Kalkwasser vs All for Reef: What's the Difference

Many reefers have the question: What is the difference between All-for-Reef and Kalkwasser? In some respects, they are very similar and are the one-part dosing solutions that will replace the significant development your stony corals will uptake as they grow. 

But in pretty much every other respect, they are very different. There are certain benefits to using All-for-Reef that you don't get from Kalkwasser and vice-versa. In this article, we'll walk you through the pros and cons of each and the similarities so you can decide what is best for you and your aquarium.

What are they?

All-for-reef is a branded product made only by Tropic Marin. Kalkwasser is just a chemical solution. It's the chemical you buy in powder form, calcium hydroxide. You mix that with water to create Kalkwasser.

Now, you can mix both these up yourself if you prefer. Tropic Marin comes in a bottle, which is what most people buy. It comes already mixed, but it will also come in powder form, which will save you a bit of money. You can mix 160 grams of Tropic Marin powder in one liter of water.

In the case of Kalkwasser, you can't mix an already-mixed solution. You have to buy the powder and mix it with RO/DI water yourself. To do so, you need 1.5 grams of Kalkwasser per liter of water. 

What do they do to your aquarium? 

All-for-reef is a complete aquarium solution. It contains alkalinity, calcium, magnesium, and trace elements, which is pretty much everything your corals will need in terms of elements. Kalkwasser only contains alkalinity and calcium.

Therefore, it doesn't have anything to boost your magnesium and doesn't take care of trace elements. 

Why use Kalkwasser?

there are two main reasons. The first one is pH. This is probably the main reason why people use it. All-for-it does nothing for your pH and won't increase it, whereas Kalkwasser absolutely will, and they will make your stony corals grow faster.

The second advantage Kalkwasser has over All-for-reef is the price. All-for-reef is an expensive dosing product; Kalkwasser, on the other hand, is dirt cheap.

Space consideration

Both of these being a one-bottle dosing solution means that you save space by having two or three bottles, and you also save cost because you only need one dosing pump.

However, in terms of space-saving, All-for-reef has that advantage. A liter of Kalkwasser would probably last a couple of weeks, whereas a liter of All-for-reef would last for months at the end. That means you end up using bigger containers for Kalkwasser, and sometimes you can end up using huge containers that take up a lot of space.

If you don't have space in the dry section of your cabinet, it can look a bit ugly in your living room.

Limitations of both  

While it's great that Tropic Marin has everything, you can't adjust them individually because it's all in one bottle, and the chances are that your corals are not going to uptake all those elements in the exact ratio All-for-reef has them in the bottle.

So, if your alkalinity is at a good level but your calcium is too low, you can't adjust the dose. The same goes for Kalkwasser.


Both have advantages. In terms of simplicity, All-for-reef is the winner because it's one bottle. But if you want a cheap pH boost, Kalkwasser is the way to go. 

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