Will dosing kalkwasser while theres little consumption raise alk and cal?

PegasisR

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 22, 2018
Messages
1,187
Reaction score
428
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
As the title says, ive got a little bit of consumption... maybe every 2 days my alk drops, but i was wondering if dosing kalk in efforts to raise ph while keeping alk and cal stable, would raise my alk? Thanks
 
Zoanthids

Reefer5640

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 22, 2017
Messages
887
Reaction score
421
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Eagle Mt Utah
If you add more than what’s being consumed then yes. What is your daily usage, do you know yet? If not test daily for a few days to get a few data points. Then you can go from there. There are a lot of calculators online to help you dial in your dosage.
 

brightlifeaquaculture

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Messages
89
Reaction score
58
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Depending how high ph raises may make the carbonic acid release more trapped alk, that’s already in system. I believe I said that right, but more professional can chime in, was watching reefbum and Chris from aci aquaculture interview and learned a lot about kalkwasser dosing
 
OP
P

PegasisR

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 22, 2018
Messages
1,187
Reaction score
428
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
If you add more than what’s being consumed then yes. What is your daily usage, do you know yet? If not test daily for a few days to get a few data points. Then you can go from there. There are a lot of calculators online to help you dial in your dosage.
Im in a very weird predicament... ive got a lot of sps frags that have encrusted but my alk either stays where no alk is consumed or it will dwindle down slowly over two days. When it does dwindle down, i dose 10ml of AFR to get from 8.2 to 8.4/8.5

aswell theres not alot of crazy coralline spurts either... weird
 
Click to watch best scape method in 5 easy steps!

C. Eymann

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 30, 2019
Messages
2,699
Reaction score
4,779
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Winter park FL.
Depending how high ph raises may make the carbonic acid release more trapped alk, that’s already in system. I believe I said that right, but more professional can chime in, was watching reefbum and Chris from aci aquaculture interview and learned a lot about kalkwasser dosing

Thats not how kalkwasser works, no such thing as kalk releasing "trapped alk", maybe read the comments on that YouTube video

Simply put , when kalk is added to the aquarium, it combines with atmospheric CO2 and dissovled CO2 (carbonic acid) to form more carbonates and bicarbonates = increasing alk

OH- + CO2 --> HCO3

OH- + HCO3 ---> CO3-- + H2O
 

brightlifeaquaculture

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Messages
89
Reaction score
58
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Thats not how kalkwasser works, no such thing as kalk releasing "trapped alk", maybe read the comments on that YouTube video

Simply put is when kalk added to the aquarium, kalkwasser combines with atmospheric CO2 and dissovled CO2 (carbonic acid) to form more carbonates and bicarbonates = increasing alk

OH- + CO2 --> HCO3

OH- + HCO3 ---> CO3-- + H2O
As stated, I’ll let a “professional” chime in.
 

C. Eymann

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 30, 2019
Messages
2,699
Reaction score
4,779
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Winter park FL.
As stated, I’ll let a “professional” chime in.
Well Im not a chemist, but our "resident chemist" Randy Holmes Farley is and has some great threads and write ups about kalkwasser and other reef chemistry topics that can be found here https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/randys-reef-chemistry-articles.174821/


I think what Chris of ACI was meaning to say was that the CO2/ carbonic acid itself "is" the trapped alk and it needs to be combined with the hydroxide to "become" the carbonate/ bicarbonate- and that many misinterpreted it and now have an inaccurate understanding of how kalkwasser works in reef aquariums
 
Last edited:
OP
P

PegasisR

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 22, 2018
Messages
1,187
Reaction score
428
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Well Im not a chemist, but our "resident chemist" Randy Holmes Farley is and has some great threads and write ups about kalkwasser and other reef chemistry topics that can be found here https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/randys-reef-chemistry-articles.174821/


I think what Chris of ACI was meaning to say was that the CO2/ carbonic acid itself "is" the trapped alk and it needs to be combined with the hydroxide to "become" the carbonate/ bicarbonate- and that many misinterpreted it and now have an inaccurate understanding of how kalkwasser works in reef aquariums
Would you know the reason as to why alk is being consumed so slowly when there's sps in the aquarium? My alk either stays at 8.5 or it goes down over a few days to 8.2. The funny thing about it though is that the sps frags are encrusting... Coralline has also been slow growing aswell
 
Top Shelf Aquatics
OP
P

PegasisR

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 22, 2018
Messages
1,187
Reaction score
428
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
I am still learning all this as well, my understanding is that if your alk, cal and mag are out of whack your corals will not be able to properly utilize them. What are your cal and mag levels?
Thats the thing aswell! Everything is inline

Alk-8.5
Cal-440
Mag-1400
 

Reefer5640

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 22, 2017
Messages
887
Reaction score
421
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Eagle Mt Utah
Those numbers look good. It’s all about preference after you get to that point. I know BRS and Red Sea have videos and articles that give data showing which type of corals do best at what levels. I like to keep my alk around 9-9.5. Gives me a little more of a buffer if something goes wrong with my dosing pumps. I don’t like to fall below 7. More than anything though, pick a target and keep it consistent. Consistency will have more of an impact than chasing numbers. As to why the alk is being consumed and not ca could be just a lack of uptake. Once they get bigger and you get more coral you’ll see more of an uptake. You may have mentioned this but what size is your tank and do you do water changes? If you do, what salt do you use and how often and what % water change do you do? Do you have a refugium?
 
OP
P

PegasisR

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 22, 2018
Messages
1,187
Reaction score
428
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Those numbers look good. It’s all about preference after you get to that point. I know BRS and Red Sea have videos and articles that give data showing which type of corals do best at what levels. I like to keep my alk around 9-9.5. Gives me a little more of a buffer if something goes wrong with my dosing pumps. I don’t like to fall below 7. More than anything though, pick a target and keep it consistent. Consistency will have more of an impact than chasing numbers. As to why the alk is being consumed and not ca could be just a lack of uptake. Once they get bigger and you get more coral you’ll see more of an uptake. You may have mentioned this but what size is your tank and do you do water changes? If you do, what salt do you use and how often and what % water change do you do? Do you have a refugium?
525xl and I have an auto water changer doing 10 gals a week with tropic Marin pro and I don't have a fuge :)
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

mdb_talon

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 6, 2010
Messages
2,922
Reaction score
4,200
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Illinois
So thats a ~140g tank of i can do math?

It is no wonder you dont see much movement in alk levels. Even if it is quite a few small frags it just wont consume all that much and presumably your 10g weekly water change helps keep it up.

Even a mutibrach sps frag is going to only "consume" a very small fraction of what a single good size colony will.

I would not be the least bit concerned about alk not going down much if your frags are growing.
 
OP
P

PegasisR

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 22, 2018
Messages
1,187
Reaction score
428
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
So thats a ~140g tank of i can do math?

It is no wonder you dont see much movement in alk levels. Even if it is quite a few small frags it just wont consume all that much and presumably your 10g weekly water change helps keep it up.

Even a mutibrach sps frag is going to only "consume" a very small fraction of what a single good size colony will.

I would not be the least bit concerned about alk not going down much if your frags are growing.
Thats a fair point but what about the coralline algae growth? Shouldnt that be consuming at the very least? also i should mention prior to this point im at, my tank was consuming maybe 15-25ml of alk a day and the coralline was growing ontop of itself but that has also went from crazy to miniscule
 

mdb_talon

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 6, 2010
Messages
2,922
Reaction score
4,200
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Illinois
Thats a fair point but what about the coralline algae growth? Shouldnt that be consuming at the very least? also i should mention prior to this point im at, my tank was consuming maybe 15-25ml of alk a day and the coralline was growing ontop of itself but that has also went from crazy to miniscule

Ya coralline does use a good amount of alk if it is growing well, but i think that kind of answers explains a big part of why your alk useage fell off. If growth went from very fast to barely growing then certainly alk useage would drop.

In my tanks i seem to get lulls in coralline growth that whydont usually seem to have any correlation with my sps growing faster/slower so i dont usually worry about it. Have always heard that coralline growth is inhibited by higher nutrient levels. Even in past tanks thay were pretty high in nutrients though they all seemed to end up with it thick eventually!

Personally though again i would focus on keeping tank stable and parameters in good ranges and not worry too much as long as the corals are growing and happy. In several months you will probably be cussing all the coralline and getting tired of dumping all that alk/calc in constantly (or refilling dosing containers) :)
 

Reefer5640

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 22, 2017
Messages
887
Reaction score
421
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Eagle Mt Utah
525xl and I have an auto water changer doing 10 gals a week with tropic Marin pro and I don't have a fuge :)
Dido to what @mdb_talon said. That was exactly why I was asking about tank size and water changes.
 
OP
P

PegasisR

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 22, 2018
Messages
1,187
Reaction score
428
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Ya coralline does use a good amount of alk if it is growing well, but i think that kind of answers explains a big part of why your alk useage fell off. If growth went from very fast to barely growing then certainly alk useage would drop.

In my tanks i seem to get lulls in coralline growth that whydont usually seem to have any correlation with my sps growing faster/slower so i dont usually worry about it. Have always heard that coralline growth is inhibited by higher nutrient levels. Even in past tanks thay were pretty high in nutrients though they all seemed to end up with it thick eventually!

Personally though again i would focus on keeping tank stable and parameters in good ranges and not worry too much as long as the corals are growing and happy. In several months you will probably be cussing all the coralline and getting tired of dumping all that alk/calc in constantly (or refilling dosing containers) :)
It makes tons of sense now , my nutrients are high by my own desire with it being at Nitrate-10 and phos- .05, so that explains the coralline. Then on the flip with the coral, being that their frags and not full blown colonies, although I have 2 baseball sized colonies of Forrest fire Digi and a grafted digi
 
A Piece of the Ocean for Every Reef Tank
PremiumAquatics.com
Top