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Kalkwasser dosing help


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#1
tundrashaul

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Hi everyone, I just started researching the idea of dosing kalkwasser. I think I like the kalk. stirrer method best for what i need. My plan was to make a DIY stirrer with some 4 inch pvc and acrylic tube, just like the ones you will find in a diy kalk stirrer google search.

My primary question, Is it best to just let water run through the stirrer on the way to tank from ATO reservoir or between water supply and ATO reservoir?

My current ATO in a direct line from my RO/DI system controlled by a float valve in the sump and pressure shut off at RO/DI filter. I was thinking of adding a 3 or 4 gallon reservoir to hold water just before topping off. The stirrer sounds like it would go best between the RO/DI and ATO reservoir so if the reservoir calls for water just after stirrer has run it will give the Kalk. a chance to re-settle in ATO jug.

Another question is it ok to run a pump from jug to stirrer and constantly circulater water through the stirrer and ATO reservoir? Or is it possible to overdose the water in ATO reservoir.

Thanks for any help!!!
Matt

#2
mrbigshot

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why even bother with a stirrer? if your adding the holding tank than mix your kalk in there and let it settle out. mix what you need ( up to 2 tbs per gallon). i use a 2 gallon top off container and have one of the feed cycles on my apex disable the top off for 6 hours. that allows the kalk to settle out. if anything doesn't settle out it gets caught in my aqualifter filter.

its not a good idea to run your top off directly from your rodi setup. short usages burn up your di quicker and the first bit that actually comes out isn't pure.
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#3
wombat

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^^^What he said. You don't want to run an RO unit in little bits at a time because of membrane creep. It is best to run water through an RO for as long as possible at full pressure.

Also, stirrers are unnecessary for kalk dosing. There is a lot of outdated and incorrect info on the web concerning kalkwasser. The fact is that settled, unstirred kalkwasser is just as potent after a couple weeks as it is after a couple hours. You just have to cover it and not mix it. Because of this, I find it easiest to just mix up a one or two week batch of kalk and then have a dosing pump add it in to the tank as needed.

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#4
baldbean

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IMO the best way to dose kalk is through your top off water. Two teaspoons of kalk will dissolve in water almost completely. Any more than that and you will have a white residue on the bottom of your reservoir of undissolved kalk. So even though 2 Tsp per gallon (not Tbsp) will mix well, I recommend starting with 1 Tsp per gallon. Then move up to 1 1/4 Tsp... and finally 2 Tsp. Depending on your tank size you may want to start at 1/2 a Tsp. Like others have said its best to not continually mix the kalk, this may cause white kalk chunks to get added to your tank.

I use 1 Tsp/gal of RO/DI water. I mix my batch of kalk and let it sit overnight. Once the water has cleared up I place the dosing pump hose in it and let it do its thing. My controller turns the pump on for 10 seconds every 15 minutes to match my evaporation rate.

Oh, also if you have not already, invest in a pH test kit. This will help you fine tune your tsp/gal ratio. Too much kalk will cause your pH to sky rocket. Here is a link for more info.

#5
mrbigshot

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with 1 tbs per gallon i didn't see any real increase in ph levels, i agree that's an excellent starting point.
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#6
tundrashaul

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Cool. Thanks guys.
I think I may do two ATO reservoirs one straight ro/di and the other Kalk water. Using a float to run pure water and rkl ph controller to run Kalk as top off when ph is low. Using two aqua lifter pumps.

#7
wombat

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rkl ph controller to run Kalk as top off when ph is low. Using two aqua lifter pumps.


I think both of these components of your kalk dosing systems would be mistakes. One, pH probes are very fallible and quickly go out of calibration. Two, an aqua lifter pump will deliver a kalkwasser solution much too fast. Either or both of these could easily result in a huge spike in pH that could kill animals. Kalk overdosing through improper setup is a very common way of killing tanks.

If it were me, I would use the pH probe to monitor (but not control) your system pH and just keep an eye on it yourself. I would also use a peristaltic pump that is sized correctly such that it can only add just enough kalk for your needs.

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#8
tundrashaul

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I read of many setups the add Kalk to their only ATO reservoir without issues. Seems to be the most common way I come across.

#9
iroll253

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I run kalk in a 5 gallon bucket with an aqualifter separate from my ato. The kalk runs for 1 minute every 2 hrs during the night so 10:00 to 10:01pm, 12:00 to 12:01am ect.. This is just run on a electronic brinks timer from walmart.

Edited by iroll253, 14 April 2012 - 05:02 PM.


#10
mrbigshot

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my ato runs once an hour (my apex makes it wait 60 minutes after every cycle so the pump isn't always clicking on and off), generally only for a few seconds. my ph raises about .01 in that time. if i make it wait most of the day after mixing kalk and refilling the ato container it goes up by around .04. i use an aqualifter and levels are controlled by the apex using a cheap bulk reef float switch.

Edited by mrbigshot, 15 April 2012 - 10:46 AM.

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#11
jgwinner

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PMFJI

My 12G office Nano seems to have issues with alkalinity - even though I have only 1 small coral in it, I think the coraline is depleting the tank.

So, I'm tempted to dose some Kalk.

I'm using a Tunze ATO.

Would adding the Tunze Kalk container be effective you think? When the Tunze pump runs, it does seem to shoot a fair amount of water in at a batch, but only runs 1-2 times a day. It takes me about a month to go through 5G of RODI water (I lug it into work, avoiding the Sparklets).

== John ==

#12
Daveg99

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I just drip it into the tank from a plastic 1.5gal container using a little airline valve to adjust the drip rate. Simple and effective.