dosing kalkwasser & vinegar via ato

Discussion in 'Reef Chemistry Forum' started by cracker, Jun 6, 2017.

  1. cracker

    cracker Well-Known Member

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    I use kalkwasser in my ato. The evaporation isn't enough to keep up with coral demands. I plan to experiment with adding vinegar & kalkwasser to the ato reservoir . What dangers do I need to look out for? High ph,atc . thanks !
     
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    Last edited: Jun 7, 2017
  2. Squatch XXL

    Squatch XXL Well-Known Member

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    Man, you are right in the same research spot I am.

    Over the past few months, I have been dousing a mix of vinegar and crushed coral. I let straight vinegar sit in a glass jar with the CC for a few days shaking every so often. I did not check, but hypothetically it should be ph neutral with hardness. I actually can't say if it helps or not lol. I have been using 18ml/week to maintain a 520 calcium. I have no idea what my other minerals are at. My tank is currently suffering from a lost/dead/rotting foxface.

    Be aware of what vinegar is and what it does to tank chemistry. I would treat any experiment with that as the primary point of research. It can be beneficial, but it also can be bad.

    This seems to work well. I don't douse anything at all otherwise. I was getting to the point to start testing it vs gallons of water to see if there is a predictable amount of minerals dissolved...
     
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  3. DaveK

    DaveK Well-Known Member

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    This can be done, but it's a lot more trouble than it's worth. Due to the nature of kalk you can only get a little bit into the water. Adding vinegar only lets you get a little more in. This is usually not enough to make much of a difference when you have large demands from corals.

    Also, kalkwasser should be used in a Nilsen Reactor. Here is an example (offsite) - http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/reef-octopus-ks100-kalk-stirrer-nilsen-reactor.html

    Adding kalk to ato water directly is not very productive, since it tends to precipitate out of solution. A Nilsen Reactor is a sealed unit and it keeps most of the oxygen out of the kalkwasser, so it doesn't precipitate.

    If your not currently using a Nilsen Reactor, consider adding one, This is a possible DIY project, so don't feel you need to invest in an expensive ready made one.

    If your still having calcium issues that can't be resolved with kalkwasser and the use of 2 part solutions, you best choice then is to invest in a calcium reactor. Yes, it's very expensive to get initially, since you need the calcium reactor, CO2 tank and CO2 regulator, but once your past that, it's very inexpensive to run, and your tank will get the calcium it need.
     
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  4. cracker

    cracker Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to give it a shot just to see before I get into a doser of some type.:ponder2:
    Ok will increasing salinity raise ALk & CA? I currently run at 1,025. I could easily raise it a bit. Thanks
     
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    Last edited: Jun 7, 2017
  5. DaveK

    DaveK Well-Known Member

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    I would not increase SG just to get the additional alk and Ca.

    Once the corals consume the calcium, your right back where you were, except now you have an additional parameter out.

    Are you currently using a Nilsen Reactor?
     
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  6. cracker

    cracker Well-Known Member

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    No, not quite sure how one works. Just kalkwasser via the ato ( at full strength) I have seen a variety of dosers on successful reefs or at least a lot better than mine. My intent is to get/learn how to this 75 in very good condition. Then I can use these skills on the 180 in time. Any way I'll just try the vinegar too see if there is any difference . Then I will know. What I'm surprised to see is just how much a bunch of lps suck this stuff up.. I have about 20 corals a couple of softies, the rest lps & one sad looking sps.lps & one very unhappy sps. I didn't think this was high demand by any means. However the testing shows a steady drop of alk Ca & a little Mg . Once again thanks Dave for the advice.
     
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  7. DaveK

    DaveK Well-Known Member

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    A lot of people try to do it this way, but it's not very effective at all. Read up on and either buy or build a Nilsen Reactor.

    They are actually a very simple reactor. It's a long tall cylinder. There is some method to circulate water at the bottom, usually a paddle or pump. Kalk is added to the bottom of the reactor and the paddle or pump keeps it in suspension in the bottom half of the reactor. New RO water comes in at the bottom, and water saturated with kalk comes off the top. Since it's a sealed reactor, there is much less precipitation of kalk and the water picks up the max amount. It doesn't sound like your doing that much, but using a reactor usually about doubles the amount of available kalk.
     
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  8. cracker

    cracker Well-Known Member

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    I see, was looking into kalk reactors today & now have a good idea on how they work also how to build one. I would most likely buy one though . The more I think about it,the better a separate doser would be better. The evaporation rate varies greatly depending on the weather in these parts . when it's dry I go thru almost a gl per day. So the past week or so it's been rainy & lot's of humidity. I went thru 1/2 gl a day in the past 4 days. That's too much of a difference for stability . I love this hobby ! Always something to work out ! LOL So it's back to the drawing board.

    Hey Squatch, If you have any ideas let's hear them!
     
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  9. DaveK

    DaveK Well-Known Member

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    This can be a problem. My own system could evaporate about a bucket a day from my system. It's a bit less now due to some updates to the lighting and filtration.

    Yea, a separate dosing system is ideal, but can get expensive, since you need 2 dosing pumps.

    An easy solution is to set the kalk dosing to an amount less than the water added by the ATO system, and let the ATO fill in the rest. You would run the kalk dosing at a fixed rate for a fixed amount of time.
     
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  10. cracker

    cracker Well-Known Member

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    I have been doing a lot of research there are a lot of different ways . I think I'm missing something here.
    So if 1/2 gallon of " fully" saturated kalk a day isn't enough ( average daily evaporation) . then wouldn't 1/2 gallon of fully saturated kalkwasser from a doser not be enough either. I'd have to add too much water to the tank. Is this where a stirrer comes in? It would then make a more concentrated solution. Thanks
     
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  11. DaveK

    DaveK Well-Known Member

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    If your water is already saturated with kalk, you can stir it all you want, but no more will go into solution.

    A stirrer is a component of a Nilsen Reactor. It works there because there is saturated kalk water going out and new unsaturated water going in on a constant basis.
     
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  12. cracker

    cracker Well-Known Member

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    ok thanks, That points me closer to a doser of some type. I still can't believe this 75 with 12 lps & i scrawny looking sps is sucking up this much alk? Ca also but not as much.
     
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  13. DaveK

    DaveK Well-Known Member

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    I don't think your corals are causing that kind of drop in alkalinity. Before you do anything else, test your magnesium level. If that is low, it is almost impossible to maintain a proper calcium / alkalinity balance.

    You have likely seen this before, but it might be worth a review (offsite) - http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2002/11/chemistry
     
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  14. cracker

    cracker Well-Known Member

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    Oh Yes I have read it several times in the past. It finally quit raining here for 2 whole days ! Anyway it wasn't so humid & the tank evaporated a little more . Levels didn't drop as much as the past couple weeks, been testing every 48 hours & will continue to do so. We shall see!
     
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