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 23.4%
  • Magnetic Mixing Reactor

    Votes: 17 4.8%
  • Kalk Stirrer

    Votes: 77 21.7%
  • Do Not Add Kalk

    Votes: 150 42.3%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 28 7.9%

  • Total voters
    355

arussellnsg

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I do the ATO water reservoir and haven't had any issues that I know of. I put 2 1/2 tsp per 3gal top off RODI water, and that gets pumped at the going rate of evaporation. It's steady and my pump seems fine. I don't let the pump set the bottom either, it free floats within the unsettled top 1/2 of the bucket, I have a lid with a small cut out for my ATO tubing. I don't know if this is good, bad, or indifferent, but here's my tank and it's steady parameters
SpG 1.022
Alk 9.8
Ca 464
Mag 1350
PO4 1.0
Nitrates 40

the GHA comes and goes, but I don't mind, it is what it is. Everything is happy
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BigAsh

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I use the Avast Kalk Stirrer and send ATO water through it. I use one peristaltic pump to send a fixed (timed) amount of ATO water that's less than the evaporation in order to maintain a consistent dose. I use a second ATO pump to make up the difference for evaporation using the Avast pressure sensor which works very well. The peristaltic pump for the Kalk stirrer has the advantage of preventing back siphoning into the ATO reservoir. Avast seems to have stopped selling their peristaltic pump for ATO. I have had some trouble with the hose for that pump eventually splitting which then causes water to spill and not be dosed. Thinking of switching to the new peristaltic from Ecotech.
 

rui.manuel.gaspar

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Well I may be over doing it but ...

I had several unsuccess cases of using kalk in the past. Mainly because I would attach it to my ATO which simply could not control the evaporation in the tank. So I had a lot of swing in the parameters.

Also my Kalk reactor was to small to cope with the demand of my tank so when it would replenish it would actually push the milky water inside the tank instead of cristal clear saturated one.

Now I decided to give it a try again but this time I bought a Deltec KM500 Kalk reactor and a Kamoer STP2 and I have it pulling from the Osmosis container one floor down.

It's dripping a consistent drop of water every 2 seconds.
Loving this setup but I think I over did it with the kamoer.

I run it along side my PacSun AC1 Calcium reactor and my pH is consistently above 8.2 and much more stable!

All the best,
Rui
 

reptireef

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I use an Avast k1, keeps my alk within a 0.10 range. But doesn't affect my ph a ton unlike my co2 scrubber which puts in work!
Though I can't keep the stirrer ph above 12 though even after topping off additional kalk powder it does nothing. Anyone else experience this? Using BRS kalk powder
 

Reef Rhino

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Another bit of Love for Kalkwasser. I use it in my Reef Tank and appreciate the stable Alkalinity, PH and Calcium. R/O reservoir water is pumped through a GHL Doser into an Ice Cap Kalk Reactor (magnetic stirrer). It spills out the top into the sump every hour (24x) and the doser is set seasonally to match tank evaporation. Completely clean and no mess or damage to any pump. I shoot to fill it every two weeks as I can see PH start to drop a bit at the end of that cycle. I stir it early evening and into the night hours so that any heavier Kalk mix is added at night when ph is lower.

Mixed reef with mostly LPS, and I do occasionally supplement with a two part or some All for Reef.

Kalk Reactor.jpg
 

Lasse

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Kalk requires a 24hr period to settle before using?
Maybe it take shorter time but that was what good for me

Sincerely Lasse
 

Ralllyant

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Im just starting up again, but 15 years ago i ran a peristaltic pump from 200l drum outside the house.
I cut some foam to float on the surface of the water and reduce co2 exposure. Was good for 3 months or so.
My motivation for set this up was due to some 6 week overseas trips i had to make. It worked so well i left it running.

I plan to do something similar again.
 

Naso180

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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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I have two tanks with kalk stirrers (The Avast Marine reactor pictured in your post actually) on them and one with a homemade magnetic mixer. All are dosed using dosing pumps and are separate from my top-off.
 

Plandauesq

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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.
I have a 300 gallon tank and running a kalk reactor. I’m trying to determine how much ATO water I should be dosing through the kalk reactor. How much do you dose?
 

ScottB

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I have a 300 gallon tank and running a kalk reactor. I’m trying to determine how much ATO water I should be dosing through the kalk reactor. How much do you dose?
I strongly suggest you separate those two different functions. I solve for pH/ALK/Ca first and let the ATO solve for salinity. I run a system of the same size with a LOT of evaporation that also varies significantly. On average I dose about 3 liters of kalk per 24 hours. I know EXACTLY how much because it runs through my APEX DOS. I change that amount based on my pH readings. My pH readings vary based on ambient CO2 in the house. That varies based on whether the house is open/closed.

My float driven ATO sometimes does a lot of work and sometimes does very little. Based on ambient temp and humidity.

My kalk reactor is fed from my RODI reservoir via a controlled doser. My ATO is fed by RODI via a separate float switch. Keep them separate.
 

ceaver

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Nothing, if you use the right pump. Most dosing pumps are peristaltic, so the liquid never touches the pump; only the tubing.
Right, this is what I was thinking. However, is there a common issue with the end of the dosing tube getting clogged up where the kalk drips out? With the tubing being so thin I would worry about it clogging up frequently...
 

Plandauesq

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I strongly suggest you separate those two different functions. I solve for pH/ALK/Ca first and let the ATO solve for salinity. I run a system of the same size with a LOT of evaporation that also varies significantly. On average I dose about 3 liters of kalk per 24 hours. I know EXACTLY how much because it runs through my APEX DOS. I change that amount based on my pH readings. My pH readings vary based on ambient CO2 in the house. That varies based on whether the house is open/closed.

My float driven ATO sometimes does a lot of work and sometimes does very little. Based on ambient temp and humidity.

My kalk reactor is fed from my RODI reservoir via a controlled doser. My ATO is fed by RODI via a separate float switch. Keep them separate.
I do have them separate. I have a float switch for my tunze ATO in my sump which pulls from my RODI reservoir, and then I have a separate peristaltic pump that pushes water from my RODI reservoir into my avast kalkstirrer. Problem I’m having is that I can’t manage to get my pH above 7.8-7.9. If I pump any more water through my kalkstirrer, I’ll be adding more than I’m evaporating. Any help would be much appreciated!!!
 

Pedal Dangit

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40 gallon display, 20 gallon sump

I use a 5 Gallon jug mixed w/ 10 level tsp kalk

a BRS dosing pump runs continuously in the evening. and I get about 8-9 days out of 5 gallons
I have a separate ATO with an old apex lite

I don't test anything other than watch the PH. 8.2-8.4 The tank has been seriously neglected this past year. but the montipora is still growing and overwhelming the tank. can't wait to upgrade to the 150 G

I may try a stirrer, pic is old, the monti is almost touching the front glass now


174699356_3942292929150926_286362909918223949_n.jpg
 

ScottB

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I do have them separate. I have a float switch for my tunze ATO in my sump which pulls from my RODI reservoir, and then I have a separate peristaltic pump that pushes water from my RODI reservoir into my avast kalkstirrer. Problem I’m having is that I can’t manage to get my pH above 7.8-7.9. If I pump any more water through my kalkstirrer, I’ll be adding more than I’m evaporating. Any help would be much appreciated!!!
OK Good. I have a different stirrer but the same configuration. A couple things:

a) If you love spending money on toys, get a good indoor CO2 meter to see what you are up against. Someday I will figure out how to hook it into my APEX to adjust my DOS into the stirrer. I range from 394ppm to almost 800ppm when air quality is NYC and/or windows are open/shut.

b) If you have not recently calibrated (or replaced) your pH probe do so. I picked up +.2 this way, which is everything.

c) Check your saturation with (another toy) an inline EC meter.

d) I have a LOT of surface turbulence and a (temperature based) fan than evaporates. I don't see your location, but a 300G system should lose a lot of water -- much more than 3 liters of saturated solution per day.

Stuff to ponder.
 

Plandauesq

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OK Good. I have a different stirrer but the same configuration. A couple things:

a) If you love spending money on toys, get a good indoor CO2 meter to see what you are up against. Someday I will figure out how to hook it into my APEX to adjust my DOS into the stirrer. I range from 394ppm to almost 800ppm when air quality is NYC and/or windows are open/shut.

b) If you have not recently calibrated (or replaced) your pH probe do so. I picked up +.2 this way, which is everything.

c) Check your saturation with (another toy) an inline EC meter.

d) I have a LOT of surface turbulence and a (temperature based) fan than evaporates. I don't see your location, but a 300G system should lose a lot of water -- much more than 3 liters of saturated solution per day.

Stuff to ponder.
What’s an EC meter? I’m in Florida, I evaporate about 2 gallons per day. I have no doubt it’s because of CO2 in the air. We went on vacation for 10 days during the summer and while we were away, I could see on my apex that the pH went to like 8.3. And that was before I started using the kalk reactor. How do I deal with this?
 

nereefpat

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Right, this is what I was thinking. However, is there a common issue with the end of the dosing tube getting clogged up where the kalk drips out? With the tubing being so thin I would worry about it clogging up frequently...

Mine does not completely clog, but I use airline tubing for the outlet and knock the crystal off every once in a while. I would keep an eye on it, but I've never had a problem
 
BRS

IS RTN/STN MORE COMMON THAN IT USED TO BE?

  • Yes! I (and/or my friends) have experienced it more than it used happen.

    Votes: 19 19.2%
  • No. I think it's about the same.

    Votes: 32 32.3%
  • No. It's actually less common than it used to be.

    Votes: 8 8.1%
  • I've never experienced RTN/STN.

    Votes: 12 12.1%
  • What's RTN/STN?

    Votes: 28 28.3%
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