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joshvollberg

Can I only dose Kalkwasser?

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joshvollberg

Hey guys, few questions:

 

Is it possible to only dose Kalkwasser to have a beautiful reef tank?

 

I use Red Sea Coral Pro Salt in my 60 gallon reef which has mainly softies, lps, and a few fish/inverts (moderately stocked). 

 

I want to have my alkalinty and calcium within the appropriate range, but was wondering if it was possible to achieve without dosing two-part and just using Kalkwasser?

 

What and when should I test ? 

 

Does kalkwasser raise alk and calc or just maintain?

 

 

 

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billygoat

Kalkwasser in your ATO water can be used to maintain Alk and Ca at a constant level, but you'll need to start off by using 2-part to get your levels up to where you want them to be. Kalk should not be used to try and raise your Alk/Ca because it has a very high pH and you don't want to be adding a lot of it to your tank at once. So what I'd recommend is:

 

1.) Test Ca, Alk, and Mg. Get them dataz.

 

2.) Input your numbers into a reef calculator to figure out how much of each solution (Ca, Alk, and Mg) you have to add in order to get your levels where you want them to be. Add each solution to raise your levels as necessary. BRS has a good video about dosing these elements here. (And another about Kalk dosing here, in case you haven't seen it!)

 

3.) Now that your numbers are where you'd like them, it's time for the Kalk. Start off with a low concentration of Kalkwasser in your ATO water or in the dosing system of your choice. Test Ca and Alk every day to chart your tank's consumption throughout the week. If your tank appears to be using more Ca/Alk than is being replenished by your Kalk feed, increase the concentration of your Kalkwasser for the next batch that you mix. If your levels are actually climbing throughout the week, decrease the concentration instead. With enough tinkering you will know just how

strong you need to mix your Kalk, and keeping your levels where you want them will be a breeze.

 

4.) You'll need to replenish Mg only occasionally, maybe once every few weeks or so. Perhaps less since you use Coral Pro salt which has a lot of Mg in it. Test it occasionally to keep an eye on your consumption and you should get a feel for how often you need to dose Mg.

 

BRS also sells a cool starter package that includes 2-part supplies plus Kalk mix so you get everything in a handy bundle. I just bought one today because I want to get into dosing Kalk as well.  It seems like a simple and hassle-free way to keep parameters stable.

 

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blasterman

For a lightly stocked tanks....yes. And that's after the tank gets established and biological beds stop devouring alkalinity and things normalize.

 

For heavier SPS tanks just using kalk becomes really cumbersome because you either need to have to add it direct, or try to synch your  topoffs with alk/calcium consumption and getting the two variables to match is a PITA. 

 

Remember that kalk reacts with tank water in many complex ways that are tough to dial in with a calculator..unlike calcium and alk that are pretty straightforward. So, a lot of reefers would rather short shoot with kalk and then adjust with calcium chloride and baking soda (alk) to get to proper levels rather than risk a pH spike. In your tank though unless you are having massive coraline growth kalk should get you close with the adjustments Billygoat suggested.

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billygoat

Another thing to consider is that adding Kalk to your top-off water will considerably reduce the lifetime of your ATO pump. Be sure to place the pump on a piece of eggcrate or inside of a small container placed inside the ATO reservoir so that it doesn't sit directly on the bottom, otherwise it will quickly become encrusted with Kalk precipitates.

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MrObscura

All depends on the demand of the tank. After a certain point kalk can't keep up. 

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