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FAQs on Supplementing With Kalkwasser 2

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

Related FAQs: Kalkwasser 1Kalkwasser 3, 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

All aquatic life needs biominerals AND alkalinity. Ricordea and Rhodophyte pic sent in by Justin.

Dosing Kalkwasser - 3/17/03 Good morning crew, <Top o' the mornin to ya. Paul here this gorgeous St. Patty's day!> I do hope that you are all keeping well? <As well as can be in these troubled times> I have been pondering the use of Kalkwasser in my tank and I was wondering if you could give me any pointers or hints as to the benefits/disadvantages of its use, <This has been discussed many times over as to its many uses and misuses and advantages and disadvantages. Please check this link for starters: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/kalkwasser.htm> I use a Knop model c reactor which is giving me calc at 430ppm and a tank dKH of 10 the effluent coming out of the reactor is dkh20 or thereabouts, my system ph is 8.15 <PH could be a little higher.....how are your inhabitants doing?> at mid photo period and 7.96 at lights out in the morning, <normal for a fluctuation, but should be a bit higher as well. See here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marphalk.htm and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/alkalinity.htm> I run about 20 bubbles per minute co2 and I do not have a solenoid to cut off the gas as it doesn't seem to make a lot of difference to the ph at night, I currently have to top up the tank each evening with about 2 litres of r/o water treated with aragonite, what I am thinking of doing is using Kalk instead of the aragonite treated water as top up <definitely a good idea> but only after lights out, any thoughts/ideas as always greatly appreciated. <I like the idea of adding it in the evening after lights out. I too, add Kalkwasser with my daily top off regime. Read through some of the FAQs from the links above as to its advantages\disadvantages. Curious as to why you are moving away from the aragonite product? Take care. Paulo>

Kalkwasser question and tank update To whom ever is on duty this fine evening, Well here is where I stand.  A couple of weeks ago I started asking you guys questions and here is where it has gotten me.  Wet/Dry is no more.  Bio balls have left the building, along with the prefilter.  Set up a mini DIY refugium where the bio ball chamber was.  Also looked into the lighting section of your page and did a little DIY mod on my already DIY hood.  Went from 2 175 MH sunburst bulbs to 2 175 MH bulbs plus 2 24" actinic 03 bulbs.  Of course in the process of doing that mod my MH bulbs needed to be moved a bit to make room for the new tubes.  After that had to move overflow to the other end because my MH bulb was now right over it.  So did that.  THEN I decide to get all fancy and start using Kalkwasser, so I did it last night and think I added it to fast with my turkey baster and my pH was light 8.8 this morning.  Got home from work today and it had settled down to about 8.3-8.4  So I proceed to the store and bought 2 Dannon water jugs.  Nice round clear jugs and rigged up a drip unit.  A couple of Kalkwasser question.  I mix about 3/4 of a gallon of Kalkwasser but get very little slurry at the bottom.  Is this normal for such a little amount being mixed or am I doing something wrong? (I mix it with RO/DI water) Also I have read about the drip time.  I have mine dripping at about 1 drop every 5 seconds.  Too fast?  Too slow?  I am just worried that if I slow it down to 1 drip every 40 seconds (like I have read in a few places)  it won't finish the drip overnight and continue to drip when the lights come back on. (bad right?) Tank running good and clear except for stupid crap algae which I am currently working on one step was the wet/dry and Kalkwasser is another to help..  I thank you for your input and help. Matt <Hi Matt, There are a few ways to do this. The amount of Kalk to add to your water can be up to 2 tablespoons per gallon, depending on calcium needs/use, determined by a good quality calcium test. If you are using water which may contain phosphates, let the mixed Kalk settle and use the clear Kalk solution between the bottom sediment and the top crust which will form. You can put the drip hose inlet up the wall of the container (above the sediment) to use only clear Kalk solution in this case.  If not, you can mix with a submerged powerhead and drip as is one drop per second or if you are using a set amount of Kalk and evap/top off water, however much replaces evaporation AND your calcium use. The water amount will increase as we approach the warmer months, the Kalk won't as much. This takes a little experimenting/testing to determine use. (Test, stop dosing for three-four days, then test again and divide by the number of days, this is your daily calcium use.) Kalkwasser at this concentration is approx. 800 mg/L.  You may want to obtain a digital pH meter to monitor pH while dripping, but approx. 1 drop a second (or the amount needed as long as your pH is 8.3 and calcium 380-400) is what you are shooting for.  You are balancing three things, evaporation volume, calcium usage, and pH.  Ph meters are a big help.  Craig>

Kalkwasser doing pH problem part 2 Hey Don or the duty person, Sorry about the confusion and lack of info on the Kalkwasser.  I am dosing for my reef as a calcium/alk supplement.  (Not adding just to add, I like my money and wouldn't want to just be flushing it down my aquarium, so to say.) <Oh yes, I understand this <G>> Was using liquid calcium but I also have some bad algae starting and this is supposed to help. Correct?  My pH last night was down to 8.4 and this morning when light had been out all night was down to 8.2.  I set up a dip last night and am dipping the 2 quarts or so in at about a few drops per second.  All your help so far has really helped my aquarium.  If I could just get this algae thing licked, it will all be good.  Recently removed bioballs and prefilter and made a refugium to help the get rid of algae nutrients. <Nutrient control is the key to algae control. The refugium will help, removing the bioballs will help, dilution with water changes will help, good skimming will help. All will take time (Several weeks). Patience. Don> Thanks again.

pH and Kalkwasser Hi Bob, <Hello Karl, Craig here today.> Before I start, I would like to thank you for offering this service/site. It has been an invaluable source of information for me whilst I try and learn the tricks and methods of marine husbandry.  I have read most of the Marine information on Wetwebmedia, and my only wish is that the people at my LFS could offer the same standard of information that Wetwebmedia do. <Thank you, it's our pleasure!> Let me begin, The Tank is about 8-9 months old. Spg 1024 Temp 25-26.5 pH 7.9 - 8.2 (Red Sea) KH 9 (but cannot keep it @ this - Aquarium Pharm) Ca 385ppm (Salifert) Mg Approx 1250ppm (Salifert) PO4 < 0.25 mg/L (Hagen - lousy test kit) Ammonia 0 Nitrite     0 Nitrate      < 5ppm Tank: 30gal (36" X 12" X 16") Filtration & Circulation: Eheim 2213 Canister Filter running RowaPhos every 2 weeks and PolyFilter every other 2 weeks SeaClone Skimmer (drat! should have read wetwebmedia before hand) produces 1/2 a cup every week (terrible!) x3 Eheim 150gph powerheads for circulation Lighting: x4 NO Fluorescents in rain gutter hood with reflectors (10 hours a day) Livestock: x2 Small Colonies of Metallic Green Star Polyps X1 Semi-Large Devils Finger X1 Dying Pulsing Xenia X1 Midas Blenny X1 Peppermint Shrimp X5 Blue Legged Hermit Crabs X10 Snails <Right off, do increase photoperiod to 12 hours per day. Low light is part of problem with Xenia along with short photoperiod. This may temporarily increase algae, but will actually push it along to depleting nutrient, thus algae over time.> The first problem I have is: I cannot seem to keep my ALK levels where I want them.  I am aiming for 11-12KH, but can't even get to 10.  If I do, it will stay there for a day and then drop down to 9 or less.  I have tried C-Balance however that seems to raise my Ca alright but only raises my ALK for a day or so and then it goes back down. <Yes, these need to be added at separate times (AM/PM) or alternate days. Calcium will depress alk and vice-versa. Calcium is at the bottom of the nominal level and alk is also (actually a hair below the lowest I would like to see. This is not uncommon with the "balanced" two part supplements. You may need to increase dose or switch to a better supplement regime.> Last night a I tried out Seachem ReefBuilder.  I added 1 teaspoon and that raised ALK from 8 to > 9 and drop the Ca from Approx 400ppm to 385ppm (as it should do ?). <Yes, this is normal/expected. I would also use Seachem Reef Builder (raises alk .5 meq/L (1.4 dKH) per tsp per 40 gallons) or Seachem Marine Buffer which will raise carbonate alk 1 meq/L (2.8 dKH) per tsp. per 40 gallons. I use both of these products along with Kalkwasser and periodic magnesium supplementation with Seachem magnesium according to use/test. I use Seachem tests, Salifert is also good. Do use the best kits you can afford. You may also wish to use the C-balance at a higher dose along with the Seachem products to maintain alk as needed. Calcium and alk on different days.> The levels I want to attain are 11KH and Ca 400ppm.  Are these reasonable ? <Yes, I prefer higher alk (11-12 is a good range) with 400 calcium. Both at high levels is trouble waiting to happen. Moderate on both with adequate testing is best.> My LFS told me something is using the ALK probably coralline algae (can't really believe this as I don't have very much of it only hair algae / Cyano). <Depends on system dynamics, inhabitants. This is not unusual in my experience.> I am trying to hit these levels as I read problem algae do not like these parameters.  I have had problem algae on/off for about 5 months (hair and Cyano).  I change about 3gal of water a week using methods described on wetwebmedia (i.e. aerate 1 day etc..) <Yes, this will help, as will checking alk and calcium on new water. Add buffer/alk as needed to new water after aeration, etc.> Do you think I should dose with ReefBuilder and then raise the Ca by adding equal parts of C-Balance ? <You can use the Seachem to raise alk as needed, then use C-balance in equal parts added at separate times as above. Increase dose to raise calcium to 400. One separate day raise alk portion of C-balance and SeaChem to raise and maintain alk at approximately 12 dKH.  Get the alk up first, it is low presently.> The second question a I have is regarding Kalkwasser I want to start using this due to it's benefits (precip phosphate, increasing pH and support ALK). Do you recommend dripping this into the skimmer column ?   <Better into the display at night/early AM to maintain pH at night. You will still need to supplement alk with Seachem Marine Buffer and/or Reef Builder. Both excellent products for your application. I *know* you will read more on WetWebMedia on Kalkwasser use!> Thanks again in advance. Karl McNally (from the UK) <All of our best to you Karl.  Enjoy!  Craig>

Kalkwasser dosing pH problem Hello to whoever is on duty at this late hour, <Howdy, Don with  you tonight> Well I thought I would step up in the world and start using Kalkwasser.   <Why? What is the goal?> I'm afraid I made a mistake.  After reading on here about it I figured of its not as hard as I think.  Says it will not raise pH if added slowly.  So I grab 2 quarts of RO/DI top off water and dose it with 1 teaspoon of Kalkwasser and let it sit for 2 hours.  Then since I don't have a drip set up yet and only dosing 2 quarts to 55 gallons I use my turkey aquarium baster to add a little at a time to the sump.  So over the next 15 minutes I drip this stuff in making sure to avoid as much top film as possible and staying away from what settled on the bottom.  (ok so far?).  By the way I added this right before my MH lighting went out for the night and I also have 2 fluorescent tubes that stay on for dust lighting for about 30 minutes.  I wait a few minutes for the tank to pump through once or so, mixing the Kalkwasser up.  test pH and it reads about 8.8!  Oh crap I say normally runs 8.2 .  Should I worry (already am)?  Did I do something wrong?  I don't want my things to die to pH shock.  Any help would be wonderful, and prefer an email reply instead of posting if at all possible. <Yes the problem here is that the decanted solution should be dripped SLOWLY, like overnight. A few drops per second at most. Also, all lights should be off. So you added in 15 minutes what should have taken hours. But, the bottom line is what is your goal for adding Kalk. Should not add any additive just to add it. If the pH is still high, you should do some 10-15% daily water changes to help dilute. Sorry if I missed the point here. Don> Thanks guys and gals, Matt

KALKWASSER APPLICATION Thanks for the help in advance.   <No problem Joe, Don with you tonight> I have a 220 g FOWLR set-up.  I have a sparsely populated system and was looking at maybe trying my hand at a few "easier corals".  I run my system with an Aqua-C EV240, temp. 78 (F), spg. 1.020, ph 8.2-8.4, ca 360 +.   <Actually the 360 is not bad. 350-400 is recommended. Don't forget to test Alkalinity as well. Also, I would slowly <mo more than 0.005 to 0.001 per day) bring the SG up to 1.024 to 1.025> My question is two part. 1) is a toad stool leather coral appropriate for a beginner ? <Oh yes, a hardy coral, but still needs proper husbandry> 2) In reading your site it appears I should try to get my calcium level up.  I mixed some Kalkwasser and poured it in after I shut the lights off last night (not all of the calcium hydroxide powder dissolved so I added more water mixed it up, put a lid on it and plan on pouring in the water again this evening).  Am I doing this ok? <Um, well, no. You should mix a small quantity of Kalk (1/4-1/2 tsp with a cup or 2 of fresh water), mix this very well (try chilling the water first) and pour this slowly into a high flow area of the tank. Watch the pH. You do not want the dose to raise the pH more that 0.2. Start low, monitor calcium and increase the amount of Kalk until you find the amount to balance your tank. Monitor the pH (an electronic monitor is highly recommended here) and make sure you never see a swing of more than 0.2. I still don't think 360 is too low though.> will the addition of the Kalkwasser pose any threat to my fish in changing the ph levels etc.??   <Monitor and react accordingly> Do you have any suggestions.  p.s.  If I do get this coral should I put it high up in the water column near some water current and light? <Depends on how much light/flow you have. The polyps should 'wave' back and forth gently in the flow and to give you a comparison, I have a long polyp toadstool about 8" under 330W of PC light (220W 10000K and 110W Actinic) and it is doing very well. Good luck and I hope this helps, Don> Joe

Anthony's Slurry Method Follow up Hello, I was reading through the Q & A's and came across a problem that I think I am having. It was about not being able to raise Ca beyond a certain level using the slurry method because of adding Kalk too much too fast and precipitating it. Well my question is, what does it mean to precipitate Kalk and how do I prevent that? <sometimes it simply precipitates in crystalline carbonate snowflakes right before your eyes and looks like a snowstorm in your tank. This has been described all across the Web and in books (mine, Sprung's, etc) if you care to know more. The gist of it is simply too much Kalk added too fast (exceeding the pH limitation described in the slurry archive pieces and beyond.) Other times it  happens slowly without any visible evidence to the eye but the Ca never rises despite adding obscene amounts slowly (ends up as insoluble calcium carbonate in the sand... often causes the sand to pack solid or fuse)> Basically all I'm doing is adding Kalk to a cup of chilled pure water, stirring a few times and placing it in the tank always making sure I don't raise PH too much (.2). <all good likely> I know my Ca demand cannot be too high because all my 46 gallon tank has is a torch, candy cane, bubble, leather, polyps and about 60lbs live rock. Given my inhabitants how much Kalk would you recommend I slurry into the tank daily to raise Ca to 350 and how do I prevent precipitating it?   <first make sure your magnesium is in step (likely is with regular water changes). It should simply be 3-4X your Ca level up to about 1200-1400 ppm Mg. Then test Ca over a period of days without any Ca additions or water changes to see what your daily drop (demand) is for Ca. After that, it really is a simple matter of slow adding Kalk. For a tank your size, it may only be 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon daily... perhaps more though if the tank is acidic (big messy fish, heavy frozen foods, etc)> I cannot seem to raise my Ca above 300. BTW I purchased your book, good read and I came to see your presentation at ThatFishPlace last year. Thanks for your time. Angelo <thanks kindly, best regards. Anthony>

Kalk slurry method 2/27/03 Long time ago since my last visit to your site. Just to share a couple of words about your recommended method to apply Kalk in your book. I used this method for a while, the Ca never fall but also never rise to at least 350-400, <hmmm... did you use a digital pH meter to keep the pH from spiking more than .2? And did you measure your net daily demand from Ca and how much Kalkwasser it took to satisfy it?> then I changed to the traditional dripped method (I made it with a medical catheter and a 5 liters container) and the calcium rise in a period of 2 week from 325 (stable measure using your method) to 380, KH 9-10., also the amount of Kalk used is less in drip method. <Ahhh... what was happening was you added too much or too fast slurry and simply precipitated it, my friend. It is physically impossible for a slurry to deliver less Ca than merely saturated solution. Physically impossible unless you precip the slurry in the tank> I assume that your method works fine, but the traditional drip method still as the winner! Or maybe I misunderstand some of your indications in your great book. <no worries, bud. Simply a misinterpretation. I fear that in coming to this conclusion you have still missed an important point... the testing of the net daily demand for Ca which limits and dictates the amount of Kalk used by either method. Please determine this amount my friend. You will need to know it because as you add corals or as your present calcifying demand in the tank grows... there will come a day that the drip method physically will not support you Ca.> Regards. Carlos D?z <best regards, Anthony>

Kalk Slurry Worries- 2/17/03 Good Afternoon, I currently have a 75G reef tank with several LPS and about 90 lbs of live Rock w/DSB (4+). I have a sump with about another 10G of system water. Since I only lose about 1/2 gallon per day due to evaporation I have implemented the 'slurry' method of dosing Kalkwasser. <indeed a common and logical reason for doing so> After reading the archives on the topic I am a bit confused. I have seen references to add just enough slurry to not increase PH two tenths (.2) and other that cites no more than two hundredths (.02). <our apologies for the typo(s). The correct answer is .2 (two tenths) and this is the high end (.1-.2 is the range as with a change from 8.1 to 8.2 or 8.3 at most)> I have been adding about 3/4 to 1 tsp. of Kalkwasser to make the slurry with a PH impact of about .19. <WOW!!!! That is a lot of Kalk for a 90 gallon tank?!?! Unless you have a full/mature/crowded tank with fast growth of corallines and stony corals... this is likely too much. Have you been testing you Calcium levels? Do you know your daily demand for Ca in the tank? Kalk slurries are simple matters of adding a shot once or twice daily to satisfy that demand. Please test your ALK for fear of this excess Kalk use precipitating carbonates. If you are over 8 dKH you are still OK.> The slurry is added after the lights are extinguished and into the return stream from the sump. I saw the reference to .02 and panicked. <no worries... do point us to that page if you can recall it so we may make the fix> Is the amount I am adding at one time sound reasonable given a desire to maintain Ca at about 400. <the amount that changes your pH has nothing to do with the matter outside of limiting the amount added at one time by the pH jump (.1-.2). You need to use you daily Ca demand as the obvious limiting factor and dose with respect for gentle changes in pH. Thanks for your help. <best regards, Anthony>

Kalk Slurry - 2/17/03 what is the proper way to add Kalk slurry and how much water should be used? <please use the Google search tool on the index page at wetwebmedia.com to discover many enlightening pages on this and related topics (keyword phrase: "Kalkwasser slurry" and various permutations thereof). As far as the amount of water... that's irrelevant. Simply test to discover the daily demand for calcium in your system and add (slowly at first) enough Kalk to meet that demand. Be sure to use a digital pH meter to prevent spikes of more than .02> also I am buying a aqua c skimmer to replace a Berlin classic on a heavily stocked 125 gal. reef tank that has been running 8 years, what size do you recommend ?    <The manufacturers recommendations are accurate and realistic in my opinion: http://www.proteinskimmer.com/ with kind regards, Anthony>

Kalk Slurry FAQ corrections  7/3/08 Greetings! While researching Kalk dosing I came across a minor error on this page: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/kalkh20faq2.htm, 10th entry from the top. Here is the abbreviated text: "Kalk Slurry - 2/17/03 what is the proper way to add Kalk slurry and how much water should be used? <.... Be sure to use a digital pH meter to prevent spikes of more than .02> ... <...with kind regards, Anthony>" The decimal should be moved from .02 to .2, <Agreed... will append> as Anthony actually states in the previous entry on that same page! I have one additional concern -- although various opinions exist concerning the usage of Kalkwasser, I believe the term "Kalk Slurry" is assumed to have a universal definition by most readers in the hobby (or at least it should IMO). <A good... but incorrect assumption> The conflict of information I came across concerns whether or not to dump the solids into the tank along with the cloudy water (basically everything in the cup) versus decanting the mixture, as it pertains specifically to the Kalk Slurry method. In today's FAQ the reader is advised to decant the solution: "Kalkwasser Slurry method - 7/2/08 I've been reading about the Kalk slurry method on your site as well as other sites. I just wanted some clarification on this method. I know your supposed start with a 1/8 or 1/16 of a teaspoon of powdered Kalk added to cool or cold RO water, mix it and add the slurry slowly to the main tank. What I'm not clear on is... I've only read one article that mentions...you should only add the cloudy water layer...not the precipitated Calcium Hydroxide solids on the bottom. <Yes... best to decant, otherwise avoid introducing the solids>" <Yes... my stmt.> In an archived FAQ located here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/kalkh20faq2.htm, the reader is advised that the slurry method involves dumping the powder in as well; Calcium hydroxide grades - 2/15/03 ... "<if you dose by a supersaturated solution and discard the minor precipitate, then you can get the cheaper product. Kalkwasser is self-purifying because of its caustic nature. At the high pH of the solution, most metals and contaminants precipitate out. Now... if you intend to dose the powder directly (like my Kalk slurry method mentioned on WWM and in my book), then you will want to buy the better grade> <thanks kindly, Anthony>" Given that the definition of a slurry describes solids suspended in a liquid without completely dissolving, I would lean toward the latter answer in determining a universal definition for Kalk Slurry. I hope this is of some use to the site, my tank inhabitants thank you all for your dedicated efforts and hard-earned knowledge. Regards, Brandon <Thank you for your efforts at clarification. BobF>

Calcium hydroxide grades - 2/15/03 I've been thinking about getting some calcium hydroxide directly from a chemical company to save a few bucks.  Do you know if lab grade ($10 for 500 g) is good enough, or is ACS grade (reagent grade) (~$30/500g) necessary.  Thanks! <if you dose by a supersaturated solution and discard the minor precipitate, then you can get the cheaper product. Kalkwasser is self-purifying because of its caustic nature. At the high pH of the solution, most metals and contaminants precipitate out. Now... if you intend to dose the powder directly (like my Kalk slurry method mentioned on WWM and in my book), then you will want to buy the better grade> I've read extensively on your website; it's the best marine resource on the web! Thanks! Nathan Saetveit <thanks kindly, Anthony>

Kalkwasser Dosing Dear WWW consortium: I'm trying to make heads and tails over how to dose Kalkwasser into my 55 gallon FOWLR setup. Previous emails with Craig were most helpful. Now that my tank has cycled completely, and has fish in it, I'm preparing to begin dosing with Kalkwasser but do not have a doser and will be doing it "by hand" for the time being. First question: Being that I have a refugium that's on a 24/7 daylight schedule, is dosing Kalk at night really necessary?, seeing as how a 24/7 lit refugium is supposed to reduce pH decline at night.  My refugium has Miracle Mud substrate and Caulerpa..lots of phytoplankton too. <Anthony suggests a pH meter, and dosing Kalk until the pH goes up .02, at night. With a pH meter, it could be done at time of lowest pH, provided there is such a time, with the *theoretical* stabilized pH with a lit refugium. This may not be true of your system without testing/meters to tell you so.> Second question: Seeing as how I don't have a Kent Marine aqua doser or a Vario pump to dose my Kalk...I have to resort to mixing it by hand.  I would VERY MUCH like to know in detail how to use Anthony Calfo's "slurry method" but I have yet to find the entire process on the WWM forum...just bits and pieces. Right now, my chemical balance is this: pH   = 8.3 Calcium = 300ppm dKH = 10 <First, get alk to 11 or so and add a calcium supplement to help raise your calcium to 350-400, then maintain with Kalk. To use slurry method, start with 1/16th teaspoon per 100 gallons, preferably with a pH meter or at least a test kit to see conservative results. Simply mix Kalk in cold RO water and slowly add to main in area of high flow and no close inhabitants.> I have about 30 - 40 lbs of live rock in the tank, and I'd like to start growing coralline algae.  I have a little on the rocks as is, and I'd like to increase it. I am using Seachem's "Reef Kalkwasser" and Kent's Marine buffer. <All fine, I like the Seachem buffer for the dosing directions lacking on the Kent product. As above perhaps add Seachem Reef Calcium to raise calcium.> The buffer I add to my reverse osmosis top-off water, because I find that the r/o water's alkalinity is quite on the "acidic" side.  I add buffer to 5 gallons of r/o water, then let it sit for 24 hrs.  I plan on getting a Rubbermaid garbage can and fill it with about 25 gallons of r-o water and buffer to use as top-off water to dose Kalkwasser with.  Is that a decent idea?   <NO! Mix Kalk in RO water w/o buffer. You will need to dose buffer/carbonates separately from Kalk. Test at least every two weeks (calcium, alk, magnesium with Kalk use).> I also plan on getting another Rubbermaid garbage can to put r/o water and salt mix (with power head and air stone to circulate water) to use for water changes. Can this water sit in the garbage cans for several weeks at a time with no ill effects?  I remember Bob Fenner stating you can store salt water mix "indefinitely". <Yes, covered it will be fine, do test SG and pH before use. This water should be mixed then tested and buffer or other supplements  added as needed after mixing salt.> I'm just tired of constantly filling up 5 gallon containers of r/o water at a time and I'd like to be able to store more of it in larger containers so I'd have less work to do. <Absolutely, the Rubbermaid containers are 35 and 45 gallons, a couple of the 35's would be great!> Ok.. sorry this is so long... <No problem!> Considering that my tank is a mere 55 gallons (35-40 of which is actually water)... I'd say I evaporate maybe 1/2 a gallon a day.. maybe a tiny bit more.  I know because I used to have to add about 5 gallons top-off every 10 days or so (I know it's not good to let water get that low, then add 5 gallons all at once...am learning that water needs to be added daily or every two days to maintain balance, and less of a shock to inhabitants, etc).  I don't have any "automatic" top off system or anything, and on a 55 gallon tank, I figure I can just add a 1/2 gallon of water a day.. no big deal.  Should the 1/2 gallon a day top-off water be the Kalkwasser mix? <This would be the ideal. Perhaps just order the Kent hose and hook up your own container? The replacement hose kit is around $12. Then you could mix a half gallon and drip that open ended at night while you snooze, OR use Anthony's slurry method, and dose it with a measuring cup with whatever amount raises your pH only .02.> The directions on Seachem's Kalk says to add 1 teaspoon to a gallon of water and mix to dissolve it. Then it says:  "if using PURE WATER, a fully saturated solution is prepared by adding 2 teaspoons to a gallon of water.  Drip this solution into the tank" <Pure water, meaning RO water. Use 2 tsp per gallon, mix it by swirling or powerhead, no airstone or aeration. These directions are for dripping Kalk, not slurry.> I find the above thoroughly confusing.  What is "PURE water" in comparison to r/o water I am using? <Same.> The "fully saturated" solution differs from the regular "dissolved solution" how?  Am I to simply toss 1 teaspoon of Kalk into a gallon container with water.. shake it up.. wait 24 hrs for it to separate...siphon the clear fluid up top and then dose that? <Two tsp, shake up, let settle, take clear portion between crusty surface and powdery precipitate on bottom, drip this @ 1 drop per second at nigh/early AM.> I read on the WWM forum to start out safe by adding 1/4 teaspoon per gallon of r/o water, so what I did was fill up a gallon of r/o water.. tossed in 1/4 teaspoon of Kalk, then shook the gallon up real fast to dissolve the Kalk.  Nothing turned white...water was still clear I suppose because not much calcium was added to the water.  I guess this isn't considered "super saturated" at this point.  They say to only use the clearest part of the Kalk solution (the top part). But in my solution, it's all clear. Now that I have a gallon of this Kalkwasser mixed up, do I pour 1/4 of it into the tank every 6 or so hours throughout the day and night?  I'm home a lot because I work from my home, so for now this wont be a problem to dose this way.  Or can I pour half a gallon in the morning before the main lights come on, then another half a gallon when the lights go off at night? Remember.. I have a 24/7 lit refugium so not certain if night time dosing really matters, other than to space out the time between adding Kalk to keep pH relatively stable and not spike over .2 ppm at a time. <Ummm, yes?  No, really, dose either as a slurry, ignoring all the direction gibberish, or drip it as is the usual dosing regime, and follow the printed directions. Stop confusing yourself, all you need to do is supplement up to needed levels, then add either slurry or drip dosing to maintain calcium at 400.  with the slurry you can break it up throughout the day if it fits your schedule. Dripping can be good too as it takes care of evap as well. The Kalk you have is very weak and won't have a huge impact, you will likely need more per gallon to maintain calcium. Nothing replaces tests or meters here.> Good LORD this email is far too long.  Please share with me what you can. Regards, Steve <No worries, Steve, pick whatever works for you and go for it.  Craig>

Kalkwasser recommendations Thanks for the info Anthony!! <our pleasure Jeremy> I'd like to take your suggestion and use Kalkwasser to raise Calcium and precipitate Phosphates. I like the idea of auto-dosing this in makeup water but the designs I have seen for this are not practical for the space/location of my tank. Do you have a suggestion on how to dose or add Kalk in a tank where makeup water is added in .5 gal increments and there isn't a sump? <yep... its very easy and fast. A Kalk slurry. The procedure is described in the FAQ archives on calcium/Kalkwasser, and in several large threads on Reefcentral.com, and in my last book (pp 185-186)> Approx. what rate should I be adding Kalk for a 20 gal? <all calcium should be added at the rate dictated by the daily demand (the Ca loss as tested by  you)> As to the food - Are there non-gelatin based foods commercially available that may be better for my style of tank? <most whole prey foods are simply packed in water... just feed a variety like Mysis, Pacifica Plankton, minced krill, etc> I am not getting several cups of skimmate from my skimmer every week. I get about 1/4 - 3/4 cup per week. <wow... dreadfully poor. 3 cups per week should be a gross minimum> I have tried adjusting the cup up and down but have not been able to increase production. Experience/suggestions/time to call the manufacturer?? <clean your venturi monthly... make sure water is being pumped from as close top the surface as possible (anything less than an inch is a waste of time) etc> Finally, Re: bubbles/macro algae - This is an upstream refugium. Water is pumped out of the tank using an overflow box and the powerhead for the skimmer. Water leaves the skimmer and enters refugium. <and does this water have bubbles in it? If so, simply pass it over a cup of bioballs to act as a baffle. Many DIY designs on the 'Net for this> My problem is in the return of the water to the tank from the refugium. Here is a crude drawing:

                                |            |
                     +----------+            |
                     |         | |~~~~~~~~~~~|<- Water Level
                     |   +------+            |
  |                  +   ||     |            |
  |                  +---+|     |            |
  |~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~|     |            |
  |                       |     |            |
  | Main Tank             |     |            |
  |                       |     |Refugium    |
  |                       |     |            |
  |                       |     |            |
  |                       |     |            |
  |                       |     |            |
  |                       |     +            +
  |                       |     |            |
  |                       |     +------------+
  |                       |
  |                       |
  |                       |

There is a bulkhead and an elbow leaving the refugium. Bubbles occur because the water falls from the elbow into the tank below. <drill a hole at the top of the elbow and stick a stem of rigid airline tubing in it (1/4") to vent the air> I have tried putting a piece of hose onto the end of the elbow shown so that it is below the surface level of the water in the main tank. I still get bubbles because air is allowed to enter through the bulkhead. I have tried attaching another elbow on the inside of the refugium to keep air from entering the bulkhead. <see... there's where you've lost me <G>. The bubbles are in the refugium before (?) exiting the bulkheads? Seems so... and as such are not caused by the crashing return (typically weak and not pressurized to produce irritating bubbles anyway)> This does not completely eliminate the bubbles. I have even gone as far as putting an elbow and a hose on either side of the bulkhead but this causes a siphon and drains too much water out of the refugium if I turn off the skimmer. Help!! :) Regards, Jeremy <a baffle on the inflow to the 'fuge and a vent on the top of the outflow drain. Best regards, Anthony>

The benefits of Kalkwasser 2/10/03 I have been reading much on your website about this topic but did have some questions concerning 2 Kent products. The first is "Kent Marine Liquid Reactor" I was told that this is a good one step system for maintaining a good calcium/alk balance and that it contains no Chloride, are you familiar with this product? The other is Kent "TECH CB". I would like to use Kalkwasser but would like to know if  these are as effective. Thanks <one of the very few benefits that modern liquid calcium products can claim over calcium hydroxide (Kalkwasser) is that they can be dosed faster/heavier without impacting pH. Yet this is not wholly a benefit unless your tank is huge, mature and has an extraordinary demand for calcium (remarkable growth of many calcifying organisms at once). If this is not your circumstance, then you will be losing the many other benefits that Kalkwasser has over the others. Its' caustic nature is actually a huge benefit to alkalinity in indirect support by tempering organic acids that naturally occur. In many systems, little or no buffer is even needed with Kalkwasser (test to confirm... read more by Dr. R.H. Farley). Kalk also precipitates phosphates in the aquarium (sequesters them harmlessly), and enhances protein skimming (saponification). It also literally supports pH beyond boosting calcium. In short... no other means of dosing calcium has all these benefits (including a reactor). Even the arguments about tedious dosing are bunk. See information abroad about slurry dosing including my references in the archives (and in my book). Used properly... I can't see the disadvantage with using Kalkwasser and I strongly encourage it. Best regards, Anthony>

Dosing Kalkwasser I love your web site.<Thanks!>  I have been using your site for three months and I find it to be the most informative site ever.< I agree!!>  I have a 125 gal. tank with a skimmer, might I add.<Very good!!!!>  My question is this:  Is it better to drip dose Kalk in the tank or sump?  I have been dosing Kalk in my sump for 1 year. The growth of purple coralline is so slow that it is only covering about 5% of live rock.  I am worried that dosing in my sump will cause my main pump to fail sooner.  When testing water everything is in the acceptable range.  Your knowledge would be most helpful.<I use Kalk in my 29 gallon "mini-reef".  I've always dripped into the main tank w/o any problems.  For more coralline make sure you have good levels of trace elements.  Hope this helps!  Phil>  

Dosing Kalkwasser I love your web site, although I couldn't get your search to work. My tank is a 125 gal with skimmer, might I add.  I took a five gal water container and made a Kalk doser out of it.  My question is this:  Is it better to dose Kalk in the sump or the tank?  I have been  dosing in my sump for a year and still struggling to produce purple coralline algae.  I am worried that dosing in the sump cause my pump to fail sooner. <Dose into the main for more efficient precipitation of phosphates. Test and maintain alk and magnesium as well. After a year coralline should almost be a pest!  Hope this gets it going!  Craig>  

Kalk Slurry dosing Morning Crew. I have looked high and low in the FAQs for details on how to use Anthony's Kalk Slurry but can't seem  to find instructions. Please guide me . Thanks so much, Mark <no worries... its a big site. The synopsis of the application is toward the top of this page: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/kalkh2ofaqs.htm and an excerpt from my book in the body of another query near the top of this page: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/kalkh20faq2.htm with kind regards, Anthony>

Kalk Question I have 40g, FOWLR, skimmer, whisper hang on. My LR is fairly new (about a month - fish only before) and I wanted to boost the calcareous algae and thought Kalk would be the best way to go to raise calcium (as well as give my ph a little lift and help with skimming). <actually... stable (moderate even) levels are more important for calcification than high (spikes)> I purchased calcium and alk tests recently and tested for the first time. Ca = 350, alk = 14 dKH, ph = 8.2 (of course ph not tested for the first time but relevant here). The high alk concerns me. <agreed... simply do water changes to dilute it and resume using Kalkwasser> My guess is that it is high from the biweekly addition of buffer I add with my water changes. <OK> I am proud to say that I made a pretty nice DIY drip doser for the Kalk and after reading through your site I will dose VERY carefully and start VERY small with frequent testing and adjust accordingly to reach a good balance of calcium without ph jumps. But concerning the high alk - is it safe to start my Kalk dosing with the alk this high, or should I wait till it drops a bit (through water change without buffer) before I administer. <neither... "Dilution is the solution to pollution"> My initial thought was that this wouldn't be a problem (maybe even a good starting point) since the Kalk would deplete it naturally anyhow and I could get my calcium up to 400, ph up to 8.3-.4, and alk down a bit closer to the 10-12 mark, but I do not want a "snow storm."  After reading the facts, it seems the people with really high calcium levels (500 or so) have been the ones that got the "snow storm" warning replies. <correct> I have read through the site and I think I understand why this happens - Mr. Calfo's marble analogy is good, <thank kindly> but what levels of calcium and alk "over flow the jar" so to say, i.e. cause precipitate to fall out of solution.  <its not a level so much as having "enough" at a time when there is a fast (inappropriate) influx> I would like to boost my calcium up to 400, as this would be sufficient for my needs (no coral).  So back to my question, am I ok to start the Kalk drip as long as I start low or should I get my alk down first (10-12 dKH) so to start with a clean slate?  Thanks for the time <our pleasure. No worries... water changes and then resume smaller and more frequent buffer/Kalk doses. Anthony>

Re: Limewater Hi Bob,      I work in the oilfield and have mixed tons of different chemicals for drilling fluids.  One of which being Lime. <Lime it calcium oxide... not to be used in aquariums>   I am no chemist but am wondering if the lime I use at work is of the same make up of pickling lime. <Pickling lime is calcium hydroxide, aka Kalkwasser to aquarists> I have never seen nor used pickling lime as I am in planning stages of converting my 200 gallon fish only tank to a reef system.  The question may be a ridiculous one but just one that popped into my head when reading up on Kalkwasser.  The lime used is Snow-Brite hydrated Lime if that helps any.  We mix it quite the same. with a stirrer and slowly add it to our systems.  It is used for many different reasons a couple being to raise the ph of the fluid of course and to battle CO2 in the fluid generated by formations of the earth, etc...  Thank you for any info on such a question.  I read here as if I have been in the hobby for years.  Thank you all for the tons of information you post.  Hope to get to meet you at MACNA in Louisville this year.  Thanks <Hydrated lime is also calcium hydroxide. Bob Fenner>

Re: Limewater Thank you Bob for your reply.  So the hydrated lime can be used which is good to know.  I will look into other chemicals that are used in both the hobby and my work.  Sodium Bicarbonate for one. <Yes... all aquarium products are made of "other" sources materials. Sodium bicarbonate is baking soda...> It is always good to get a reply from someone I respect as I do you and your crew.  I live and work in Wyoming and LFS's are few and far between up here.  So any advice is greatly appreciated.  I never thought about it until now, since I never worked offshore, but I bet the words oilfield and reef don't mix too well around the Gulf. Thanks again from a reef friendly Driller. <Actually the Gulf does have some interesting reefs, including the oilrigs. Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

- Kalkwasser and Calcium Reactors - Good morning crew. <Good morning, JasonC here.> I was reading some of the archive files and read the mention of possible problems combining a calcium reactor with dripping of Kalk. This was in regards to such thing as higher ph and loss of magnesium. What are the problems associated with a ph of 8.6 or higher should that occur? <There are a number of problems... the whole system is really that, a system of chemical balance - calcification, denitrification, etc... when any one parameter is either too high or too low, one or more of these processes will either slow down, or speed up. In the case of calcium additions, the danger is that alkalinity and calcium levels will become too high, saturating the tank at which point the calcium will precipitate out of solution until the calcium is consumed. This is often referred to as a 'snow storm'. If you are dosing both, you need to keep a very close watch on your calcium, alkalinity, and pH levels. One can does both - a constant from the reactor and perhaps small weekly doses of Kalkwasser, but to allow the Kalkwasser to drip in at a constant rate like the calcium reactor is an invitation to problems. Just like most things in life - moderation is the key.> As always, I appreciate your help and thanks in advance. <Cheers, J -- >

- Dosing Kalkwasser - <Hi, Jason, JasonC here...> I just purchased some Kent Marine Kalkwasser mix, and I'm not sure about the mixing directions.  It only shows mixing for use w/ dosing equipment as far as I can tell.  I have a 65gal tank w/ no dosing equipment.  so far I've only add 1/8 teaspoon.  Is there an amount per gallon I can put in or what? <This is something you should be running tests for... Kalkwasser is best dosed by mixing in freshwater, allowing that mix to settle overnight, and then adding that mix slowly to the tank in the early morning so that the material settled on the bottom of the mix container stays in the container. How much depends mostly on the buffering capacity of your tank as Kalkwasser typically has a very high pH - something in the range or 12 or so. So... add in small amounts until the pH of the tank goes up a notch [0.1] and then stop adding.> thanks, Jason <Cheers, J -- >

Kalkwasser I have a question regarding mixing / storing Kalkwasser.  I currently use three one gallon plastic milk jugs (with the lids).  One is where I mix one teaspoon of Kent Kalk powder with one gallon of RO water.  The other two are where I store the clear liquid that I siphon out of the mixing jug. <Kalkwasser has tremendous benefits over every other kind of calcium supplementation (including Ca reactors... see archives)... however, dosing by supersaturated solutions is tedious and unreliable (your delivery of Ca is limited by evaporation and not the tanks needs)> Since I am using about three quarts (maybe a bit more) per day, I am continuously mixing / siphoning Kalk.  It is getting somewhat old.   <yep> I have even been looking at DIY Nilsen Reactor plans. <a fine idea and ultimately your best choice for ease of maintenance> I do have one other idea.  I have two clean and empty 200 gallon Instant Ocean buckets (about 6.75 gallon capacity) *with the lids*.  I want to fill one of these with RO water and mix in seven teaspoons of Kalk powder.  After it settles, I would siphon off the clear liquid into the second bucket. Since it will take me about a week to use this quantity of Kalk water up, I would only have to mix and siphon once per week. <Naaa... still tedious and what happens when your tank's demand for Ca exceeds that which evaporation makeup by supersaturated solution can bring in?> My one concern is potency.  What are your thoughts on how good the Kalk water will be towards the end of the week? <weaker for sure> I have a brand new Pinpoint ph Monitor, so I would at least be able to tell if the ph did not go up when adding the Kalk water, which would be a clear sign that it has mixed with atmospheric carbon dioxide. <indeed... the formation of Ca-carbonate is another issue> Thanks in advance for your input.  It is, as always, much appreciated. Sincerely, Mark Schwartz <Mark... there is a better way. Much has been written about it abroad. I described the process of using a "Kalkwasser slurry" in my Book of Coral Propagation. It is in the archives here at wetwebmedia.com as well. There has also been stimulating debate about it on message boards like Reef Central. Do a keyword search and read all about it to see if this is for you. My best advice for low maintenance ultimately is a good calcium reactor. Best regards, Anthony>

Kalkwasser question Hey Craig, How's it going? <Pretty good Jun, Happy New Year!> I got a quick question regarding Kalkwasser. I don't use any supplement in my reef tank except iodine. I still have Cyano problem (maybe cause by phosphates in my tap water source). pH is 8.4 all the time. If I use Kalkwasser (I read that Kalkwasser helps precipitate phosphates) would this increase my ph higher than 8.4 (is that ok?). What's your opinion on using ocean water (marketed) for my water changes? Thanks again. Jun <Are you testing pH in the AM? I'll bet it's a bit depressed then. Dripping Kalk slowly at night shouldn't affect your pH too much (ideally less than .02 variation). If it's a hair low in the AM it will stabilize it. If it's dripped slowly it shouldn't be a problem. I know maintenance pros that use seawater exclusively and their tanks look great. They purchase from the Seattle Aquarium for $.05 per gallon. It's micro-filtered and UV sterilized.  As long as the source is good....the further out in open ocean the better.  Craig>

Dosing Kalkwasser Once again, thank you for all your help in the past. I have been doing much research on the best method of supplementing Ca in my tank and I have decided that I will use a Kalkwasser. I was wondering if you recommend using the Kent Kalkwasser Mix which uses basically Calcium Hydroxide (no glucose bases) and the Kent Superbuffer-dKH as an Alk buffer. This uses basically carbonate/bicarbonate. <As long as the products you are using are of sufficient purity, you should be fine> I thought this would provide a good supply of minerals to buffer the pH. I use Instant Ocean salt, so I believe that I would have a sufficient level of Magnesium present in the tank. And Finally, I was wondering how exactly to set up a drip system for the Kalkwasser. I have combed through your web site trying to find it but cannot. How steady is the drip. Does it run all day and night? If you can answer this or give me a link, that would be excellent. Thank you so much. Yorgos Gregory <Ya know what, Yorgos? I think a better way than dripping Kalkwasser would be to use the method that Anthony discusses in his book: Determine the appropriate amount of Kalkwasser that you system requires (which can be determined by monitoring pH, and increasing the "dosage" in increments that raise the pH no more than two tenths of a point), and does all of the Kalkwasser that your system requires in a single "shot" once a day. Anthony advises that the appropriate amount of Kalkwasser simply needs to be mixed in a cup of cold purified water prior to use. Do get a copy of Anthony's "Book of Coral Propagation" for a much, much better description of the process than I outlined here. It really does work- I use this system myself, and it's so much easier than a potentially unreliable drip technique. Remember, you have to test whenever using any kind of additives. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

How to use Kalkwasser? Hi there again ..Hope all are fine and cheers anyways. <Greetings from Las Vegas! Things are great here...Sunny and cool!> I have just bought Kalkwasser 2 days ago and I haven't used it. my problem is I can't really understand how to use it. Can you help me? <YES!> A simple way to use it...? Thanks a lot! What a good website you all have. <Thanks for the kind words. There is a relatively easy way to dose Kalk. Check out the homepage at wetwebmedia.com. There is a menu in the bottom right corner of the screen that states "New Articles." Click there and read the article about calcium and alkalinity penned by Anthony Calfo. The method that he describes is the slurry method. I think this will solve your problem. David Dowless> 

Kalkwasser = concrete. Misdosed yes! Gentlemen, Here is my dilemma.  I mix Kalk at 1 tsp. to one gallon of RO water. I drip it in at night with a Kent Aquadoser (1400 ml --about 3/8 of a gallon). This was not supplying enough calcium.    <exactly... the slurry method addresses that while keeping the many benefits of Kalkwasser over other supplements> I was losing about 8ppm per day. <not bad> I started adding 16 oz (1/8 of a gallon) of this same Kalk solution one hour after lights out (lights out is 6:30 pm) directly to the sump.   <Hmmm... better to dose in a strong stream topside for calcification (Wilkens)> Two hours after that I start my drip.  So now my total daily Kalk addition is 1/2 gallon per day from the 1 tsp. per gallon mix. (Background)  When I first began using Kalk, I did not drip.  I simply poured 12-16 ounces into the sump once per hour over a 4-5 hour period.  Aside from being hideously inconvenient, my substrate (aragonite) turned to concrete. <very simple... too much or too fast> I saw and purchased Dr. Bob Goeman's pamphlet on Salt Water, and he describes exactly the same problem / danger with using Kalk. <Ughh... more mis-information. Kalk is no more dangerous than iodine or fish food when dosed properly. All can wipe out a tank if misapplied. There is no mystery here. The crystalline precip ("cementing" of carbonate sand) was simply from spiking the pH too fast. You were dosing slow enough, but perhaps the concentration in the slurry was too rich. It is a simple matter of too much or too fast> Immediately after reading this, I purchased the Kent unit.  That was 10 weeks ago.  For the first 8 weeks, all was well.  No concrete - but, I was not supplying enough calcium to the system.  Two weeks ago I added the 16 ounce addition in conjunction with the nightly 1400 ml drip. My substrate is turning into concrete again.   <hmmm... there may be some issues with lack of strong water flow (10X hour for non reef, 20X hour for reef tanks). You might also have an inappropriate sand depth (under 3"). Otherwise, I'll venture a guess that you have CaribSea brand sand. Perhaps their medium grade. Notoriously conducive to clumping> I have also read Anthony's book, and I have gone over the 'slurry' method, but I do not see how this won't cause the same problem. <it will not by measure (limitation) of the pH with testing. If you don't add any more Kalk in a slurry than exceeds your daily demand And does not spike pH more than 2 tenths of a point... you will not get clumping (unless you have some seriously slow flow areas in the tank)> I was using Seachem Reef Advantage Calcium and mixing up a 3 tsp. dose (in my system, this adds about 19 ppm Ca) twice per week to make up for what I was losing, but I am trying to do away with this. <agreed... ASAP. Chloride accumulation> My general question is:  How do I add Kalk using a non-drip methodology that does not turn my substrate into concrete? <The slurry method will work and have benefits over even calcium reactors (which I love/recommend for many). You need to coordinate your slurry doses with a digital pH meter though. Colorimetric test kits just are too subjective if accurate at all. > I wish to continue dripping, but would like an adjunct method using Kalk so that I can do away with Calcium Chloride based products. <Kalkwasser alone will work. More fine reading on ReefCentral in threads by noted chemist Randy-Holmes Farley. Do a keyword search and browse for more info there if you like> Stats: Ammonia:     0 Nitrite:     0 Nitrate:     0 ph: 8.4/8.2  (In the summer, there was much on this site regarding depressed ph when a house is closed up and the AC is on.  I had 8.3/8.1. <Oh ya!> When   fall came around and I opened up my windows, my ph became 8.5/8.3. <Amazing isn't it!> <It is now 21 degrees outside, so the house is closed up and the heat is on.  I am at 8.4/8.2, but only since I began adding in the extra 16 oz. of Kalk. Two weeks ago I was running 8.3/8.1.) <yep... silly airflow and CO2 accumulation <G>. You can boost your pH by pumping air in to the sump or skimmer from an airpump placed in the garage or outside (weather proof pond air pump). This will raise pH slightly> dKH:         9 Mg:       1290 Temp:       81 Ca:        400     <==  Easy to keep using Seachem Reef Advantage Calcium as an adjunct to my 1400 ml Kalk drip, but a problem since trying to use all Kalk; the problem being concrete for substrate. Sincerely, Mark Schwartz <best regards, my friend. Anthony>

Kalkwasser Slurry Method Hello everyone! <cheers> Could you please be so kind as to lead me to the link that describes the "Slurry Method"? I have put this search into the Google bar at your site, but so far all I have found is people using this method, but no one explaining what it is. I have just ordered some Kalkwasser, (this is my first time using it, but the consensus out in the www seems to think it's the best for controlling Calcium/Alkalinity). I definitely need help in this direction, for my ph is always way too low. My calcium was at 300 however, is this very low? <300ppm is on the low end but not a problem per se. If your Alkalinity is high (over 10dKH) and both Ca and ALK are consistent then I would say your tank is normal/stable.> Thanks, my educated friends! Pamela <I have simply copied the excerpt on this method from my Book of Coral Propagation for you. Best regards, Anthony Calfo: "My recommendation for dosing calcium hydroxide is incredibly simple and effective. The purpose of the traditional/tedious and drawn out process of dosing Kalkwasser via supersaturated solutions is to temper the impact on pH that calcium hydroxide can have on the system. Fluctuations of less than two tenths of a point are generally regarded as acceptable (a change of 8.2 to 8.4, for example). It is not uncommon for aquarists to observe fluctuations greater than this within a twenty-four our period due to biological processes (and without calcium supplements). And so, it is my advice to aquarists who responsibly test for the additives they use, to dose calcium hydroxide in increments (whisked briefly in a cup of cold purified water) that do not raise the ph of a system by more than two tenths of a point. The portion will begin conservatively small (starting with 1/16th of a teaspoon per one hundred gallons of system water) and increase until the pH climbs two tenths of a point or the tested amount satisfies the daily demand for calcium in that portion, whichever comes first. A digital pH monitor makes very short work of this process and is highly recommended with this style of dosing calcium. Most systems less than three years old and under two hundred gallons in capacity can have their daily demand for calcium satisfied in a single shot of slurried Kalkwasser after the sun goes down: a one minute procedure after the parameters have been set. To maximize phosphate fallout and calcium uptake, it has been observed that Kalkwasser additions are more effective if they can be safely dosed into the main display rather than the sump (into a strong stream of water). This method of calcium supplementation should appeal to aquarists and coral farmers who cannot afford or choose not to invest in calcium reactors. I do not even believe that calcium reactors are necessarily better, although they are excellent and consistent vehicles for calcium and alkalinity maintenance." >

Calcium, Magnesium & Alkalinity W/O Sump Sorry to bother you all again, <no bother at all, my friend. Welcome back :) > I am trying to stabilize my water quality before I add anything to my reef tank besides snails and live rock & Sand.   <excellent> My levels and set up are as follows: DSB 100 lbs Live Rock Protein Skimmer PH 8.2 DKH 10.4           Magnesium 1050 Salinity 1.022 Temp 78 Calcium 320 Nitrates, Ammonia, Nitrite 0 Phosphates 0 <Ca and Mg are in balance 1:3, and Alk is nicely high> I have been dosing liquid calcium (7 days at maximum dosage w/o an increase, tested with two different Salifert kits) trying to get calcium up above 350, so that I can then maintain it at this level using ESV 2 part.   <Hmmm... Kalkwasser or water changes with Reef Crystals might be much better here than liquid calcium.> W/O a sump I can not use Kalkwasser, <nope... you're mistaken my friend. You don't need a sump for Kalkwasser for any reason (super solution or slurry/dry application). Kalk has so many more benefits than Ca Chloride and few if any disadvantages. Simply add it slowly to a strong stream of water in the top display and never more than will raise the pH by .2 (add at night). You can use the mfg drip method or my slurry method (described here in the WWM archived FAQs or in my Book of Coral Propagation)> any ideas of how to bring up the Calcium w/o a reactor.  Also can I use baking soda to increase the PH to 8.4-8.6 as Anthony suggests.   <alas no... baking soda will not get you above 8.3, but Kalkwasser will> I have only been using the liquid calcium for a short time so I presume that the liquid calcium is not interacting with the PH.   <agreed... it takes at least 4-6 months to impact pH or Alk negatively with liquid calcium use> I change 10% of the water every week.   <pretty good> With the magnesium where it is should I start supplementing to keep levels around 1200, and if so what would you suggest. <indeed... it would be nice to get 400 Cam 1200 MG and Alk can then drop to 8-10 dKH> Thanks again for your time, I will be ordering your new book next and look forward to receiving it. James <thanks kindly, my friend... best regards! Anthony>

Kalk and  calcium reactor combo? OK! Bob, I am currently running a 500 gallon reef tank with mostly SPS.  Due to some algae outbreak I have recently added Kalk through a night drip method. <OK... I agree with the night dosing of Kalk... but wonder why the direct correlation with algae outbreak and lack of it? Ultimately I agree that it may help as high pH and the precip of Calcium phosphate by Kalk is indirectly helpful... but a nuisance algae outbreak requires address of the nutrients causing it (need for better nutrient export: cleaner source water, better skimming/daily, etc)> It seems as if some of the coralline has recently turned white. <the coralline bleaching can be caused by many things... change in light from new lamps or a sudden use of carbon, water change, exposure to light in air (water change left algae high and dry under baking lights), skewed Ca/ALK dynamic (one high one low)> Is this combo a long term problem in the works. <not at all... Daniel Knop himself has suggested that Kalk can compliment a Knop reactor. I agree... but Bob doesn't think it is necessary. The advantage of using Kalk with the reactor is that Kalk will indirectly support alkalinity while providing calcium. The reactor is mainly boosting ALK and with the redundancy of both the system is likely to be more stable if you test and tweak regularly/as necessary. Again, I see no problem. Kalk has advantages over reactors too... besides saponification (enhancing protein skimming)... Kalkwasser is self-cleansing: almost all impurities in Kalk prec.. out in the high pH solution (like copper and other metals)... however, the media in a calcium reactor simply dissolves and bleeds those impurities into your system. Hence, a bad media for the reactor can contribute to a nuisance algae bloom.> Would appreciate any thoughts on the matter.  Thanks  Terry   Using a Knop reactor at all times and night drip of Kalk. <I use a Knop reactor myself. Love it. Best regards, Anthony Calfo>

Re: Kalkwasser and buffered RO/DI water Hello, I'm hoping to be able to travel and dive the reefs as much as y'all do someday but until then I'll keep searching your brains for info. <Hi Jeff, go for it, although it could be a long search...> I searched your site for the feeding of Sun coral polyps but can't say as I found what I am looking for though. When you say to feed them with finely shredded krill or Mysid or other types of fare, how finely shredded exactly do you mean?  <It means finely shredded *krill*, *and* Mysid shrimp. Does that read better? You shred the krill. The Mysids are can be blended slightly, but they are already much smaller than krill.> Does this mean chopping the already minute Mysid (which is what I'll be trying to use) in a stick type blender until you can't discern the liquid from the shrimp or do you mean to actually shred by hand or cut with a knife or similar into much smaller pieces? I tried pur?ing a mixture of Tetra flake food mixed with Reef Plus by Seachem with my stick blender and then squirting gently at the open polyps but I think the mixture may be too fine to do any good. It comes out the consistency of water with no noticeable chunks for the polyps to grab hold of. I also tried this with frozen Mysis shrimp but think again the mixture is too fine to do the polyps any good. I just acquired three pieces of the Sun coral and want to do what I can to make sure they get fed well. <Some corals will like that fine watery food and others with more substance, you will get a little of both with judicious blending.> Also, I think someone wrote in last week about their pH jumping up about .2 when they add Marine buffer but it then falls right back down by as much within a few hours. I lost your answer to that question as to what may be going on but can't find it again. I am having the same problem and don't know what to do to get my pH up and keep it up. <Test carbonate/alkalinity, calcium and magnesium. Low carbonates/alkalinity can allow pH to drop as can low magnesium. High calcium could depress alkalinity and thus pH. You need to test your parameters.>  I have drilled a hole through my window and run air line to a CAP 1200 in my 60 gallon acrylic tank I use as a sump and also the same air line is going to my venturi for my protein skimmer trying to stay away from any CO2 that may be in the house and trying to aerate the tank as much as I can. Should I add another air line to another powerhead in the sump? How much magnesium and strontium is too much to keep the pH in check or can you put too much in? How fast does it deplete in a system? Please, any info would be appreciated. Thanks again, Jeff <Do not add supplements indiscriminately, test for each and add only the recommended dose to raise them to the desired level. My bet is it has nothing to do with how tight your house is and CO2, except at night when pH drops in most tanks. Look at the WetWebMedia sponsors, they have the correct test kits. Craig>

Kalk, dosing Hi Bob! <Steven Pro in this morning.> Can you give me some ideas about Kalkwasser dosage and mixing? <Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/kalkh2ofaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/kalkh20faq2.htm> Also, can you use normal calcium hydroxide or does it have to be aquarium grade. Cheers! <There are a good number of fellow hobbyists that use pickling lime from the grocery store that is calcium hydroxide or calcium oxide (both can work), but I am concerned with introducing impurities. Aquarium brands Kalkwasser are so cheap, I chose not to risk it. Incidentally, I just heard from an internet acquaintance about his use of the pickling lime stuff left behind more residue that was grey versus using an aquarium brand of Kalkwasser leaving behind considerably less that was white in color. You can see the thread here http://www.thesea.org/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=979 -Steven Pro>

Re: Kalkwasser & Wavemaker Hi Anthony, Just checked my magnesium and it is at 1375 ppm so it seems to be fine.  <agreed> I dose in the AM around 8 or 9:00 AM, and my lights only come on around 1:00PM so It's about 4 hours before.  <too early likely but not the problem here. It spikes the pH just before the lights come on and the pH rises even further from symbiotic activity. This can contribute to greater differences between pH readings peak day/deep night> I'll try at night, but my lights are on until 10:00 PM and I usually get lazy at this time. Readings today DKH 11, new Salifert calcium test 250! yikes. Old Hagen Calcium 300. So it has dropped in the last few days as I have stopped dosing to see how fast the calcium dropped. It seems my tank uses huge amounts of calcium. I have excellent Coralline algae growth over the 200lbs plus live rock, and the entire back and one side is covered. Every few weeks I have to scrap the corners to get rid of new growth. Does this seem normal that I am having trouble keeping up with the demand, or is something else going on.  <not likely normal... but aren't calcium reactors wonderful <G>?> I'll re-start the slurries tonight. BTW time is about 4:30 PM, and PH is a little low at 8.15 for this time of day, ORP is at 350. Thanks Larry <best regards, my friend. Anthony>

Kalkwasser & Wavemaker Hi Anthony, I hope your doing well.  <with hopes that you are the same, my friend> I'm on a weeks vacation, so as usual I am fiddling with my tanks. I have two questions. (1) I still can't seem to get your Kalk slurry correct. (read your book instructions twice) On my 125 with 35G sump, If I use B-Ionic, I can keep my calcium in the 340-360 range at a DKH of 10 or 11.  <actually... that just about perfect if you choose to have the higher dKH (12 dKH max). Else, let your dKH fall towards 8-9 and let Ca climb to 400-425 ppm. It makes little difference either way. All is good if both are consistent and stable> However If I want to use Kalk and Seachem buffer, I can't seem to change the Calcium at all, it just keeps dropping until I go back to B-Ionic.  <have you checked to see that your magnesium isn't too low? It needs to be at least 1000ppm. Better perhaps around 1200ppm or a whisker higher. If you have low Magnesium... your not going to get high Ca. Mag should be about 3X Ca levels> Every day, in the AM I stir maybe 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon in 1 or 2 cups cold R/O water for about 20 seconds and add it to the sump. My PH goes up a little usually about 0.1, but the calcium doesn't seem to make it into solution, I don't see any precipitation) and if I measure a few hours later there seems to be no effect. Any ideas what I'm doing wrong. <hmmm... the AM is dangerous in the big picture for dosing unless your lights don't come on for 7-10 later. Kalk is always to be dosed at night right after lights go out> (2) I want to add current to my tanks starting with the 125. I looked at a wavemaker from red sea, but am leaning towards the Ocean currents Oscillator. My feeling is that I could put two oscillator into the tank attached to power heads. What do you think? <I think that all wavemakers are a complete waste of money. They wear pumps down and starve thanks to flow when pumps are staggered. Its best to run all pumps full time in convergence to produce random turbulent flow> Thanks Larry P.S. someone who owns a store close by and I believe to be very knowledgeable says he prefers to drip Kalk. He thinks the sudden increase in PH, or more accurately the sudden localized PH increase has a detrimental effect on the fish.  <dosed in a strong stream of water it is no worse many other aspects of husbandry. Serves the greater good for many> He thinks the Slurry you refer to is mainly for reef only systems or corals farmers.  <I think he must be a man that has never tried it before with a simple pH meter... OR... he has the patience of a saint for dripping and a tank with modest calcium needs (fish only). I also suspect that has never had a system that needs more calcium than a saturated drip can provide> I don't agree, and dripping is a big pain in the a%&. <yep :) Best regards, Anthony>

Kalkwasser and buffered RO/DI water In your well experienced and educated opinions would it be OK to use my RO/DI water in my trash can that I have buffered to 8.4 to make up my daily dose of Kalkwasser slurry that I add at night to raise my pH? <I would be concerned that the buffering compounds may react with and precipitate out the calcium from the Kalkwasser.> Or would it be best to use non-buffered straight RO/DI water for the slurry? <That is what I use, aerated though to remove the carbon dioxide which definitely reacts with Kalkwasser.> I don't want to have to empty my buffered water and start with new but if I must I guess that's what will have to be done. <I would use it for a water change. It never hurts and you might as well use the water.> By the way my clam is still burping well! <Is this a spawning event? Do take pictures if you can.> Thanks, Jeff <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Kalk question Hey guys, I got a Kalk question for ya. I've been dosing Kalkwasser in my 38 gallon reef daily or every other day. I will shortly have my 90 gallon ready for these corals new home. I would like to know if you have to make fresh Kalkwasser every night to drip into the tank, or can you make a big batch (lets say 5gallon bucket of Kalk) and use that over 5 days to a week? <You are far less likely to have the Kalkwasser precipitate out of solution when making smaller batches more frequently.> Will the Kalkwasser loose some of its properties that way as opposed to making it fresh every night? <It can react with atmospheric carbon dioxide and form calcium carbonate precipitate.> Also if I do it the 5 gallon way would I want to stick with the same amount of Kalkwasser as I would use on a daily basis times 5? <Only regular and routine monitoring of calcium and alkalinity levels can tell you that.> Thanks a lot. <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Kalkwasser Greetings WWM crew, Sorry to bother you again. This time I have a question about dosing Kalkwasser. I know this might be an ambiguous question (too many parameters), but how quickly will Kalkwasser raise calcium and pH levels? <You were right, an ambiguous question.> Ballpark figures are ok and necessary in this situation. If it helps I use Kent Kalkwasser, with 2 teaspoons per gallon (maximum dosage), I drip a half gallon of this solution into my tank at night (30 gallon tank with 10 gallon sump) to replace evaporated water. I started dosing last Saturday, 3 days ago. I used Kent SuperBuffer to raise my alkalinity, which is 11 dKH currently, pH around 8.2. I've been dosing everyday (3 days so far) and testing calcium levels. <Good> The calcium level has been less than 350 ppm everyday (minimum level test kit will give). Does it typically take a while to raise calcium and pH? <It will not happen overnight.> I know that I'm impatient like most people and expect instant results. I don't want to test for calcium everyday (mainly because the test kit only has 25 tests, Red Sea), but I don't want my calcium to skyrocket without me knowing either (snowstorms sound nasty and it isn't even December). How often should calcium levels be tested (daily, weekly)? <Once you determine your system's demand and attain the appropriate levels, testing once per month should ensure you are not getting too far off target.> I'm also trying to raise my pH, but I don't know how long this will take dosing Kalk? <Varies with the system> Thank you for your time and knowledge, Jeremy <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Re: Cloudy Water? It was my impression that a "snowstorm" was a fast event, producing large particles and looking like snowflakes in the water settling on everything?  <exactly... my fault. I re-read the first post and see you stated this is a three month event. Agreed> I've shut off my KALK drip until I can get back this afternoon and do a remix. <Hmm... you aren't dosing during the day with Kalk... only at night, right? After the lights go out only> I have two 45 gallon containers that sit in a closet with the RO/DI unit over them. I produce water as needed but most of it has been sitting there for a week or more. No agitation to speak of though. Should I change this? <absolutely... the water is rich in carbonic acid and needs aerated to drive it off. It is a burden to your buffers in the system and will burden pH too. Test the pH before aeration and test after and you'll see the difference. Best regards, Anthony>

Re: Cloudy Water? (Mmm, water qual., Kalk, calcium, circ...) Robert, <still Anthony Calfo here... Bob has yet to return from Indonesia> It is my understanding the reason you drip Kalk at night is because of the ph differential between day and night.  <essentially yes... it tempers the night drop in pH from respiration> I purchased a Ph meter last week,  <an excellent investment!> calibrated it and found that my Ph was around 7.98 to 8.00 (early lights on) I buffered and dripped Kalk until it read 8.20(don't worry over about a day).  <good... but no higher than .2 per day> That has been about 5 days or so and the ph has not varied more than 0.05 (day or night ( I don't sleep much)). Since my Calcium has never been what I consider high (300 to 350) I've been dosing pretty steady to try to get it up to 400 and as you mentioned earlier might be the reason behind some of the cloudy water! I'm so confused. LOL <heehee... yes, the whole Ca/Alk dynamic can be frustrating!> My new protein skimmer has been delayed and won't be here till Friday so I'm thinking about washing out the air stone on the little Berlin and see if I can get it to work until then. <agreed> Good news is I found my bubble problem. I had a network of valves etc off my pump (both on the pressure and suction sides), which facilitated in my water changes (was pretty cool) and replaced with plastic hose. All bubbles gone!!  <awesome!> I might try replacing the pressure side valve assembly so that I might pump water from the sump to the tub for my water changes! That came in real handy. This might sound really basic but when you say "aerated" are you talking about placing a air stone in my water storage or a power head to just move the water around? <simply air bubbles my friend from an air pump. If a water pump is used instead it should be placed on the bottom of the vessel and pointed up at the surface to facilitate gas exchange> I would like to say thanks again for all the help you are providing, it is not going un-noticed. Best Regards, David <it is very redeeming to hear... thank you :) Anthony>

Kalkwasser question hey there again, wondering if you could turn me on to one of the Kati-Ani units brand and where to get one),  <I have always liked using "Kati Ani" brand (German)... have bought three units of incremental sizes. Several MO shops carry the, like Custom Aquatic. Simply do a keyword search on the Internet and shop for the price/service that appeals to you> also fill me in how they work etc.  <much in the archives about this my friend... allow me to direct you to the home page for an index search on Google. Type in "Kati Ani" and browse at leisure... of course, the product descriptions on merchant sites will help a bit too. There's not much really to say here... they are great filters that make ultra pure demineralized water and don' t hardly waste a drop.> I also have a Kalkwasser question: right now I have a 39 gal. , if I dose it every day with 1 tablespoon for one gallon what should the drip rate be?  <if you mean a Tablespoon of dry Kalk per gallon of water, this is a waste of Kalk (only a fraction will actually dissolve in water... the rest will precip)> Is that to much Kalk?  <Kalk cannot be dosed in any fashion without you testing your tank for calcium and the subsequent daily drop to know how much Kalk to add. This will require some experimentation on your part> Also when I set up my 90 reef which will be in a couple weeks, what should the drip rate be for that and how much Kalk to how much water should be used? thanks for help. <drip rates will be dangerous in the sense that they may add too much or too little calcium to the tank. Test your Ca levels, then go 3 days without adding any calcium and test again. Divide the reading (drop in Ca) by three and hen you know the daily deficit. Then you can experiment very slowly dosing Kalk in a supersaturated solution to see how much needs to be added daily to match the calculated demand (deficit). Its the only way to supplement calcium safely. Anthony>

Kalk and Alk Hello, and thanks for all of your great advice. I have been able to keep my pH up around the 8.3-8.55 range with the use of Kalkwasser.  <excellent and as it should be> I have a couple of questions for you again. How long can I keep the mixed Kalk in my storage container without it going bad?  <it needs to be sealed and hopefully used within a day or two. Age and air allow the formation of insoluble calcium carbonate (the chalky sheen/skin on the surface)> Will it ever go bad?  <as above... it should be added/mixed fresh daily IMO> I have a powerhead on a timer in the container circulating the Kalk solution that comes on every couple of hours for a 15-30 minute period to keep it mixed.  <a catch-22 situation... the circulation encourages the formation of insoluble carbonates by virtue of exposure to air (mixing in vessel)> Also, I can't get the effluent that comes out of my calcium reactor to come up above the 320-340 range but the alkalinity is off the scale as I believe it should be (20+) and the alk in my tank is remaining at a constant 11- 12 dKH.  <11-12 dKH in the tank is fine bordering on high. Relax, my friend> The pH coming out of the reactor is also holding pretty steady at around 6.35-6.5  <normal> Should I increase the CO2 going to the reactor or should I try another brand of media?  <don't bother... high Ca and med Alk, or high Alk and med Ca is all as it should be. Unnatural and dangerous to try to elevate both concurrently. Your coral will grow fine at these levels> I am now using Calc Gold(?) but I don't know the manufacturer. Any help you could give would be much appreciated. Thanks, Jeff <I'm quite satisfied with Knop reactor media personally. Anthony>

Kalk Dosing I just tested my KH and got about 140~ ppm is this ok? If not how can I fix it? <I don't have a conversion chart handy, my friend. Do consult the instructions with your test kit, learn and grow :). They most always have the conversion factors. 140ppm is medium soft water and not ideal for marine systems. Small amounts of baking soda added gradually over days will help to raise this. Best regards, Anthony>

Kalk Dosing Hello, I'm building a Nilsen reactor for my 20g tank. I was just wondering how much Kalk I put init. <hmm... may have to refer you to the message boards (Reef Central and the like) and DIY pages (nice one at www.ozreef.org). My recollection of handling Nilsen Kalk reactors has cobwebs :)> The reactor will refill the water in my tank at night to keep the ph balanced.  <very fine> Also is dKH the same as Alkalinity?  <dKH is a measure of Alkalinity but Alkalinity can be expressed different ways (Calcium hardness and total hardness are usually tested)> If not how would I measure alkalinity and what are save numbers for alk and dKH?  <aim for 8-12 dKH of general hardness for average maintenance. Fast coral growth may require higher numbers... but not for all> What scale do you measure dKH on? (my test kit does it in ppm).  <hmm...do the conversions for dKH to compare to the popular literature but know that you are looking for several hundred ppm (300-400 likely)> Well thank you for your help. excuse my grammar punctuation spelling etc. I just finished middle school) Jeremy Udkoff <you are doing fine! Keep reading and learning my friend. Best regards, Anthony>

Re: Kalk Dosing The real problem isn't how to build one (solenoid attached to ro which goes to reaction chamber with a power head stirring the mixture every once and a while and a float switch in the tank which opens the solenoid). The problem is with how much Kalk I should use.  <ahhh... no problem at all. Very little in fact is require as very little can actually dissolve to make a supersaturated solution. Depending on temp (this is an odd exothermic compound that dissolves faster in cool water rather than warm), perhaps only a 1/16th of a teaspoon will dissolve per gallon of water. As such, aquarists will use a full tsp or two. Since only X mg are going to dissolve anyway, you might say that the amount of excess is moot. However, one of the benefits of Kalk can become a demerit as residual phosphates get bound in the precipitated reserve. Aquarists that overuse Kalk amounts so that they do not have to add or change the buffering amount may find that they have problems with accumulated phosphate (unless the RO source water was ULTRA pure... and not just a hobbyist grade unit). Point being... more is not better in the reactor. Experiment low and change precip reserve often> Since there is water flow through the chamber with the Kalk there probably isn't a set formula. But I was wondering if there was a formula of some sort. Thanks Again <correct... there is no set formula because solubility fluctuates significantly with reactor water temp and the degree of purity in source water. After all of this, you would really be better suited perhaps to build a Calcium reactor and supplement it manually (infreq..) with Kalk. This way you get carbonates AND calcium dosed for your system. Some Ca reactors need no Kalk supplementation at all in fact (although I like and recommend it). Best regards, Anthony>

Re: Kalk Dosing I think a calcium reactor on a 20g is a little overkill.  <Doh! my apologies... and my oversight. I did not read/realize you had a 20G :) Agreed on sans reactor. Although solenoids and spinner plates to make a Kalk reactor are still over the top in my opinion just the same. For the caustic nature of Kalk and the risk of overdosing this small volume via a maladjustment in metering, my strong advice would be to enjoy the additional benefits to regular water changes beyond mineral replacement including calcium and dose Kalk manually and controlled or not at all. May not even be necessary depending on demand of calcifiers in the tank.> Plus I don't have

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