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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 12 gallon nanocube I set up recently. I have removed the lid and added a 70w Sunpod. The open top and light created some evaporation so I am thinking about using a Kent Aquadose 2.5 gallon to replace lost water. I will be doing water changes of 10 to 20% once per week. I have been testing my Alkalinity and Calcium levels and although its only been about a week, I think my Alkalinity is dropping slowly and Calcium is fairly below what it should be. My local fish store owner suggested using Purple Up which doses Calcium. I have thought about dosing Kalkwasser but maybe have to wait and see if my Alkalinity will be lowered after starting weekly water changes.

I cycled my tank with 10 lbs. of live rock, 20 lbs. of live sand and Instant Ocean Bio-Spira. The cycle was about a day with the Bio-Spira. Anyone have any suggestions as to whether to use Kalkwasser, some two-part, or just Purple Up and water changes? Also, if you have a tank this size I'd be interested to hear what you do about this if anything.

Thanks.
 

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Mommy Mod
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HI and welcome to TRT Jeff!

Is this your first tank?

What's in it?


I'll be happy to share my philosophy on reefing which is if you don't know what's in it - don't add it. If you can't test for it don't add it.

I wouldn't add purple up, your coraline algae will grow in time.

Do you have sps in the tank yet.... if not I think I would wait on dosing...

what are your levels at?

I was talked into using bio-spira for my first tank and found that it was really not a real cycle - it didn't produce enough lasting bacteria to support fish - I really needed to wait the full 4-6 weeks in order for the tank to be really ready to support life. One thing I have learned in this hobby is patience is important ;)
NOTHING good happens fast in a reef tank.


But to answer your question I am in favor of 2 part plus water changes.

Hope that helps you some!

and again welcome to the reef tank!
 

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Reef Nut
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Welcome to TRT! I agree w/ everything Amy said above. FYI, I have a 10 gl and I run it open and get a lot of evaporation. I just top-off twice daily from a gallon jug of ro/di water and whenever I refill it I put in a little less than 1 tsp of kalkwasser. It does help keep the ca and alk a little more stable.
 

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If you use kalk drip it at night (eliminates night time pH dip due to increase in dissolved CO2) and test for Ca/Mg/KH/pH weekly, separately supplimenting each when required. That's my philosiphy, it's a bit of a chore but it's nice knowing everything is stable and in check.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the input. I am testing for everything I am putting in the water. I had a tank the same as this about three years ago. I got to this point and then ended up ending it. Right now I have two Clownfish, two Astrea snails, and a ball of Chaetomorpha. I added that all on about day five. So far everything is looking good. My levels are

Ammonia 0 (and has been since the beginning)
Nitrite 0 (1.0 and then .5 a day after adding the bacteria)
Nitrate 5 (down 5 to 10 points since adding the Chaeto. Its hard to read the color)
Calcium 370 (350 before adding a cap of Purple Up)
Alkalinity ~11 (its been mostly this)

Salinity 1.025
Temp 78-80

The heater I have is a 50 watt Hydor Theo. Its kind of strange in that if you tap it it comes on, regardless of the temperature. Also, the setting for temperature doesn't match the numbers on the top. The light cycle is 10-12 blue and white leds, 12-8 14k, 8-10 blue and white leds. I have a Koralia Nano and MJ900 for flow. For two part what do you recommend? I have heard good things about B-ionic.

scoop, when you mix the Kalk with the water in the one gallon jug and let it settle do you just pour it in as needed? Does it disturb the chalky stuff on the bottom? How much water would you say evaporates per day? Also, do you have any problems with pH after adding the Kalkwasser and do any tank inhabitants mind so much added at a time?

bella d, I would drip at night and I've read that about the pH but I have an IV like drip so I'd rather just set it and leave it, although I may have to adjust it. I'm not currently testing for Magnesium but I am reading about it and may get a kit later.

One kind of weird thing is that water seems to be evaporating but my salinity isn't going down. If anyone knows anything about that I'd like to hear it.
 

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Kalk (Ca+ and OH-) rapidly degrades to CaCO3 and H2O if not used when fresh (by reacting with CO2 in the air/water). It can be stored for a while in an air tight container or a kalk stirrer, this prevents the reaction above. It's best used after it clears, being careful not to allow any of the "slurry" from the bottom to get into the tank (it can act as a nucleus for elements in your tank to precipitate out).
I'm not sure what you mean by a drip but it's best to use a small syphon tube and a valve rather than a gravity fed drip (as in the medical sense). I would never add kalk without dripping it, no matter what the quantity... Kalk is still pH 12 even at surprisingly low concentrations when fresh, and this has to be "neutralised" slowly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So if I made up a gallon and dripped that in over the course of a week would that be too long for the mix? How do you mean, syphon tube and valve? What pumps the kalk into the tank? Also, if you mix it up in a separate container is it safe to siphon off the clear liquid into a dosing container? What happens if you get some in your mouth? I've heard its caustic but just wondering how bad it is.
 

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Kalk can be added by passing an air line with a valve through the lid of a plastic bottle with two holes drilled in it (one hole in the lid for the air line and one to allow air in to replace the water removed), the air line is long enough to reach about 1 inch from the bottom of the bottle so it doesn't suck up the slurry.
I get about 2 litres of evaporation per day, so make two litres to use and save two litres. I'm not sure how long it would stay fresh in a sealed container.
The fresh but settled kalk is then placed above the tank/sump and siphoned out, a drip rate of about 1.5x per second empties the 2 litre bottle to the bottom of the air line over night. Pumps get killed by kalk so without a kalk stirrer/auto top-off i think it's the only way? I'd be interested to see other solutions..

I'm not sure how well I described that so here are some (really bad) cameraphone pics... ****.. i don't have a high enough post count to post links/pics.. I think I can pm you them if you would like them...
 

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Reef Nut
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I don't pour in the bottom of the jug, I dump the bottom inch or so out before I refill it each time. The drip stuff is way too much of a pain. The benfit is not getting too much at once, but since I only add it w/ the top-off, I can't get too much. The kalk does not degrade nearly as fast as it used to be thought. Here is some info you should read if you are thinking about using kalk: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2005-01/rhf/index.htm
 

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On my 10 gl I add about 2 gallons of top off per week to replace evaporation. On my 75 I evaporate a little over a gallon a day and in my auto top off I mix the kalk w/ ro/di water at about 1 tsp/gl (about half of what I could do, but I don't need any more, it keeps the levels stable w/ that amount)
 

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T. For two part what do you recommend? I have heard good things about B-ionic.



One kind of weird thing is that water seems to be evaporating but my salinity isn't going down. If anyone knows anything about that I'd like to hear it.
I use "poor mans 2 part"
I use driveway heat for my calcium ( Cacl2)
and baking soda for my alk

on a 200 gallon mixed system -


Yes, your salinity won't go down when your water evaporates, it will go up. The water evaporates, but your salt does not. That's why top off water should be freshwater - what you empty from your skimmer is salt water however.
 
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