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How to find Pickling Lime (Calcium Hydroxide)


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I searched everywhere on the internet to give me a CLUE as to where to look.


This is just a documented thread for future readers, or those who might want to give this a go.


Pickling Lime is kalkwasser -- Calcium Hydroxide. You can use this in your top off. This thread will not go over "how" to use it...just how to find it.


Walmart carries this, BUT you must look in the right section, and there is no guarantee that it will be in stock out of season. I found it in May though! There was only one bag.


1) Stores: Walmart!! It is sold for $2.88 for the 1lbs bag (as of May 2014)

------ No there are no ways to inventory check it. No the employee's won't have a clue what it is. You gotta find it yourself.


2) Location:

------ Canning Aisle. It is located in the Home/Kitchen section, NOT the food section!!


3) What the heck is the canning aisle??

------ For people who have never encountered this weird subsection...like me. It is a section in the kitchen aisles where people buy those little glass jars with the screw on metal caps. You can store herbs, salts, etc in them.

My local Frys grocery store also had the same section, but did not carry Pickling lime at all -- only Pickling Salt. BUT the "block" given to the "canning supplies" looked identical to Walmart. All products were green so it stood out. So check your local grocery store anyway just in case.


4) What to look for when scanning the aisles:

------ Usually its easier to spot because all the items on that "block" are GREEN colored. If you find Pickling SALT, you are in the right place, but this is NOT the right item. Check the bar codes near it and see if you spot Pickling Lime (the label will say it)...its probably out of stock. Make sure the ingredients say Calcium Hydroxide (Lime)

5) You have now found a cheap Kalkwasser!



Here is the amazon item:




Here it also:




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Good post. Out west we can get 80 pound bags of calcium hydroxide at Home Depot in the cement and mortar isle. I think I paid $5-8 a bag the last time I bought it. The msds sheet says it's mostly calcium hydroxide and a trace amount of magnesium hydroxide. I mix it with acetic acid (vinegar) and have had great success as it yields both calcium and magnesium acetate...so a two'fer. My sps corals grow very well on this as my only supplement.

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next time I am in HD I will look for it!

I think its called builders lime?




I read a post somewhere however that there might be contaminants hidden unlike the pickling lime, since it is not food safe. How long have you been using it in your tank?

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I find it easier to point and click on kalk mix on BRS and have it conveniently delivered to my door.

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About 2 years. I'm growing some "high end" aka sensitive acros and no issues. A lot of people us hydrated/builders lime like me. I prefer it as it adds magnesium back when used with vinegar - and thus far in the right ratios.


My numbers:

Calcium = 400- 430 ppm

Alk = 8.3 - 8.9 dkh

Mag = 1200-1300 ppm


I use hydrated lime a lot for my compost pile (ph balance) so...two birds with one stone


And yes, Bulk Reef Supply is a great source of trusted chemicals.

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BRS is great if you spend enough and get free shipping otherwise its not a good deal at all. I can get 4lbs of this stuff for the price of their shipping alone...

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Yep, just bought the pickling lime today at 2.88 1 lb, same price in NC. Put it in a jar. Killed some aptasia with it and helped my water. :wub:

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