Question for Randy?

Crosby

New member
FOWLR - Right now no fish

Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 1-5
Alkalinity 4.0 meq/L
Calcium 460
pH 8.0


I been adding Kent Kalkwasser 24/7 for 2 weeks. I am using a DIY dripper to dose it. I am using 2 teaspoons per gallon. I started with that much because I have a lot of CO2 in my basement. Recently I have noticed that holes have been appearing in all of my Fiji live rock. I want to stop this immediately. It's as if the live rock is disintegrating. Things that were done differently recently were adding a fan (over the sump), kalk, a sponge (in the aquarium for future QT), increasing the time the actinics were on from 12 to 14 hours and daylight from 8 to 10 hours. I have stopped dripping kalk today.

I did have high alkalinity (5.5 meq/L) couple days ago. Yesterday I did a 26 gallon waterchange. Today the alkalinity was 4.0 meq/L Before I notice the holes, I was happy with the results of adding kalk. I was able to maintain my pH around 8.0 to 8.2 and coraline was spreading on my rocks.

I stack 2 Kent buckets behind my aquarium. On top of that I put my 5 gallon jug of kalk. The last batch of kalk was left for about 2 hours to stand still after mixing. Then I started dripping it. I was in a rush that day. I normally have another jug on the floor that sits overnight with kalk. When the top jug becomes empty, I swap it with the one on the floor. I don't think that moving the jug from the floor to top of the Kent bucket would disturb the sediment of the bottom.

To get the kalk dripping I blow in one of the tube in the lid. The valve on the end of return line is loose. So the kalk pours in but I quickly tighten the valve to a slow drip. The pH monitor reads an increase of .08. But with in seconds goes down to an increase of .01 to .02. It takes a couple of seconds for it to disperse. My pH never swings more than .2 in 24 hrs.

What do you think is creating these holes in my live rock? My tank is full of pods, chaeto is growing well and coraline is spreading. All signs of a healthy aquarium.
 

jdieck

New member
The only thing that chemically could dissolve the rock will be very low PH (Below the 7 PH level and then will do it over a relatively longer period of time) which is not an issue here and adding Kalk will not lead to the rock's holes.

I would look for two potential things:

a) The holes have always been there but plugged with detritus algae and such and during cycle those are being removed then showing up the holes.
I would use a powerhead to keep holes, crevices and pores clean during the cycle to remove detritus more effectively.

b) The other thing I would look for is a borer hitchiker. Some worms and specifically mantis shrim can bore trough rock rather quickly. If you see some dusty material comming out of a hole, my best guess is that a mantis might be digging trough.
If so, you need to find him (may show if you feed some) and catch him before adding other critters or fish to the tank.
 
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Crosby

New member
I have had this live rock since Jun 08. It's definitely not detritus. I have 5000 gallons of turnover in my aquarium. It's not any type of invertebrate either. If there was mantis shrimp I would have noticed in the first 39 weeks I owned the live rock. I am 100% confident that it correlated to the Kent kalkwasser. These are small to big holes appearing in all my live rock. I have had this live rock for about 41 weeks. It is no coincidence that the holes started appearing within the same period as I started adding kalk (last 2 weeks). I just need some help to find a solution where I can drip kalk without having holes or larges pieces of my rock suddenly gone. There is definitely some negative effect from dosing a lot kalk in a my tank. Maybe a sudden increases in pH is causing the problem? The only parameter that got out of whack was alkalinity. Do you think that is what caused it? And if so, will using 1 teaspoon per gallon and only dripping at night solve this problem? It 100% neither of the 2 options you proposed jdieck. Thank you for the response. But there is a 3rd reason. And I would appreciate some help figuring it out.
 

Crosby

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14778001#post14778001 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Randy Holmes-Farley
I agree. :)

Maybe you just never noticed the holes?

No, these are new holes for sure.:(
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Premium Member
Well, all I can say is that for sure there is no possible way for kalkwasser (calcium hydroxide) use correctly or incorrectly in any fashion to cause holes in live rock or to cause any extra dissolution of live rock.
 

THE ROOK

New member
1st post mentions "FOWLR - Right now no fish"

Why is there a need to even dose kalk without any corals? Seems to me a decent salt mix should take care of your levels.
 

jdieck

New member
There is no way Kalk will produce that.
May be the rock had other soluble minerals in it that are not calcium carbonate but say if they were salt incrustations or similar being dissolved you should have detected a change in your water chemistry (Salinity as an example)
 

jlinzmaier

Premium Member
Is the rock by chance DIY rock? Could you have bought it as real LR but it was maybe a DIY rip off? Even if it is DIY rock, I'm not sure how Kalk dosing would affect it (without knowing the recipe of the rock), but I have heard of DIY rock disintegrating after time.

Could you post some pics??

Jeremy
 

luther1200

Premium Member
Raising the PH will increase calcification, not cause disintigration. I am not being a wise guy or anything, but many, many people drip Kalk, and I'm sure somebody else would have come across this if Kalk was the cause. Not only that but I also drip Kalk 24/7 for over 2yrs now, and have never run into this issue.

My other question is were does the material go? does the water get cloudy? Does it pile up in the sump, or in the tank? Is your filter sock, or whatever mechanical filtration you bhave picking up extra stuff?
 

Crosby

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14778417#post14778417 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by THE ROOK
1st post mentions "FOWLR - Right now no fish"

Why is there a need to even dose kalk without any corals? Seems to me a decent salt mix should take care of your levels.

Not if the CO2 levels in your basement are extremely high. I wanted to raise my pH into an acceptable range before I bought fish.
 

Crosby

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14778322#post14778322 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by HighlandReefer
Did you use acid to clean the rocks with before putting them into your tank?

No, I bought premium Fiji live rock from the LFS. And put it into my aquarium. The same way I did for my 90 gallon. Which ran successfully for 2 years. Before I tore it down.
 
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Crosby

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14780572#post14780572 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by luther1200
Raising the PH will increase calcification, not cause disintigration. I am not being a wise guy or anything, but many, many people drip Kalk, and I'm sure somebody else would have come across this if Kalk was the cause. Not only that but I also drip Kalk 24/7 for over 2yrs now, and have never run into this issue.

My other question is were does the material go? does the water get cloudy? Does it pile up in the sump, or in the tank? Is your filter sock, or whatever mechanical filtration you bhave picking up extra stuff?

I drip the kalk in the return section of my sump. The water does not get cloudy. I was surprised to find the holes. I myself did not expect that kalk could do this? I know that high alkalinity can damage corals. Is it possible that when my alkalinity peaked at 5.5 meq/L that it somehow affected my live rock?
 

Crosby

New member
Anyways, I stopped dripping kalk this morning. And instead of it nose diving to pre-kalk conditions of 7.7 - 7.86, it actually hit a low of 7.98 and rose to 8.04 before the lights went out. I going to monitor my pH and drip kalk only if it is absolutely necessary. And in that case, I am only going to drip at night using 1 teaspoon per gallon.
 

jdieck

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14781619#post14781619 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Crosby
Not if the CO2 levels in your basement are extremely high. I wanted to raise my pH into an acceptable range before I bought fish.
While adding Kalk which take us CO2 will help maintain a higher PH, you will need alkalinity consumption for continued Kalk addition and on a new tank the addition amount sooner or later might not be enough to maintain a higher PH otherwise your alkalinity level may become too high.

Spiking alkalinity will not affect the rock at all.
 
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martinhal

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14781647#post14781647 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Crosby
No, I bought premium Fiji live rock from the LFS. And put it into my aquarium. The same way I did for my 90 gallon. Which ran successfully for 2 years. Before I tore it down.

Just a note just because you paid for permium Fiji live rock does not mean that it is premium Fiji live rock. Plenty of LFS sell things under the wrong names. Your issue is not the Kalk - Kalk will drive PH up if anything. Your issue is low PH - low PH will desove certain minirals. Have you checked your Ph test kit it could be off ?

I am no expert but basic school acid / base theory suggests it.
 

martinhal

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14781647#post14781647 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Crosby
No, I bought premium Fiji live rock from the LFS. And put it into my aquarium. The same way I did for my 90 gallon. Which ran successfully for 2 years. Before I tore it down.

Just a note just because you paid for permium Fiji live rock does not mean that it is premium Fiji live rock. Plenty of LFS sell things under the wrong names. Your issue is not the Kalk - Kalk will drive PH up if anything. Your issue is low PH - low PH will desove certain minirals. Have you checked your Ph test kit it could be off ?

I am no expert but basic school acid / base theory suggests it.
 

Crosby

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14783103#post14783103 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by martinhal
Just a note just because you paid for permium Fiji live rock does not mean that it is premium Fiji live rock. Plenty of LFS sell things under the wrong names. Your issue is not the Kalk - Kalk will drive PH up if anything. Your issue is low PH - low PH will desove certain minirals. Have you checked your Ph test kit it could be off ?

I am no expert but basic school acid / base theory suggests it.


My LFS is reputable and it was premium Fiji live rock.
 

Crosby

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14782218#post14782218 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by jdieck
While adding Kalk which take us CO2 will help maintain a higher PH, you will need alkalinity consumption for continued Kalk addition and on a new tank the addition amount sooner or later might not be enough to maintain a higher PH otherwise your alkalinity level may become too high.

Spiking alkalinity will not affect the rock at all.

I agree now that it is not the kalk or high alkalinity. It can't be low pH because when my pH was low around 7.7 to 7.86 my rock did not get holes. Right now my pH is stable in the range of 7.9 - 8.05. I am flabbergasted at what could be causing this. I replaced my Spectrapure cartridges. My LFS stopped carrying the Spectrapure DI cartridges and now carry there own version. I remember that I replaced the DI cartridge two days after I bought it and there was some condensation in the bag. But I don’t think that would make a difference to the water. My TDS meter read 0. I will post some pictures later so you can have a better idea of what I am talking about.
 
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