Icecap Kalk Stir - Why does this thing cost so much! and why couldnt I sleep last night dreaming about it!

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Ashish Patel

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So i was decided to get the larger avast kalk stir kit for $200 bucks. No way I am paying $450 for a Icecap acrylic cylinder with a magnetic stir. Then I thought about how easy it would be to maintain it and not have to worry about a typical stir getting clogged.

Is it worth it?

Why I am strongly considering it

- Easy to clean (dont have to unplug and move electric, just 2 skrews on bottom)
- Easy to fill from the top - Dont have to remove anything
- Magnet stir - Don't have to worry about kalk solidifying and making it impossible to open.
- Mainly going true to my system ,if its not easy to do, its not getting done, I need something I can remove every 2-4 weeks and this one will be on a shelf and easy to service.


I absolutely do not want to spend this kind of money on a Kalk stir, I am not sure if someone else makes this product for cheaper but my tanks going to be a 550 gallon SPS dominant tank, so need it to be large as possible.

Suggestions please. is it worth it?
 

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My buddy got one and he didn't like it. He said it constantly got stuck and the stir rod would get off center. It is a PIA to get it to start again! He opened it up and told me they appeared to use a cheapo toy graded motor. Definitely not worth it (especially for what they are charging).
He got the Avast Stirrer and said it was one of the best! I got the Avast DIY kit and took me less than 30 minutes to put together.
 
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Ashish Patel

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My buddy got one and he didn't like it. He said it constantly got stuck and the stir rod would get off center. It is a PIA to get it to start again! He opened it up and told me they appeared to use a cheapo toy graded motor. Definitely not worth it (especially for what they are charging).
He got the Avast Stirrer and said it was one of the best! I got the Avast DIY kit and took me less than 30 minutes to put together.
That's what I am worried about. I have entire basement fish room and can setup a 35 gallon barrel and mix to max saturation and just get a versa pump. I just figures it would be easier to have 1 fresh water container and easier to monitor water usage
 
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That's what I am worried about. I have entire basement fish room and can setup a 35 gallon barrel and mix to max saturation and just get a versa pump. I just figures it would be easier to have 1 fresh water container and easier to monitor water usage
Yeah, I just went with my Buddy's recommendation since he already tried Icecap, Reef Octopus, Avast and Geo...
My buddy actually took his Icecap apart and said it was cheaply made with what appear to be a toy grade motor He was ticked that he paid that much for it.
I watched Reefdude's review and he mentioned replacing the magnetic stir bar with something else to prevent sticking/get off center. Then again, I don't want to pay that kind of money for an Icecap so the Avast was perfect for me.
Do you have a Calcium Reactor already? If not, I don't think a 35gal will last too long foe Kalkwasser.
 
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Yeah, I just went with my Buddy's recommendation since he already tried Icecap, Reef Octopus, Avast and Geo...
My buddy actually took his Icecap apart and said it was cheaply made with what appear to be a toy grade motor He was ticked that he paid that much for it.
I watched Reefdude's review and he mentioned replacing the magnetic stir bar with something else to prevent sticking/get off center. Then again, I don't want to pay that kind of money for an Icecap so the Avast was perfect for me.
Do you have a Calcium Reactor already? If not, I don't think a 35gal will last too long foe Kalkwasser.
Thats kind of crazy. The issue I am having with any stir is what to do when one breaks, especially when I am not paying attention. Best case would be they where cheap enough where I could have few in rotation and just change them out every 2-3 weeks and avoid that failure point. I evaporate about 5 gallons a day and this will be a high consumption tank so for now I will start with Kalk, then do 2-part. issue with 2 part it will get costly fast. Main reason i want to avoid adding too many montis, i'll just add the 3-4 that I've had for 5 years but other than that just acros, zoas, favias, gonis, and acans.
 
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Yeah, I just went with my Buddy's recommendation since he already tried Icecap, Reef Octopus, Avast and Geo...
My buddy actually took his Icecap apart and said it was cheaply made with what appear to be a toy grade motor He was ticked that he paid that much for it.
I watched Reefdude's review and he mentioned replacing the magnetic stir bar with something else to prevent sticking/get off center. Then again, I don't want to pay that kind of money for an Icecap so the Avast was perfect for me.
Do you have a Calcium Reactor already? If not, I don't think a 35gal will last too long foe Kalkwasser.
I second Avast, it has constantly worked for me so much so I have added one to my other tank plus Justin and Dan have great customer service and are always there to help trouble shooting problems or just general questions.

Added: I also use their Calcium reactor in conjunction with the K1, their products are just solid.
 
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I second Avast, it has constantly worked for me so much so I have added one to my other tank plus Justin and Dan have great customer service and are always there to help trouble shooting problems or just general questions.

Added: I also use their Calcium reactor in conjunction with the K1, their products are just solid.
Do you have any issues with Kalk hardening? how often do you tear it down for cleaning?
 

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Thats kind of crazy. The issue I am having with any stir is what to do when one breaks, especially when I am not paying attention. Best case would be they where cheap enough where I could have few in rotation and just change them out every 2-3 weeks and avoid that failure point. I evaporate about 5 gallons a day and this will be a high consumption tank so for now I will start with Kalk, then do 2-part. issue with 2 part it will get costly fast. Main reason i want to avoid adding too many montis, i'll just add the 3-4 that I've had for 5 years but other than that just acros, zoas, favias, gonis, and acans.
Do you know what your Alk consumption is?
My 100gal evaporates about 1.5gal per day, with about 1.5L of Saturated Kalkwasser solution. The Kalkwasser Stirrer will work for now but eventually have to setup the Calcium Reactor since I have a lot of SPS frags.
I don't want to deal with dosing 2 parts!
Based on my observations while putting the Avast K1 together, it seems very solid and I don't for see any issues. The motor is rated for 24/7 stirring but I will probably put it on a timer to stir occasionally. I will also add a pH probe so I know when the Kalkwasser need to be topped off or replaced.
 
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Do you know what your Alk consumption is?
My 100gal evaporates about 1.5gal per day, with about 1.5L of Saturated Kalkwasser solution. The Kalkwasser Stirrer will work for now but eventually have to setup the Calcium Reactor since I have a lot of SPS frags.
I don't want to deal with dosing 2 parts!
Based on my observations while putting the Avast K1 together, it seems very solid and I don't for see any issues. The motor is rated for 24/7 stirring but I will probably put it on a timer to stir occasionally. I will also add a pH probe so I know when the Kalkwasser need to be topped off or replaced.
I havent added coral yet but will pretty soon. Consumptions going to be very low for awhile since I have a sump that holds 150 gallons and I plan on adding smaller frags. I may just go with using the 2-35 gallon drums i already have. These have air tight lids. Figured it would be easy to drill a outtake hole and indicator hole and would make life easier just to be able to change them out in between refilling with a quick connect. I have a hand held PH tester and plan on just measuring the PH before I seal up the drum. Then again I can easily weight the right amount of Kalk weight and have a consistent saturation over the course of time.

You have helped me realize that Kalk stirr may not be the best solution for me right now. Few reasons why, I likely won't catch it incase it does fail! I dont need another piece of equipment to fail, especially one that is so vital. I would like a Kalk stir that is ok to run 24-7, while avast recommends turning it on every 4 hours i dont get the logic.

Ryan from BRS is also not a fan, I know his opinion is just his opinion but made sense to me when he said "i have the fish room and space why not just add a large container with kalk that can't fail". The container won't fail and chances of a Ecotech versa failing is very unlikely.
 
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Here is the space I have
20220722_183707.jpg
 
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Wow, very nice and spacious space! Probably bigger than our 1,600 sq.ft CA home
Anyhow, I am pretty confident that the chances of the Avast Stirrer failing is probably very small. My buddy been running it for years without any issues. Being an Mechanical/Mfgr. Engineer myself, I think it is a very simple and robust design/build.
To be honest, I would rather clean the small Reactor cylinder once awhile than having to clean up the 35gal drum. I would hook up the RODI to the 2-35 Drums and have them as ATO and Kalkwasser reservoirs instead.
 

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Do you have any issues with Kalk hardening? how often do you tear it down for cleaning?
No hardening issues it uses a mixing paddle versus a magnetic pill, it mixes 24/7 and I clean it out every other month pretty solid piece of equipment I use it in conjunction with a calcium reactor.
 
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No hardening issues it uses a mixing paddle versus a magnetic pill, it mixes 24/7 and I clean it out every other month pretty solid piece of equipment I use it in conjunction with a calcium reactor.
Thanks, this is great feedback...How much Kalk can you put in the reactor?
 
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My tank was in Hyposalinity for 4 months and PH was around 7.9. Which i thought was great considering my salinity was at 1.008. Since bringing up my salinity as of yesterday today I am pleasantly surprised that my PH is at 8.24 with no corals or refugium.
Must be the high CO2 from the basement or large sump footprint (60"X48")

How good is this for a new tank? Will it go up significantly once i dose corals and or add a refugium.
I dont expect Kalk to do more than 1 point.
Screenshot_20220723-154626.jpg
 

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Thanks, this is great feedback...How much Kalk can you put in the reactor?
The amount of Kalkwasser you add is relative to your alkalinity and calcium consumption. There is a calculator on BRS website that will walk you through it.
 
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My tank was in Hyposalinity for 4 months and PH was around 7.9. Which i thought was great considering my salinity was at 1.008. Since bringing up my salinity as of yesterday today I am pleasantly surprised that my PH is at 8.24 with no corals or refugium.
Must be the high CO2 from the basement or large sump footprint (60"X48")

How good is this for a new tank? Will it go up significantly once i dose corals and or add a refugium.
I dont expect Kalk to do more than 1 point.
Screenshot_20220723-154626.jpg
A empty tank will have a higher pH than a tank with fish in it due to the fish expelling co2 into the water as they breath, corals will help with the pH due to photosynthesis but in my experience until they are a decent size colony it doesn't seem to raise the pH too much.

Added:
A good size refugium that runs a reverse photo period helps, again in my experience milage may vary with others.
 
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A empty tank will have a higher pH than a tank with fish in it due to the fish expelling co2 into the water as they breath, corals will help with the pH due to photosynthesis but in my experience until they are a decent size colony it doesn't seem to raise the pH too much.

Added:
A good size refugium that runs a reverse photo period helps, again in my experience milage may vary with others.

My tank is stocked with 7 large tangs and light is barely at 15%. The tank is also in a area with windows and close to the front door. Just for the hell of it I turned on my T5 and the PH went up to 8.28. Below is my open sump the blue vat next to it is where i current house my corals, this system PH is always on the lower side (8.0-8.1). If I can keep my new system above 8.3 naturally that would just make my life easier not to have to monitor if its too low.

adding corals should help increase PH or lower it?

sump.jpg
 
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