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: 234 41.5%
  • 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%

  • Total voters
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Shooter6

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A simple doser and manual mix. No need to buy a $300 stirrer
What the stirrer allows for is a longer period without needing messed with.
And far less clogging issues.

If you mix up a 5g container of saturated kalkwasser and dose it via pump, you have to refill that container, and check/clean the feed hoses and doser hose .
If you use a stirrer, you can have an unlimited amount of ato water to feed through the stirrer, and only have to add additional kalk powder 1 every couple weeks to months, and since the doser is dosing pure rodi the lines should never clog up.
That is where the 300 investment is worth it for ME. also you can get a kalk reactor for most systems needs for less then 100.00
 

Shooter6

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Yes dose it to the volume of approx 1liter per day which is my approx evaporation. I use brightwell kalk+2
How does the brightwell k2 do with magnesium levels? I'm interested in that as I may switch to it for my kalk stirrer. Does it mix up as well , more sludge left over? What else is in it? Any details as your the only person I've seen use it so far, I'm sure many others do as well but your the first I've been able to ask.
 

CrunchyBananas

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I use 1tsp/gallon in my ato to help boost pH since I'm using a calc reactor. I like Coral Euphoria's method from youtube, where you utilize kalk to saturation, then add in the calcium reactor to supplement kalk. Also been watching a local guy, telegraham, on Instagram experimenting with a kalk slurry method, seems promising for use with higher consumption tanks.
 

Spieg

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I've used Kalkwasser in the past but don't any more. Now that I do only 2 water changes per year, I find it better to dose ESV 2-part so I don't have to test and dose trace elements all the time. My ph stays between 8.2-8.4 without Kalk.
 
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outhouse

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so many doing it wrong, just have a 10g top off res [waste basket] hooked up to my ro/do with a float shut of valve that turns on an hour a day to keep it full. From there clean water is pushed into my kalk reactor which gravity feeds the tanks ATO floats. I do have a 210g tank with a 100g sump. But 100% safe and automatic. Depending on tank load ill run a 2 chamber Ca reactor. With an extra 100g sump plumbed in, 100g water changes take less than 10 minutes, all under the house.
 

BiggestE222

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What the stirrer allows for is a longer period without needing messed with.
And far less clogging issues.

If you mix up a 5g container of saturated kalkwasser and dose it via pump, you have to refill that container, and check/clean the feed hoses and doser hose .
If you use a stirrer, you can have an unlimited amount of ato water to feed through the stirrer, and only have to add additional kalk powder 1 every couple weeks to months, and since the doser is dosing pure rodi the lines should never clog up.
That is where the 300 investment is worth it for ME. also you can get a kalk reactor for most systems needs for less then 100.00
Never clean any hoses. Hoses dont have residue. You just add ro/Di water to container. leave old kalk in the container add a little more Takes 2-3 minutes. Certain that cleaning
How does the brightwell k2 do with magnesium levels? I'm interested in that as I may switch to it for my kalk stirrer. Does it mix up as well , more sludge left over? What else is in it? Any details as your the only person I've seen use it so far, I'm sure many others do as well but your the first I've been able to ask.
never add Mag tested last week and it was 1520
that kalk reactor takes much longer.
 

BiggestE222

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How does the brightwell k2 do with magnesium levels? I'm interested in that as I may switch to it for my kalk stirrer. Does it mix up as well , more sludge left over? What else is in it? Any details as your the only person I've seen use it so far, I'm sure many others do as well but your the first I've been able to ask.
It maintains high magnesium.
 

BiggestE222

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How does the brightwell k2 do with magnesium levels? I'm interested in that as I may switch to it for my kalk stirrer. Does it mix up as well , more sludge left over? What else is in it? Any details as your the only person I've seen use it so far, I'm sure many others do as well but your the first I've been able to ask.
The other additive is strontium. As far as mixing clean I think it does. Let it settle for 2 hours and it’s completely clear except the precip at the bottom of container. I add 2-3 tablespoons per gallo. Just to make sure it’s saturated
 

BiggestE222

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I have high CO2 is my home but kalk dosing and algae scrubbing gets me close to PH goal.
 

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saltyhog

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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.

That makes sense. What could you do in the unusual scenario (that I have) where my alkalinity and calcium demands are not proportional, I.E. I'm having to dose quite a bit more alkalinity than calcium in my tank...really always have
 

Marc2952

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I dose kalk using a kamora x1 pump @ the moment
I am dosing 100mg of kalk every hr for 12hrs.
I also dose 100ml of esv 2 part everyday.
I stay at 8.5 alk 430 cal and mag 1442.
I haven’t dose mag in 6 months.
That sounds like a nice setup im gonna try it. Do you dose directly into the display or in the return section of the sump? When i used to only use kalk my return pump slowly started clogging due to it.
 

Ross Petersen

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Your other option is tropic marin all for reef. That's a 1 solution dose for cal,alk,mag and 17 trace elements.
Absolutely.

With that said, I find Tropic Marin all-for-reef depletes my nutrients at times too quickly (it's a form of bacterial dosing), doesn't raise pH like kalkwasser, and is quite costly. BUT... it works!
 

Ferrell

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I’m currently dosing kalk in my LPS tank and used to dose in my mixed reef and supplemented it with 2 part. Now I just dose two part in the mixed. LPS tank is using about 350 ml/day and getting close to max I can dose as ATO only using a gallon every 3-4 days.
Use BRS Kalkwasser
 

pjb9166

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Absolutely Not…… I have no clue why but every time I’ve tried Kalk the only thing it did was raise the heck out of my calcium. It did nothing for the pH or Alk in any of my systems. In fact Alk would always continue to crash while dosing Kalk.
 

Blondie Frags

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I use Kalk now thanks to a member on here. Helps maintain my ALK and CA and also adds to my PH. Still dealing with PH issues but its went up .20 since using KALK.
Do you use a C02 scrubber at all?! We’ve been playing around with it and it seems to help stability of PH once the kalk raises it. Im working on the recirculating so that the media doesn’t waste as fast.
 

cryptodendrum

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I've been dosing Kalkwasser since 2004. Originally to a 350L system, but that system is now 2500L, comprising a small network of 3 Display tanks + 4 more tanks in the dedicated fishroom. My tanks are dominated (packed and growing fast) by Corals and Anemones, very few fish relative to my water volume. And Kalkwasser can keep my pH and CA up, but both are at the upper limits (500+ppm CA / pH 8.55-8.60) and Kalk cannot match those levels with KH.

So my solution for this problem is to run a Hybrid Kalkwasser & Baling Salt Lite setup. I use Kalk to make up what it can within safe pH/CA levels, and use Baling Lite to close the gap on ALK and manage Magnesium levels.

I dose with 2x peristaltic pumps which are controlled via my controller acting as a Split Brains ATO. Kalkwasser is dosed between 1:00AM until 1:00PM to keep my pH stable while the tank lights are off. The amount is manually set (currently at 6L a day), where as R.O. Water is dosed on demand for the reminder of evaporation make up. But the run times of each are accumulated together so I can monitor total water evaporation makeup amounts for that day & historically.
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The result is my pH is very stable, and thanks to Kalkwasser dosing (split across 12 doses, dosed every hour) varies very little at night / lights out. Average total pH diurnal deviation is about 0.5 - 0.8. (screen cap of 24 hour history log below)

Screen Shot 2021-07-14 at 02.33.24.png


The way I prepare and store my Kalkwasser is also a little bit different. Based on a write up from Randy Holmes-Farley about using a bucket Neilsen reactor, I use a 20 Litre recycled salt bucket, a design I've been using reliably since 2005.

It is a continuous feed design, in which fresh water comes into the bucket via a toilet valve and water level is set to about mid-height (approx 10L). I have a large Eheim pump to mix the reactor in the afternoons after dosing. Since the pump is oversized, I only have my aquarium controller trigger it for 5 seconds, to avoid disturbing the Kalk crust at the water level, which prevents CO2 diffusion into the Kalkwasser.

Kalkwasser is withdrawn from the reactor via a plastic riser bottle, exits the riser bottle and passes through one more glass 1L sediment collection bottle, before passing through the pump and is dosed into the sump.

I use Calcium Hydroxide that is used by cheese makers, and every 3 months I recharge the reactor by dumping 500grams into the reactor. This is enough to last nearly 3 months; it starts to putter out about 1-2 weeks shy of 3 months, and it's decline is measurable by pH. (Sorry for the break / gap in the graph - pH Sensor replacement). After 4 consecutive recharges of the reactor (1 year of usage), I disconnect the reactor and empty it to clean it thoroughly before setting it up for another years of usage.
Screen Shot 2021-07-14 at 02.36.04.png

The low peak occurred on July 1 - at the very end of a 3 month cycle (graph is scaled to 45 days), and I recharged the reactor on schedule according to my calendar and within a week, pH had returned to it's very steady pattern.

It used to be that despite having more than a dozen fast growing LPS "mother colonies", my Baling Lite ALK additions were about 70ml a day, but after adding a couple of Monti's 2 years ago, my ALK additions are now up to 250ml a day to hold my dKH right at 8.2 - 8.4.

Generally, my Baling Lite CA solution is rarely used except to make corrections if CA get's out of line.

BTW, my Baling Lite chems are of the Fauna Marine brand. I know I would plow through the CA & ALK salts far, far, faster if I didn't use Kalkwasser. Which actually saves a lot of money as well.

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Overall I'm very, very pleased with my Hybrid Kalkwasser Baling Lite setup. It's optimised for about as little fuss and mess while delivering dependable performance & cost savings, serving my needs very well for the past several years.
 

Blondie Frags

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I'm definitely interested in kalk and it has been on my list of things to research, mostly because my pH tends to fluctuate wildly, particularly in the summer. Biggest fear of trying it is overdosing (seems many tank crashes trace back to some sort of doser malfunction). I have an AIO so options are limited.
We started off the DIY way with a 2 gallon bucket and a hole drilled in the side. Lol. Ran a gravity fed tube above the line where the precipitate would settle in the bottom. Then opened up the line slowly and dripped. It helped with my comfort level before I hooked it up to a pump.
 

ScottB

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I had no idea of the breadth of use cases for Kalk. I thought I was exotic before but relieved to realize how boring my deployment really is. I will keep snoring along at my 2.4 liters per night. Pretty cool thread it turns out.
 

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