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Thread: Keeping up Ca, Mg and str.

  1. #1

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    Keeping up Ca, Mg and str.

    All,

    Because the water with ATS systems is very rich on foods, most tanks are lit like crazy so the growth potential is enormous.
    The limiting factor here is in my opinion Ca and MG (and eventually a bit of str).

    So I was wondering what is the most efficient method for adding there minerals to the water column?

    This is my ranking:

    1) Balling (light) method - This is flexible, increasing the Ca and Mg levels can out compete any other method..And it's fairly easy to adjust. Not too <a href="http://www.athiel.com/lib7/drj2.htm">expensive</a>. (So far my favorite for the future)
    2) Calcium Reactor - Nice, steady, but size limited in the output capacity. Kinda High on costs (buy and running)..(especially the DeStaCo which I would favor)
    3) "Kalkwasser"/ limewatter - Simple, cheap but too limited to meet the potential growth curve..(currently using, but not suiteable for my future plans)


    What are the experiences with no water changes and balling? Is that impossible?

    What are you currently using and why?
    Pro's and Con's are also very welcome..

  2. #2
    kerry's Avatar
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    This kind of input would be great. I dose with the Kent Cal Reactor stuff and its hard to keep up.
    150G. Reef/Mix
    125G. 3 Regular Oscars/1 Jack Dempsey
    75G. 20+ Africans
    40G. Fish/Reef. Algae Scrubbers on ALL my SW
    10G. SW Fish/Reef.
    10G. SW Hospital/new fish quarantine/pod breeder tank
    6 stage RO/DI system 200 GPD.

  3. #3
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    Kalk + Kent's Cal + Baking soda

  4. #4
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    For my 16G nano I found the easiest way to use Tropic Marin - BIO-CALCIUM . This is all in one solution. But for bigger tanks I thing that would come expensive solution. So I thing method depends on tank size and Ca requirement.

  5. #5
    kerry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SantaMonica View Post
    Kalk + Kent's Cal + Baking soda
    Are you using Pickling Lime Powder for the Kalk?
    150G. Reef/Mix
    125G. 3 Regular Oscars/1 Jack Dempsey
    75G. 20+ Africans
    40G. Fish/Reef. Algae Scrubbers on ALL my SW
    10G. SW Fish/Reef.
    10G. SW Hospital/new fish quarantine/pod breeder tank
    6 stage RO/DI system 200 GPD.

  6. #6

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    Bulk Reef Supply is the cheapest source of Ca and Mag, for Carbonate it's cheaper to buy Arm&Hammer from the Grocery store (and better quality - food grade). Water changes must be performed when dosing any Chloride bound elements to maintain proper ion ratios.

    The cheapest route for Ca and CO3 would be Kalkwasser in a top off solution. This does not add Mag and will precipitate out PO4 possibly slowing scrubber growth.

    The next cheapest (long term) is a Calcium Reactor. Ca reactors add all "trace" elements and, if you include dolomite, Magnesium as well. They will also add some inorganic PO4 and make a scrubber grow.

    I personally use a Ca reactor. However, the optimal approach would be to use both Kalk and Ca reactor together.

  7. #7
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    I do not like BRS 2 part. I would use only B-Ionic for 3 part. Reason being, BRS only contains the elements for raising Alk/CA, it does not contain any of the trace elements, where as B-Ionic contains all of it. Years ago I switched from B-Ionic to BRS and noticed right away things not looking quite as good. I use Kalkwasser + vinegar for 90% of my needs and dosing pumps for the 10% in case something gets slightly out of balance. 1G jug of B-Ionic has lasted over 2 years now doing it that way and it is still about 1/2 full on Alk, 75% full on CA, and 95% full on Mg.

  8. #8
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    How does Kalk and Vinegar replenish your Mg? I know I've read it somewhere, but why Vinegar in addition to the Kalk?

    I am definitely going to have to get on the ball on Kalk though. After the tank move (which included adding 2+ bags of Special Grade Reef Sand) I have gone through almost a gallon of BRS Alk in a month. It finally started to taper off. Sand must have soaked up a lot of it finally. Now I can just add about 7.5 mL to each 5g top off bucket and it holds it pretty well (at 2g/day evap)

  9. #9
    kerry's Avatar
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    I use the method that SM uses but never did the Kalk thing as of yet but, I had been kicking it around but with using a bit of vinegar with it as well.
    Does anyone ever use Epsom salt? I use it along with backing soda and a touch of instant ocean in my FW African tank to get the gH, Kh, and pH up. I have never used it in may SW ever.
    150G. Reef/Mix
    125G. 3 Regular Oscars/1 Jack Dempsey
    75G. 20+ Africans
    40G. Fish/Reef. Algae Scrubbers on ALL my SW
    10G. SW Fish/Reef.
    10G. SW Hospital/new fish quarantine/pod breeder tank
    6 stage RO/DI system 200 GPD.

  10. #10
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    ?? SM uses Mrs. Wages pickling lime (kalk), did you have a typo there kerry?

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