Reef nutrition

Calcium & Alkalinity supplementing methods

How do you maintain calcium and alkalinity?

  • Water changes

    Votes: 3 13.6%
  • Kalkwasser

    Votes: 5 22.7%
  • "2"-part (including Triton)

    Votes: 8 36.4%
  • Calcium reactor

    Votes: 3 13.6%
  • Mixture of above (please specify with reply)

    Votes: 2 9.1%
  • Other (did I miss one? please specify with reply)

    Votes: 1 4.5%

  • Total voters
    22

Flagg37

Supporting Member
Next tank will be CaRx with kalk. I’ll continue not doing water changes and dose trace elements. I’ll think about dosing silica now too.
 

sfsuphysics

BOD
Staff member
Cynical opinion:

Aquaforest 1+ says it contains: Ca, Sr, Ba, Co, Mn, Cu, Fe, Zn, Ni, Cr.
If you do not do many water changes, those other elements would accumulate eventually.
Well to follow up with your advice, ICP testing to see if anything is in fact accumulating.
 

L/B Block

Supporting Member
For 2 part, look at the Triton Core 7. You will need 4 dosers but it takes care of trace as well.

2 stage regulators aliviate the end of tank dump.

The best way, imo, to run a CaRx is NOT to use a pH probe to control CO2 dosing. Instead, use a good reliable pump and regulator. But most importantly is a very fine metering valve on the regulator.

The idea is to use the regulator and metering valve in conjunction with the steady dosing pump to fine tune the effluent. The solenoid will be always open if tuned correctly. This way, you are not at the mercy of a potentialy faulty or poorly calibrated probe. You also do not use a needle valve on the effluent line, you use the dosing pump to control the amount of effluent flow and eliminate the clogging issues with the needle valve.

You still use a pH but as a last stop safety.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
What’s your hourly rate!
All jest aside-This is good to know. One of my hesitations on CX reactors-is well the 2nd ph probe since it seems to be a tight window of ph inside that chamber.

After I tear down this tank, may be the route I go...although I set up before for...practice...

Thanks for the input


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Julius Chen

Supporting Member
I have 10 lbs bag of calcium chloride sold by www.saveoncitric.com. I think it is used to make calcium dosing.

Now, need alkalinity part. What is the difference between Sodium Bicarbonate and Soda Ash? Which one should I use daily dosing?

Will BRS Pharma work with calcium chloride from saveoncitric.com? Just want to make sure.

I am also curious Sodium Bicarbonate is said to be used for large adjustment to alkalinity. What are the occasions that one needs quick large adjustment? Thought slow is always better in dosing.
 

xcaret

Guest
I'm about to make some Soda Ash out of Arm and Hammer Sodium Bicarbonate. Costco is a good place for Sodium Bicarbonate (A&H), just bake it to make it Soda Ash.
It's basically the Randy Holmes recipe.
I might be twisting both bot I believe Soda Ash will keep the pH up whereas the Bicarbonate is more to rise Alkalinity...
I'll search it up but BRS has a good recipe for both.
 

Julius Chen

Supporting Member
I have 1.5 years old but unopened A&H baking soda from costco. What does baking do to it to turn it into soda ash?

And again, can I use it as is together with the Calcium Chloride I have to make the complete 2 parts?

Obviously I am still lost... feels like feeding my tank with grandma's cup cakes.
 

rygh

Webmaster
Staff member
I have 1.5 years old but unopened A&H baking soda from costco. What does baking do to it to turn it into soda ash?

And again, can I use it as is together with the Calcium Chloride I have to make the complete 2 parts?

Obviously I am still lost... feels like feeding my tank with grandma's cup cakes.
Baking it drives of the CO2, turning it from sodium bicarbonate into sodium carbonate.
If you add it directly, that can make it raise PH instead of lowering PH. Usually good.
If it sits in a container for a month on a doser though, I would argue it is pointless, since it should equalize with the air.
 

RandyC

Guest
I have 10 lbs bag of calcium chloride sold by www.saveoncitric.com. I think it is used to make calcium dosing.

Now, need alkalinity part. What is the difference between Sodium Bicarbonate and Soda Ash? Which one should I use daily dosing?

Will BRS Pharma work with calcium chloride from saveoncitric.com? Just want to make sure.

I am also curious Sodium Bicarbonate is said to be used for large adjustment to alkalinity. What are the occasions that one needs quick large adjustment? Thought slow is always better in dosing.

Sodium Bicarbonate will not increase pH significantly when dosed, but sodium carbonate will increase pH as it is dosed quite a bit. So sodium bicarbonate is good if you have a high pH tank already (8.4+) or if you want to increase dkh a good amount without a significant pH swing.

I have 1.5 years old but unopened A&H baking soda from costco. What does baking do to it to turn it into soda ash?

And again, can I use it as is together with the Calcium Chloride I have to make the complete 2 parts?

Obviously I am still lost... feels like feeding my tank with grandma's cup cakes.
Baking the baking soda first takes out some of the carbon dioxide.

See RHF article about 2-part: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-02/rhf/index.php
 

xcaret

Guest
I have 1.5 years old but unopened A&H baking soda from costco. What does baking do to it to turn it into soda ash?

And again, can I use it as is together with the Calcium Chloride I have to make the complete 2 parts?

Obviously I am still lost... feels like feeding my tank with grandma's cup cakes.
Just note a very important thing, Baking Soda and Baking Powder are very different things for what we need.
Baking powder is a big NO.
 

sfsuphysics

BOD
Staff member
I have 10 lbs bag of calcium chloride sold by www.saveoncitric.com. I think it is used to make calcium dosing.
Yes CaCl is in fact used for calcium dosing.


Now, need alkalinity part. What is the difference between Sodium Bicarbonate and Soda Ash? Which one should I use daily dosing?

Soda Ash is Sodium Bicarb with CO2 baked out of it, otherwise identical, both will raise the alkalinity, soda ash will raise the pH though, which is actually a good thing it won't raise it a ton, but maybe just enough to get some benefit.


Will BRS Pharma work with calcium chloride from saveoncitric.com? Just want to make sure.

BRS Pharma is Calcium Chloride, the question is the purity of one versus the other, BRS stuff is supposed to be "pharmaceutical" grade stuff which is very pure, other stuff can be of "questionable" purity. BRS did a good video on showing some possible issues with other calcium. Here's the video
a quick test however with your saveoncitric place is to mix up some calcium solution into a white cup (or bucket) and let it sit a while, if the bucket has any brown tint on the bottom at all then there's questionable purity to it, however that is not the only possibly purity question but it's a very common one to test for.


I am also curious Sodium Bicarbonate is said to be used for large adjustment to alkalinity. What are the occasions that one needs quick large adjustment? Thought slow is always better in dosing.

Sodium bicarb can be used for large adjustments to alkalinity primarily because doesn't affect pH. That said I would never do a "large" adjustment to alkalinity. If you find it lower you should simply up the dosage a bit to bring it up slowly, no more than 1dKh a day, possibly even slower.
 

Julius Chen

Supporting Member
Thanks guys! So I conclude I need Soda Ash (sodium carbonate).

What do you guys think of buying soda ash from the same place my 10lbs calcium chloride came from? Trying to avoid throwing away this 10 lbs I already have, unless it is hard to DIY balanced 2 parts solutions this way.

https://www.saveoncitric.com/sodaash10lb.html

@xcaret thanks for your warning... I may indeed have baking powder (no no for our tanks) instead of backing soda.
 

xcaret

Guest
Thanks guys! So I conclude I need Soda Ash (sodium carbonate).

What do you guys think of buying soda ash from the same place my 10lbs calcium chloride came from? Trying to avoid throwing away this 10 lbs I already have, unless it is hard to DIY balanced 2 parts solutions this way.

https://www.saveoncitric.com/sodaash10lb.html

@xcaret thanks for your warning... I may indeed have baking powder (no no for our tanks) instead of backing soda.
Costco's Arm & Hammer baking soda is good to use to convert it to Soda Ash; I know I got a large bag and could not find it today; guess Costco run is on the list for the weekend.

Follow RHF's recipe; if your Alk tends to be in the lower side; mix the A&H straight with RODI water as per recipe; if you intent to raise pH then bake A&H for about an hour at 350*F
 

Julius Chen

Supporting Member
Is the attached photo the right material for making alkalinity solution? I bought it from Costco 1.5 years ago, now still unopened.

My alk is at 7.4 now. I have been dosing ~150ml each of alk and cal solution daily for a month. Surprised that my alk is still at 7.4, not higher. Mag level is ~1,300 and PH at 8.3~8.5.

As such, should I bake this baking soda from Costco or just dissolve in RODI as is?

Thanks!
 

Attachments

xcaret

Guest
Is the attached photo the right material for making alkalinity solution? I bought it from Costco 1.5 years ago, now still unopened.

My alk is at 7.4 now. I have been dosing ~150ml each of alk and cal solution daily for a month. Surprised that my alk is still at 7.4, not higher. Mag level is ~1,300 and PH at 8.3~8.5.

As such, should I bake this baking soda from Costco or just dissolve in RODI as is?

Thanks!
That’s the one. I bought a new bag past Friday and baked most of it @ 350* for about an hour and a half.
Dissolving might be the hard part but you can heat the RO water and it will dissolve nicely.

In the RHF recipes, there are two ways for the Alk, one is straight Sodium Bicarbonate and the other Sodium Carbonate (this is the part where you bake the A&H)
 

Julius Chen

Supporting Member
In RHF recipes (http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-02/rhf/index.php):

1. Do I dose BOTH 3.A and 3.B or only one of the two?

2. Recipe #1 is 2x as strong as Recipe #2. I already got part 1 (Cal) made per Recipe #1. Can I make Recipe #1's part 2 without backing it? This essentially is a concentrated of Recipe #2's part 2 (unbaked), to be used with Recipe #1's part 1.

3. Recipe #1, Part 2 asks to bake 594g of baking soda. Can I use 594g AFTER the baking is done? I assume backing will reduce weight of the powder?

Thanks,
Julius
 

xcaret

Guest
In RHF recipes (http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-02/rhf/index.php):

1. Do I dose BOTH 3.A and 3.B or only one of the two?

2. Recipe #1 is 2x as strong as Recipe #2. I already got part 1 (Cal) made per Recipe #1. Can I make Recipe #1's part 2 without backing it? This essentially is a concentrated of Recipe #2's part 2 (unbaked), to be used with Recipe #1's part 1.

3. Recipe #1, Part 2 asks to bake 594g of baking soda. Can I use 594g AFTER the baking is done? I assume backing will reduce weight of the powder?

Thanks,
Julius

Only one of the Part 3.
Pay attention this last part, the Magnesium is dossed with much less frequency; if you add it in the same volume as the other two, you will have a winter wonderland in your tank and will wreak havoc !!

I could not find a scale and can't seize my wife's kitchen scale for fishy business; I did the cup measuring thing instead of the weight.

When baking it, keep good ventilation in the kitchen, our CO alarm went crazy couple times and being winter with windows almost shut, not fun.

You need to test to know what you need/want; if the Alk is in the lower end, bring it up with straight unbaked Sodium Bicarbonate; if the ALK looks good to you and you want a bit more pH, then bake it.

You can also bake half and store it in double zip-lock bags; that way if you decide one or the other Alk is needed, you don't have to make a run to Costco for more.
 

Julius Chen

Supporting Member
I am wondering why RHF's recipe #2 has to be half strength of recipe #1?

One of my earlier question is whether I can use double strength of Recipe #2 part 2, together with Recipe #1 part 1? In this scenario, both have the same strength.
Julius
 

rygh

Webmaster
Staff member
The recipe strength is really based on how it dissolves and stays dissolved.

Personally, they seem a bit strong. I run less. It makes it easier to mix.
You have to dose a bit more of course, but that does not matter.
 
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