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Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by ritter678 on Thu 04 Aug 2011, 8:19 pm

Ok, well the test was hard to read because my calcium was low (320). I bought some Kent Liquid Calcium and added a little and the test was immediately easier to read. As of this morning I have it up to 380 and I added some more. I'm slowly raising it back up to about 450. I knew it was low but I thought with the 2 big water changes it would raise back up but it didn't. My alkalinity is slowly falling too so either the kalk isn't keeping up with demand the same as baking soda or everything is growing faster and I need to step it up. I did add several sps recently so I'm bumping up the kalk mixture to 3 tsp. per 5 gallons tonight. I have some sps that are really growing fast and I'm seeing thicker growth rings on my clams too.

Hey Donnie, would you mind doing a test on your Brightwell Kalk mix for magnesium? If it's even possible? I was thinking about getting the same stuff but I read that magnesium and strontium are already in kalkwasser but it's insoluble. It's part of the solution that settles to the bottom. I'm just curious if the Brightwell Kalk is adding any magnesium or if it's just settling out of solution.
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by DonnieP on Thu 04 Aug 2011, 9:02 pm

Gabe
I think in order for kalwasser to work right the calcium and alk need to be at proper levels before starting kalk dosing soooo. Kalk does not raise calcium and alk per say, it just maintains it. As for magnesium and strontium, thats the first I've heard of it being in regular kalkwasser, I need to read up on that. I really don't know how to go about testing magnesium in the kalk mix, being in freshwater and a PH of 12 or so it probably would not check right, not sure on this one. I have not checked the Magnesium on my tank since I started the kalkwasser but the PH is above 8.0 day and night, alk has been 8-10, Calcium runs around 460ppm. I will do a full battery of tests tomorrow and let you know what everything is, I hate testing Magnesium, its a pain. I spent a few days before starting the kalk to get my alk and calcium up to par and its pretty much stayed where I got it to. Gabe I think with the calcium being that low it is what is bringing the alk down with it, do you think?
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by ritter678 on Thu 04 Aug 2011, 9:29 pm

I knew the kalk wouldn't raise it but I thought my levels were ok and they probably were but with the increased demand the weak kalk mixture I have isn't keeping up. I never, ever had to add any calcium before until recently which is odd to me. I only had to dose for alk and do water changes. That's why I was surprised the calcium was so low. I slacked on the testing for a week or two and it dropped like a rock. Calcium and alkalinity I'm sure you know are like a see-saw. Raising one can lower the other so maybe the baking soda made the calcium come down but it didn't for the past 2 years so I don't know. I know for every 1 dkh used only 7ppm calcium is used so I guess water changes were keeping it up until the demand increased.

Here's the link to one of the things I read about the magnesium and strontium in kalk.
http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2003/12/chemistry#section-6

If you search the RC Chemistry forum for the Brightwell Kalk there is some more info.

Fun stuff huh? Very Happy
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by ritter678 on Fri 05 Aug 2011, 11:11 am

Calcium is at 400 this morning and I added another dose so I should be getting back up to target range in a day or two. Alkalinity was at 7.34 this morning. I didn't check the ph. I upped the kalk dosage in the new jug to 3 tsp.
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by DonnieP on Fri 05 Aug 2011, 11:36 am

I did PH, alk, cacium and magnesium tests this morning and I was a little surprised, I may need to up the ammount too. Funny thing is my tests for calcium was lighter this morning than usual, go figure scratch any way here's my results on tests at 9:00 am.
PH-------8.1
Alk-------7-8 DKH
Calcium---400
Magnesium-1280

For some reason this morning my Hydnophora polyps are not completely open and it is always open fully, gotta watch this guy.
Well after looking at the results written down here, I guess I'm pretty well on track, I will just leave it at 1 teaspoon for a few days and see. Alk is a little low for me I like 9-10 better.
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by matt_longview on Fri 05 Aug 2011, 12:46 pm

I'm really glad you guys are having this convo on the forum instead of pm. I'm learning whats ahead for me just by kyeong track. I'm even considering starting a very small dose now so I can keep testing and zero it in before things start pulling more...

I'm going to test often before and after water changes the next few weeks to see.

I know I'm losing a ton of calcium to a derasa clam shell. Lol
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by DonnieP on Fri 05 Aug 2011, 1:44 pm

You know I think my biggest calcium user is the frogspawn, that thing started out with two heads and now has around fifteen heads. The slimer and Hydnophora are big users too but that frogspawn is ridiculous. I see a lot of new shell on my gold maxima but not a lot yet on the blue.
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by ritter678 on Tue 09 Aug 2011, 5:04 pm

Finally got my calcium up to 460. My alk was dropping when I was using 2 tsp/gal. kalk but it's been locked in for the past few days since raising the solution to 3 tsp/gal. For about the past 5 days it has only tested between 7.22-7.34. I may bump it up to 8-9 with baking soda so I have more room for error. I'm going to wait a few more days and see if I need to adjust the kalk dosage though. I can say the corals are growing faster. I don't know if the kalk has anything to do with it but the tank is rocking along. It's cleaner and clearer than it has ever been. It always looks like I just did a water change. Now I just have to keep it that way.
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by DonnieP on Mon 22 Aug 2011, 12:05 pm

Water tests today showed Alk at 7 DKH and Calcium at 380ppm. I am back to my water change schedule of 4 gallons every week and no other dosing but kalkwasser. I may need to up my dose to two teaspoons per gallon as I don't have much evaporation 1 1/2 cups per day is all.
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by ritter678 on Mon 22 Aug 2011, 12:54 pm

I bumped up my alk to 8 with baking soda and my numbers have been solid since upping the kalk to 3 tsp/5 gal. I haven't tested Magnesium in a while and I need to but I'm guessing it's ok since I've never had to dose any before. I haven't done a water change since I started dosing the kalk. For the past 2 weeks my alk has been 8-8.35, cal. 460.
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by ritter678 on Tue 30 Aug 2011, 11:28 am

Well since I've started this my montiporas have almost all died. I've been reading everything I can but couldn't find anything related to kalk that would cause it. My numbers HAVE NOT MOVED since dosing kalk except what I did manually. My parameters as of yesterday are; Cal. 460, alk, 7.84, ph, 8.0 morning and 8.2 evening. I even tested magnesium, I didn't get an exact number (my test only goes up to 1250) but the levels were within range. Salinity 1.025, no ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, phosphates detected.

Then I found this!

What Else Does Limewater Do In An Aquarium? Reduce Phosphate

Many reefkeepers accept the concept that adding limewater reduces phosphate levels. This may be true, but the mechanism remains to be demonstrated. Craig Bingman has done a variety of experiments related to this hypothesis, and has published them in the old Aquarium Frontiers. While many aquarists may not care what the mechanism is, knowing it would help to understand the limits of this method, and how it might best be employed.

Habib Sekha (Salifert) has pointed out that limewater additions may lead to substantial precipitation of calcium carbonate in reef aquaria. This idea makes perfect sense. After all, it is certainly not the case that large numbers of reef aquaria will exactly balance calcification needs by replacing all evaporated water with saturated limewater. And yet, many find that calcium and alkalinity levels are stable over long time periods with just that scenario. One way that can be true is if the excess calcium and alkalinity that such additions typically dump into the aquarium are subsequently removed by precipitation of calcium carbonate (such as on heaters, pumps, sand, live rock, etc.).

It is this ongoing precipitation of calcium carbonate, then, that may reduce the phosphate levels: phosphate binds to these growing surfaces, and becomes part of the solid precipitate. The absorption of phosphate from seawater onto aragonite is pH dependent, with the binding maximized at around pH 8.4 and with less binding at lower and higher pH values. If the calcium carbonate crystal is static (not growing), then this process is reversible, and the aragonite can act as a reservoir for phosphate. This reservoir can inhibit the complete removal of excess phosphate from a reef aquarium that has experienced very high phosphate levels, and may permit algae to continue to thrive despite having cut off all external phosphate sources. In such extreme cases, removal of the substrate may even be required.

If the calcium carbonate deposits are growing, then phosphate may get buried in the growing crystal, which can act as a sink for phosphate, at least until that CaCO3 somehow dissolves. Additionally, if these crystals are in the water column (e.g., if they form at the local area where limewater hits the tank water), then they may become coated with organics and be skimmed out of the aquarium.

An alternative mechanism for phosphate reduction via limewater may simply be the precipitation of calcium phosphate, Ca3(PO4)2. The water in many reef aquaria will be supersaturated with this material, as the equilibrium saturation concentration in normal seawater is only 0.002 ppm phosphate. The supersaturation of calcium phosphate will be even higher in the high pH/high calcium fluid present where limewater enters reef aquaria. The locally high pH converts much of the HPO4-- to PO4---, and it is the concentration of PO4--- that ultimately determines supersaturation. That high supersaturation may tip the balance to precipitation of calcium phosphate, just as too much limewater all at once can tip the balance to precipitation of calcium carbonate. As with CaCO3, the precipitation of Ca3(PO4)2 in seawater may be limited more by kinetic factors than by equilibrium factors, so it is impossible to say how much might precipitate under reef tank conditions (without, of course, somehow determining it experimentally).

As with the precipitation of CaCO3 containing some phosphate, if these calcium phosphate crystals are in the water column (e.g., if they form at the local area where limewater hits the tank water), then they may become coated with organics and be skimmed out of the aquarium.

Remember me saying my tank has looked cleaner than it ever has? I've been running GFO to remove phosphates! My guess is that the combination of GFO, and kalk has totally stripped my water of phosphates. I'm removing the GFO tonight to see if there is any improvement.

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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by matt_longview on Tue 30 Aug 2011, 12:11 pm

Gotta have that .002! Lol.

Hey... maybe you should start dosing phosphates! Razz
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by Yuma on Tue 30 Aug 2011, 12:33 pm

Just swing by my house...you can have some of my tap water and dose them right in. Laughing

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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by DonnieP on Tue 30 Aug 2011, 12:48 pm

Gabe
I have been having problems with my monti caps too since I started Kalkwasser like one has a 1/2" wide strip completley across its width that has turned white, the other has a circular patch right in the center top turned white. Only thing is I don't use a skimmer. confused
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by ritter678 on Tue 30 Aug 2011, 5:12 pm

If removing the GFO doesn't help any then I'm ditching the kalk and going to 2 part dosing. I'll dose the alk through the top off again and manually dose the calcium. Keeping a tank full of sps has become a lot of work.
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by DonnieP on Tue 30 Aug 2011, 6:40 pm

I agree, a lot of work for some colored sticks Very Happy If you do the two part I would suggest C-Balance, it contains all the trace elements as well and has been proven with reef crystals by the fella that grows fantastic sps reefs in a jar, you may know him, names Brandon, he convinced me a long time ago that C-Balance and reef crystals were a perfect combination. Either way, its gonna get expensive with the two part, I been going that route thats why I am trying Kalkwasser. I have tried the Kent two part but it seems like alk and calcium drop right back out the next day. I have been using C-Balance exclusively on the pico and the params stay where they should and PH never drops below 8.1 day or night and alk is always 8-9 calcium 420. I'm gonna keep up the kalkwasser for a month or so and see how it goes, everything else looks fine. Gold maxima has bunches of new shell, blue is kinda staying the same but I do see new growth.
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by ritter678 on Tue 30 Aug 2011, 7:55 pm

DonnieP wrote:I agree, a lot of work for some colored sticks Very Happy If you do the two part I would suggest C-Balance, it contains all the trace elements as well and has been proven with reef crystals by the fella that grows fantastic sps reefs in a jar, you may know him, names Brandon, he convinced me a long time ago that C-Balance and reef crystals were a perfect combination. Either way, its gonna get expensive with the two part, I been going that route thats why I am trying Kalkwasser. I have tried the Kent two part but it seems like alk and calcium drop right back out the next day. I have been using C-Balance exclusively on the pico and the params stay where they should and PH never drops below 8.1 day or night and alk is always 8-9 calcium 420. I'm gonna keep up the kalkwasser for a month or so and see how it goes, everything else looks fine. Gold maxima has bunches of new shell, blue is kinda staying the same but I do see new growth.

Price is why I went the baking soda route. I'll probably order some calcium from bulk reef if I pull the kalk. I can get enough baking soda for 5 years from my grocery supply company for less than $20. That's the thing, everything else but the montis in the tank look fine. My clams are growing faster than ever.
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by ritter678 on Wed 31 Aug 2011, 1:52 pm

Just for kicks I pulled the whole operation yesterday. I really wasn't going to but after a lengthy discussion on ReefCentral everyone claimed it was a coincidence that the montis looked bad and the kalk has nothing to do with it. I answered all the usual questions and no one had any ideas, so...I'm going back to doing what I was doing when my tank looked the best. I cleaned out the kalk jugs and replaced them with RO/DI and baking soda.

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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by DonnieP on Wed 31 Aug 2011, 5:11 pm

Dang Gabe, that was to short of an experiment. I will keep on trucking with the kalkwasser and see what happens. Below is what my Monti Caps look like now.



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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by ritter678 on Wed 31 Aug 2011, 5:44 pm

This is what my kalk looks like,



After mixing, there are lots of chunks at the bottom. This is after adding 1 tsp. to about 2 gallons of RO/DI



After stirring it the chunks are still there,



Video,

http://illiweb.com/fa/pbucket.gif4
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by DonnieP on Wed 31 Aug 2011, 6:31 pm

Gabe
Mine is much smoother texture, more like baby powder and it dissolves totaly at 1 teaspoon per gallon which is more than you are using, theres no clumps left after stiring. Maybe you got a bad batch, what brand are you using? I remember back years ago I was using Calcium Chloride from the concrete plant and it mixed up better than what you are showing. I do know if you get any water in the container it will clump like that and be hard to dissolve. Again, what brand are you using, I might want to avoid that brand, I like the Brightwell so far except for the Monties. By the way, Kalkwasser when mixed good leaves the water cloudy and it will stay cloudy, it never clears up like baking soda does and will develope a slurry at the bottom of the container not to be used. I know you know this but there may be some that don't.
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by ritter678 on Wed 31 Aug 2011, 6:42 pm

I'm using bulkreefsupply brand. It's supposed to be pharmaceutical grade. I emailed them the pics so I'll see what they say. I think I'm going to pick up a bag of Mrs. Wages Pickling Lime and see how that does. Mine is cloudy but it clears up a lot after sitting for a few days. But said your montis aren't doing too well either so I have no idea.
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by dahenley on Wed 31 Aug 2011, 6:45 pm

whats your PH and ALK?
Kalk raises your PH.
but it also adds Calcium and ALK to your water.
If you have lots of Evap, you can over dose ALK to your tank.


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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by J.Davis on Wed 31 Aug 2011, 8:25 pm

I bought some Kent Marine Kalkwasser Mix... never used it. Your more than welcome to try it if you like....
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by ritter678 on Wed 31 Aug 2011, 8:46 pm

dahenley wrote:whats your PH and ALK?
Kalk raises your PH.
but it also adds Calcium and ALK to your water.
If you have lots of Evap, you can over dose ALK to your tank.


ritter678 wrote:
It ran overnight and so far no problems, ph 8.0 (which in the morning is higher than I've tested in my tank, usually 7.8 in the a.m.), alkalinity was 8.23 dkh.

ritter678 wrote:I checked the alk this morning and it was actually slightly lower, 8.02 dkh.

ritter678 wrote: Ph is 7.8 in the morning and over 8 in the evening, which is about where it was before. My alkalinity is staying the same with the kalk as it was with the baking soda.


ritter678 wrote:Calcium is at 400 this morning and I added another dose so I should be getting back up to target range in a day or two. Alkalinity was at 7.34 this morning. I didn't check the ph. I upped the kalk dosage in the new jug to 3 tsp.

ritter678 wrote:Finally got my calcium up to 460. My alk was dropping when I was using 2 tsp/gal. kalk but it's been locked in for the past few days since raising the solution to 3 tsp/gal. For about the past 5 days it has only tested between 7.22-7.34. I may bump it up to 8-9 with baking soda so I have more room for error. I'm going to wait a few more days and see if I need to adjust the kalk dosage though.

ritter678 wrote:I bumped up my alk to 8 with baking soda and my numbers have been solid since upping the kalk to 3 tsp/5 gal. For the past 2 weeks my alk has been 8-8.35, cal. 460.

ritter678 wrote: My parameters as of yesterday are; Cal. 460, alk, 7.84, ph, 8.0 morning and 8.2 evening. I even tested magnesium, I didn't get an exact number (my test only goes up to 1250) but the levels were within range. Salinity 1.025, no ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, phosphates detected.


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