Originally Posted by chort55
Man thanks for the info CSQ, since Kalk is often ran through top off like you mentioned doing..... since I usually go through 2-4g per day (depending on running the air and temps in/out of house) for top off I am guessing this may not be a good idea for my tank since it fluctuates quite a bit
With daily evaporation varying by 100%, using Kalk in your ATO might be a challenge. It works for me as my tanks are LED lit and I keep my home at a steady 72 degrees resulting very stable daily evaporation. I wouldn't give up yet though - You have quite a few options...
It largely depends on you CA/ALK uptake and existing pH levels and swings. Lots of daily evaporation is a good thing as it enables to you to max-out the use of Kalk. The problem is the variability. Again, depending on your uptake, 2 gallons difference a day might lead to unacceptable ALK swings. As your demand for CA/ALK grows (SPS
, clams, Coralline...) the demand for CA and ALK will quickly exceed what can be provided by Kalk alone. It often ends up being just part of an overall solution.
There are other, very simply ways to dose Kalk other than including it in all of your ATO. It doesn't need to be fancy, saturated Kalkwasser can sit in a still, covered container and be dosed separate from your ATO. Kalk Stirrers (also called Nielsen reactors) can be used with a small powerhead or dosing pump and a controller or even a simply timer. The Tunze Kalk dispenser is another simple device that works very well. For smaller tanks, the Kent doser is a great IV- style drip system that I used successfully for years.
Kalk also provides you the ability to add vinegar, thereby increasing the amount of CA in the Kalk solution and providing a carbon source to the feed your bacteria population (same as in Vodka, sugar, Vit C dosing or Bio-Pellets.)
I think Kalk is a great way to supplement CA and Alk in most every instance and can be done in a variety of ways. How you do it, depends largely on your tank specifics.
Originally Posted by MizTanks
Once again awesome info CSQ
2 questions for you. First what is CaRx? 2nd am I doing right by my tank dosing 2 part?
CaRx = Calcium Reactor
2-part works very well, especially in smaller tanks. I've used 2-part in concert with Kalk for many years, in fact - I'm just now making the move to a CaRx largely due to the amount of 2-part my tanks are requiring.
The key to all forms of CA/ALk supplementation is stability. You have to do your homework to determine how much daily uptake your tank has, adjust the levels to optimum using a 2-part solution and then maintain those levels using any of, or a combination of the methods discussed. It doesn't really matter how
you get there, as long as you keep things stable (especially ALK.)