Kalk... What has happened to the good old white powder?

Discussion in 'Water Parameters and Additives' started by irie ivan, 16 Feb 2014.

  1. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    I have noticed the popularity of the good old faithful white powder seems to have diminished of late.
    I have also noticed that quite a few newer hobbyists dont even know what kalk is..... Seriously... Yes?
    Whilst chatting to an lfs owner recently, i enquired why he doesn't sell good old faithful, or use it in his own tanks, especially considering him complaining about cost of suppliments for Ca and alk.
    Was expecting a reply that it doesn't sell as most people buy it from the chemist..... But was rather surprised at his answer... Not really, he is a good guy, so honesty was a foregone conclusion...
    His answer re not employing it on his display.... Associated dangers, pH spike, wipeout, yaddah, yadda.... In a store where you have staff watching tanks all the time? Truth re associated dangers, but still yaddah yaddah, as the dangers of Od can easily be avoided.
    As to why not recommending it to clients and selling the stuff:
    Simple, better to sell a two part, or the associated powders for alk and ca level maintenance, more turnover, more profitable and less danger of the client wiping out their tanks....
    And of course, the potential sale of a dosing pump....

    Would love some input as to why kalk as a means supplementation has declined in the hobby, or an idea of who uses it, who doesnt and that interesting part... The why?
     
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  3. Snoek

    Snoek

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    This will be a good thread to keep an eye on. I have never dosed it as no one could explain the correct way to dose and amounts to dose. I am getting rather irritated with the amount of Reef Builder I am using so yes I will be changing next weekend to kalk. My Ca is is still higher than 420 (curently at 440 as tested today) so once its at 420 my atu will become my kalk doser. Thanks for the info yesterday Irie Ivan re kalk and the way to dose it.
     
  4. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    As a primary supplement of Alk and calcium not a good idea as it blocks the skeletal breathing process and causes brittle skeletal formation.
    Mind on other issues ATM but will elaborate if someone else does not later.
     
  5. 4age

    4age

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    stayed away from using kalk as I feel it might be hard to keep stable parameters if used through an atu as I know of reefer who had stn issue due to inconsistent kh levels.
     
  6. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    I have a Kalk reactor on my tank. It defiantly helps with my parameters.
     
  7. Zandy

    Zandy

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    Also running kalk...
     
  8. MistaOrange

    MistaOrange

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    I mix up 500ml of kalk (slaked lime) & once it clears after a couple of ours I only add the clear mix to my RO topup...
     
  9. Adee

    Adee

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    Just reminded me I'm almost out. Need to buy by another 25kg bag of the stuff.
     
  10. Visser

    Visser MASA Contributor

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    I used kalk until not too long ago...
    Currently only using dosing chemicals as its easier to "custom dose" to the correct levels for alk & calcium.

    My only problem with KALK in a nano / pico system is that it causes extreme pH levels each time the ato switches on.
    I've measured pH levels of up to 9.4 after topping up kalk & the ato switches on for the first time.

    I still love kalk, but think its better suited to larger tanks where pH swings are less of an issue...



    As for the fact that it isn't sold at a lot of pet stores lately... I've noticed a tendency lately where reefers are less likely to "try" something that is speculated to have issues. (Reefers are trying to play it safer/not taking risks anymore), & it also feels to me like reefers are getting "lazy" with maintenance, & using only methods that require less work even if there are proven methods (that require slightly more effort).

    So in short... Less demand... Less supply...
     
  11. Hammerhead

    Hammerhead

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    Ive just started using Kalk for about three months now, all levels were stable, but have noticed a slight drop in the ca and kh. Easiest dosing for me as im not always near the tank cos its at my folks place. Just started using Kent +2 so will see how that goes.
     
  12. Fraser W

    Fraser W Swazi Reefer

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    I have been having problems with my alk and calcuim being used up to quickly by the corals and excessive coralline algae grown on my back glass and and my live rock.

    my alk levels have always been around 8 - 9 and noticed my coraline algae developing white spots all over and tested my ca was quite low so recently brought 500ml of reef fusion 1 and 2 hoping that my ca and alk levels would be a bit closer to where I want them 9.5 and 420 the 2 bottles cost me R250 +-.. it lasted me less than 3 weeks..

    so to end I have been dripping kalkwasser into my water and also using it as us my ato for the last week and my tank has never looked better than it does now I use up about 4liters per day.. had some acropora for a month that have only started fully extending now..

    sorry fpr the long story but I have found kalk to be a very good additive now I just use the fusion 1 and two to correct any unbalance
     
  13. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    i am using Brightwells Kalk 2+, great additive, and keeps my pH and Alk stable, as well as adding Mg, Sr and Ca, infact if you run a carx you need kalk to keep pH inline
     
  14. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    where do you source your kalk?
     
  15. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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    I'll never go back. Combination of Carx and kalk stirrer works wonders for me.
     
  16. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    ditto

    alot of most issues or use in the hobby is from the lack of information

    taken from What Your Grandmother Never Told You About Lime by Randy Holmes-Farley - Reefkeeping.com

     
  17. NO3

    NO3

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    Instead of mixing a solution of max saturation make a solution that is slightly less saturated, half maybe or even measure it at slightly higher than the ph you want then dose it to the tank!
     
  18. brentv

    brentv

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    I make a stock solution of a heaped tablespoon in RO with a teaspoon or 2 of vinegar in a 1L container and turf this into my ATU once a week so I have a very diluted mix. So prob just adding a little but all helps for SPS growth
     
  19. Midnight Reefer

    Midnight Reefer

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    I love calcium hydroxide, its such a problem solver in some situations but is sooooo easy to 'nuke' a smaller system with it. The kalk paste I use for the aiptasia when I'm desperate as a pH of 16 destroys all.

    It's been around a long time for a good reason, but my beef with it, is that it doesn't buffer, so when the water in question lacks buffering capacity, kalk raises pH definitely like shit on a stick. But that pH stability goes on a roller-coaster of ups and downs if a controller isn't available or dosing is irregular.

    This doesn't kill coral certainly! But can't be 'fun' or help overall stability. For fish like tangs, it must surely contribute to stress and thus whitespot infection?

    I personally use Na-carb to raise pH and bi-carb to keep it there on my mixed coral exhibit of 7000L.
    Dosing around 100g-200g a day depending on water changing/plumbing mods. pH sticks between 8.17 and 8.34 as measured with a YSI daily at 8am. I have done this and over-dosed with 1kg of carbonate in the 3000L, but magically, 8.62 is not exceeded. A new Speck Magic 6 pump was needed though :)

    I do not have a controller, kalk reactor or even good quality Ca2(OH). I work with large water volumes and pH control is what I put first before supplementing any other macro elements that are needed for hard coral. Some animals suffer with low Ca, Mg etc levels, but others can die at low pH(7.7 or lower).

    I only use hydroxide when I need to, such as when our incoming NSW has a pH below 8 and I only have 20 mins before opening time at 9:30am but need to siphon! 70 grams or so, spikes pH to 8.9ish in my 3000L pre-mixing system so replacement water is as compatible as I can make it.

    I have NSW on tap so Ca and other macro's do not bother pH unless I dose them strangely enough. Only Alk really is needed. My opinion expressed works for my particular system I guess.

    When used properly by a responsible and diligent aquarist, it can be an awesome supplement. It's 'old school', standing the test of time. But horrid to get in your eyes or lungs........use respirators kids!!
     
    Last edited: 17 Feb 2014
  20. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    the vinegar amplifies the Ca :)
     
  21. Fraser W

    Fraser W Swazi Reefer

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    hi sorry to sound stupid but can somebody explain the carx reactor and how it works would appreciate it thanks
     
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