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Thread: Kalk Drip

  1. #1
    Senior Member cdn beaver's Avatar
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    Kalk Drip

    Ive heard about alot of people using a Kalk drip, and having nothing but good things to say about it.

    Could somebody clue me in as to what this is all about? I understand that Kalk is Kalkwasser, but what does it do, how is it added, do you need special equipment, and finally, how do you monitor/test for it to make sure you dont add too little or too much?

    Sorry if this is a silly or commonly asked question.
    Cheers,
    Mark

    Setup:
    27 Gallon Saltwater tank, 110W PC Light, Seaclone 100, 5 gallon HOB Fuge,Approx. 30lbs Live rock, Aragamax sand substrate.
    Livestock:
    Tomato clown, Mandarin dragonnet, Bicolor Angel, Assorted hermits and snails, Cleaner Shrimp.
    Corals:
    Assorted mushrooms, Zoanthids, Finger Leather.

  2. #2
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    Nop every questions, seams to me a good question, and if we don't ask we never know

    Usally the most important things to watch is you PH, limewater(water+ kalkl) is higly basic (high PH). If you add to much to quick, your PH will rise and you will have a snowstorm in your tank ( I think it is because at high PH the buffer is not soluble, but for that I am not sure, could be the calcium too...)

    You have to add it slowly, really slowly like 1 drops every few seconds.

    It will make your level of calcium and buffer to raise almost simultanusly. The need of your tank depends of it consumption

    you will have to monitor your calcium and Buffer every few days to be sure that : what you add = what it consume

    Steve

    P.S. It would be nice if a more experienced reefer coud confirmed what I have said!!! Thanx

  3. #3
    Senior Member ALRHA's Avatar
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    yes, it is an all-in-one that raises your Alk, Ca, and pH. the reason for adding it slowly is to keep your pH from skyrocketing. a pH monitor would almost be essential to keep an eye on the pH when dosing.
    you can either mix the powder in water and set it up to drip into your tank slowly, or you can set up a Kalkreactor (container that automatically mixes it up for you) and connect that to an auto-top-off so that as the water in your tank evaporates, it is replaced with Calcium Hydroxide (Kalk).
    Albert
    My Photos

  4. #4
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    You can use a reactor without using it with our topoff. The problem with using it on your topoff is that you don't control how much you're adding, your evaporation rate does that for you. And the evaporation rate does vary...

    A better idea in my opinion, would be to setup your reactor to constently drip at a lower rate then your evaporation and have your topoff run independatly. You could also just run your reactor at nigth when you PH is normally lower.

    My 2c. (BTW, I haven't use a kalk reactor myself, but I've done quite a bit of reading).

    -yvest

  5. #5
    Senior Member ALRHA's Avatar
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    if you are topping off more than the evap rate, why not top that off with Ca(OH)2 as well?
    a pH controller works best to dose it when needed most.
    Albert
    My Photos

  6. #6
    Senior Member Deafboy's Avatar
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    I use a large old bucket of IO salt for mixing my kalk with pure water. I usually put in about a third of cup of vinegar (optional) in bucket filled with water, then about two tablespoons of kalk powder. I then mix it for about ten seconds. I drip it in the tank using a peristaltic pump controlled by a float switch in the tank (it's an auto top-off setup). It works really well. I have to refill the bucket every 7 days. I think that this setup is inexpensive and works very well. You will have enough kalk to keep the parameters at a good level unless you have a lot of SPS.

    I don't really agree with Goth about worrying about variations in evaporation rates. A lot of stuff varies in the tank, including the demands of the corals. If anything, there is too little kalk getting into the tank with when an auto top-off is used (in heavily stocked tanks). It doesn't happen in my tank, which has a lot of corals (mostly LPS).

    Also, I'm not certain that "what you add must equal what is consumed". I thought that, if dripped slowly, then you can't overdose. I may be wrong here though.

    I don't use a pH monitor. I figure if I drip it into then tank in a very gradual manner (about 7 gallons over a week), then there won't be any spike in the pH.

    Michel
    20 g reef, 72 g reef

  7. #7
    Senior Member ALRHA's Avatar
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    try to keep your bucket covered.
    Albert
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  8. #8
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    Because the amount of Kalk you add in will be a function of the evap rate rather then a function of the consumption rate. It will be harder to figure out how to adjust your calcium reactor or how much calcium and carbonate to add.

    I've read this recomandation from a reputable source (I belive it was Randy Holmes-Farley) and it's what makes the most sense to ME, but that's just me!

    -yvest

  9. #9
    Senior Member ALRHA's Avatar
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    you want to add as much kalk as you possibly can (saturated solution). there wouldnt be anything to adjust. Many people even use fans to increase evap rates so that more kalk can be added. it is very unlikely that you will be adding more Alk and Ca from the kalk than your system can handle.
    Albert
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  10. #10
    Moderator mike536's Avatar
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    So when you guys mix up the kalk you just use a spoon or do you throw in a powerhead to mix the water around?? I can't seen to get my calcium past 380. Would this be a good answer for me. I have the Kalk and the peristaltic pump already.
    Cheers,
    Mike Philpott

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