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Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by DonnieP on Thu 01 Sep 2011, 8:50 am

Now thats information. bounce
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by ritter678 on Thu 01 Sep 2011, 11:37 am

I emailed BRS and this is what they said,

There isn’t really a such thing as a bad batch with our kalk. Its USP grade which means it’s made for medical use and has to follow really strict standards. Kalk is just one of those things that will never completely dissolve. It’s not unusual to have some leftover clumps or sediment, and the water will be slightly cloudy. The main thing is to make sure that your not constantly stirring it. That will cause it to react with CO2 from the air and break down. Just give it an initial mix when you first make a batch and then just let it sit. How are you dosing it to the tank? Usually if its at all related to any issues this is the most likely cause.
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by DonnieP on Thu 01 Sep 2011, 11:42 am

Pretty much the same excuse I got about the bad bucket of reef crytals, its always us the user that don't know what we are doing rather than their perfect product. confused
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by ritter678 on Thu 01 Sep 2011, 12:14 pm

I'm going to pick up a bag of Mrs. Wages Pickling Lime today and see how that does. I should have the kalk back online by tommorrow morning. One of the posters on RC said the same thing as you Donnie, he didn't understand why mine was clumpy, his was powdery also. Another poster said he uses the same amount of kalk per gallon that I do and his totally dissolves. I'm just wondering if the clumpy kalk is allowing some contaminants to remain in the water instead of settling.

http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2064042
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by DonnieP on Thu 01 Sep 2011, 12:56 pm

Gabe
Just a dumb question here, will the pickling lime add both calcium and alkalinity or just calcium? I remember back in the day when I used calcium chloride from the concrete plant that I also had to add an alkalinty booster too because the calcium chloride did not contain an alk buffer. I started using the calcium chloride from the concrete plant after researching the calcium that is added to concrete to speed up set time, we used this on our concrete slabs a lot in the winter to aid in concrete setup. Its not used as much nowadays because it weakens the concrete a little and has a detrimental effect on the steel..Live and learn. Wink
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by ritter678 on Thu 01 Sep 2011, 4:43 pm

DonnieP wrote:Gabe
will the pickling lime add both calcium and alkalinity or just calcium?

It is the exact same as kalkwasser. The only reason I didn't buy it was because I was already getting some stuff from BRS and ordered from them. You can buy the pickling lime for less than $4 a pound.

http://store.mrswagesstore.com/mrswagpiclim.html
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by DonnieP on Thu 01 Sep 2011, 5:30 pm

Hey Gabe
Have you thought about or used white vinegar with kalk? You should try this and see how it dissolves the kalk for you. From what I have read the vinegar which is just acetic acid will add enough carbon dioxide to the kalk to dissolve more calcium into the mix with less or no slurry left in the container, the vinegar then just turns into organic carbon to feed the bacteria in the tank. I may try this and see what happens because with little evaporation I need more kalk to dissolve into the solution. I just need to figure out the right amount of vinegar to kalk to 1 gallon of water, I'm gonna try that on my next mix.
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by DonnieP on Thu 01 Sep 2011, 5:45 pm

Here is what I am planning on doing. I'm going to go with 3 teasooons of kalk and 45 ml of white distilled vinegar in 1 gallon of ro water and drip this via my ATO, one gallon will last obout a week, then I will see how everything looks. From what I have read using vinegar this way keeps the kalk from raising the PH to much, a good thing in my case, as my PH is ok. As a matter of fact I checked yesterday before changing water at 10:00 am and my PH was 8.3.
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by ritter678 on Thu 01 Sep 2011, 6:11 pm

DonnieP wrote:
Have you thought about or used white vinegar with kalk?

I read up on it but I didn't think it was necessary for me since I wasn't even adding a saturated solution to begin with. I'm picking up a bag of Mrs. Wages today and I'll see how that does before I go mixing anything else in.
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by ritter678 on Fri 02 Sep 2011, 11:14 pm

I'm back in business! Got two bags of Mrs. Wages Pickling Lime, $2.68 a pound at walmart. It looks totally different than the BRS kalk, every bit of it dissolved in the water, no chunks sitting in the bottom of the jug. It's probably too late to save the montis but I'll post updates as things take place.
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by DonnieP on Fri 02 Sep 2011, 11:39 pm

Gabe
I picked up some of the pickling lime too, it beats about $14.00 for the tiny jar of Brightwell. I did use vinegar and dissolved three tsp. of the brightwell in a gallon of ro and it pretty much all dissolved. I mixed the kalk in the vinegar first then added the water, its ten times as clear as with just water and 1 tsp of kalk. I kinda have a feeling what is happening with my Monti's is coming from to much Magnesium as the brightwell has Magnesium in it but from what I have read, Magnesium will not dissolve in the kalkwasser so this has me baffled unless its magnesium in a different form or something. Anyway, I'm trying the supersaturated with vinegar for a few days to see how it works. Maybe this will keep up the calcium and alk without having to add a two part also.
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by J.Davis on Wed 07 Sep 2011, 7:11 pm

Well, I'll be joining the "Kalk" club too. I need to raise my DKH and Calcium before I start. Using Kent Marine's "2part" to bring up my levels. I'm starting this on the Frag/ Prop system. Depending on it's outcome.. may do the 200 too. Thanks to Donnie for getting me started out right Smile
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by ritter678 on Thu 08 Sep 2011, 12:58 pm

I'm having problems with alk burn again. After I raised the alk from the low 7's to 8 I have burnt tips on some of my corals again. I'm thinking the GFO has something to do with it. I get way better growth running GFO but the sps are super sensitive to even small alk swings. My alkalinity as of Monday was 7.84 dkh. Before I was using GFO I kept my alk around 10 with no problems.
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by DonnieP on Thu 08 Sep 2011, 1:42 pm

Just from curiosity why are you using GFO anyways? If it were causing tip burning I think I would stop using it and go for 8 DKH. Where are the high phosphates coming from?
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by ritter678 on Thu 08 Sep 2011, 5:33 pm

DonnieP wrote:Just from curiosity why are you using GFO anyways? If it were causing tip burning I think I would stop using it and go for 8 DKH. Where are the high phosphates coming from?

I had cyano problems and I thought the GFO would help, and it did. The sps growth was much better when using GFO. Since I got the larger skimmer and the "possibility" that kalk lowers phosphate, I probably don't have to run GFO right now, I didn't know that at the time though. I turned off the carbon/GFO reactor about a week ago. The HOB skimmer I used to have didn't keep up as well in the sump and the GFO really helped. I've always fed my tanks heavy and a small skimmer won't keep up with the nutrient export.
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by ritter678 on Thu 08 Sep 2011, 5:58 pm

I've been reading as much as I can find about this and I think this could be my problem.

Some quotes I stumbled across on RC,

If you're that good about changing your GFO, it could be possible that you are in the ULNS range for phosphates at least. I've read reports of sps being hyper sensitive to other parameters like alkalinity in such conditions. Then again, it could just be the corals' reaction to GFO (reaction to the media or maybe rapid depletion of phosphates?),

I've run GFO before, but that was when I really had excessive nutrients. Since I've got the nutrients under much better management I'm just a little leary of pulling too much too fast.

I have had problems with GFO on my SPS dominated tank. GFO really sucks anything and everything out of your tank.


I have 180G SPS tank and every time I try to add a GFO based Po4 remover like Phosban in my Phosphate reactor I end up with STN on about half the pieces in my tank,.. when I remove it again and go back to Carbon the issue seems to dissapear.

You get the idea. I think the combo of all the things I've done to try to better my tank has over done it. I think GFO is really good for a tank but you have to be very careful with it. It works so well you can over do it. I ran it for a long time without problems but my tank is a lot lower nutrient now than it used to be


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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by DonnieP on Thu 08 Sep 2011, 7:00 pm

Hum, I might should stop with the chemipure elite as it contains GFO and go back to the regular chemipure because I don't feed a lot and I know there are zero phosphates in my tank so I don't need the GFO anyway.
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by ritter678 on Thu 08 Sep 2011, 7:52 pm

I'm not sure how much GFO is in Chemipure but I guess it could be a problem if it was too much and removing too much phosphate. The good thing about the GFO is you can measure out how much to use. The bad thing is, it's so good at what it does you can over shoot and remove too much. Phosphates are one of the hardest things to test for in a tank since algae can soak up the nutrients and you can't test for it so if you have phosphates then running GFO could be helpful but once you strip the water of the phosphates then GFO could be harmful. Too much phosphate inhibits hard coral growth and too little starves them to death. Neutral
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by ritter678 on Fri 09 Sep 2011, 1:26 pm

Checked my alk last night and it was 8.064 dkh, no way that should ever cause alk burn, the GFO has to have something to do with it. If they are that sensitive to a small alk shift while using GFO then the small ph shift could be what caused the montis to look bad in just one day after using kalkwasser. Since I removed the GFO the burnt tips aren't getting any worse but they have not started to recover yet. I may clip the burnt tips off if they don't look like they are going to heal. It's only on a few corals so it shouldn't be too big of a problem. The dead skeleton where I broke off the dead orange monti has an orange rim growing around it again. I'm going to do a water change this weekend and try to round up another montipora frag to try again.
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by DonnieP on Fri 16 Sep 2011, 10:24 am

Gabe, I switched to the Mrs Wages pickling lime over a week ago, just adding two teaspoons per gallon and no vinegar and I gotta tell ya, my alk has never been more stable at 9 DKH and calcium at 460 ppm PH at 8.2 now checked every morning and 8.4 afternoon, the tank is looking much better too. I think this pickling lime may work out great. I also switched out the chemipure elite for regular chemipure so there's no GFO in it. You know the pipe organ coral I got from Jason, it is cool to watch, this thing is adding another story so to speak and is growing really nice and the polyps have elongated to twice their length. Its neat how they grow, the polyps spread out a calcrious circle around them and these circles join to make a solid layer and the polyps grow through this layer thereby creating another story to the structure, really neat to watch it over time.
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by ritter678 on Fri 16 Sep 2011, 11:02 am

Well, I'm almost out of the sps business. A bunch of my sps are either dead or dying. I fragged up the big pink birdsnest the other night but the frags aren't looking too well either. The ponape birdsnest started to STN so I fragged it up and glued the frags back down and so far most of them look ok. The BOP birdsnest that was doing great had a big white patch missing around the base of it last night so I fragged off a couple tips of it to try to save it. My Red Planet branches are starting to STN from the tips down so I clipped them off too. What gets me is that, (I hope I'm not jinxing myself), there are some in there that look great. The green birdsnest is growing and has great color, the pearlberry looks good, there's a small blue milli that is growing faster than I've ever seen it. The 2 clams are growing better than ever, the LPS have great color and the zoanthids are growing all over the rocks. After all the montiporas died, there is a small frag of Montipora setosa that I've had for a few months that hasn't grown a bit, damn thing looks fine and is actually starting to grow! scratch I don't have much spare time to spend on the tank but I have been testing the water EVERY night when I get home and some mornings and the parameters are never out of line. My glass is literally getting covered up in coralline algae and there isn't a scrap of cyano or hair algae. I know I won't be putting any sps in this tank for a while.
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by DonnieP on Fri 16 Sep 2011, 11:32 am

Sounds to me like you need to start looking at occupants. If the water is good for one sps, should be good for all so that leaves something pestering the corals. Do you still have the Flame angel in there?
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by ritter678 on Fri 16 Sep 2011, 3:27 pm

The frags in the sump look just as bad so I don't think it's the angel. It does pick at some sps but they just pull their polyps in. I never see any damage done. Jason brought up pests but I don't know of any pests that would take out montis and birdsnests and acros. The corals didnt look like they were eaten just turned gray and died. The alk burn was from my doing but I don't know why raising the alk from 7.5 to 8 would cause burn. The corals now are STN from the base up. Maybe from stopping the GFO too quickly?
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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by ritter678 on Fri 16 Sep 2011, 4:51 pm

I still may be totally off here but everything keeps pointing back to the GFO usage.


Randy Holmes-Farley
What else might iron oxide hydroxide do? Biological effects

Quite a large proportion of aquarists using GFO in reef aquaria have reported undesirable effects on corals. These reported effects include tissue recession and bleaching. Many advanced aquarists have associated these effects with the first addition, or with a later change, of the GFO. While many or all of these reports may be coincidence, there are enough reports that aquarists should be wary. Listed below are a number of possibilities that may be the cause:

A sudden drop in phosphate may stress certain organisms. This stress might be particularly important to corals with algal symbionts. The level of symbionts existing in a coral may depend to some extent on the availability of nutrients. A sudden drop in nutrients may imbalance the organism, leaving it with too many zooxanthellae for the newly-reduced nutrient levels. Especially if these corals are already living on the edge of survival, such stress may tip the balance toward disease.

In some cases, phosphate levels may drop below natural seawater levels, and phosphate may become the limiting nutrient. If this limitation is severe enough, corals and other organisms using phosphate may well be stressed, stop growing, and become more susceptible to disease.

Similar effects may result from a drop in certain trace metals. Since the effects of GFO on trace elements have not been clearly established in aquaria, it is possible that one or more critical elements may drop below optimal levels.

The release of soluble iron hydroxide itself may irritate certain corals, although many aquarists dose chelated iron without such effects. The iron hydroxide may, however, nucleate the precipitation of calcium carbonate in sub-optimal places, such as tissue surfaces. It may also bind directly to tissues.

The GFO may actually release certain metals other than iron from its surface. I have not seen any data on the chemical purity of these materials, and such issues may be a concern with some or all brands.

The drop in alkalinity and/or pH caused by abiotic precipitation of calcium carbonate would not be expected to be very great in most aquaria, and typically isn't especially large, as reported by the aquarists themselves. In the cases from which I've seen data, the effect is not as great as the variability between aquaria or between dosing events in many aquaria. Still, such changes might be important in some circumstances where conditions are already marginal.

Since GFO binds organic materials, the addition of a significant amount of fresh surface area may rapidly drop the dissolved organic levels. Such a drop may stress corals by rapidly increasing the available light levels, or by reducing a food source, or both.In order to minimize such difficulties, many aquarists start off using GFO more slowly than the directions might suggest. Such caution seems warranted in most cases.



Some from RC,

GFO can and has caused issues before. Its rather well documented on this site (and others) that GFO can/will cause problems from time to time.

I experienced a similar issue shortly after adding GFO (at half the recommended dose). I had several colonies that had been doing well for months, STN and die off in a period of a week or so. I removed my GFO and things are just fine now (months later). Healthy growth and...... no more coral deaths.

If I were you, I would pull the GFO.

In the future, if you have to run GFO to remove phosphates, do it for a period of hours instead of days or weeks.

Honestly I'm at a loss and don't know what to do. confused


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Re: Giving Kalkwasser a Try.

Post by DonnieP on Fri 16 Sep 2011, 6:09 pm

Well Gabe, you are running a very powerful skimmer on that tank that is more than sufficient at removing nutrients, so the addition of GFO is probably zapping everything that your corals need plus multiplying the light level. You know I am not a fan of skimmers because of problems such as yours that plagued my reefs in years past. Not to say that your skimmer is the culprit but skimmer and GFO together could be. I don't know how many gallons your skimmer is rated for but personally I don't think using say a skimmer rated for 300 gallons on a 75 is a good idea, then add the GFO, might be something to think about. I know this is throwing another wrench in the equation but its something to think about. Another thing to, you know kalkwasser dissipates phosphate as well.
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