Kalk Reactors, Stirrers & Dosers: How do you add Kalk to your reef?

BRS

What method or equipment do you use to dose Kalk in your reef aquarium?

  • Dosing Pump and bucket

    Votes: 83 23.3%
  • Magnetic Mixing Reactor

    Votes: 18 5.1%
  • Kalk Stirrer

    Votes: 77 21.6%
  • Do Not Add Kalk

    Votes: 150 42.1%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 28 7.9%

  • Total voters
    356

revhtree

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Dosing with Kalkwasser is an effective way to add calcium and alkalinity to your reef tank. There are several different ways and pieces of equipment that we can add kalk to our reef aquariums. So how do you do it and what method do you prefer? Let's talk about it!

1. What method or equipment do you use to dose Kalk in your reef aquarium?

2. Have you tried other methods but didn't find them as successful for you?


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Lasse

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I do not use kalkwasser for the moment - but when I did it - I use a simple solution. I put some calcium hydroxide in the top off container. For the air inlet (to the top off container) I use a carbon dioxide scrubber

Sincerely Lasse
 

Montiman

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I love Kalkwasser! The cheap supplement that maintains Calcium and Alkalinity as well as boosts pH.

It is the primary supplement for my tank. Over the years I have tried many ways of dosing kalk and the one thing I learned is that I will only ever add kalk with a peristaltic dosing pump. I believe that most of the kalk horror stories come from ATO failures or human error and the peristaltic pump eliminates all of these problems.

Before using a dosing pump I added kalk through my ATO and had all kinds of problems. Reactor leaked a gallon of water from a loose o ring now my tank got an extra gallon of kalk from the ATO, bagged up some frags for a buddy and the tank got a half gallon of kalk added, sucked out a little more than I added back during a water change and the ATO added the remainder in kalk. Never will I ever recommend kalk in an ATO.

Currently I use a DIY kalk reactor with a dosing pump that pulls from my ATO container. All I do is program the pump and add kalk once about every other week.
 

rtparty

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Tried it many times over the years and the mess isn't worth it for me. It destroys pumps if used in your ATO and using evaporation is a terrible way to keep stability for alk.

I tried the Avast stirrer/reactor and it just made a mess of everything in my tank. It always dosed too much of the slurry and my chamber was never the clear solution. Coated my pumps with a pure white mess that was no fun to clean. However, I have thought of using it on my new tank but having the kalk solution dosed directly into a sock or floss so it catches most of the kalk.

In the end, 2 part is easier for me and my pH is solid between 8.1 and 8.3. Kalk defintely works for some but the juice wasn't worth the squeeze
 

ScottB

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I run both ESV 2-Part and Kalk stirrer.

I used to run a CaRx as well. In fact that is the reason I picked up the Kalk stirrer to begin with as it was impossible to keep pH in my preferred (8.15 to 8.35) range. Once I broke my CaRx (don't ask) I just went back to 2-Part but kept the stirrer going.

I use APEX to push RODI into the Reef Octo 250 stirrer and gravity from there. APEX also for dosing 2-Part so it is super easy to adjust when needed. I pretty much leave the two-part dosing static and just dial up/down the kalk dose intervals to account for different ambient CO2 levels when the house is open/closed.

PROS:
a) Excellent pH management
b) Reduced my 2-Part consumption from 500ml ESV to 220ml

CONS:
Somewhat tedious to refill the stirrer with kalk powder every 2 weeks; even more tedious to flush it out every couple months.

I highly recommend a setup like mine for large systems whenever pH is otherwise difficult to keep.
 

ScottB

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I used it on my ATO from a 132 gallon settled reservoir (3 x 44 gallon Brute cans plumbed together).
That is a rather LARGE ATO reservoir.

How often do you...
a) Add more kalk powder? Stir?
b) Test saturation?
c) Dump out the (old) slurry and refresh?
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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That is a rather LARGE ATO reservoir.

How often do you...
a) Add more kalk powder? Stir?
b) Test saturation?
c) Dump out the (old) slurry and refresh?

I made it about once every 30-60 days. It retains its original potency for that time. Cleaned it out less than once every couple of years.
 

fish farmer

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1. What method or equipment do you use to dose Kalk in your reef aquarium?

I use a peristaltic pump with a 5 gallon jug of 1 TSP kalk per gallon. Occasionally I need to add something to boost the alk. Mostly softies, LPS and a couple of easy SPS....and a ton of coralline.


2. Have you tried other methods but didn't find them as successful for you?

I started years ago with slow dripping, then water cooler designed ATO, then DIY kalk stirrer hooked to ATO.
I briefly manually added 2 part which didn't work for me.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Hi Randy, Do you have any articles on your setup or photos of it? Thanks

No photos of it, but here are two articles that may be useful. One is a description of my system overall, and one is about limewater (kalkwasser) and measurements I took on it.

FWIW, I took that tank down after 20 years, but would use limewater again if i set up another.

What Your Grandmother Never Told You About Lime by Randy Holmes-Farley - Reefkeeping.com

 

Treefer32

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I love Kalkwasser! The cheap supplement that maintains Calcium and Alkalinity as well as boosts pH.

It is the primary supplement for my tank. Over the years I have tried many ways of dosing kalk and the one thing I learned is that I will only ever add kalk with a peristaltic dosing pump. I believe that most of the kalk horror stories come from ATO failures or human error and the peristaltic pump eliminates all of these problems.

Before using a dosing pump I added kalk through my ATO and had all kinds of problems. Reactor leaked a gallon of water from a loose o ring now my tank got an extra gallon of kalk from the ATO, bagged up some frags for a buddy and the tank got a half gallon of kalk added, sucked out a little more than I added back during a water change and the ATO added the remainder in kalk. Never will I ever recommend kalk in an ATO.

Currently I use a DIY kalk reactor with a dosing pump that pulls from my ATO container. All I do is program the pump and add kalk once about every other week.
I thought it'd be a great idea to put a powerhead in my ATO and keep kalk suspended in my top off... I came home to my tank a white cloud and my fish all breathing heavy and several dead. I had to setup an Emergency QT and move all the fish into fresh salt water not up to temp and do my best to save the livestock. Only a few fish were salvaged from that incident. Never again will I use kalk in an ATO for all the reasons mentioned above and the dummy ideas I get to increase the kalk going into the display through the ATO.
 

AquariumSpecialty

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Its funny that this topic came up today. I have 2 old (but very nice MRC kalk reactors) that I'm about to bring back online for 2 of our farm tanks. We got away from using kalk several years ago and I miss the benefits of using calcium hydroxide. 20+ years ago when I would literally dump a scoop of it in my overflow box on a 600+ gallon multi-tank setup that I had at home. I don't recommend anyone trying this at home (as they say on TV) but it worked well way back when.
 
BRS

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    Votes: 86 36.0%
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    Votes: 155 64.9%

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