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I need help on Kalk reactor questions


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#1
beyondcomp251

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Im having a hard time dialing in my aquamedic two part doser. Im considering a TLF kalk reactor for my 60g cube/20g sump. Would I just run the pump from my ATO resevior to the reactor, thus to the tank? My only concern is that being a rimless tank my ATO goes through about 2 gallons every 2 1/2 days.

#2
acropora1981

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Im having a hard time dialing in my aquamedic two part doser. Im considering a TLF kalk reactor for my 60g cube/20g sump. Would I just run the pump from my ATO resevior to the reactor, thus to the tank? My only concern is that being a rimless tank my ATO goes through about 2 gallons every 2 1/2 days.


Ok... here is my take on the TLF reactor - it sucks. It is very hard to get it to drip kalk at a slow enough rate so that you don't spike pH. In fact, as far as I can tell, its impossible. I bought one, and I've been unable to sell it. I used it for about 5 days. If you want a kalk reactor, get the AquaMedic kalk stirrer. It works extremely well, and you can use RO tubing and ball valves to throttle down the dosing rate.

And dont worry about your evap rate - you should be fine. I go through 1/2 gallon a day and my tank is about 20 gallons of water volume. My pH sits between 8.0-8.1 with kalk, but I also use a calcium reactor.

Edited by acropora1981, 12 April 2012 - 05:06 AM.

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#3
beyondcomp251

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yikes, i dont have room for a calc reactor. So im confused, if i have to dial it down then is their a seperate switch for the ATO? Ie i thought it went from ATO to reactor to tank thus using the same amount the ATO switch would require to get water level even in tank

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acropora1981

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yikes, i dont have room for a calc reactor. So im confused, if i have to dial it down then is their a seperate switch for the ATO? Ie i thought it went from ATO to reactor to tank thus using the same amount the ATO switch would require to get water level even in tank


Thats how most kalk reactors work - the TLF one relies on the water being pumped in to stir the kalk; you can't stir it with a small amount of water and therefore, it doesnt work.

Edited by acropora1981, 12 April 2012 - 05:39 AM.

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beyondcomp251

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gotcha i guess my questions is when the ATO kicks on, it will force through the reactor and dispence the proper amount of ATO into the sump to regulate water level? I keep reading about dripping which would through my salinity way off.

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acropora1981

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gotcha i guess my questions is when the ATO kicks on, it will force through the reactor and dispence the proper amount of ATO into the sump to regulate water level? I keep reading about dripping which would through my salinity way off.


Right, but you have to have the kalk drip in slowly. Even with an ATO, it will send a bunch of water through all at once, and spike the pH. The water wont overflow, the kalk will just go in way too fast. You want to drip kalk at about 30 drops per minute or less. Its not possible with the TLF reactor. It can do maybe equivalent to 500 drops per minute at the least. By at the least, I mean that you can only restrict the water so far with the ball valve, without disabling the stirrer, which again, is powered by the incoming water flow.

I hope I'm being clear... its hard to describe.

Edited by acropora1981, 12 April 2012 - 06:27 AM.

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Paleoreef103

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Right, but you have to have the kalk drip in slowly. Even with an ATO, it will send a bunch of water through all at once, and spike the pH. The water wont overflow, the kalk will just go in way too fast. You want to drip kalk at about 30 drops per minute or less. Its not possible with the TLF reactor. It can do maybe equivalent to 500 drops per minute at the least.

Honestly, I've run kalk through a JBJ ato with the kalk being stirred by a koralia pump in my top off reservoir. Just run 1/4 strength kalk and it isn't a huge problem. The analogue would be similar to once a day two-part dosing. Not ideal, but it works. That being said, a proper kalk reactor or set of dosing pumps is a thousand times better than the TLF kalk reactor/ manual dosing.
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acropora1981

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Honestly, I've run kalk through a JBJ ato with the kalk being stirred by a koralia pump in my top off reservoir. Just run 1/4 strength kalk and it isn't a huge problem. The analogue would be similar to once a day two-part dosing. Not ideal, but it works. That being said, a proper kalk reactor or set of dosing pumps is a thousand times better than the TLF kalk reactor/ manual dosing.


the problem with doing it fast with the TLF reactor is that you get saturated kalk which has a pH of >12... Add a few table spoons of that to a small tank all at once, and blam, you have not only a pH spike, but you will also get huge amounts of calcium precipitation and a drop in alkalinity.
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#9
obaptista

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Currently I am using a 5 gal ATO reservoir gravity fed to a solenoid and then to a float. The ATO is kalk saturated with no stirrer. It pulls from just under the water line to prevent getting any settled slurry. SPS is growing like mad and ph is rock solid at 8.2. The only down side is that the kalk is less effective as it ages because the mix reacts with the air and I need to dump the slurry when the clear mix is exhausted. If I had a pump fed ATO, I would place the pump higher in the res to get the clear mix and set it to run very frequently. Lastly, I am going to try converting a DI reactor to a stirrer less Kalk Reactor. Calvin415 has had some success and I am a big fan of gravity-powered/pump-less solutions. HTH

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Paleoreef103

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the problem with doing it fast with the TLF reactor is that you get saturated kalk which has a pH of >12... Add a few table spoons of that to a small tank all at once, and blam, you have not only a pH spike, but you will also get huge amounts of calcium precipitation and a drop in alkalinity.

You're right about the TLF reactor. With an ATO I've never run saturated kalk. I only dissolved about 1/2 tsp of kalk powder per gallon and manually dosed a few mL of B-Ionic throughout the day as well. If it's your main source of calcium then I wouldn't recommend kalk without a kalk stirrer, but a weak solution in an ATO reservoir can be helpful in keeping levels up. I'd just make sure you were using a weak pump that flowed in very slowly, but activated numerous times a day (an aqualifter or an Mini-Jet 404 work well in this capacity if you aren't pumping the water up too high a distance).
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#11
acropora1981

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You're right about the TLF reactor. With an ATO I've never run saturated kalk. I only dissolved about 1/2 tsp of kalk powder per gallon and manually dosed a few mL of B-Ionic throughout the day as well. If it's your main source of calcium then I wouldn't recommend kalk without a kalk stirrer, but a weak solution in an ATO reservoir can be helpful in keeping levels up. I'd just make sure you were using a weak pump that flowed in very slowly, but activated numerous times a day (an aqualifter or an Mini-Jet 404 work well in this capacity if you aren't pumping the water up too high a distance).


Totally, that works. I did that before I got my reactor; I'm not sure it does much but it doesn't cause pH spikes or any noticeable precipitation in the aquarium. I was using more like 1 tsp per 5 gallons though, but I'll take your word for it ;)

Edited by acropora1981, 12 April 2012 - 09:01 AM.

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