Kalk stirrer operation

TWYOUNG

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 15, 2022
Messages
965
Reaction score
389
Location
St. Louis
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I'm setting up a kalk stirrer for the first time and have questions. The instructions for the Reef Octo stirrer says to run it for 10-15 mins every two hours. Will this allow enough settling that I'm not dosing a slurry of kalk? Does it matter if my pump is dosing kalk while the motor is stirring, or does it needed to have to be timed to allow time for settling after stirring?
 

Backreefing

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 29, 2018
Messages
1,296
Reaction score
1,150
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I honestly would return it. Keep kalkwasser in a caped container like a Home Depot bucket. I use a 3 gallon food container. Use a stem on hard airline to suck it out and a tiny air hole .
Kalkwasser stay’s near 100% concentrated for 30 days. So what’s a kalk stirrer for ? 100% ? Just a overpriced gadget. There expensive to. All you need is a container, a doseing pump and airline tube. Easy to set up for under a hundred. While I’m at it I might suggest Brightwell kalk plus 2 . It has strontium and magnesium in it in one product. Hope this helps . Ted
 
OP
OP
T

TWYOUNG

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 15, 2022
Messages
965
Reaction score
389
Location
St. Louis
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I honestly would return it. Keep kalkwasser in a caped container like a Home Depot bucket. I use a 3 gallon food container. Use a stem on hard airline to suck it out and a tiny air hole .
Kalkwasser stay’s near 100% concentrated for 30 days. So what’s a kalk stirrer for ? 100% ? Just a overpriced gadget. There expensive to. All you need is a container, a doseing pump and airline tube. Easy to set up for under a hundred. While I’m at it I might suggest Brightwell kalk plus 2 . It has strontium and magnesium in it in one product. Hope this helps . Ted
You may have a point but I don't have your confidence kalk maintains consistent saturation. I don't have a conductivity meter which would be the ideal way to test but do observe pH changes. I'm also bothered by the large amt of residue left in mixing vats as well as the scum forming on the surface. While surface scum is most likely precipitate, how much of the left over is calcium carbonate precipitate vs undissolved calcium hydroxide?
Despite my tank being young and lightly stocked I've already begun dosing around a gallon per day, which is pushing the limits of the amt of kalk my evaporation allows me to dose. I see this issue only worsening in the future.
I may be overthinking this entire issue but the poor solubility of calcium hydroxide in water, and all the sediment really bothers me.
Another option would be adding vinegar to the mix to dissolve more kalkwasser but that is beyond my skill level and would interfere with my carbon dosing. Any additional thoughts you or others may have would be appreciated.
 

Backreefing

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 29, 2018
Messages
1,296
Reaction score
1,150
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Perhaps you are overthinking kalk . There is plenty of other people who have researched how well and long kalk maintains concentration . The scum on the top is actually necessary it keeps carbon from the air getting into the mix and never remix kalk because it ruins it . Btw 1 gallon per day is a lot . We normally measure alkalinity to gauge how much to use . Forget PH if you’re using kalk . It’s good as a given. I dose it every hour , some people dose only at night.
 

Backreefing

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 29, 2018
Messages
1,296
Reaction score
1,150
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
If you’re wondering no I don’t bother to check ph or calcium levels. Kalk buts in alkalinity and calcium in balanced amounts. Alkalinity is much more sensitive. So most ( 90+% ) of us measure alkalinity only . Besides if calcium is 380 or 550 so what the aquarium ain’t gonna care . Alkalinity is much more sensitive .
If kalk is not supplying enough alkyand calcium, then it’s time for 2 part . 2 part is also cheap you need two containers and at least a 2 head doseing pump. Many of us mix two part as directed and still only check alkalinity . Once again if mixed as directed both get dosed the same . It good to check calcium until you dial in dosages. Calcium reactors are for big dogs that have large aquariums with lots of sticks .
 

exnisstech

7500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 11, 2019
Messages
9,078
Reaction score
12,523
Location
Ashland Ohio
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Personally the only reason I would consider a stirrer is if my demand exceed the amount of fully saturated kalk I can dose in a day since that is limited by the amount of evaporation. No other reason not to just dose IMO. I'm currently dosing 7200 ml daily. I have been doing this for over a year using a brs 50ml minute doser on a cheap digital timer and the tank is thriving and levels very stable. It's so easy I don't know why you would want to use a stirrer unless its needed as I mentioned. I've read info from @Randy Holmes-Farley dosing kalk for years. I don't remember him ever saying it looses saturation so I think your concern of that is unfounded. Seems like your just complicating a simple process but some folks seem to enjoy doing that.
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
T

TWYOUNG

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 15, 2022
Messages
965
Reaction score
389
Location
St. Louis
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Perhaps you are overthinking kalk . There is plenty of other people who have researched how well and long kalk maintains concentration . The scum on the top is actually necessary it keeps carbon from the air getting into the mix and never remix kalk because it ruins it . Btw 1 gallon per day is a lot . We normally measure alkalinity to gauge how much to use . Forget PH if you’re using kalk . It’s good as a given. I dose it every hour , some people dose only at night.
Thanks, I do base my kalk dosing on alkalinity. The pH changes I referred to are in the kalk solution itself, not the tank.
 
OP
OP
T

TWYOUNG

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 15, 2022
Messages
965
Reaction score
389
Location
St. Louis
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I don't mean to be rude, and I appreciate others sharing their views so I may perhaps learn something new, however, my question was about the operation of a kalk stirrer rather than it's benefits or lack there of. It would be much appreciated if I could hear from a fellow reefer who has experience using one.
 

ca1ore

10K Club member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 28, 2014
Messages
14,085
Reaction score
19,980
Location
Stamford, CT
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I have been using the Avast kalk stirrer for years on the end of my ATO pump. Not familiar with the RO, but I'd imagine it also uses a stir bar? I ended up having mine stir once every six hours (for about 10 mins). My ATO triggers only about once a day, so the odds of it happening when the stirrer is running are low. Even if they do happen at the same time, cylinder is tall enough to limit the chance of any slurry making its way into the sump. Just try to keep the output as far away from the intake of the return pump as you can. Even if some slurry does enter the sump, doubtful that any issues would arise.
 
OP
OP
T

TWYOUNG

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 15, 2022
Messages
965
Reaction score
389
Location
St. Louis
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I have been using the Avast kalk stirrer for years on the end of my ATO pump. Not familiar with the RO, but I'd imagine it also uses a stir bar? I ended up having mine stir once every six hours (for about 10 mins). My ATO triggers only about once a day, so the odds of it happening when the stirrer is running are low. Even if they do happen at the same time, cylinder is tall enough to limit the chance of any slurry making its way into the sump. Just try to keep the output as far away from the intake of the return pump as you can. Even if some slurry does enter the sump, doubtful that any issues would arise.
Thank you so much! If you remember did you see any decrease in the amount of kalkwasser needed after switching from plain kalk mix to the stirrer? btw, yes the RO stirrer uses a slowly turning stir bar.
 

Wayofthereef

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 21, 2021
Messages
222
Reaction score
165
Location
Fresno
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I don't mean to be rude, and I appreciate others sharing their views so I may perhaps learn something new, however, my question was about the operation of a kalk stirrer rather than it's benefits or lack there of. It would be much appreciated if I could hear from a fellow reefer who has experience using one.
I have been using a kalk stirrer for well over a year at this point.. it was probably the best decision ive made when it comes to the dosing application of kalk.

So my stirrer is ran by my apex and comes on for 15 minutes every 2 hours. If the ph reading of my kalk solution falls below 12 it turns on regardless of the schedule until it reaches 12.3 and goes back to its regular schedule. As far as how im dosing, I am currently at 7000mL a day that my apex splits up into 58mL's every 10 or so minutes. Now this will dose whether its stirring or not because in mine you can clearly see that the mixing cloudy solution does not make it to the top where the water dumps into the sump (its still clear but mixed). Now I have my trident running testing alk, cal, and mag every 4 hrs and i setup pre set limits for my kalk. Here's a picture of those limits
1000251556.jpg


So if any of these limits are exceeded then the dosing of kalk stops until the next testing cycle. But based on how many corals i have my limits are very rarely reached. And the kalk dumps in the sump and clears before it ever hits the return pump. My 2 pennies, hope it helps
 
OP
OP
T

TWYOUNG

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 15, 2022
Messages
965
Reaction score
389
Location
St. Louis
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I have been using a kalk stirrer for well over a year at this point.. it was probably the best decision ive made when it comes to the dosing application of kalk.

So my stirrer is ran by my apex and comes on for 15 minutes every 2 hours. If the ph reading of my kalk solution falls below 12 it turns on regardless of the schedule until it reaches 12.3 and goes back to its regular schedule. As far as how im dosing, I am currently at 7000mL a day that my apex splits up into 58mL's every 10 or so minutes. Now this will dose whether its stirring or not because in mine you can clearly see that the mixing cloudy solution does not make it to the top where the water dumps into the sump (its still clear but mixed). Now I have my trident running testing alk, cal, and mag every 4 hrs and i setup pre set limits for my kalk. Here's a picture of those limits
1000251556.jpg


So if any of these limits are exceeded then the dosing of kalk stops until the next testing cycle. But based on how many corals i have my limits are very rarely reached. And the kalk dumps in the sump and clears before it ever hits the return pump. My 2 pennies, hope it helps
Thanks, that was very helpful. I have an Apex but no Trident so I could spot check the pH of the kalk soln but can't fully control things. Is pH monitoring the only way to know when to add more kalk powder or will it visually disappear? I know my current kalk vessel always has tons of left over kalk, or calcium carbonate precipitate, (it's impossible to know "what" it is), so I just pitch it and make all new.
 

ca1ore

10K Club member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 28, 2014
Messages
14,085
Reaction score
19,980
Location
Stamford, CT
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Thank you so much! If you remember did you see any decrease in the amount of kalkwasser needed after switching from plain kalk mix to the stirrer? btw, yes the RO stirrer uses a slowly turning stir bar.
I am among the laziest of humans. When I had to futz around with kalk manually, more often than not I did not do it. So, when I got the Avast (8 years ago, I think) my consumption of powered kalk actually went up; but I had better pH control. Since I have also long used a calcium reactor, keeping alk/ca at the right level was never a probem.
 

A_Blind_Reefer

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Aug 13, 2019
Messages
1,924
Reaction score
2,579
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I dont know the duty cycle of the octopus motor. I run my avast motor 24/7. I'm using a kamoer doser to drip at overnight. I found that running the ato through it made too large of swings for my liking (at about 1/2 gallon per run and mainly during day). If your ato pump is powerful, it could force the slurry up and out. Something you'd have to figure out yourself. Evap can change with the seasons which may effect your parameters. I run about 2.5 gallons overnight through my stirrer, which leaves a little room (about 1/2 gallon) for seasonal changes in evap to be handled by the seperate ato. This keep the params in check. The benifit of a stirrer is space. I just dont have the desire or space to put a large vessel anywhere. If I load up the stirrer with kalk, it can run about a month with a little drop off of potency. I found this leads to more undissolved slurry bogging up the stir bar. In my case, just topping up the kalk every seven days keeps it the potency relatively constant and has eliminated issues with slurry bog. Keep in mind to have the output in a higher flow area to reduce preciptate. Enjoy the new toy!
 
OP
OP
T

TWYOUNG

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 15, 2022
Messages
965
Reaction score
389
Location
St. Louis
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I dont know the duty cycle of the octopus motor. I run my avast motor 24/7. I'm using a kamoer doser to drip at overnight. I found that running the ato through it made too large of swings for my liking (at about 1/2 gallon per run and mainly during day). If your ato pump is powerful, it could force the slurry up and out. Something you'd have to figure out yourself. Evap can change with the seasons which may effect your parameters. I run about 2.5 gallons overnight through my stirrer, which leaves a little room (about 1/2 gallon) for seasonal changes in evap to be handled by the seperate ato. This keep the params in check. The benifit of a stirrer is space. I just dont have the desire or space to put a large vessel anywhere. If I load up the stirrer with kalk, it can run about a month with a little drop off of potency. I found this leads to more undissolved slurry bogging up the stir bar. In my case, just topping up the kalk every seven days keeps it the potency relatively constant and has eliminated issues with slurry bog. Keep in mind to have the output in a higher flow area to reduce preciptate. Enjoy the new toy!
I plan to run water from my ATO reservoir, through a DOS pump and to the stirrer. I'll have a separate pump in the reservoir to do auto top off so I'll have total control of dosing. What would be the reason for continuing to stir the kalk during long periods of not dosing? I dose my kalk 10pm to 6am primarily because the DOS is so noisy the family complains. Couldn't I save wear and tear on the stirrer motor and electricity by only running it when dosing?
 

Wayofthereef

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 21, 2021
Messages
222
Reaction score
165
Location
Fresno
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Thanks, that was very helpful. I have an Apex but no Trident so I could spot check the pH of the kalk soln but can't fully control things. Is pH monitoring the only way to know when to add more kalk powder or will it visually disappear? I know my current kalk vessel always has tons of left over kalk, or calcium carbonate precipitate, (it's impossible to know "what" it is), so I just pitch it and make all new.
Yes 100% and its never been off.. once my dkh and cal start to fall I chech the kalk ph and sure enough its like 11.89.. ya leave the extra kalk at the bottom, it will continue to stir it up. As water is added to your kalk stirrer that slowly mixes into your solution. Over time it fully dissolves and your ph in the kalk solution will read lower. Then just add more.. all Ive done for the past year was add more kalk
 

Wayofthereef

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 21, 2021
Messages
222
Reaction score
165
Location
Fresno
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I plan to run water from my ATO reservoir, through a DOS pump and to the stirrer. I'll have a separate pump in the reservoir to do auto top off so I'll have total control of dosing. What would be the reason for continuing to stir the kalk during long periods of not dosing? I dose my kalk 10pm to 6am primarily because the DOS is so noisy the family complains. Couldn't I save wear and tear on the stirrer motor and electricity by only running it when dosing?
Thats exactly how you do it right there
 

JNalley

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 12, 2021
Messages
2,030
Reaction score
2,496
Location
Grandview
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I too am running a Kalk reactor, just under a year now. I have the IceCap model with a magnetic stir plate and bar. It's controlled via my Hydros. I chose to do many more stirs but for shorter periods of time. So mine stirs every 5 minutes for 30 seconds at about 25% speed. This keeps the top segment mostly clear/slight cloud and the really cloudy keeps around the 2/3 mark. It also is dynamically dosed from a dosing pump based on alkalinity information taken 45 minutes before the dose kicks on. It will not stir if it's actively dosing, and will resume stirring when the doser stops. The Alk readings happen every 4 hours, and the doses start 45 minutes after each reading. Dosing speed is set to 30 mL/min.
 

A_Blind_Reefer

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Aug 13, 2019
Messages
1,924
Reaction score
2,579
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I plan to run water from my ATO reservoir, through a DOS pump and to the stirrer. I'll have a separate pump in the reservoir to do auto top off so I'll have total control of dosing. What would be the reason for continuing to stir the kalk during long periods of not dosing? I dose my kalk 10pm to 6am primarily because the DOS is so noisy the family complains. Couldn't I save wear and tear on the stirrer motor and electricity by only running it when dosing?
Yeah those dos are noisy! Only took them eight years to finally come out with a quiet version. Avast recommends 24/7 stirring. Saves an outlet. Replacement motor is cheap if needed. It doesn’t use much power at all. It also keeps the sludge in motion as not to bog the motor at startup. Some run them 24/7, some don’t. No wrong way
 

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN REEFING? (TELL US YOUR BIGGEST MILESTONE IN THE COMMENTS!)

  • Less than 6 months

    Votes: 27 16.5%
  • 1 year

    Votes: 14 8.5%
  • 2-4 years

    Votes: 26 15.9%
  • 4-6 years

    Votes: 12 7.3%
  • 7-10 years

    Votes: 12 7.3%
  • 10-15 years

    Votes: 15 9.1%
  • 15-20 years

    Votes: 22 13.4%
  • Over 20 years

    Votes: 14 8.5%
  • Over 30 years

    Votes: 17 10.4%
  • Umm....Yeah, it's been a super long time. No comment.

    Votes: 3 1.8%
  • Other (Please explain!)

    Votes: 2 1.2%
Back
Top