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Dripping Kalk?

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  1. #1

    Default Dripping Kalk?

    I am having a hard time getting info on how much limewater is good for my tank. Now I know it isn't that simple, but guidelines are impossible to find. Everything I've read says it depends on the tank...

    A little background: I had been dealing with nasty red slime for almost two months until 3 days ago... It would start to clear up and then come back just as bad, I sucked it off the sand and blew it off the rocks daily for what seemed like forever.

    Someone told me to drip kalkwasser into my sump and it might help with the cyanobacteria problem I was having. I started Saturday night and the next day there was no new slime growth and by monday it was mostly gone. Today I can say that I can't find ANY cyano in my tank at all.

    I had tested all my parameters beforehand and everyone said my values were fine. Either I have a bad kit and something was off or something is now changed enough to be outside of cyano's comfort zone. I am a little embarased to say I haven't tested the tank since Saturday...

    I plan on testing the tank when I get home... I don't want to stop because I don't want the red slime to come back. What should I be looking for? When do I stop dripping limewater? How do I figure out how much is just right? Right now I am desolving 1 teaspoon kalkwasser powder to one gallon of distilled water. I drip this overnight and it replaces all my evaporated water.

    Any advice would be appreciated!

    I should mention that I have mostly softies and a few SPS all under PC lights.

  2. #2
    RWalston - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Surprise, Arizona


    The reason for the red slime disapearing is because the Phosphate in your tank is getting lower. By either method water changes will help reduce phosphate and Kalk will help reduce phosphate. Water flow will help reduce red slime and nutrient export will help reduce red slime. As for dripping Kalk there are a number of things to look after. 1st is pH. Kalk is very caustic and will dramaticly raise your pH if you are not careful. 2nd is CA and ALK. Here is some suggested reading on these issues. Good Luck.




  3. #3


    I tested my water params last night and everything looked good to me:

    PH: 8.4
    Alk: 2 meq/L
    Cal: 400

    Based on running Kalk for 6 nights is this good? Does this tell me it will be okay to drip the limewater everynight to replace my top off?

    What does everyone else that uses Kalkwasser do? How often do you test and what strength is your mix?

    Someone told me that I couldn't hurt anything by adding Kalk, as long as it was a drip, is this true? I guess I'm afraid of overdoing it. I have noticed that my zoo's are not as open since I started dripping. I'm wondering if they don't like it or if it is just the change... Everything else is doing great.

  4. #4
    RWalston - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Surprise, Arizona


    Let me break it down for you. In this scenario you place 1 teaspoon of kalk mix into 5 gallons of water (assuming that is what your tank evaporates in a day)and have a constant drip rate of 40 drips per minute and your parameters stay the same after 2 weeks of dripping the lime water then you could say that you have found the sweet spot for your tank. If your parameters climb either use less kalk mix or reduce your drip rate to a less number like 30 drips per minute. If your parameters reduce in value either increase the amount of kalk mix in the solution or increase your drip rate to 50 drips per minute. The issues of adding to much lime water at one time is the effect on pH it will jump very high. pH will effect how your corals respond like anything else do everything in small gradual changes. I personally run a CA reactor the only time I drop lime water is when I notice a decline in my pH. If it drops to 7.9 during the day I will add a couple of teaspoons to my auto top off system. I do not worry about the pH swing this way because my tank is over 100 gallons and my sump is 30 gallons. My top off water enters my sump the same place as my tank water enters so the mix is well before it enters the tank. I slowly increase my pH and I monitor it with a pH meter. If your tank is on a smaller scale there are other ways of adding CA to your tank. Sea lab block work great for small tanks but if you are dripping lime water to eradicate cyno blooms I would look for the cause of the blooms first.

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