Kalk Stirrer Question

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hobbyreefer

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Looking to try out a Kalk Stirrer.

I currently use Tropic Marine All for Reef for replenishment but thinking of trying to continuously drip Kalk to see if I can boost PH.

My question is is there benefit to going with an oversized Kalk reactor? The K1 says 400 gallons and the K2 says 800 gallons. I have about 165 gallons, so booth seem sufficient. I haven't tested my daily evaporation but I think it's in the 5-6 gallon per day range. The K1 says up to 7 gallons and the k2 say 14 gallons.

Larger or smaller? The price difference is not really a concern if the bigger one will be better.


Thanks.
 
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dwest

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Looking to try out a Kalk Stirrer.

I currently use Tropic Marine All for Reef for replenishment but thinking of trying to continuously drip Kalk to see if I can boost PH.

My question is is there benefit to going with an oversized Kalk reactor? The K1 says 400 gallons and the K2 says 800 gallons. I have about 165 gallons, so booth seem sufficient. I haven't tested my daily evaporation but I think it's in the 5-6 gallon per day range. The K1 says up to 7 gallons and the k2 say 14 gallons.

Larger or smaller? The price difference is not really a concern if the bigger one will be better.


Thanks.
I have a 180 gallon tank and plenty of sump room so I went with K2. I do think the k1 would have worked fine for me. I’m happy with my k2. Have had for about 3 years now.
 
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hobbyreefer

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Thanks for the reply! Your response is giving me second thoughts. Does the K2 need to fit inside the sump? I was thinking I could sit this beside the sump and just run tubing for the Kalk dosing? Am I thinking about this incorrectly?
 
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Sisterlimonpot

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They are sealed units and can sit outside the sump.

The benefits for going bigger probably have diminished returns. The chief concern is to dose only clear liquid meaning having enough vertical space for your dosing rate to keep the cloud down and the other is from a maintenance standpoint, the bigger you go, the more calcium hydroxide you can add and more time in between cleaning.
 

dwest

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Thanks for the reply! Your response is giving me second thoughts. Does the K2 need to fit inside the sump? I was thinking I could sit this beside the sump and just run tubing for the Kalk dosing? Am I thinking about this incorrectly?
No, it doesn’t have to be in the sump. However if the outlet clogs, then the unit could overfill. The lid sits on top and is not sealed.

If you put a 12” ish piece of tubing, angle down, on the outlet then the chance of clogging is small. But it still can happen.
 

Gedxin

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If you can fit it, go big. Less refill frequency and better kalk concentration (more volume means less percent dosed per event.) From my experience, the kalk stirrer does only an OK job at saturating the container's solution.
 
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All_talk

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For those with kalk stirrers, do you find the saturation diminishes between refills?

I found this to be an issue with my Tunze "stirrer", there was a significant drop in saturation over the week. But the Tunze is a passive device with only the incoming water stirring the kalk at the bottom. I would hope that the models with a motor would work better?

I have switched to a seal settled container for my current set up needing about 5 gallons a week. But I am working on a large tank upgrade and a 20+ gallon storage container is going to take up a lot of space. I'm hoping a powered stirrer will be a viable option.

Gary
 

YOYOYOReefer

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I agree you cant really go too big but you wont like it if you get too small.
and to keep mine fresh i tend to add a scoop of powder once a week( i feel it keeps it fresh), and i refill min
e once a month. Been doing it 30 years like that and with calcium reactor never have dosed for alkalinity or calcium.

Gary i find the plate style spinner types always are a pain long term and noisy. Either stir rotissorie stick style, or pump style with a good pump that only mixes a few times a day ,is the way to go.
 

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For those with kalk stirrers, do you find the saturation diminishes between refills?

I found this to be an issue with my Tunze "stirrer", there was a significant drop in saturation over the week. But the Tunze is a passive device with only the incoming water stirring the kalk at the bottom. I would hope that the models with a motor would work better?

I have switched to a seal settled container for my current set up needing about 5 gallons a week. But I am working on a large tank upgrade and a 20+ gallon storage container is going to take up a lot of space. I'm hoping a powered stirrer will be a viable option.

Gary
I believe if you use the Avast Non Sealed stirrer K-2 and use the Conductivity probe option, you will be able to monitor your Kalk potency without demenshing, it will tell you when dropping. Right now I just use the PH probe on Apex, and the minute it drops from a flat 12.3 reading to 12.2, I replenish my kalk powder. so far this has been good enough, but as soon as I have a spare $200.00 I'm changing out to the conductivity probe which will be way more accurate.
 
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YOYOYOReefer

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Does everyone here leave it to stir non stop or do you cylce it on and off to preserve the motor life?
over the years mine has been set up both ways, i dont think it makes a big difference the avast motor on mine has been kicking at least a decade.
 
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Kalk stirrers are constantly but understaturated often. You can estimate saturation by conductivity meter from Hanna. Bit you can also just mix weekly for premixed jug and have fewer gadgets

The trick is to calculate evaporation and carefully meter at night such as 100 cc per hour. I use brs 50cc/min pump. Kalks goal is to just maintain alkalinity by co2 and lime.

My alkalinity will slowly drift down with stable 8.3 pH. It is cheap and easy and only needs kalk power, doser and timer. This is likely all you need for softie tanks.

All for reef is bit trickier to maintain alkalinity and pH.
 

Natural_Reefer

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I have the K1 for my Redsea S400. It is working perfectly for me since my evaporation is exceeding my Alk consumption. So I think you just need to calculate your alk consumption and select the appropriate size.
One thing I learned is not to make too much adjustments on the 1st couple weeks. My Alkalinity was a bit wacky and I noticed the drip rates weren't consistent (even with the Kamoer) until the top the reactor has a nice/thick precipitation.
 

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Sisterlimonpot

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The people that are saying saturation in a stirrer/reactor is less potent than a premixed container are misinterpreting their data or listening to the wrong people. They are either trusting their pH probe that is calibrated to 7 and 10, or don't take into consideration that precipitation occurs, and they don't account for that.

There's absolutely no reason why a pH probe can't accurately read 12.44 pH. However, unless you're calibrating inside the range you're testing, you're relying on the software to guess at the mV slope after 10. That alone opens the door for inaccuracy. Unfortunately, most pH probes that are connected to controllers sold for this hobby don't allow calibration past 10. People are deducing that the low pH inside a reactor is because it's not moving to saturation. Although that can be the case, it seldom is.

Saturation is saturation, the only way you're not going to move to saturation is if you don't have enough calcium hydroxide inside the reactor to accommodate the need.

The other misinterpretation is if you don't clean your reactor regularly, you're going to get a lot of precipitation build up collected inside the reactor that can be misinterpreted as having enough calcium hydroxide, when in fact you have very little. Because those that mix up a barrel of saturated clean it out every time and they remove that variable.

I urge people that read something that has been parroted to the point that it becomes fact to try and think logically as to why it doesn't make sense and question it.
 
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Measuring log scale pH only to estimate saturation with hobby grade equipment is a fools errand.

Hanna conductivity to 10.3 ms is saturated. Two teaspoons of fresh lime powder in cup will show if your meter is reading OK. At end of week it is less saturated often.

I get 10 ms this way and 7.8 ms in Avast K1 consistently. The key word is consistent though. It works fine if consistent. I am not cleaning out weekly as it defeats purpose of semi useless stirrer.
 

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If you can fit it, go big. Less refill frequency and better kalk concentration (more volume means less percent dosed per event.) From my experience, the kalk stirrer does only an OK job at saturating the container's solution.
I agree...it does an 'ok' job of saturation. what I like about it is that the saturation is pretty consistent. So yes it may be understaturated, but you can easily adjust the dose to compensate.
 
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