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Calcium low, alkalinity high

2410 Views 20 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  neo
So my calcium is at about 300 ppm and my alkalinity is at 14dKh. I want to bring the levels in check, 400+ & 7-11 dkh. I have been dosing the tank, at a drip, with kalk for about a week, but I havn't seen a big change in either. There was a jump in my ph though which leveled out overnight. I read that adding vinegar to the kalkwasser mix will cause it to be more effective. I got some mixed and I intend start dosing it after work. But is this gonna solve both my problems, or just bring the calcium up? I was also using tap water before, but recently started buying ro/di water until the new unit arrives. I'ld say about 1/3 the water is ro/di now. Is this to blame for the hard water , adn will the problem be corrected after a few more water changes? What going on here and how do I fix it, WITHOUT throuwing everything out of wack. Thanks alot yall.
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calcium and alkalinity have an inverse relationship. As you riase your calcium your alkalinity will fall. Maybe use a 2 part solution and add the calcium part until you get it to atleast 380. you should notice a concurrent drop in the alk. A ca of 380-400 and an alk of 8-10 is something to shoot for. But also do not micromanage the stsyem and chase numbers all the time.
Yes, tap water definity would be one of the problems, when i first filled up my tank i did it w/ tap water, and when i checked my alk it was around 14. When i got enough water changes so my tank was pretty much all r/o my alk, when back to normal.
Try adding a solution which is only Ca, like kent liquid calcium. I would be interested to find out what the vinegar does to the Kalk. solution since they are basically opposites. Doing water changes once a week should bring everything around also.
I would just dose some Kent "Turbo Calcium" untill you get your calcium up.As you start to raise Cal check your Alk. to make sure it doesn't drop too much, I doubt it will. Don't add any buffers unless Alk. starts to get down under 10 DKH. The Turbo Calcium will get your Cal. level up quickley so be carfull you don't overdose with it.
Kalkwasser will not do a good job of raising Cal., but will maintain it after you get it where you want it.
I spike my Kalk with vinegar. When you dissolve your Kalk in vinegar it puts more Calcium ions into solution, so you get more Calc. Do a search on Reef Cantral, Randy Holms Farley has writen about this before and could give a better answer then I.
I thought that vinegar increases the amount of calcium you can put into your water. Vinegar increases the solubility of the lime in the water (base in a base = more non-ionized particles which dissolve faster than a basic solute in a more acidic solvent). There is a great article in Advanced Aquarist's online Magazine Hhttp//advancedaquarist.com/issues/feb2003/chem.htm if your are interested.
Mardemp is correct. Using a 5% acetic acid solution (vinegar) will increase the solubility of the lime. Be careful of how much you use. I typically mix about 1 to 2 teaspoons with about 40 mls of the 5% acetic acid, then add to 1 gallon of RO water. Once I got a little reckless and used 70 mls with 2 tablespoons and dripped the Kalk in overnight. When I got up the fish were stunned and listless! The corals appeared OK. I had to do a partial water change to get things back to normal.

I use Mrs Wages pickling lime from Krogers to make the Kalkwasser.
I had this same problem of low Ca and high KH.

I bought the seachem calcium and also b-ionic and just used the Ca part of that.

It took a good 2 months before the Ca was up to where I wanted and the Kh was down to where I wanted.
So I'm hear'n that I should get the 2 part mix and just use the calcium part. Naturally the calcium part should be added slowly. Is it like kalkwasser and needs to be dulited and dripped or can ya use the fill up the cap, wait test method? Also is there a noticable ph increase when using the 2 part?
If it's that easy, then that sound like a great plan. This whole kalkwasser thing seams like a bit of a pain in the [-censored].
Why use a two part mix and only use one part? If you want to raise your calcium, Kents "Turbo Calcium" or simalar product works great.As your raising calc. your alk. should drop some.Once you get you calc. and alk. in line then you can use two part mix to maintain levels.
Here is another excellent article on Kalkwasser and using vinegar to get more calcium from it.

I thought that vinegar increases the amount of calcium you can put into your water.

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When you dissolve your Kalk in vinegar it puts more Calcium ions into solution, so you get more Calc.

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Yes that is what I said.

Here's that article I mentioned. Forgot to post it. http//www.animalnetwork.com/fish2/aqfm/1999/oct/bio/default.asp
And you all know what my ultimate suggestion is in this and all cases.....A calcium reactor!! I have used teh Kalk reactor and the vinegar thing to with little reproducable success. The calcium reactor is just a more sane approach to me and just really easy although the cost is high to begin with it evens out in the end.
Your probably right neo, but as you said the cost is high for one of those systems. When you have a blue collar job, raising three kids, and the cost to be in this hobby to begin with it's hard to come up with $500. I'll just be happy with my getto reef tank and continue dripping Kalk, it works.
OK, how would you guys solve the opposite question high Calcium and low Alk? And Neo, no cheating with the Reactor answer. -)
Quantify "high" calcium and "low" alk. If your calcium is too high (480-500 which is very difficult to achieve anyhow) and your alk is too low, your calcium will not stay in solution. In this case, the calcium will precipitate out of solution and you will have a "marine snow" event and your calcium levels will crash. I guess we need to know what you call high and low first, then we can go from there. I would also check readings against another kit for sanity's sake.
I think the brand is "seachem". But I was recommended to use something called 8.3 buffer. That shot my alk to over 16. That will get your alk up in a hurry and the calcium down.
Seachems "Reff Builder" raises Alk. and doesn't affect PH. It's what I use when my Alk. starts to drop, but my PH is good.
PJR - I will answer with CALCIUM REACTOR[}}-|>>][-bonc01][D]
I wouldn't call calcium at 450 as high... if it is truly at 450, I'd leave it there and perhaps mix up a weak baking soda solution to bump up your alk a bit.
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