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02-07-2012, 03:30 PM
Jamie - In some
ways, Kalkwasser (Calcium Hydroxide) can be simpler than 2-part...
- It's a "balanced" solution, meaning it adds Ca and Alk in the same proportion as as corals uptake (only one thing to dose.)
- It can be kept indefinitely in a still, tightly covered bucket. Just make sure there is some extra, undissolved Kalk in the bottom of the bucket. After time, you may notice a hard "skin" (Calcium Carbonate) form on the top of the Kalk solution. This occurs when the Kalk solution is exposed to CO2 and creates a barrier that limits further degradation. For these reasons and the high pH, it's best to use a pump rather than constantly opening and closing the bucket to dose manually.
- Some also believe Kalk also has the benefit of being able to precipitate out Phosphates.
- The drawbacks are similar to 2-part (at least the Alk component) in that Kalk when fully saturated has a pH above 12 and must be dosed/dripped slowly.
- When used in ATO, your Ca and Alk dosing is tied to your evaporation rate. Depending on how many stony corals you have in your tank, this might be more or less dosing than is needed and can result in too high (or low) Ca and Alk levels.
- Kalk doesn't provide as much Alk and Ca as can 2-part. High demand tanks will reach a point that Kalk dosing alone cannot keep up with the Ca/Alk demands. At that point the addition of 2-part or a Calcium Reactor is needed.
You also have the option of adding Kalk using a dosing pump (as opposed to using kalk-saturated ATO.) This give you the ability to control ALK/Ca dosing independent of your evaporation rate and you can dose overnight to counter your tanks diurnal pH swings.
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