Kalk is low cost, keeps Alkalinity & Calcium in check and helps PH. Do you use it?

BRS

Do you dose Kalk (kalkwasser) in your reef aquarium?

  • YES

    Votes: 235 41.6%
  • NO I use other methods

    Votes: 197 34.9%
  • NO but I'm looking into it now

    Votes: 126 22.3%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 7 1.2%

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Shooter6

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Thinking about dosing my nano tank with a 1-headed pump using solely kalkwasser. This way, I can precisely control how much is added, when, and adjust accordingly - things not offered by dosing kalkwasser via an ATO. In an ATO, you always have to be cognizant of the pump as well as kalkwasser is tough on it.

With water changes, micronutrients are replenished so 1-part kalkwasser may be the best option for smaller systems with routine water changes.
Your other option is tropic marin all for reef. That's a 1 solution dose for cal,alk,mag and 17 trace elements.
 

Bpb

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If people put as much expense and planning into a true kalkwasser dosing setup as they do 2 part I think it would be received a little differently. Running on an ato stresses pumps out and is unstable. Requires too frequent of effort. If a quality peristaltic doser and kalk reactor were used to dose specific amounts based on need, separate of the ATO, you can get quite far with Kalkwasser alone. Only fairly full sps dominant tanks would need to supplement further.
 

Shooter6

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I'm very content with dosing 2 part. I'm curious though. With evaporation varying so much from place to place and tank to tank, how do you achieve stability with kalk in your ATO...or do you dose it some other way? I also don't have a need to chase pH in my tank and don't think buffers are the best way to address it if it is needed. Great discussion/question.
Most stable way to dose kalk is through a kalk stirrer. So added equipment.
Simple explanation is this. You have an ato. Your yearly average daily ato use is 3gal. That fluctuates from 2.5-3.5g a day throughout the year.
So you have a safe kalk dose of up to 2.2g a day.
After you set up the kalk reactor, you feed it with a dose pump, slowly turning the flow up to get your alk stable to where you want it.
Your ato will continue topping off any additional evaporation with rodi.
This has a ceiling obviously that the kalk dosing could potentially hit where additional dosing of 3 part or a calcium reactor will need to be added if your coral uptake exeeds the dosing window evaporation provides.
 

DrEggroll

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I have been using kalk in my ATO. My pH has been constant at 8.3. My alk swung up to 9 when summer increased the evaporation rate and I went back down on the dose. My calcium has not raised up at all and sits at 345. I have gotten growth from my zoas GSP and paly. My candy cane didn’t have growth but was doing great until it got some hair algae 8 months in and is dying. All my torches and frogspawn/hammers were great for a month before dying( I think they are dying from my fake peppermint shrimp)

it’s easy. It keeps all my parameters pretty stable. But I haven’t had great success with LPS growth
 

Shooter6

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If people put as much expense and planning into a true kalkwasser dosing setup as they do 2 part I think it would be received a little differently. Running on an ato stresses pumps out and is unstable. Requires too frequent of effort. If a quality peristaltic doser and kalk reactor were used to dose specific amounts based on need, separate of the ATO, you can get quite far with Kalkwasser alone. Only fairly full sps dominant tanks would need to supplement further.
I agree only thing that I'd add to this is mag still needs to be dosed separately unless you use the brightwell kalkwasser which is supposed to have it already in. Ive never used the brightwell stuff though so I can't speak to its effectiveness.
 

Shooter6

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I have been using kalk in my ATO. My pH has been constant at 8.3. My alk swung up to 9 when summer increased the evaporation rate and I went back down on the dose. My calcium has not raised up at all and sits at 345. I have gotten growth from my zoas GSP and paly. My candy cane didn’t have growth but was doing great until it got some hair algae 8 months in and is dying. All my torches and frogspawn/hammers were great for a month before dying( I think they are dying from my fake peppermint shrimp)

it’s easy. It keeps all my parameters pretty stable. But I haven’t had great success with LPS growth
Lps really dislike alk swings in my experience. I find they prefer alk in the lower 8s. To even 7s dkh.
 

BiggestE222

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"Kalkwasser is the easiest method to maintain calcium and alkalinity levels in a reef aquarium not to mention low cost. With a few different methods to implement it, if your corals are growing and you need to add calcium and alkalinity, you will more than likely find multiple benefits from using kalkwasser. Being the only way to add calcium and alkalinity from a single solution along with helping elevate the pH of your aquarium to helping purify your ATO water even further, there are plenty of reasons to add kalkwasser to your ATO reservoir or set up a Kalk reactor or drip system. By far the most common application for kalkwasser is by adding it to your tanks top off reservoir and then relying on the auto top off system to deliver small amounts of saturated kalkwasser solution throughout the day." - Bulk Reef Supply

1. Do you dose Kalk in your reef aquarium and what's the main reason as to why or why not?

2. What are your favorite kalk brands or kalkwasser sources?
exb-brs-210813-kalkwasser-4lb-an_1.jpg
Yes dose it to the volume of approx 1liter per day which is my approx evaporation. I use brightwell kalk+2
 

bkhunt

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went with other since i recently switched to a calcium reactor. I use to use old school DIY 2 part solutions - peladow - baked baking soda. I still use my DIY amino acids for my tank.
 

BiggestE222

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I have a 30 gallon nano tank with a radion gen 5 xr15 over it running 10 hours a day. My KH requirements using soda ash went from 5ml a day to like 16ml per day!

I was recently on vacation for 6 days and when I left the KH was at 8.9. The auto doser must have not been adding BRS Soda Ash mix or something because when I got back KH was at 5.9!

My PH also seems to fluctuate more using Calcium Cloride and Soda Ash.

What I wonder is, would the system be more stable if I went to Kalkwasser and sodium bicarbonate?

I am tempted to go back to the original Red Sea foundation additives, it seemed like less.work, but things have changed since then. Much more sps and lps corals and a much brighter light.

Any advice from the larger system guys? Btw, my growth rates are quite good, and I run relatively low nutrient and dose nopox and AB+ regularly.
If you add enough kalk no need to add a alkalinity additive.
 

BiggestE222

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It seemed too hard to keep stable because evaporation is inconsistent and the cost of replacing pumps every year or 2 seems to make up for cheaper ingredients
Falacy, in pump replacement. A perilistic pump never touches the solution so there is no pump deterioration caused by kalk. As far as calcium corbonate that would happen with 2-part as well.
 

BiggestE222

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If people put as much expense and planning into a true kalkwasser dosing setup as they do 2 part I think it would be received a little differently. Running on an ato stresses pumps out and is unstable. Requires too frequent of effort. If a quality peristaltic doser and kalk reactor were used to dose specific amounts based on need, separate of the ATO, you can get quite far with Kalkwasser alone. Only fairly full sps dominant tanks would need to supplement further.
It’s old science. For many years the “pros “ said that you add kalk with your ato pump. That was bad science. If you don’t actually study the options and just base your knowledge on old ideas then your opinion will not change kalk is cheaper than 2-part does not raise salinity. Raises PH which has been scientifically shown to grow corals faster and healthier. It’s clear to me but to each his own.
 

ChuckTownReefer

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Never use kalkwasser in your ato. That's just asking for trouble. The best way to does kalk Saturated kalk is a slow drip. But when your kalk consumption is more than your evaporation then you will need to start dosing kalk milk. Its 1 cup kalkwasser to 1 gallon of rodi water. You have to keep the kalkwasser suspended in the rodi water so some type of power head or agitator will be needed to keep it from settling to the bottom. What your trying to do here is dose super Saturated kalkwasser so then your not affecting your salinity by adding to much fresh water with basic kalkwasser. Then you will need a doser and a way to monitor your ph. Because dosing kalk milk will peg your ph and you do not want you ph to get over 8.6. One more very important thing is you have to drip kalk milk into a very high flow/ high water agitated area somewhere in your sump would be best or down you display tank drain.

I'm going to try and tag in the kalkwasser milk professionals that I've been learning all this from.
 

BiggestE222

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Most stable way to dose kalk is through a kalk stirrer. So added equipment.
Simple explanation is this. You have an ato. Your yearly average daily ato use is 3gal. That fluctuates from 2.5-3.5g a day throughout the year.
So you have a safe kalk dose of up to 2.2g a day.
After you set up the kalk reactor, you feed it with a dose pump, slowly turning the flow up to get your alk stable to where you want it.
Your ato will continue topping off any additional evaporation with rodi.
This has a ceiling obviously that the kalk dosing could potentially hit where additional dosing of 3 part or a calcium reactor will need to be added if your coral uptake exeeds the dosing window evaporation provides.
A simple doser and manual mix. No need to buy a $300 stirrer
 

fish farmer

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I've been using kalk since my first reef in 2000. I was very successful with maintaining the levels I wanted for the most part, at one point I did have a very low alk drop for a bit so I started adding Seachem Reef Builder, this was in a 38 gallon lps/softy tanks so use was low and I did routine WC's. Most delivery systems at that time were gravity or slow dripping.

When I upgraded tanks and lost time/interest I tried ATO kalk systems or a kalk stirrer. I also tried two part at the time, B-Ionic which the locals suggested, hand dosing daily. Meh...

When I brought my current system, 29 gallon, back to where I wanted better control I started to dose kalk with a peristalic pump hooked to a light timer that turns on every 15 minutes for 5 minutes pulling from a 5 gallon sealed container, I usually mix about 3 gallons of water with a teaspoon of BRS pharm grade per gallon, mixes really clean.

This system really let me dial in what my tank uses without overshooting it with a slow dripper/ATO. It really works well for my setup, occasionally I may need to add some magnesium or an alk booster, but that is usually when my WC's have laxed.
 
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Ben Pedersen

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Kalk is inconsistent and makes a heck of a mess of your ATO. Might be useful for smaller tanks but 2 part is the way to go for me.
It is true that kalk as part of top off is variable... I have been doing that for a long long time... If you want better stability, just use a kalk reactor.. not mixed with top off.

I find that for me, kalk with top off keeps Alk and Ca within an expectable range. The range changes... but it is a progressive slow change based in the change in season (summer, winter, etc). I live in Michigan.. so there is a big difference between the seasons.. but a slow transition that has no affected my LPS nor SPS.

I am setting up a big tank at the moment.. and thinking about if I am going to use kalk in my top off or a kalk reactor.. I still haven't decided.. I may got the reactor route just because I don't want to flush my kalk resivore (65 gallon) into my septic tank.

Haven't decide yet.. but will be using kalk for sure!
 
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BRS

Have you ever torn down a tank over an issue you couldn't seem to beat?

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