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Is it possible to keep the Ca at 450 and dKH in the 8-12 range using Kalk?


Wade

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Or will I need to dose 2-part? I have a 2-part dosing system in place, but haven't had to use it since all I had was zoas. I'm gettin gready to order some acans and montiporas and need to bring my Ca up to 450 (currently at 350). My dKH is running fine at 9.2 although I know that's going to go down when I add the Ca. Once I get up to 450 will I be able to keep it there using Kalk only?

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I had a difficult time keeping them that high with kalk, even using vinegar. Problem for me was a small tank volume, so I would get pretty radical pH swings during dosing periods. I suspect that due to your larger tank volume you should be able to get to your desired params using kalk. You can always supplement with 2-part if you feel that your parameters are not where you want them. Honestly, I'd let your livestock be your guide, and if your montis are growing and colorful, don't fret too much about 420 vs 450 ppm calcium or some specific alk target.

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Were you wanting to administer your Kalk through an ATO? If that's the case, then it's ideal to have a medium sized tank with medium rate of evaporation. In my 55 gallon, I evap close to a gallon a day. I have several SPS and LPS and maintain calcium at 420 and alk at 8.7. That's only using kalk through my ATO. If you had a smaller tank, you may not evaporate enough to make up for your coral load for kalk. Or if you have all covered tanks and sumps, you won't evaporate enough. If you're dosing kalk through a reactor and a timer, that's another story. I'd use the two part to nail the parameters exactly where you want them. Then start with kalkwasser at half strength and test daily to see how it all reacts. Then adjust accordingly. Try kalk first though because it's soooo much cheaper and easier to use. But eventually with enough stony corals most tanks will outgrow kalk's ability to keep up.

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I'm administering kalk through my ATO. I'm doing exactly what you mention above, I'm using the 2-part to get my parameters right where I want them and then I'm going to up my kalk. I don't have any stony corals right now, but am jonesing to order a couple and want to make sure I have my parameters right before I do. I think I'll have it close enough to make an order on Friday for Saturday delivery. Something I just thought of: do you make sure your fresh sw is buffered up the the same level of Ca and dKH before you do a water change? I haven't considered that.

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The closer the new saltwater is to your tank water the better. That being said. I'll usually just test a batch of salt when I mix it to my salinity, and if it's close I don't mess with it. My last batch of reef crystals had painfully low magnesium. like 1050 ppm, and I keep mine at 1360. So i'll add some magnesium to the new water before a water change. As long as the calcium in the new water is within like 50 ppm, and the alk is within 1 degree I usually dont fuss with it. Reef Crystals has been pretty close to what I aim for.

Just make sure when you administer kalk in the ato it's done with a very slow pump. Some people insist on a drip. i use an aqualifter pump with is a very tiny trickle. In tanks like 55 gallons or bigger I don't think that's fast enough to cause a problem. Especially if it's in a very high flow area. If the tank you're talking about is that 72g bowfront, and there isnt a lid on anything, your evap should be just right for kalk to sustain a medium demand. Definitely don't use a maxi jet or anything. Since I've already broken two aqualifters, I'll probably hunt down one of those BRS dosing pumps and use that as my ATO pump instead.

You may not really need kalk at first if you don't have any stonies. That's just gonna cause your calcium and alk to slowly climb to dangerous levels. I think if you just use the two part to nail in your levels, they probably won't move much till you start adding sps. Ordering stonies is fine, but most online vendors charge quite a bit. I notice you're not local based on your location under your avatar so ordering online may be your only bet. Not sure what the market is like in TN. The for sale forum here routinely has great sps frags for sale in the $5-$20 range, for stuff online that would run in the $50-$75 range. Just a thought.

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The stuff at my LFS (2) is hit and miss. One store is dirty and the DTs don't give you much confidence and the other looks great, but I've recently noticed an aptasia outbreak that was going unchecked. If I still lived in Austin as I did about 25 years ago, this wouldn't be a problem:) For dosing pumps I have 2 each of the 1.1ml/minute BRS pumps for the 2-part and 1 of the 50ml/minute pumps. I seem to get some big pH swings using the 50ml/min pump. I run it for 5 minutes ever 2 hours so maybe I need to run it less time more often. 1 minute every 30 minutes maybe.

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I was thinking about getting one of the 50ml/min ones. Truth be told I don't monitor my ph so I don't know what my swings are, but my aqualifter only runs for about 5 seconds every half hour as evaporation occurs. I don't notice any precipitation or I'll effects on livestock.

I kinda take aiptasia as a given. Every single store in Austin I've visited (haven't been to all of them) has had both aiptasia and bubble algae in their displays. It's not so much a knock on the businesses, but more something that just comes with the territory. Most of us who take great pride in our healthy tanks have dealt with those at some point. It happens. I more look at health and color of corals and pricing.

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