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Master of Perplexity
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After researching calcium suplementers, I've decided to get a kalkwasser reactor, and wondering which is best. Seems the two biggest types are pump or stirrer. Any ideas on problems? I've read about scaling in the pump types, but no info on stirrer types.
 

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Which is best? Hard to say. I have one of the stirrer types, built by Andy at My Reef Creations (www.myreefcreations.com). Works well, and I've never had any problems with it. Not sure what you mean by the "pump" type, unless you mean a design wherein a powerhead is inside the mixing chamber and is used to stir the kalkwasser periodically. Don't have any direct experience with that type. Only downside to the magnetic stir bar type is that you still need another pump to feed the Nilsen (but you may need this also with the other design). I use a Liter Meter II dosing pump, which works well, but adds a couple of hundred $ to the cost. You might be able to come up with a cheaper DIY system to feed the reactor. HTH
 

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Master of Perplexity
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm under the impression that I can simply connect the reactor between my topoff reservoir and the sump, so that when the sump demands water, it will flow from the reservoir, through the reactor, and into the sump. My float switch is quite sensitive and usually puts only 20mls or so into the sump at any time.
 

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Yeah, that system would work. What type of float switch are you using (one of the mechanical or electrical type)? I've heard that the mechanical types can sometimes get "stuck", and if they stick in the open position, you'd dump a whole lot of kalkwasser into your sump and send you pH through the roof. Don't know if the electrical types are prone to sticking or not. There may be a way to install the float switch to prevent this, but again I have no experience with that. Hopefully someone else with experience will chime in here.
 

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Decision on using a dosing pump or a float switch/ float valve could depend on your evaporation rate / calcium demand.
If your evap rate is too low but calc requirement is considerable, you may want to get a dosing pump.
I would try with a float valve first and see how it works. You may or may not need a dosing pump. I'd try the cheap approach first....

My Nielsen, for example, will be gravity fed from an elevated RO water reservoir, and controlled by a Kent float valve in the sump.
I may upgrade to a dosing pump, but I want to try this first...

:beer:
 

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Master of Perplexity
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's an electrical switch. The only time it malfunctioned was when a tiger cowery I'd put in the sump temporarily climbed on it and it pumped about an extra gallon before the force of the water pushed the cowery off!
 

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Pretty In Pink
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yardboy

My kalk reactor is the Power head recirculating kind. It's 4" clear acrylic, about 28" tall and holds about 1.5gals of ro/di and kalk. It's a diy. I use a float swith, in the fuge, to activate a PH in the ro/di holding tank, and this pumps water into the reactor and into the sump for top off. There is a timer that turns on the power head on the reactor every 6 hrs for 5 mins.

I have one of those cheap float switches and will be changing it out for a relay and a grainger float switch. Twice it stuck open and flooded the living room. :mad:

HTH
 

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wanareef said:
I have one of those cheap float switches and will be changing it out for a relay and a grainger float switch. Twice it stuck open and flooded the living room. :mad:
how does your float switch get stuck? i find these more reliable than the electrical. i tried an electrical one once and it stuck twice in one year on me. i have a mechanical one and it has worked flawlessly for about a year now. i touch it everynow and then to make sure it is not getting gumming or anything and it feels as clean as new. it is covered in kalk and salt from over the year. i do not clean it. just curious on how yours got stuck on.

G~
 

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Master of Perplexity
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I can see how either kind could get stuck. Bummer that the consequences can be so bad. MY main question about the pump recirc. types is do the powerheads fail after a "short"(how long?) time due to scaling and impeller wear? Does anyone have DIY for a stirrer type?
 

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For a DIY perspective, they are both equally difficult, drilling holes and doing the plumbing for a powerhead, and finding the right motor and magnets and using epoxy and a drill press to make a diy stirrer. The life of the powerhead is directly related to the quality of kalkwasser you use. I always recommend ESV. It is 'supposedly' the most pure and I get total dissolution. It is also very very finely ground so it does not trash your impellars. However if your going to DIY a pump type, then use a maxijet because the replacement impellars are cheap, and easy to get. That way all you have to do is replace the impellars. I have trashed impellars in 6 months using Kent's and been way over a year using ESV. I alway preach about using either a dosing pump, or make doubly sure you have redundancy in place for the float switch, IE two float switches or feed from a small reservoir.
 

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Hmmm...

Stoney: That is interesting, I have used a MJ PH on my kalkreactor with Balls Pickling lime and it is 2 years old, a little worn, but still working. I pull clean water from the top and force it into the kalk in the bottom for about 1 min every 8 hours.

Maybe I'm, just lucky, but at $1.50 a lb and a new PH even every 2 years, I think I'm ahead of the game than using a magnetic stir bar. The stir bars eventually either need to be replaced or they wear through the bottom of the reactor. If you folks do a dyi stirbar reactor, make it with a repacable disk of acrylic in the bottom, or go with a pump model (Nielssen reactor)

HTH
 

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Well I noticed a definate coarseness in the balls lime. I picked up a can a week ago to use in my test reactor on the 55 gallon soon to be brand new 58 gallon tank. I am going to put a brand new maxijet on it and see how long it lasts!
 

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Pretty In Pink
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We use ESV and it's nice and fine, powerdery. The float switch is the type that just goes up and down with the water level. It was in the up or off position and the power head was still activated - pumping water in.

Was gonna to wire in another float upside down, just to be a "little safer" but nothing is "goof proof"
 
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