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Old 01/11/2019, 10:03 PM   #1
waterman78
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Kalkwasser vs Calcium Reactor effluent juice

In your opinion, is there a true difference in the power of calcium provided to the reef systems? Would corals grow differently or be affected from one versus the other?

I'm trying to make the decision to purchase a calcium reactor or start blindly adding kalkwasser to my ato water to refill the tank?

In my experience, the kalkwasser addition did the trick because I've always have stony corals in my systems. Currently I have a 40g breeder with a a few larger colonies of sps corals.

Please let me know your thoughts/opinions.

Larry.


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Old 01/12/2019, 06:49 AM   #2
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Yes they are quite different. Whether your tank would grow better is another story entirely that depends on more things. Kalkwasser provides calcium and alkalinity. Calcium reactor effluent provides calcium, alkalinity, magnesium and all trace elements needed to build coral skeletons in their perfect ratios


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Old 01/12/2019, 09:33 AM   #3
waterman78
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Okay. Good point indeed - melting coral carcass/skeleton to give back to the system. Feeding the REEF their cousins/neighbors. Just kidding but I guess it does help me with my decision to not spend the money now until I see how the kalkwasser works. Least expensive method of the two and probably proves to be the right mixture for my tank. I have a huge colony of a HOLLYWOOD STUNNER coral and my purple stylo is coming along as well.

Thank you for your response.

- Larry


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Old 01/12/2019, 09:57 PM   #4
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Corals require calcium and alkalinity to form their skeletons. It's not clear that other elements are required, although they often are incorporated into the matrix. Food supplies and supplements also add trace elements, so I am not convinced that a calcium reactor is necessarily a better choice, although they are not limited by the evaporation rate, as Kalk often is.


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Old 01/12/2019, 10:35 PM   #5
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In your case I think youíre making the right call. Really I think where a calcium reactor shines is when all other supplement methods become too labor intensive and fail to keep up. An appropriately sized calcium reactor really has an incredibly high ceiling on how much it can supplement. Kalkwasser is indeed dirt cheap, simple to implement, and effective well beyond moderate stocking.


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Old 01/13/2019, 09:10 AM   #6
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Thank you both very much for your feedback. I'm going to see how far my patience will allow me to continue mixing kalkwasser... hopefully I can get it to work as I would like. Fingers crossed. I'm in the hunt for some of those deep purple coralline algae to cover my seascape. It's one of my favorite things to see in the hobby.

However, I witnessed my tiger sea cucumber split....first time ever in my system.

Bertoni- What are you thoughts on coral feeding? What do you use and how often?

Bpb - what size system do you have? And which coral have you had the best growth with?

- Larry


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Old 01/13/2019, 11:18 AM   #7
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I have a reactor and its is good solution. Bpb and Bertoni highlight some good points. For me the reactor has allowed my alk to stabilize. My water chemistry is just water changes now. No more add this or that.


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Old 01/13/2019, 02:19 PM   #8
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My tank is a 90 gallon display with 36 gallon sump. With rock/sand/equipment displacement I am at 86 gallons net water volume (exactly, not a guess). So far the three sps corals that have been absolutely bulletproof for me and have tolerated every single misstep along the way are purple stylophora, montipora spongodes, and purple montipora Capricornis. That being said none of those will go in my next tank. They grow too well to the point of being a nuisance. And now I canít get them out.


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Old 01/14/2019, 05:35 PM   #9
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Maybe that's my next thing to do: attach my overflow box and sump to increase the total water volume which could allow for more room for additional equipment. I'm happy to add that the parameters of my water are within normal range with the addition to the kalkwasser as my top off for the system. I'll send updates as the tank matures further under the kalkwasser additions. Again, thank you all for your input.

BTW, it's a 40g breeder - mixed lps and sps corals - powered by MH and t-5 fixture.
As far as supplement additions: I do not test for them but I do add Iodine/Magnesium/Potassium every other month/time I feel to increase the levels


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Old 01/15/2019, 04:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waterman78 View Post
As far as supplement additions: I do not test for them but I do add Iodine/Magnesium/Potassium every other month/time I feel to increase the levels

This is the one of the worst things you can do to any tank.


NEVER ADD ANYTHING TO YOUR TANK YOU CANNOT TEST FOR!!


Blindly adding supplements to any tank is a quick way to not have a tank, or the worst headache of your lifetime trying to figure out why things are dying/not doing so hot.


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Old 01/15/2019, 06:35 AM   #11
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homer1475 - GOT IT. Thank you for those wise kind words of wisdom. I'm familiar with a lot of reef stories gone wrong....that's why I used the term blindly earlier in the post. Most reefers do a lot of blind/mistaken additions without considering the effects of their actions. KNOCKING on wood that I never experience that.


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Old 01/15/2019, 07:42 AM   #12
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IMO, if you have to ask the question Kalk or Reactor, then the answer is Kalk. Reactor or 2 part is for when those aren't keeping up anymore.

If manual dosing of Kalk powder to your top-off reservoir is a PITA, buy a kalk stirrer for $100, or buy the Tunze in-line kalk mixing chamber device. Whatever they are, they're hundreds of dollars cheaper than the cheapest (effective) option for a calcium reactor. A calcium reactor is a $500 investment, and isn't guaranteed stable or simple.

For reference, I'm an "advanced reefkeeper" and I made the mistake when starting a new tank of jumping straight into a calcium reactor despite having no corals at the time. It's been a nightmare of chasing (however little) parameter changes, I've spent a ton of money, and all of that was entirely unnecessary for anything short of a "very established system." I wanted to buy once and buy right.

It's like feeding yourself from Costco, when you live by yourself in a studio apartment. You have TONS of spare overhead, but it's a mess to manage day-to-day (although I always did the Costco thing IRL).

It also sounds like you have an open-top tank. If your demand isn't met by kalk at maximum saturation, you could start running a fan across your tank top to increase evaporation and add more kalk.

Also, just remember that while Kalk provides 1:1 calcium:alkalinity, your tank will likely use more alkalinity than calcium so you'll need some alkalinity supplement (baking soda or baked baking soda) on hand to restore the balance over time.


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Old 01/15/2019, 07:54 AM   #13
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ReefWreak - You made it much more simple to understand...and I thank for those couple of pennies.

I'll use that advice as my guide. Without being too technical - IT MADE SENSE.

- Larry


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Old 01/16/2019, 06:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waterman78 View Post
In your opinion, is there a true difference in the power of calcium provided to the reef systems? Would corals grow differently or be affected from one versus the other?

I'm trying to make the decision to purchase a calcium reactor or start blindly adding kalkwasser to my ato water to refill the tank?

In my experience, the kalkwasser addition did the trick because I've always have stony corals in my systems. Currently I have a 40g breeder with a a few larger colonies of sps corals.

Please let me know your thoughts/opinions.

Larry.
In addition to what has been said here, kalkwasser will raise the pH which has been shown to have a positive effects for coral growth but calc & alk get used quicker, a CaRx lowers the pH however it may not be a sizable amount it lowers it by it definitely doesn't raise it

Also don't put kalkwasser in your ato, there could be a chance the evaporation rate of your tank water won't always be the same, as a result you'll add more/less. Get yourself a reactor, dose kalk, then ATO or vice versa, you'll catch up on the next days ATO top off otherwise. As long as you don't dose more kalk than you evaporate you're good to go.


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