The Reef Tank banner
1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is a kalkwasser mixer and top up system necessary/worthwhile in having? I am thinking from a beginners perspective.

Thx!!!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,995 Posts
Doesn't matter what approach you use, but you do need high calcium levels for a reef tank and you do need to slowly replace evaporated water to maintain a stable system.

Welcome to TRT- glad you are here,
gwen
 

·
Cuban Cubera
Joined
·
163 Posts
I Have The Same Question. I Add 1 Qt Of Distiled Water Daily For Evaporation In My 75g And I Add B-ionic.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,995 Posts
PACOLIANT said:
I Have The Same Question. I Add 1 Qt Of Distiled Water Daily For Evaporation In My 75g And I Add B-ionic.
sounds like you are doing it right- one quart all at one time is fine for a 75 gal aquarium. Are you able to maintain good ca levels with the b-ionic?
 

·
I've got the REEF rash!
Joined
·
61,665 Posts
Welcome to TRT Gwen is right ussaly you need to add more calcium to a reef and good RO/DI water for evaporation,which brings your calcium down as well as your alkinity.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,489 Posts
I use the auto top off product from www.reef-relief.com . I am very happy with it. I just ordered a Nielsen Kalk Reactor from www.myreefcreations.com today. You add the kalk to that unit and it keeps it mixed up. When you sump gets lower from evaporation the solenoid from the RO/DI opens, pushed water into the reactor and kalkwasser water out into the sump. It keeps the calcium up and the water level perfect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone!

Tasher80,

May I ask why you went for the Nielsen Kalk reactor and not one of the other Calcium Reactors from My Reef Creation?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
24,599 Posts
I am running a MRC CR 2 Calcium reactor that is great, I have found that I have it set and it helps in keeping the Calcium and alk pretty steady. but I wish I also had the Kalk reactor to keep the calcium level higher. I have been able to keep My calcium at 400 ppm. I like to go higher.My Coralline algae did so much better when I was dripping Kalk. May start again , But then I also went to oceanic Salt mix and wonder if that has slowed down the growth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Forgive my ignorance, but i don't see the difference between a calcium reactor and a kalkwasser mixer/reactor other than one uses up CO2?

Is there something I'm missing?

Thx
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,129 Posts
Tasher80 said:
I use the auto top off product from www.reef-relief.com . I am very happy with it. I just ordered a Nielsen Kalk Reactor from www.myreefcreations.com today. You add the kalk to that unit and it keeps it mixed up. When you sump gets lower from evaporation the solenoid from the RO/DI opens, pushed water into the reactor and kalkwasser water out into the sump. It keeps the calcium up and the water level perfect.
let us know how that reactor works out for you...I'm planning on buying one myself.

I have a tunze osmolator, and I just plumbed my ro/di unit directly into the coldwater feed line of my bathroom. The output runs to a tee with one line going to a ball valve for water change water, and the other to a float valve in the top off reservoir. The only thing left to add is a kalk reactor. I like the idea of being able to be gone for a few days and not having to worry about top off or kalk dosing.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
24,599 Posts
I have not had the CR2 all that long , It has been on my 150 for about 4 or 5 months . Seem very simple , I'm not an expert on the Calcium reators. Tom will have more imput and be able to explain it so much better then I can, They are not the same as you are using Aragonite in the CR reactor along with co2 to lower the Ph and to break down desolve the media which I think add more then just calcium to the tank but other natural elements as well and using Kalkwasser( Calcium Hydroide ) to raise it is only adding Calcium to the tank at a much faster rate. I hope this helps.

I will say I use no additive at all anymore and the tank seem fine , Don't test all that much.

I will add that in the process of tuning my reactor I am also having to watch that the PH of my tank water stays where I want it . It can lower the PH of the display if I run it heavy on the CO2 and some get past the 2nd chamber , Where it will be the oposite with a kalk reactor as that can raise the PH.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,489 Posts
I went with a Kalk reactor because the cost at the moment is much less than a calcium reactor. It will keep my calcium levels where I need it. In the future I plan on having a 210 gallon tank. At that time I may add a calcium reactor as well. I will probably keep both a calcium reactor and a kalk reactor running at the same time as they both add different things to the tank which are good. So for the moment, a kalk reactor works for me then when I upgrade I can still use it then.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,489 Posts
Gouri said:
Forgive my ignorance, but i don't see the difference between a calcium reactor and a kalkwasser mixer/reactor other than one uses up CO2?

Is there something I'm missing?

Thx
With a calcium reactor you should really have a PH controller so you PH doesn't dip too low. With a kalk reactor its besically the same as mixing a tub of water with kalk and dripping it. The difference is, since kalk reactors are sealed the kalk doesn't mix with the air and lose is effectiveness. The kalk reactor I bought states you can put 4 full measuring cups in the unit at once as well. Thats a lot of kalk. Not sure if I will be doing that much. Kalk reactors are less expensive too. Mine was $200 for a unit with a magnetic stirer.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,355 Posts
PACOLIANT said:
I Have The Same Question. I Add 1 Qt Of Distiled Water Daily For Evaporation In My 75g And I Add B-ionic.
for smaller systems, thi would be expected, but I am surprised that you only evaporate 1 quart a day (~1000ml), do you have covers on the tank?

On the use of 2 part additives in general: These are great and relatively inexpensive for smaller systems or systens that are primarily octocorals, but for systems that are primarily hermatypic corals, the use of 2 parts not only can become very expensive to keep up with the demand for Ca and alk, but over time will skew the proportionality of the conservative elements.


Calcium and alkalinity go hand in hand in the biogenesis of coral ckeleton/reef substrate, as well as participating in SW aquaria in the maintenance of the proper proportionality of the elements that make up the composition of seawater. The top 8 or so elements of seawater are in a proportionality that does not change, regardless of which ocean the sample come from and what the salinity value is. The elements that share this proportionality are called the conservative elements of seawater, and will always be in the same proportion in NSW (with a very few exceptions in some brines from isolated water bodies and some Antarctic and Arctic waters.)


In closed systems like our reef aquaria, two-part methods used to supplement the consumable ions Calcium and bicarbonate (Alkalinity) have a tendency to skew this proportionality, and in doing so, will prevent the water column from maintaining maximum saturation of Calcium in the presence of bicarbonate/carbonate. These are most often supplied as calciu8m chloride (CaCl2) and Sodium Bicarbonate (NaHCO3, with a little sodium carbonate (Na2CO3) added to increas the pH temporarily and establish the buffer system more rapidly. When the biological activity of depositing calcium carbonate occurs, it leaves molar amounts of sodium and chloride behind, and these substances accumulate in the water colum to increase the salinity of the ASW involved. This most often results in the aquarist adjusting the salinity by removing a gallon or so of the tank water and allowing the autotopoff to gradually dilute the tank back to the desired 35 ppt salinity. The water removed contains the normal amounts of the conservatives and a little more sodium and chloride, so that the water remaining behind will be reduced by that amount of these substances. This then reduces the proportion of all these substances a little in relation to the amount of sodlium and chloride in the taqnk's water column. This will continue each time the salinity climbs, such that over a period of a few months, the salinity in tanks with heavy calcium and bicarbonate use can quickly become as water column of primarily NaCl brine.


One means of detecting this is to measure the amount of Magnesium in a water column of a known salinity. We expect to see around 1300 PPM Mg in a sample of normal natural seawater or ASW of 35 PPT salinity. Values lower than this usually indicate changes in the proportionality of the conservative elements, resulting in decreased ability to maintain full calcium supersaturation. Higher Mg does not mean that higher supersaturation of Calcium is possible, in fact, if the value goes much higher than 1`350 to 1400 PPM, reactions begin to occur that will drop Calcium levels due to a loss of supersaturation capacity, although the drop in some of the bicarbonate as MgCO3/SO4 (gypsum) may allow the Ca to climb and supress the ability to increase the alk inder some conditions.


Regular water changes will prevent this from happening to some extent, but will still require an annual large high percentage water change to truly reestablish the proportionality of the water column. If your tank doesn't have many stony corals, 2-parts are OK, as the low usage makes the low additions of 2 part additives not be an issue, but tanks with many hermatypic cortals really should utilize balanced calcium and alk supplements that do not provide sodium not chloride (i.e., Kalkwasser or CO2 driven Ca reactor)


So it depends on what you have in the tank, although I am still surprised about the evap rate... what temp do you run the tank?


As a reference, the 180 Display here uses about 18000ml/24 hrs @81.5degrees F (about 4.5 gal). You would need a high evapo rate to supply decent amounts of kalkwasser without causing fluctuations in salinity on a daily basis...
 

·
Tang Lover
Joined
·
7,326 Posts
Gouri said:
Is this still recommended for FOWLR setups?

Thx
I wouldn't think so. Fish/inverts still need calcium to grow, but no where NEAR as much as a reef (coral) tank.

Provided you do regular water changes with a good quality salt mix, I would think your fish/inverts would get sufficient calcium for growth.

But here's my take...build a top off system...to top off your evaporation. Then...later on, if you decide you want some corals, you can just add kalkwasser to your top off water, and now you have a Kalk doser...viola.

As you get more and more into the hobby, you'll learn more about other devices that will help you progress. For now, I'd just worry about making a top off system.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Phewf!!!

All of the terminology, plumbing, chemistry etc etc etc & etc can put one off getting a marine tank altogether!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :lol:

But, I'm sure I'll be fine.........................honest!! :help:

Just one question skeety, if I add Kalk to the top off water will it not dose too highly for the tank - i know that Kalk needs to be drip-fed, therefore I'd need a kalkwasser mixer?
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top