you need to figure out how much water evaporates from your tank in a day and thats how much kalk you will be adding. some people drip kalk 24/7 some only when the lights are out(lets say 12 hours)so if your tank evaporates 1gal in 24h and you want to drip for 24h then let it drip really slow and try to spread it out over the full 24h
So this is a constant addition thing? I wasn't sure if it was something I would have to add, then check periodically to see how much my system was using and then adjust my dosage. Thanks for the help and I am going to start tonight as soon as I make the dripping mech.
you should still test to make sure your not adding to much Ca/Alk to the system. depending on how many calcifying corals you have Kalk may be able to keep up with your demand. if you dont have a lot then you need to watch the Ca/Alk so it doesnt get too high, if you have a lot then you may still need to add a 2 part, otherwise the kalk might not keep the Ca/Alk and will lower your SG.
So basically you need to add as much as needed tp match your alkalinity consumption or total evaporation whichever happens first.
If the total evaporation is too much for Alkalinity addition you prepare a less potent more diluted solution, and as mentioned above if total evaporation is not enough to maintain your alkalinity then you need to add additional supplement.
You have a couple of different methods to estimate how much:
a) Trial and error test drip test drip and such.
b) Measure your evaporation by measuring how much water you add on a daily basis (or weekly divided by seven )
Measure your alkalinity consumption: Measure the alkalinity then wait exaclty 48 hours without adding any supplement and measure again.
Use the chemistry calculator to detemine the amount required of Lime water to change the alkalinity equivalent to your consumption.
That is the amount of saturated lime water you need to add over two days to match your consumption. If this amount is larger than your evaporation then add the evaporation and get ready to add other supplement. If it is less than your evaporation, prepare a diluted mix and add your evaporation.
c) If you are adding a supplement that you wish to replace then use the chemistry calculator to determine how much alkalinity you are adding and use the data to determine how much lime water will be needed.
Keep an eye on your PH as well. I know I can't drip full strength kalk without my PH getting too high. My PH seems to be highest about 3/4 of the way into my lighting cycle, so that would probably be a good time to check it. I believe 8.4 is generally about as high as you want it to get.
PH is normally highest near the end of the light period and falls to its lowest during the night.
I have used Kalk for years with excellent results.
For my 180 I put 2 TBSP of Kalk into 2 gallons of RO water.
For your 55 I would probably use about a 1 1/2 Qt. container for a doser with 1 - 2 TSP. of Kalk. This what I used on a 55 reef my wife & had.
I mix the Kalk well, let it settle for about 30 minutes and then begin dripping at somewhere between 40 - 20 drops per minute.. It generally takes about 12 - 15 hrs. to drip all of the mixed Kalk. I normally begin my dosing in the evening a couple hrs. before the MH's go off. My PH stays between 8.2 & 8.4, Calcium runs around 450 PPM & Alk at about 10 -12 dKH or 3.5 - 4.5 meq/L.
I mix and drip from the same container. I make my own doser's with the drip line about 1" above the bottom of the container, this keeps any sediment out of the drip line. I drip into the sump, this way the doser is out of sight. I rinse out my container after dosing and always use fresh Kalk every time.
You may have to play with the drip rate until you get it where you want it, but in any event it should take several hrs. to empty your dosing container.
I just got finished making my dripper. All I did was take a water bottle and glue some air line tubing to the bottom w/ a valve on the end. I have it running to the discharge of my AC 110. Took and drilled a hole in the lid right where it overflows into the tank so it will help mix it into the tank. The container I used is a 16.9 oz. water bottle. I wish now I had stuck the air line up into the bottle further (I didn't think about the stuff settling). I did, atleast, stub the airline about 1/2" from the bottom so maybe it won't be too bad. Thanks for the drip rate info. I will start w/ that and test/adjust as needed. Everyone that responded has been a big help and I appreciate it.