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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey all, I am making a DIY kalk reactor and trying to constantly dose it, however I don't want to be messing with it all the time. is there a way to hook up a pH monitor and dosing pump to automate this? I am fairly new to all the automated equipment, so suggestions, on brands and set-ups would be great. also, I would like to save as much money as possible, so used is fine by me if anyone has any. But also if anyone knows of any inexpensive set-ups. Thanks
 

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I have my kalk reactor on a dosing pump that runs 24/7. I have the pump connected to a ultralife float switch in the sump, so if the tank does not need top off it wont add anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
well, i was going to have a seperate auto top off so that I wouldn't be addind kalk in large suges, but rather in small amounts constantly over time. I would love to set it up so that drip count is determined by pH
 

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the PH should not fluctuate that much to turn on a pump to add kalk or not. You are better off matching your evaporation rate to the drip/dosing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't want the pH to turn the pump on and off, just to slow or speed the drips. for example, if the pH reaches around 8.1, the drips would speed up, if the pH reached 8.3, the drips would slow down. Thereby keeping the pH constant. But, I want the Kalk dripping all the time. How do I do this?
 

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I dont think you PH will swing that much to begin with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
bump
 

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I have a Myreefcreations Kalk reactor hooked up to my auto top off. I don't have a seperate resevoir I use a float swith attached to a solenoid that my 1/4" tubing from my RO/DI goes directly into. When the float switch lowers the solenoid opens pushing water into the kalk reactor which pushed water to the sump. Thats how its set. The kalk reactor is set to stir every 4 hours for 2 mins. I never have problems with my calcium, alk, or PH. I think TDwaytt does this the same way as well. It works very well.
 

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When using a kalk reactr, you WANT the kalk to be tied to sump volume and top off rates, otherwise, rather than have low fouctuations in pH (normal and benign when tied to top off rates), you'll see swings in salinity, especially if you have top off separate from your kalk drip...

To administer sufficient kalk, you will be administering a pretty good volume, almost if not greater than the amount needed to maintain sump volume. You'll end up looking for ways to increase your evaporative rate to increase your delivery rate of kalk to keep up with heavy hermatypc growth as the corals mature and grow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
well, i was going to have a float valve controlling RO top off, and the Kalk reactor with no float valve dripping constanly. This way, kalk levels should stay up, and the evaporation should be somewhat regulated. Also, I wouldn't be adding larger amounts of kalk all at one time, and I would have a float swith with RO water as a back up incase there is too much evaporation. Is this not a good idea?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
also, I am kind of confused as too why you would use a dosing pump, and a float valve. Doesn't the dosing pump regulate the drip count, and therefore make it inneffective at topping off your tank if it is low enough for a float valve to kick on?
 

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the float valve would be for auto top off. you could set up a dripper. use a bucket or jug. put an airline into it with a valve at the end and start a siphon. adjust the valve so you get the rate of drip at whatever you want. this may be the easiest way if this is going for your 20 gal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
this is for the 150 i am setting up
 

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well then i guess the bucket dripper wouldnt be enough.
i have mine set up with a 20 some gallon Ro top off water resivoir from the ro unit on a float valve. then that feeds the kalk reactor which then goes to the sump controlled by a float valve. i have 0 problems with this set up.
 

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Depending on your setup, you'll be evaporating around 2 to 3 gallons a day. If you have a large dense population of hermatypic corals, this will barely be enough evap to supply kalkwasser withoug diluting your tank's salinity. Using either a peristalic pump set to replace the amount of evaporation every day (with a float valve to turn off the pump if the rate should exceed evaporative losses) will give good results, but tieing the delivery of kalk directly to the float valve will maximize kalk with the ability to match fuctuations in evaporative losses.


Six of one and one-half dozen of another... :rolleyes:
 

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As Tom said, kalk dosing is ideally tied to top off. The PH swings from periodic topoff dosing are minimal and of less concern when the salinity is constant. In fact, it isn't ph that we look for as an indicator of sufficient kalk dosing. Consider situations where ph fluctuates from high or low co2 content(such as day/night cycles) Using a ph meter to control these will be adding kalk in an inconsistent manner. Also, I can't think of any ph monitor that can be easily tied to a potentiometer driven pump(speed regulated as opposed to simple on/off). That would be a custom piece of hardware that would be very expensive.

I have my diy kalk reactor inline from the dosing pump of my tunze osmolator and it works just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
so, if this is tied to top off, do I still need to drip it it in, or when the float valve turns on, should I just allow the Kalk water to rush into the sump replacing the evaporation? is that too much kalk to add at one time, or is this ok?
 

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If you are adding kalk only when the float switch turns on you will be fine. The float switch will open many times a day and add small amounts of top off water. I have done this for over 8 months and don't have any PH swings with it.
 

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I second Tom; Kalk is best used to continuously replace evaporated water to minimize pH swings. If you have a lightly stocked tank and few stony corals, Kalk may be able to keep up with Ca and Alk demands. However a more heavily stocked tank, esp. one with lots of stony corals, will need more Ca and Alk than Kalk can provide, given "average" evaporation rates.

Even if Kalk doesn't keep up with Ca and Alk demands, using it can cut down on the amount and frequency of dosing 2-part supplements, if you use something like Bi-Ionic parts A & B. Also, if you use Kalk, watch your Mg, as Kalk use over time can lower it, esp. with a less-than-religious water change schedule.

Hope I've helped :)

- Michael

tdwyatt said:
When using a kalk reactr, you WANT the kalk to be tied to sump volume and top off rates, otherwise, rather than have low fouctuations in pH (normal and benign when tied to top off rates), you'll see swings in salinity, especially if you have top off separate from your kalk drip...

To administer sufficient kalk, you will be administering a pretty good volume, almost if not greater than the amount needed to maintain sump volume. You'll end up looking for ways to increase your evaporative rate to increase your delivery rate of kalk to keep up with heavy hermatypc growth as the corals mature and grow.
 
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