do so if need be. <agreed... hence the reason(s) for a dense and productive refugium to spare us the need for tedious feeding of hungry planktivores> Thanks a ton.  Maybe I'll see you at the next PMASI meeting. Andy <always welcome! Anthony>

Can I use old Kalkwasser 11/18/03 I have some Kent brand Kalkwasser that is about 5 years old. Is it safe to use? Thanks for your help, Ryan <if it is still dry, its fine my friend. Anthony>

Skimmer/ Kalk questions Can I use a Euroreef CS6-1 in a 10 gallon sump for a 55 gallon tank?  Would it fit with the pump?  Thanks for the help. < no you must maintain a 6" water level and if the power shuts off it would overflow it will fit but it will be tight try a 20 long instead>   One question about Kalk slurry if you don't mind.  I pour (slowly, about 3 min.) 1/2 teaspoon in 3/8 gallon of cool DI water in my tank after lights go out, but I don't see any difference in Ca.  Also the ph goes from 8.1-8.2 but within 10 min it's back down to 8.14 and declining (using a pinpoint ph monitor). Should I use more Kalk? <yes your tank is using the calcium and you need to add more>   One more question, would a t4 pump be too much for a new All Glass Brand 55gallon tank with corner overflow built in, LFS said I would get some kind of bacteria?  (they tried to sell me a Mag 9100, is that better quality than the t4).  Thank you for all of your expert < yes in my opinion mag pumps are very heavy duty and run forever flow rate sounds good thanks Mike H>   advice... again.  Your tanks must be amazing!  (I attached a picture of my tank)

Purity of Ca Hydroxide? 10/28/03 Has there been any information or study on the Purity of different brands of Calcium Hydroxide?   I use the Calfo (slurry) method for some time now with good results.  However, I've been told that all of the impurities in the lime will be delivered into the tank.  How much impurities can the "hobbyist" grade Kalkwasser have?  I don't want to use this if it won't work long term. Justin Zimmerman Aquarist - Sea World of Florida <cheers, Justin. Indeed, calcium hydroxide is well-studied and available in a variety of grades from cheap lime to research grade matter. Most any grade purchased as packaged for aquarium or lab use will be of a very high purity. With your resources at Seaworld, I am certain that any of the vendors that you currently  by lab equipment from (scopes, cylinders, reagents, testing equip, etc.) can get you chemical assays on the purity of the grades that they offer. Although it is true that the slurry method could carry impurities into the aquarium, it is generally a very small concern. Interestingly, calcium hydroxide has a remarkable quality of self-purification. Its extremely high pH in solution causes many impurities to drop out (most all metals). As such, decanted solutions are very pure... and slurries allowed to sit for just a bit (and decanted off the first phase of settling/solids) will also be very pure. Frankly, for how relatively inexpensive the better grades of lime still are... I use and recommend the matter with little concern of impurities. Greater cause for concern in source water, feeds, etc. With kind regards, Anthony>

pH shock from Kalkwasser 9/29/03 I have a 59 gal. coral reef aquarium.  I had ten corals and nine fish.  I have had the set up for about three months and it was time for a water change.  I mixed up my water with the salt and primer, but I added Kalkwasser.  Since I am a beginner, I am also stupid.  I did not read the entire directions and I added all of the new water at once instead of gradually.  Well, all of my fish have died but two and most of my corals have died.  Is there anyway to counteract the Kalkwasser as I am sure this is what I did wrong?  Do I need to make another water change?  I am very depressed about this since I lost about $500 worth of stock.  Thanks. Terry <very sorry to hear of it my friend. If there was no precipitous reaction, it sounds like you simply pH shocked the system. The best solution is dilution.  A couple of large water changes and you will be back on your way. Do get yourself a couple of good reef references too. Eric Borneman's aquarium corals is an excellent photo reference... and my Book of Coral Propagation has most of the first 200 pages dedicated to no-nonsense plain language reef husbandry. Wishing you the best of luck! Anthony Calfo>

Coral Reef Aquarium I have a 59 gal. coral reef aquarium.  I had ten corals and nine fish.  I have had the set up for about three months and it was time for a water change.  I mixed up my water with the salt< how  much H20> and primer<explain Primer>, but I added Kalkwasser.  Since I am a beginner, I am also stupid.  I did not read the entire directions and I added all of the new water at once instead of gradually.  Well, all of my fish have died but two and most of my corals have died.  Is there anyway to counteract the Kalkwasser as I am sure this is what I did wrong?  Do I need to make another water change?  I am very depressed about this since I lost about $500 worth of stock.  Thanks. I would entertain the idea of a reference manual, check out the WWM library of books any books by Robert Fenner, Martin Moe, would be of great help. Try to stick with the beginner versions of their books. Good luck & try not to get to discouraged, reading about this hobby is your best bet for success.> Terry Holden

- Kalkwasser Slurry Clarification - Question for you fine folks, in regards to a Kalk slurry.  My first question is whether or not I should use fresh or salt water to do this... <Fresh water.> I thought it would certainly be fresh water but after reading some of the FAQs I'm not so sure anymore.  So, tell me if I have this right, cause I can't spend too much time searching the forum right now and I'd like to know if this is true.  My understanding is that a slurry is the proper amount of calcium needed for your daily tank uptake stirred into a glass of cold water, and then simply dumped into the tank before or after the lights come on/off. <First thing in the morning is ideal, before the lights come on. Keep in mind that you only want to 'dump in' the liquid portion of the slurry - leave the powder behind.> This as opposed to mixing a solution, letting it sit, and then using the clear solution as a drip over the course of a few hours, right? <Same but different - either way you only want to add the clear liquid.> Which method do you prefer? <Personally, I prefer calcium reactors - the Kalkwasser slurry method is Anthony Calfo's brain child.> It sounds as though the slurry method is the easier of the two, and just as effective. <Indeed.> I have constructed a DIY drip unit to take care of my daily evap, and I planned on using it to dose Kalk over a long period of time, but I'd rather use this slurry method now, as it seems less messy and easier to figure than the conventional drip method, and I could let the drip go 24/7 as opposed to only at night. Would it seem a wiser plan to fill my drip unit with fresh buffered water to support the alk, and use the slurry for the CA? <Yes.> This is all I want to bother you with at the moment ;).  Thank you so much for all the hard work, guys...this site rocks! (It also angers my significant other, due to far too much time spent reading it...hehe). -Dave <Cheers, J -- >

Establishing Calcium and Alkalinity <Hello! Ryan with you today> I have a 58g reef tank that I started about  2 months ago.  I have 70lbs of live rock, 40lbs live sand, 2 clownfish, 1 Kole tang, 10 snails, and 5 crabs. <OK> I have a Euro-Reef cs6-1 skimmer, 250w 10,000k metal halide light, 450gph sump pump and 300gph circulation pump.  I've start thinking about adding calcium to my system to get ready for corals and I can't decide which method to use. <Understood> I'm thinking Kalkwasser, 2-part calcium/alkalinity, or Seachem reef advantage calcium. <B-Ionic 2-part calcium alk is what I prefer> I'm looking for least maintenance, most idiot proof, and most effective. <Exactly why I prefer it> I would also like a recommendation for inexpensive test kits for calcium and alkalinity. <Seachem works well and is reasonable> What are your thoughts on the calcium situation and what are your thoughts on my setup so far? <Sounds great, you've got sturdy equipment list and you're taking it slow.  I'd add some live rock if possible, you'll want at least 1 pound per gallon.  Best of luck! Ryan> Your help is much appreciated.  Thanks,  Chris

- dKH to ppm - Good day, the crew rules.  Can't find a conversion cart for dKH to ppm.  Only found this formula 2.8 dKH =1.0 meg/l = 50 ppm.  You know if that's a linear relationship i.e.  (200 ppm = 4 meg/l = 11.2 dKH) or know where I might find a table?  Any help as always is greatly appreciated, Thanks. <Found a calculator! http://saltyzoo.com/SaltyCalcs/AlkConv.php?units=DKH&dkhStr=8  Enjoy! -Kevin>

- Adjusting a Calcium Reactor - Hi Everyone, <Hello to you, JasonC here...> I've been using your site daily for questions and it's been a great help to me. You provide a huge service to everyone in the hobby. I've had a 50 gal ref set up for about 2 years and learned most things the hard way. I've now upgraded slowly to a 110 gal with a Euro-reef filter sys with built in protein skimmer, chiller, Korallin Ca reactor etc. My tank is fully cycled and all readings are 0 or perfect except for my alk. The dKH is off the scale. The ca reads about 400.  I've been reading everywhere on your site and used google to see if someone else has had this problem with no luck. I'm using a Salifert test kit and I have to use 1.5 ml to even get a reading on the DKH. I've tried other test kits with the same results. <I'd turn off the calcium reactor for a while and get your dKH in readable range.> The reactor is set to 60 drips a minute with 20 bubbles per minute. <That's probably too much and too little - most reactors ideally need to drip about two to three drops per second, and CO2 should be bubbled in at about 15 drops per minutes... so, it's not a surprise that you've got a high dKH.> I've tried all sorts of settings with the reactor and if I change anything I either get low ca or to much c02 in the reactor. <For now, I'd turn off the CO2 and let the system head back to balance, a more reasonable dKH. Once that is done, then bring the reactor to bear on the system slowly - effluent pH in the 6.7 range and dKH in the 15 to 17 range - should be pretty easy to do.> Everything I have read suggests that my alk should be much lower. Any suggestions would be highly appreciated. Thanks in advance,  Dick <Cheers, J -- >

-Calcium additions to a FOWLR- hey, like everyone else I need advice. I have a 220g fish only with 220lbs of live rock. I'm starting over after ich and overall bad water I believe. I stepped up to a Euroreef 12-1 skimmer and I'm now prepared to practice religious water changes and good supplementation. the only problem is I'm not sure how to. I've done hours of reading on the internet and Mr. Fenner's book. <Never heard of him...> I just cant seem to find a practical application for a large fish only aquarium. I've tried 2 parts and Kalkwasser, without good results. I don't blame the products just the way I used them. <Are you testing your calcium and alkalinity, finding them low, and then adding this stuff, or are you simply pouring them in looking for results? If you maintain your Ca at 400 or so with a dKH of 8-12 you should have healthy coralline growth.> anyhow I'm looking for something simple that merely maintains water quality between water changes. I'd rather do more frequent water changes as opposed to everyday supplements. <With coralline algae as your only large scale calcium user, it is very possible that you could maintain these levels with water changes alone.> I feel safer with this method and its less tedious. I've been told to only do water changes but don't really trust this method with all the fish I plan to have. so I was thinking of buying some powdered Kalkwasser and mixing in  a airtight container? and then adding it to my 2.5g Kent dripper and allowing to constantly drip into my system. then adding a buffer when necessary. what do you think of this? is it to simple? <You need to test your Ca and alk to decide if you need to add any. Using Kalkwasser in the method you described for some/most/all of your top-off water should give you good results.> any ideas of how, much often? and if I do this should I do more water changes more often? <Like I said, your test kits will tell you when you need more. Good luck! -Kevin> thanks  Brandon

Sand Question II - clumping aragonite 6/15/03 Thanks for the reply Anthony.   <always welcome my friend> I have the sump return with an Iwaki MD40LXT( 1200 GPH ), closed loop thanks to you with a Velocity T4 ( 1225 GPH ), and a RIO 2100 for the chiller ( around 400 GPH or so ), taking into consideration curves, turns, etc., I would guess about close to 1800 GPH total, and this is in a 90Gallon tank, so I shouldn't be having much problems with flow.   <agreed... excellent turnover> I do pour the slurry into the main display right where one of the close loop outlets is.  Could I be doing it too quick. <yes.. it could be that simple. Let me suggest that you just use a larger volume of water to make your slurry and/or dose just a bit slower.> It is about a measuring "CUP" worth of RO water, stirred briefly and poured in over a period of about 45 seconds or so.  Is this correct? <does sound fine... nothing out of the ordinary. Perhaps split the dose in two parts separated by minutes or an hour or so. In tanks with vigorous coral growth in time, two or more slurry shots in a day are sometimes required naturally when a Calcium reactor is not available or desired> Thanks Paul <best regards, Anthony>

Kalkwasser Slurry 6/11/03 I was reading the slurried Kalkwasser method described in Anthony's Book of Coral Propagation. When he says you take a small amount whisked briefly in a cup of cold purified water. Is that mixture poured directly in to the tank or is it dripped in? <its poured right in, mate... but it must be coordinated with the pH meter so as not to spike the system more than .1-.2  We have a good bit of information on this topic too in our FAQs. Do a keyword search from our homepage at www.wetwebmedia.com using the google search tool at the bottom of the page for "Kalkwasser slurry". Much to browse with the links/hits. Kind regards, Anthony>

"A rose by any other name...": Calcium oxide & hydroxide A friend of my ask me about use calcium oxide instead Calcium hydroxide.  I look into catalog an it says that Calcium hydroxide is Calcium oxide hydrated... so... it is possible to use calcium oxide?? thanks <indeed, my friend. You may exchange it freely and enjoy essentially the same benefits. Best regards, Anthony>

Kalkwasser Slurry redux 5/14/03 Over the past few weeks I have been topping off with Kalkwasser in my reef tank.  This will bring my pH to around 8.3 in the early morning hours. Later that day the pH will drop back to 8.0 to 8.1.   <Doh! Something is not quite right here bub. pH climbs higher during the day. Are you mistaken in the script here... or is this so? If so... do consider what might be causing this> I have read about keeping a window open to help with this.   <yes... CO2 accumulation> I have tried this somewhat.  But have not seen where this has helped.   <besides the open window... be sure there is a flow of air through the house (i.e.- open door to room... passive venting to the attic fan/ridge vent, etc). Else the open window is limited in efficacy. Confirm by testing a glass of water before and after heavy aeration in a well ventilated area (outside, the garage, etc). If you get a pH rise there... CO2 is a culprit> My need for higher ph is for the Xenias I have in my tank.  I would love to provide them a constant pH of 8.3-8.4. <agreed> My question is, What is the likely hood that suppressed magnesium levels would cause this.   <mild> I am going today to buy test kit and supplement for magnesium.  Do you have any recommendations on which ones work well. <I like Seachem's brand just fine for hobby grade... LaMotte or HACH for quality> Thank you so much for all the information you guys have provided through your website. <our pleasure> I have been looking on the site for exact directions on the Kalkwasser slurry method.  The only information I find on this is that it is in the propagation book.  Is there anywhere else to find this, or is this a hint to buy the book? <no worries... not a hint at all... we are anti-capitalists ;) The passage from my book was excerpted and is in the archives. Look here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/kalkh20faq2.htm its in a reply titled "Kalkwasser Slurry Method" about 3/4 down the page. I found it just now by using the google search tool on the home page... with a keyword search of "Kalkwasser slurry excerpt". Do use the search tool often to refine your searches of our broad website.> Again thanks Chuck <kind regards, Anthony>

Kalk message  Cheers, Don :) > I have a person who is dosing 1 ? tsp of Kalk daily > with a pH spike of > .22  A few questions: Okey-dokey >  > 1) Isn't this an extreme amount of Kalk to be > adding? (I guess I am > assuming they are using the slurry method based on > the wording) depends on the size of the tank and more importantly, the actual daily demand for calcium (the true/only limiting factor). If this is a 150 gall + sized tank with live rock then it does not sound like that much at all. > 2) While high, the .22 pH spike is OK? .1-.2 is safe... over .2 is pushing ones luck indeed > 3) Is it necessary to maintain reef like alk/calcium > parameters in a FOWLR? Yes... of course. These fishes come from the same waters as corals (reef animals collectively). Our ambition is to maintain reef quality water/stability. What is not needed for reef fishes or reef corals is the insanely high and unnatural levels advocated by the SPS coral nuts in particular (over 12 dKH or over 425ppm Ca)   > Same person asked about a copper fresh water dip. > OK? Would the > concentration of copper in a fresh dip be the same > as treating a > hospital tank? I really don't think it would be especially helpful. Methylene blue or Formalin have been shown to be much more effective BTW, I already recommended Methylene > Blue, but that > didn't seem to click. No worries... all good :) Kind regards, Anthony

RE: Regal tang in QT Some more questions on my regal tang still in quarantine, if you don't mind. He is not scratching himself at all anymore, he is eating vigorously, and is less shy, still a bit skittish.  There is still one small white spot on his side.  I have noticed a spot at the base of his pectoral fin.  5mm in diameter, white in the center, grey on the outside.  It does not look like flukes, I have found nothing on your site that positively identifies it, it appears to have gotten smaller over the past week.  Other then the 4 freshwater dips (9 min.s) that I have given him what else should I do, could it just be a permanent scar?  By the way nitrite is now down to 0.  I have heard of giving a 4 min copper dip in fresh water to help get rid of external parasites.  Is this a good idea, if so, how much copper and how many times should I do it? < Copper is very poisonous to the animal and the trick is to find the amount that will kill the parasite and not the fish! Too much of a gamble for me. From your description the spot (probably a parasite) is getting smaller? I would continue the current course of using FW dip and add Methylene blue or formalin. Stay away from the copper for now> One other unrelated question.  My 90 gallon FOWLR tank has 170 pounds of LR.  I dose with Kalk everyday.  In order to dose the proper amount of Kalk to sustain calcium at 380 meq/l, I have to dose 1 and a half teaspoons.  My alk is at 11 dKH.  This causes my ph to go from 8.16 to 8.40.  Is this too big of a jump?  If so what should I do, dose twice per day?  I really don't want to do that, but will do what is required.  Thanks again for all your hard work answering our questions. <Yes .24 pH jump is extreme. Dosing twice daily or using Kalk in a lesser dose and some other calcium supplement would work. Good luck with your tank, it will be a beauty. Don>

- Dosing Kalkwasser - I add Kalk to my top off. When I refill my top off bucket do I need to wash out all of the Kalk that is left on the bottom of the bucket before I refill my top off? <Not on a daily basis, but certainly every so often.> I have just been putting in 1tsp per gallon then filling the bucket and let it settle. I know the Kalk is only effective for about a week but I was wondering if the white crap just keeps building up and eventually needs to be cleaned out? <Both... the white craps does build up and it does need to be cleaned out.> Shaun Nelson <Cheers, J -- >

- Kalkwasser & Calcium Reactor Question - Greetings :-))) <And hello to you, JasonC here...> My KH and Ca was quite low (8 dKH & 400mg/l)), even when I was using CalciumReact. <I don't regard either of those as being critically low.> so I've decided to drip Kalkwasser > good decision??? <As long as you are careful.> After dripping, my KH rinsed to 10 dKH and Ca was still 400 - I'm happy about KH and Ca, I think that they are on good level. <They were fine before.> My question is: Will using Kalkwasser and Calcium Reactor may cause problems (e.g.. snowfall)? <Could, if you're not careful.>  - I'm dripping very slowly... Another question quite off-topic: why when my ca was quite low (400), <400 is not low.> the KH was also low (8dkH)??? I though that when KH is low Ca is high... <Not necessarily - both can be lower.> - It is a new tank with 2 corals so these elements aren't VERY needed... And now when KH rinsed Ca is still 400 - why??? <400 is a good number, I wouldn't worry about it.> Off-topic: Will +0.04 pH raise in 1 hour is harmful? <No.> THX for answer <Cheers, J -- >

- Kalkwasser & Calcium Reactors - hello, <And hello to you...> sorry for wasting your time :-) <'tis not a waste.> simple question: May using both Kalkwasser and calcium reactor cause any problems? <Only if you're not careful.> (I've read that it's not good... > low Mg) <I've not read this myself, but again... anything added to a tank should be tested for before addition - in other words, don't dump in a bunch of Kalkwasser without testing first.> If yes what kind of troubles? <Calcium precipitation.> Will connection CalciumReactor + CalciumMixer be good? <Again... testing will determine what you're missing/needing.> Can I use Kalkwasser all time or it's not good for a long term? <If you are using a calcium reactor, then you shouldn't need to add Kalkwasser very often, and daily would be too much.> THX VERY MUCH PETER off-topic: My xenia is in place where water flow is quite strong (she likes it). But water makes 'roller-coaster' to her and she is 'twisting' in all directions > is it good? <Would probably be better with a little less current. Cheers, J -- >

- Dosing Kalkwasser in a Small Tank - Sirs/Madams, <Good evening, JasonC here...> Is a 30 gallon reef tank too small to attempt using Kalkwasser? <If not too small, certainly on the small edge of small... I'd be very careful.> I have been using two part Bionic for months with fair success. I have no sump so would have to dose directly into the tank. <If you must, use very small doses, and monitor the pH like a hawk.> Thanks <Cheers, J -- >

Sump Dosing - hi. thanks for taking my ? can I dose c02 along w/ Kalk in a sump with a skimmer  Bill. <What would be your purpose for doing so? J -- >

Adding Kalk Slurry - 4/9/03 I just started using Kalk in my 90 gallon FOWLR tank, and I tried the "slurry method". <Cool I personally employ this method as I have relatively small tanks>  I mix about half a teaspoon of Kalk with cold RO water. <I do about the same in a gallon of cold RO water>  I mix it for about 1 min.  Then I add it to my main display. <That is correct>  Do I have to add it to my main display? <You don't have to if you want to add it to your sump>  What is wrong with adding it to the sump, the chamber that contains the main return pump? <Nothing wrong with it. Have you looked through our FAQs on this? http://www.wetwebmedia.com/kalkwasser.htm Have you tried the forums as well?> Also, every time I add the slurry there is some small white chunks of undissolved Kalk.  Is this dangerous to the fish? <I do not believe so. Maybe more a mixing issue??????>  Is there any way to avoid this? <Try mixing it a little longer and stir very well>  Or is it just an aesthetic issue? <Probably more of the latter.> Thanks in advance for your much appreciated reply. <My pleasure. Please read through the link above and grab a book or two. Now.... somewhere someone here wrote a book with lots of very useful information related to this subject and many more......hmmmmmm oh, there are two authors here that have written books?......<VBG> Seriously though, thanks for your question. Knowledge is power and you are well on your way. Good day. Paul>

Mixing Kalkwasser When mixing a bucket of Kalkwasser, if using a pump to do so, how long should it be mixed for and should it ever periodically be re-mixed through out the week? Thanks. Justin   <Well, Justin, I think that you should follow Anthony's Kalkwasser "slurry" method, where an appropriate amount of Kalkwasser is mixed up in a cup of cold water just before use, creating a "shot" of Kalk that can be dosed all at one time before the lights in your tank come on. There is a bit more to it than that (as far as determining how much to use), but it's really an easy technique. Sure, you can mix it up ahead of time, but I would not mix up a week's worth; rather, I'd just mix up a few day's "supply" of Kalkwasser. And Frankly, I wouldn't give it another "stir" once it's been dissolved. Just use the clear Kalkwasser near the top of the bucket. HTH. Regards, Scott F> Using Kalkwasser: Hello guys: I am having problems in my tank water. this is bugging me so much that I must solve this problem right now. And pls help: Since my tank started up, I am having troubles keeping appropriate water conditions.. namely alk and pH, now Ca. I do frequently change water, and add additives. This is how the story goes: First I was notice that my pH tends to be low, (8.0-8.05 during day time. ) also my Alk is low (2.2meq) , so I went out and bought some buffer from SeaChem. I use the manufacturer's dosage but cannot keep up, the pH is still low, rises a little like 8.30 then drop rapidly down. <Are you just testing pH? How about carbonate alk which is also raised with buffer and carbonate supplements? pH is going to fluctuate some, lower in AM and higher at night before lights go off. Dripping Kalk, calcium reactors or well established refugiums on opposing photoperiod will stabilize pH due to carbon dioxide/oxygen content. Also test magnesium. Should be three times normal calcium (calcium 380-425 magnesium 1200-1300). Add carbonate/buffer to maintain alk at 3.5 - 5 meq/l. This is not the same as pH.> I finished the bottle and do not know what to do. <Stop your fixation with pH and focus on overall water chemistry. This will help. Read Anthony's great article on calcium and alkalinity at WetWebMedia.com. There is much there for you my friend.> Then I email you guys and baking soda was tried. When I added the baking soda, the pH lowered. That drive me crazy because I am a biochemistry student and I know that baking soda should raise pH of water. I tried to mix the baking soda in my tap water, it do the same thing. Lowered pH??? <You need a complete testing of your water (not by the LFS, but by a company that can give you a complete assay, esp. of hardness mineral content which may be causing you problems. STOP adding baking soda, this is simply MORE carbonate, which by now is completely saturated. You may have such minerals in your tap water. I suggest several large water changes with RO/DI water to try to get back to normal ionic balance, then use of buffer WITH TESTING of carbonate alkalinity to verify need (NOT pH). Add carbonate/buffer and Calcium/Kalkwasser at different times or on different days altogether to prevent cross-reaction suppression. This is true of two part (A&B) additives as well. Also magnesium *by test/use*. Maintain normal params of 3.5 to 5 meq/L alk, 400 calcium, 1200 magnesium. Test each separately and dose separately as needed. Read Anthony's article for best ways to supplement calcium, carbonates and magnesium.> Then without any directions, I noticed some of my aragonite has gone hard, I ask around and people told me that the Mg is depleted, and the Ca and carbonate drop out of solutions and form limestone. that was why no matter how much I added supplement, the parameter more or less the same.  So I added a bunch of Mg additives, and WM pH buffer and to raise my Ca, I use Liquid Ca,,, and measurement is Ca=280, Mg=950, pH 8.15-8.18 and Alk=3.2meq. then I emailed you guys and ask, crew told me my water is out of balance, and ask if I will stop adding supplements for 2 weeks and do a massive H2O change. I did, I change 60-70 gallons of water, and the results are still the same, the new seawater have the Ca=400, Alk=3.6-4 meq, and Ph=8.03!!!! that is not right!!! However I did the water change. <No mention of magnesium presently. Maintain as above. (1200-1300)Follow testing/use and dosing directions carefully by volume. Do not overdose and only add according to actual need. I'm not a big fan of liquid calcium, but get calcium to 380-400. Read up on Kalkwasser use thereafter.> And since then, I tried following a strict guideline, and try use part AB additives for a week. However  I have the following results, the Ca drop by 20 ppm, and ALK falls. pH remains or falls a little lowered. This is all not making sense to me!!!! <Why? The dose is simply insufficient to make up for use with two part additives, which are notoriously weak, esp. if not dosed at least 12 hours apart. The label dose is not likely to replace actual use.  Go with separate powdered additives like Seachem in larger quantities (bulk) for larger tanks (a 125 will break the bank on two parters). Follow dosing on label exactly according to tests.> What can I do?? something must be wrong and I do not know what. <Add what is needed, separately. Stop fixating on pH. Calcium, alkalinity and magnesium seem to be major concerns.> Here are my concerns: How do I suppose to correct this imbalance?? People in LFS are not using RO, but they are ok with the water, so I think the tap water is not the main problem.. however, a low pH after mixing sea salt is very confusing.. fresh sea mix water should have a good pH.. Like 8.3. why?? <Did you get gas laws in biochemistry Eric? What happens to gasses in water under pressure? They dissolve (like the bubbles in coke) into the water and take some time to get released/balanced with the atmosphere (like when you pop open a coke or after you aerate your water for 12-24 hours). I would test your salt mix after 12-24 hours of aeration and add supplements separately, according to tests.> Should I try using CaOH2??? I have a them on hand but afraid to use in my already imbalance system. <Read Anthony's article, it will help you immeasurably> Pls help!!!!! Very very frustrated because of imbalanced water and sick fish all the time... Sincerely, Eric <I hope this helps Eric.  Craig>

Dosing Kalkwasser slurry 3/21/03 I have been following the "Slurry method" of dosing Kalkwasser and have been using cold freshwater when mixing, my question is can I mix the Kalkwasser with cold water from my tank? The reason behind this is I have an automatic freshwater top off for evaporation that is supplied from my Deionizer unit and with adding more fresh water every time I dose Kalk my salinity has began to drop. Would this still be safe/effective if using salt water. Thanks <likely fine, but not a great habit I suspect (risk of precip. in mix water at least). For how very little water is required to make a slurry, I can't imagine the SG strays quickly at all. Certainly not within the time frame of a necessary water change (weekly or monthly). Else the slurry is being ameliorated to generously, or the tank is small and being overdosed. My advice is to use freshwater and make up the small difference with the next water change. Heck, just salt creep alone surely affects salinity more (and even then not much). Good question, my friend... but no worries. Kind regards, Anthony> 

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: