Liquid limestone: Have you used a Kalkwasser Reactor?

Have you used a Kalkwasser Reactor?

  • I currently use a Kalkwasser reactor.

    Votes: 65 21.5%
  • I have used a Kalkwasser reactor.

    Votes: 26 8.6%
  • I have not used a Kalkwasser reactor, but I plan to in the future.

    Votes: 56 18.5%
  • I have no plans to use a Kalkwasser reactor.

    Votes: 140 46.2%
  • Other.

    Votes: 16 5.3%

  • Total voters
    303

mikst

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Nothing fancy. I use a brs 50ml minute doser on a digital timer. I dose 7200 ml daily which is just a bit less than my evap rate. I use a 20g brute container to store kalk.
OH cool! That's the exact dosing pump I was planning on/thinking about using. I was intending to us an ato controller to detect high/low in the sump and turn on the dosing pump as appropriate.

Hmm, 20 gallon brute. That's a fair distance of head height for that little pump to pull from, that's cool it is strong enough for that.

Thank you for that very useful information and experience!
 

mikst

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I use a Tom's Aqua Lifter pump. The pump itself sits on the lid of the limewater bucket and never really touches the kalk. The suction side of the pump has a combo of rigid and flexible airline tubing that hangs into the bucket ending about an inch off the bottom. The pump is on a light timer and runs a couple minutes every couple of hours.
Oh , nice, that'll definitely help with longevity.
 

mikst

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I don't exactly have a stirrer. It's more of a diy reactor. It's a very good compliment to my calcium reactor.
Every 3 or 4 days a dump in 3 table spoons Kalk. It is 100% ato make up water driven to the bottom of the container and the lime water comes out the top.(not slurry) My sump is a Rubbermaid container so it all mixed up pretty well before it goes to the display.
Every few weeks I make sure the end of the hose is clean.
So, I've seen a diy system I think similar to what you're describing at this old thread (https://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2642604) I hope it's OK posting a link to a different forum, I didn't see anything that said I couldn't but there's a lot to read on here.

Basically, 45commando pumps ato water into the top of a water filter cartridge holder that runs down to the bottom where an excess of kalkwasser powder is settled. The injection of the water stirs is up a bit, forcing the cleared solute at the top of the diy reactor out of the piping and into the sump as an ato.

Do I have my understanding correctly that if you have a massive excess of kalk powder it will simply settle in the reactor /reservoir or whatever. Only the amount that has actually dissolved in the clear water up top is at saturation and should have a pH around 12.

As fresh water comes into the reactor and saturated water is pumped out, more of the settled powder can then dissolve into the water up to the saturation point.

Excess settles back out and the reactor waits until the next time the pusher ato pump forces more fresh water into the diy reactor.

So I have all that down? If so it sounds like it would pretty consistently produce a saturated solution. But maybe that's not the best solution for someone with slow ca/alk consumption if using as an ato as the concentration would be way too high in comparison to evaporation.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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So, I've seen a diy system I think similar to what you're describing at this old thread (https://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2642604) I hope it's OK posting a link to a different forum, I didn't see anything that said I couldn't but there's a lot to read on here.

Basically, 45commando pumps ato water into the top of a water filter cartridge holder that runs down to the bottom where an excess of kalkwasser powder is settled. The injection of the water stirs is up a bit, forcing the cleared solute at the top of the diy reactor out of the piping and into the sump as an ato.

Do I have my understanding correctly that if you have a massive excess of kalk powder it will simply settle in the reactor /reservoir or whatever. Only the amount that has actually dissolved in the clear water up top is at saturation and should have a pH around 12.

As fresh water comes into the reactor and saturated water is pumped out, more of the settled powder can then dissolve into the water up to the saturation point.

Excess settles back out and the reactor waits until the next time the pusher ato pump forces more fresh water into the diy reactor.

So I have all that down? If so it sounds like it would pretty consistently produce a saturated solution. But maybe that's not the best solution for someone with slow ca/alk consumption if using as an ato as the concentration would be way too high in comparison to evaporation.

The problem with many reactors is that they may not produce saturated kalkwasser. I would not assume this one will do so.
 

twentyleagues

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So, I've seen a diy system I think similar to what you're describing at this old thread (https://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2642604) I hope it's OK posting a link to a different forum, I didn't see anything that said I couldn't but there's a lot to read on here.

Basically, 45commando pumps ato water into the top of a water filter cartridge holder that runs down to the bottom where an excess of kalkwasser powder is settled. The injection of the water stirs is up a bit, forcing the cleared solute at the top of the diy reactor out of the piping and into the sump as an ato.

Do I have my understanding correctly that if you have a massive excess of kalk powder it will simply settle in the reactor /reservoir or whatever. Only the amount that has actually dissolved in the clear water up top is at saturation and should have a pH around 12.

As fresh water comes into the reactor and saturated water is pumped out, more of the settled powder can then dissolve into the water up to the saturation point.

Excess settles back out and the reactor waits until the next time the pusher ato pump forces more fresh water into the diy reactor.

So I have all that down? If so it sounds like it would pretty consistently produce a saturated solution. But maybe that's not the best solution for someone with slow ca/alk consumption if using as an ato as the concentration would be way too high in comparison to evaporation.
Tunze used to make a bottle that hooked up to your ato kind of the same idea. The Tunze version had a water inlet at the bottom and an outlet on top. There was an antisiphon fitting on the inlet. ato would pump water into the bottom of the bottle and clear water would leave the top. Was it completely saturated I am not sure. It did work. Only problem with it was if your ato stuck on for any reason not only would your salinity be messed up you would get a ton ( whatever you put in the bottle) of kalk pumped into the tank also. I used it for years in combination with a calcium reactor. Ph was pegged at 8.3. I also used this before I had a carx with a little 2 part seemed to work fine there too.
 

mikst

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The problem with many reactors is that they may not produce saturated kalkwasser. I would not assume this one will do so.
Hmm, OK. But drawing from a settled reservoir is more likely to? I realize optimally I need to measure conductivity, I'm just trying to be theoretical for the moment.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Hmm, OK. But drawing from a settled reservoir is more likely to? I realize optimally I need to measure conductivity, I'm just trying to be theoretical for the moment.

You can exactly control the potency from a reservoir. It is not always true with a reactor.
 

mikst

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You can exactly control the potency from a reservoir. It is not always true with a reactor.
Really? I'm not sure why, but that is surprising to me. Well, a settled reservoir sure is a lot more simple, Whether it pushes the solute out with an elevated centrifugal pump or draws out with a dosing pump.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Really? I'm not sure why, but that is surprising to me. Well, a settled reservoir sure is a lot more simple, Whether it pushes the solute out with an elevated centrifugal pump or draws out with a dosing pump.

It should not be surprising that one can control potency in a reservoir. Just add what you want, dissolve it, and dose it.

It does surprise a many reactor users who just assumed they were getting full saturation, that when they actually measure it, it does not. Some folks do get full saturation, but I think some manufacturers just assume that if you have a stirring slurry at the bottom, that the clear water on the top is saturated, and they may never have measured to see if their design is capable of it.
 

mikst

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I think what I meant is I'm surprised you don't get full saturation in a reactor. Yes it makes sense in a reservoir you get full saturation.

Which actually brings me to my next question. If I am understanding the saturation/solubility, it sounds like if you put too much calcium hydroxide into fresh water and gently briefly stir, it will saturate at approximately 2 teaspoons per gallon, any beyond that will settle to the bottom of the container.
If that's the case, then it seems that if I have for example a 5 gallon reservoir and I put in 20 teaspoons with 5 gallons of water, I will have 10 that become solute and 10 that settle.

Then, when I deplete my reservoir by 4 gallons that is saturated with 8 teaspoons (no more so I don't suck up the slurry) and top it off with 4 gallons, 8 of that remaining 12 will become solute in the new 4 gallons and the remaining 4 will likely be solute in the original 1 gallon or settle.
All approximately, and I understand the longer any calcium hydroxide stays in the reservoir it runs the risk of interacting with co2 and losing potency.
Do I have a reasonable grasp of this?
Thank you for your time.
 

Wayofthereef

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So I had trouble maintaining PH and Alkalinity years ago, also with what seemed like slow growth. So I used to mix up kalk in a container and slowly drip it into my tank over 20 years ago with little knowledge as to what it was actually doing.
Fast forward to a year ago I decided I wanted to give kalkwasser a try but I didnt like the price of the stirrers. So I found a magnetic beaker stirrer on Amazon as well as a 14x6 acrylic cylinder vase. It fit perfectly on the stirrer but the inside base was curved so the magnetic stirrer pill would bounce all over. So I got 2 part epoxy and poured it into the base of the vase till it was level..
So now the pill spun perfectly. So to keep the air out of the stirrer I designed a 3d printed lid with 2 holes. One for PH and the other an optical eye sensor because we all know how kalk plugs up lines. And at the base I put a 1/4 bulkhead for fresh water line with a valve that runs to my neptune dosing pump. The ph is maintained at 12.5 to 13, any lower I know its time to add kalk.
So then there was how to code the apex to not overdose and kill everything in my system. So originally I had the stirrer come on once a day for 30 minutes but that turned out to not be a saturated enough of a batch within an hour. So every hour it stirs for 10 minutes and directed to watch DKH, CAL, AND MAG for fluctuations. But so far so good.. PH IS AROUND 8.2 TO 8.4 and I prefer elevated levels so DKH of 10 - 11 and Cal around 400 to 450..
So as far as elevated calcium, if my mag is around 1350 and my calcium is 480 l simply bring my magnesium to 1400 - 1450 and the calcium will begin to fall.
Im a major DIY'R and I understand this move isnt for everyone. But I will say this, I have had minimal luck with my system. But ever since this addition it have seen such an explosion of growth
 

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Randy Holmes-Farley

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I think what I meant is I'm surprised you don't get full saturation in a reactor. Yes it makes sense in a reservoir you get full saturation.

Which actually brings me to my next question. If I am understanding the saturation/solubility, it sounds like if you put too much calcium hydroxide into fresh water and gently briefly stir, it will saturate at approximately 2 teaspoons per gallon, any beyond that will settle to the bottom of the container.
If that's the case, then it seems that if I have for example a 5 gallon reservoir and I put in 20 teaspoons with 5 gallons of water, I will have 10 that become solute and 10 that settle.

Then, when I deplete my reservoir by 4 gallons that is saturated with 8 teaspoons (no more so I don't suck up the slurry) and top it off with 4 gallons, 8 of that remaining 12 will become solute in the new 4 gallons and the remaining 4 will likely be solute in the original 1 gallon or settle.
All approximately, and I understand the longer any calcium hydroxide stays in the reservoir it runs the risk of interacting with co2 and losing potency.
Do I have a reasonable grasp of this?
Thank you for your time.
In a settled reservoir, you can have excess undissolved calcium hydroxide on the bottom and it will only slowly dissolve if the liquid is or becomes unsaturated for various reasons.

The solids also collect calcium carbonate and magnesium hydroxide, neither of which will appreciably dissolve.

If you have dissolved 8 teaspoons, remove half the limewater, then add back fresh water, the new concentration will be 4 teaspoons in the full volume.

I’m not sure what you mean by

and the remaining 4 will likely be solute in the original 1 gallon or settle.
 

Ingenuity against algae: Do you use DIY methods for controlling nuisance algae?

  • I have used DIY methods for controlling algae.

    Votes: 32 49.2%
  • I use commercial methods for controlling algae, but never DIY methods.

    Votes: 12 18.5%
  • I have not used commercial or DIY methods for controlling algae.

    Votes: 15 23.1%
  • Other.

    Votes: 6 9.2%
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