Dosing Kalkwasser in my 12G nano...help

joem1cha3l

New member
Hey guys, i purchased an ATO system yesterday for my 12g long nano. I was curious, can I top off with a kalkwasser mix? The system allows a 1/4" tolerance each way before the pump kicks on. Would this be dosing too fast? The system evaporates approx 1/2 Gal. per day.
 

Darkstar22

New member
Kalkwasser is good stuff! Just mix up according to directions in RO/DI water. Your ATO will replace all evaporated water in the tank. I have been using Kalkwasser for evaporation for over 15 years.
 

steelhead77

New member
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that unless you have an SPS or clam heavy tank, weekly water changes should take care of any trace mineral needs required for a 12 gallon Nano tank. I would think that dosing kalkwasser on such a small system is a recipe for disaster unless you are VERY careful.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Premium Member
randy, i guess thats my question....how do i do this? just dose the top off water minimally?


A slow peristaltic dosing pump on a timer or other controller (or float switch) would be a good way with relatively little danger of overdosing. A drip line could also work and costs a lot less, but will be harder to control exactly. :)
 

Walking_Target

New member
Just thought to throw in my $0.02 here.

I have a 14g nano that I routinely have to dose large amounts of Ca and Alk to, usually by a 2-part additive.

My LFS owner came up with a great idea - Using a calculator you can basically figure out your Ca and Alk depletion over the course of a few weeks.

Simply use a basic dripline type system with an appropiate drip rate and add the required amount of saturated Kalk mix, then top off using RO/DI slowly so as to not introduce much CO2.

This kills two birds with one stone, you get to add the needed Kalk, but at a dilution so as to not spike your pH.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Premium Member
My LFS owner came up with a great idea -

What was the idea? Isn't that the normal way to add limewater? Dissolve the needed amount in your top off water and add it slowly?
 

Walking_Target

New member
My LFS owner came up with a great idea -

What was the idea? Isn't that the normal way to add limewater? Dissolve the needed amount in your top off water and add it slowly?

Yes and no... most people I know (who run larger reefs) dose Kalk dropwise directly, no further dilution to the saturated kalk. Dosing into a high flow area of a sump.

The idea presented to me, due to my high calcium/alk use in addition to a smaller water volume was to dilute it many times over what others (again, at least locally) do. Makes a stupid amount of sense, after he suggested it, it was blatantly obvious.

But hey, I've made larger mistakes than forgoing one method of dosing because I didn't think of something fairly straight forward.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Premium Member
Yes and no... most people I know (who run larger reefs) dose Kalk dropwise directly, no further dilution to the saturated kalk. Dosing into a high flow area of a sump.


I don’t disagree. I just don't think dosing less than saturated limewater is unusual. :)

The only reason that many people choose to dose saturated limewater is that they need that much. For those who want all that, there is no way to dilute it more because there is no more evaporated water to work with. Yes, one can also use a two part and decrease the amount of limewater, but I'm not sure of the benefit there. Even half saturated limewater cannot be added all at once one time per day replacing all evaporated water. If you back off so much that you can add it all at once, then there is not all that much benefit attained from that addition.

For those who do not need all of their evaporated water replaced with saturated limewater, one can certainly make it up as dilute as you want. In fact, my recommendations suggest that unless it is an SPS heavy tank, that folks start with about half saturation and see how that works out. I often use less than saturated limewater in my system because my tank does not need all of the calcium and alkalinity that saturated limewater would provide. :)
 

Walking_Target

New member
You wouldn't believe the amount of Alk and calcium i feed to my system. I'm currently topping off 3x per week with 200ml of saturated kalk mixed in with 200ml of RO/DI. I would dose more but i get too much of a pH spike, i'd dose more frequently instead, but it's hard as hell to get a reliable sub-200ml drip system set up. I'm also dosing B-Ionic for larger corrections and general maintenance - simply put I can't keep my alk up by Kalk alone.



One thing to consider would be setting up an ATO to dose your alk. a 'battery powered air pump' ATO is cheap and easy, has the benefit of automatically topping off, and you get the added benefit that you can dose 'X' number of days of alk into the solution that will be added automatically as your topoff. This is all-round a better solution for lower to moderate calcium requirements in my own experience.

If it wasn't for a monti cap that shows visible day-to-day grown and a clam, i wouldn't have bothered with kalk.
 
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