Kalkwasser/ 2part users. Need help.

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Pattie

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Ok, Have been dosing fusion #1 and #2 and recently having to do a lot of increasing and try to get it balanced. Have a euphyllia dying I think because it is not so stable. Added Apex and noticed PH has a 7.71 to 7.86 swing daily. Decided we want to use Kalkwasser to be more stable at this point.(Wish I would have started with it) How do we go about either adding or switching? We have the reactor and powder to get started. Do I turn off the other dosers or just slowly add to keep where I am now. in last month have gone from 4 to 12ml of fusion 1 and 2. I am also dosing Mag. Alk right now is 7.8, Ca 450, mag 1430. Temp 78.9F and salinity 1.026. Just don't want to cause a big swing in parameters. Tank is a 240gal (Toltal volume about 286g) mixed reef. 2+yrs old.
 

Pattie

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We have the reactor. Was just worried about switching over since I started with 2 part. Since I'm still a little low on the Alk and ph we are starting the Kalk at a about 1/3 of recommended dose and I'm going to just test daily and see how it goes. Hopefully I may beable to not mess with 2 part anymore but for now just keeping it where it is. If that makes since. Or unless someone thinks it is a bad idea.
 

clsanchez77

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I had a lot of problems when I was using Reef Fusion. Since switching to AquaForest component dosing, I have not had the issues. Something about Reef Fusion I just could not get the tank stable, but no idea what.

I also used kalkwasser at the time. To keep the kalkwasser dosing stable, I dosed 3 liters daily, regardless of floatswitches, then used the floats to cover any gaps in evaporation above 3 liters. On average, my 90 gallon tank loses about 4 liters, or a gallon daily. I only stopped kalkwasser as it complicates magnesium upkeep and I broke the reactor. The mixing blade on the Avast would keep binding up and the unit is not very good at keeping kalkwasser saturation. So now I just use the AF components only. If you use the 3-part dry mix to make your own, it is almost as cheap as the BRS DIY.
 

Pattie

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We just started yesterday. Have it hooked up to a doser to make sure I have better control. Starting with 3/4 cup in the reactor and doser at 1 gallon a day over 24 hrs. My Ph peak was 7.9 so a small rise from normal 7.78 before. Now want to see how low it will go. Also checking rest of parameters around 11am since that is my normal best time. Hoping it will be stable this week and if so will slowly increase until I can get ph to 8.3. Would like my alk to stabilize in the 8's also. Wanting to start adding SPS other then stylo and montis so need to figure this out.
 

BryanJr

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I started using kalk about a month ago, mainly to get some help with low PH as well. I couldn’t get it above 7.8. This also led me down the rabbit hole of looking for other ways to get my PH higher. I ran my skimmer airline tube outside which helped a little, but when I am able to keep the window closest to the tank open my ph stays around 8.2. Noticed a significant uptick in Acro growth with an elevated PH. I am actually looking at installing an air exchange unit which brings in fresh air and exhausts out the build up of CO2 in the home. For me, having 5 people and a dog in the house I’m thinking the CO2 is staying elevated. A fresh batch of SW mixed has a PH of 8.4 so I can tell there is still room to improve.
 

clsanchez77

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I am actually looking at installing an air exchange unit which brings in fresh air and exhausts out the build up of CO2 in the home. For me, having 5 people and a dog in the house I’m thinking the CO2 is staying elevated.
This will have the biggest impact you can make. Im one person more than you in the house and I can tell when everyone is home vs not just from the tank pH lol
 

clsanchez77

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There are HRV units which is more for Northern climates where they are not worried about humidity. ERV units remove humidity and are more useful in our climates.
Get some opinions on this. South LA is pretty extreme and talking to some local HVAC folks, we are better serviced using a dedicated humidifier to pull outside air in, dehumidify it and then allow it to put positive pressure on the house. With the really high humidity we have here, the efficiency of HRV's is not very high, and they are expensive units to start.

This is the option I am looking at when I finally replace my AC. For the whole house dehumidifier, I am considering the Ultra-Air 120V. The unit is vertically oriented, which helps me out a lot as in a 1-1/2 story house, you dont have a lot of attic for equipment. It will pull 120 pints (pounds) nominal a day. That is equivalent to 15 gallons of water a day, so may be on the high side, but Im not sure you can oversize a dehumidifier in Louisiana. It also about 4800 BTU/hr in straight latent heat removal (replaces hit with 4800 sensible heat), so it tilts the SHR in favor to the AC equipment.
 

BryanJr

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Get some opinions on this. South LA is pretty extreme and talking to some local HVAC folks, we are better serviced using a dedicated humidifier to pull outside air in, dehumidify it and then allow it to put positive pressure on the house. With the really high humidity we have here, the efficiency of HRV's is not very high, and they are expensive units to start.
While I agree a dehumidifier would be you best bet for removing humidity from the home, It will do very little to help remove CO2 or bring in fresh air. I was saying that the ERV, as opposed to the HRV, will remove the humidity from the outside air before bringing it into your home. We in south Louisiana know that we can’t keep our windows open during the summer as the RH stays above 90%. We use these on commercial applications all the time around here and believe this could be a viable solution for the home as well, even here in the south. From what I’ve researched they have some units under $1000. I have my dad looking into this for me some more as he is a HVAC guy.
 

Cigmin

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2 tsp and .6 gal a day


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

clsanchez77

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While I agree a dehumidifier would be you best bet for removing humidity from the home, It will do very little to help remove CO2 or bring in fresh air. I was saying that the ERV, as opposed to the HRV, will remove the humidity from the outside air before bringing it into your home. We in south Louisiana know that we can’t keep our windows open during the summer as the RH stays above 90%. We use these on commercial applications all the time around here and believe this could be a viable solution for the home as well, even here in the south. From what I’ve researched they have some units under $1000. I have my dad looking into this for me some more as he is a HVAC guy.

The dehumidifier brings the outside air in. The exterior air rating is about half the air capacity.
 

clsanchez77

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Here is a really good read on the use of ERV's and their pitfalls when used in the hot/humid south. It is doable, but equipment selection and proper installation is really important.

And Im not anti-ERV, we specify them for projects where heat loads from required air changes are greater than internal/solar sources. Residential applications are much smaller in scale and our recommended air exchange rates are far smaller than what is required in commercial/industrial. Some of my projects require 6 air exchanges an hour! Residential air changes are targeted around 0.35 depending on which standard you follow.
 

BryanJr

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clsanchez77

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Good read. Looks like most people got in trouble trying to tie them into their home HVAC systems. Some things are better off left simple.
Agree. Last side track for this post, I swear lol. My youngest brother is in AC and several of the contractor he worked for would "meet code" by dropping a 4" fresh air line from the outside to the air handler. He makes fun of me for being an engineer, so I used to comment that "Im not an AC technician, but I think this creates more problems than it solves". He works for more reputable company now and handles commercial accounts. We don't usually talk shop, but I bet he's pretty familiar with these ERVs now as they are really essential in the commercial side.
 

CenlaReefer

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I tried the Avast kalkwasswer stirrer yet this technique below has worked much better for me... much less work / maintenance.

I fill a 10 gallon tank with kalkwasswer and use a standard BRS dosing pump mostly at night. On top of the tank, I have a plexiglass lid with hole drilled in it for the dosing line. I also use some plastic drop cloth to help cut back on the oxygen exposure. Sitll, the container is not air tight. I put a small piece of blue bonded filter foam around the intake line with a rubber band. It keeps out some precipitation from being sicked in. This technique has helped keep my pH above 8.0. The mix has proven potent from start to finish. A 10 gallon dosing container would be a better option, yet this was cheaper. I store RO water above this tank. As you can tell, I only scrape a front viewing "window" using a razor blade. When the container gets low, I gently tilt it forward about 30 degrees by putting something under the back side. The homemade wooden stop keeps the tank from sliding forward onto the floor I give the tank a rinse with RO water between refills. Do you all think the kalk build-up inside the tank can cause a problem over time?
16208247047511557191096357382751.jpg


This is how I hide my mess. I have used this wooden partition to convert a corner of my living room into a "mini fish room" for years. This will all change with the sunroom build. This will all go outside and I will have to find another use for the wooden partition.
16208249616891825817078067235456.jpg
 
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clsanchez77

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I tried the Avast kalkwasswer stirrer yet this technique below has worked much better for me... much less work / maintenance.

I fill a 10 gallon tank with kalkwasswer and use a standard BRS dosing pump mostly at night. On top of the tank, I have a plexiglass lid with hole drilled in it for the dosing line. I also use some plastic drop cloth to help cut back on the oxygen exposure. Sitll, the container is not air tight. I put a small piece of blue bonded filter foam around the intake line with a rubber band. It keeps out some precipitation from being sicked in. This technique has helped keep my pH above 8.0. The mix has proven potent from start to finish. A 10 gallon dosing container would be a better option, yet this was cheaper. I store RO water above this tank. As you can tell, I only scrape a front viewing "window" using a razor blade. When the container gets low, I gently tilt it forward about 30 degrees by putting something under the back side. The homemade wooden stop keeps the tank from sliding forward onto the floor I give the tank a rinse with RO water between refills. Do you all think the kalk build-up inside the tank can cause a problem over time?

This is how I hide my mess. I have used this wooden partition to convert a corner of my living room into a "mini fish room" for years. This will all change with the sunroom build. This will all go outside and I will have to find another use for the wooden partition.

Really nice work. My biggest complaint with the Avast Kalkwasser is I could not get saturated kalkwasser out of it past day 3. I monitored kalk concentration with a pH probe and then switch to a conductivity probe. Either way, I could get saturation on day 1 and then a steady drop off with minimum concentrations being maintained by the mixer after 3 days or so. I burned out my mixing motor, so converted the reactor to pressure with a maxi-jet pump as the mixer. This approach was far more successful, until I started blowing through impellers about once a few months. Eventually, the outfall line clogged and the unit overflowed - it just was not built for pressure applications as it needs a top flange.

I found with kalkwasser, I had a hard time getting magnesium back up if you let it drift too far and regular water changes are not enough. I since switched to 3-part.

Kalkwasser is my preferred approach for alkalinity, but its limitations must be known so the hobbyist can prepare and mitigate for them.
 

CenlaReefer

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I try to remember to dose Mg with every water change. I saw that BRS has 2 types of Mg- one for making large adjustments and one for regular, daily dosing. I plan to try the latter Mg supplement using a dosing pump on a timer later this year. I will NEVER go to 3 part dosing. I would rather leave the hobby; however, I do not ever plan to do that. If my coral nutrient demands are too much for kalkwasswer, Mg dosing, and water changes, I will get rid of more SPS and go with more LPS that have lower nutrient uptake.
 
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