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I volunteer to be the in house Chemist. I have a Ph.D. in Chemistry and I taught freshman chemistry in college before. If you have any chemistry related question, please feel free to ask.
 

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All the test kit are very similar because they based on simple chemical and very cheap chemical. pH, Amonia, Nitrite kits are very accurate but not Ca, Ma, Nitrate and Alk. As long as the kits are fresh, they should be good enough to give you an idea what is going on in your tank. I suggest dose Kalk as the only additive for Ca and Alk because it is the only self balance additive. Antony Calfo give a nice presentation in his coral propagation book. If you use Kalk, you only need to test Ca level. The use of multi parts like B-ionic or home made three parts, you have to test Ca and Alk separately (which is a pain and you can upset the balance while doing that).

Also, as a side note, DO NOT use those bulk chemical from Homedepot (ice melt etc) as being pushed by some coral guru.
 

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contamination and unpredictable quality from batch to batch.

Also, chemical like Magnesium Chloride and Kalk are readily react with carbon dioxide in the air especially when they get moist. The shelf live are short for those chemicals.
 

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According to Anthony Calfo, 1 single shot (I think it is about 20 mL) of Kalk slury per day will satisfy any tank less than 200 gallon. That is what he is doing to his croal farm. No Calcium reactor and no B-ionic.

In terms of Mg, regular water change will take care of it.
 

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If anyone want to make Randy's two parts, I suggest using lab grade Calcium Chloride. The baking soda from the store is good enough, just not the Dowflake.
 

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According to Anthony Calfo, 1 single shot (I think it is about 20 mL) of Kalk slury per day will satisfy any tank less than 200 gallon. That is what he is doing to his croal farm. No Calcium reactor and no B-ionic.

In terms of Mg, regular water change will take care of it.
What is the difference between kalk slurry and saturated kalkwasser in solution? I use to dose saturated kalk as all of my top off water and used fans for more evaporation and this only met about 1/2 my demand in a lightly stocked 75 gallon sps tank. I then went on to using kalk and dosing hundreds of ml of b-ionic a day to keep up. Now I just use a calcium reactor and it maintains my levels even with 7 clams in there as well.
 

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Calcium reactor is very nice. If you have a Calcium reactor, you are all set.

Calfo's point is that calcium reactors is not economical for coral propagation. The difference between Kalk slurry and saturated solution is that the slurry is more potent. I use the slurry and all of them dissolved instantly when it hit the salt water (the great buffer capacity).
 

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I dose with baking soda to balance out everything. Seems to be working well for me. Alot cheaper too.
What chemical do you dose along with baking soda? I remember there is a product call "reef builder" and it basically is baking soda.
 

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A slurry is like a thin watered down mix of toothpaste and water, it is a suspension of undissolved Ca(OH)<SUB>2</SUB> in water.


For small tanks it is better to use the saturated SOLUTION of kalkwasser (the clear part once the solids settle after heavy agitation) as topoff, as not only does it provide the calcium and the DIC (carbonate/hydrocarbonate or alkalinity once the hydroxyl driven reactions with dissolved CO<SUB>2</SUB> occur in the water column) for alkalinity in equimolar amounts for reefbuilding organisms, but it also maintains a constant salinity, as it is usually provided as a automatic top off vehicle or poured in as batches for topping up tanks. With the slurry, the biggest detail is to provide the slurry into a high flow area, preferrably one free of specimens (like your sump at the overflow drains to the sump) to allow for solubilization of the particulates prior to distribution in the tank. This prevents "burning" of a specimen due to the accidental landing of a particle of CaOH<SUB>2</SUB> on a coral's tissue.


I like Randy's work and most of the protocols he promotes, but I am not a big fan of using the dowflake either, simply because there is no assurance of contamination-free CaCl<SUB>2</SUB> in the Dowflake product, after all, it IS intended for the sidewalk or the driveway... :rolleyes: Look at Pickle Crisp (by Ball pickling company) for a food-grade source of CaCl<SUB>2</SUB> if you prefer using a 2-part supplement, just remember to maintain equimolar balance during supplementation of all your hermatypic supplements. Keep in mind that 2-part supplements tend to skew your conservative element proportions with excess Na and Cl over time, so water changes become mandatory on a regular basis . Continuous use of Kalk has a tendency to drop Mg over time as well (as precipitated MgCO<SUB>3</SUB>) which would be aggravated by the use of slurry-sourced Calcium Hydroxide (there are now particles in the water that can act as seed crystals for precipitation of supersaturates in high pH localized microenvironments...)

ceige said:
my "temp" system is about 50 gal....will 20ml be overkill for me?
Most likely not, but it will depend on how many specimens you have and how quickly your corals use calcium, your photoperiod, and the starting concentration and Ca<SUP>++</SUP>/Alkalinity balance of the water column in question. See one of the reef calculators for the actual numbers you need to use.


HTH, and thanks to Dong for supporting a local chemistry forum! So REALLY NICE to see a local club with a chemistry forum!
 

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What chemical do you dose along with baking soda? I remember there is a product call "reef builder" and it basically is baking soda.
I just dose with baking soda thats it. I mix about a teaspoon of baking soda into a bottle with about 10-12 ounces of ro/di water and shake to its dissolved and the i add it to my tank. Everything is right around what its suppose to be when i dose. Right now my alk is 9dkh my ph 8.0 and calcium 450ppm. I was trying to raise alk a little more and get my ph to 8.2. The reason i dose as much as i do is because my substrate did doesnt buffer like argonite did in my old tank, i have calcite in there now but just recently added some argonite (about 15lbs) for a calcite/argonite mix. Hopefully it will buffer everything a little better and i wont have to dose as much.
 
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