Mixing Kalk This Way in My Semi Automated DIY Kalk Reservoir Gravity Dripper. A couple questions.



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Jul 23, 2014
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Okay, I've got a few questions. I always start my reefs out dripping kalk, but usually move on to two part because of the tediousness of kalk. Although simple, you need a decent sized reservoir and space is usually at a premium. I don't dose through my ATO as I've never like the idea of the dose varying based on evaporation which changes throughout the year and of course the wear and tear on equipment. I also don't like the idea of kalk reactors or stirrers. Nevertheless, I love kalk for the higher pH and balanced dosing, therefore I decided to try and create a system that can be continuous and go longer between mixing. So in my adjacent closet behind my reef I setup 2x 3 gallon glass kalk reservoirs. The top jar fills with RODI water automatically and notifies me when low and high so I remember to add more kalk. There's a float valve and leak detector in this systems too. I put a stir plate under the top jar to mix new kalk. Once it settles out I transfer the clear kalk to the bottom reservoir and drip that to the system. I tried one container, but it took too long to settle and we're after stability so while the bottom container is dripping, the top one is settling. Basically my goal is to just add kalk every 7-10 days. I used Colder quick disconnects I had on hand and modified them to use with quick connects, this way I can easily disconnect the reservoir for the occasional clean out.

Now for my questions. Like I said, in the past I would mix a jug, drip, empty, fill, re-mix, settle, then drip. However, now I am continuously adding kalk to the top reservoir. If I am topping it off with kalk, should I still add the two teaspoons per gallon for full strength being that there remains powder (likely just precipitated calcium carbonate) or should I lower the amount I add? If I add too much is there a risk the solution would precipitate too much giving me a weaker dose? And finally, is there any simple way to test the strength of the kalk? I'm not looking for precision, just ball park. A simple test strip (pH)? would be fine. I realize conductivity would be the best way to test, but I'm not going through the trouble, expense, and likely short life a conductivity probe would have.

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