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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I am doing some upgrades and one being an ATO. I am looking for suggestions for a good ATO, looking at JBJ or Tunze osmo. I'm also considering using kalk but not sure of the best way to use it with an ATO. My thoughts are to use a kalk stirrer in the ATO reservoir. I have lower PH around 8 and would like to be certain my calcium is steady. I'm also a bit confused as to how an ATO maintains a stable salinity when adding straight RO/DI without any salt mix. I know salt doesn't evaporate but adding 5 or 10 gallons must drop the salinity over time. I must be missing some facts here and before putting out another few hundred bucks could use some tips and suggestions. Thanks!
 

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The idea of an ATO is to only replace the evaporated water that occurs during/throughout the day. Since the salt does not evaporate and the water does, the SG will increase as the water evaporates. so the idea is to replace the water that has already evaporated in the tank thus holding the salt levels stable. 5-10 gallons at a time is kind of a lot, most people I know only experience 1-2 gallon evaporation a day, but I guess it depends on many factors. As far as kalk goes, I have no experience with it, so can't give advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Very simple but straight forward explanation. Funny, but it is much clearer now. The ATO is only adding back small amounts to replenish the evaporated water. Therefore keeping the salinity stable, got it. And then at water changes I'd imagine you can make adjustments where needed. Thanks for the heads up and now if I can manage to get a handle on calcium, magnesium stability and the best way to handle it without adding excessive maintenance I will be in good shape.
 

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Cloud, if you get a handle on it let me know.... Lol I've been reading up on it as much as possible. Every time I think I have a handle on it something changes!
 

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Chasing Stability
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I bought a Tunze a year or so ago and haven't looked back. It's a bit pricey but very reliable IMO.
 

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Underwater Demolitions
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I use a Two little fishies Kalk stirrer on my ATO. Float switch drops, ATO pump comes on in my RODI resouvoir, feeds water through the Kalk stirrer which adds a saturated Kalk solution to my tank. I love it but it seems too easy and because of that I am sure there is some sort of drawback. I, too, am waiting for an expert to chime in!
 

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Not an expert, but have been using the tunze for a year now. Great product, but don't forget to unplug it during water changes! I also use kalk. I have a 10 gallon storage tank that I add kalk to. Pump stays about four inches from bottom. Keeps my pH at 8.3. Do the regular water changes to keep everything else stable. I use a good fan on my sump to increase evaporation and help with gas exchange.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I use a Two little fishies Kalk stirrer on my ATO. Float switch drops, ATO pump comes on in my RODI resouvoir, feeds water through the Kalk stirrer which adds a saturated Kalk solution to my tank. I love it but it seems too easy and because of that I am sure there is some sort of drawback. I, too, am waiting for an expert to chime in!
Thanks so much, you hit the nail on the head. That's what I've been trying to figure out is if it will run inline with the ATO pump. Seems as though if the stirrer only gets activated when the ATO kicks in, it would create cloudy kalk water for top off. Second option I am thinking is running the stirrer with a MJ12 so it is constantly turning over the kalk. Then just have the ATO run as normal. Sounds good in my logic but I'm lost.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Not an expert, but have been using the tunze for a year now. Great product, but don't forget to unplug it during water changes! I also use kalk. I have a 10 gallon storage tank that I add kalk to. Pump stays about four inches from bottom. Keeps my pH at 8.3. Do the regular water changes to keep everything else stable. I use a good fan on my sump to increase evaporation and help with gas exchange.
Do you just put the kalk in the reservoir itself or do you use equipment? Glad to here the PH stays constant, that's what I'm looking for. As far as I understand, Kalk will help maintain calcium as well as keep PH steady, right? So in my mind and what I need to order is: The Tunze Osmolator (maybe nano for 65 gallon) or the bigger one, Little Fishies Kalk Stirrer, MJ12 for Stirrer and Kalk itself.

How often do I need to change kalk out so I order plenty to have at hand?
 

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Underwater Demolitions
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Change out Kalk every three weeks or so in my reactor. I use more now that i use the reactor Han when I mix by hand. I use Brightwell Kalk +2' which is supposed to keep magnesium and strontium levels stable. Don't know if it s worth the extra money. Next time I'm out of it I might just order he cheap stuff from bulk reef supply.
 

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Chasing Stability
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If you guys are looking to save a couple bucks on kalk, check out Mrs. Wages Pickling Lime. I've been using it for a while now, and it works like a charm.
 

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Underwater Demolitions
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I've heard this but I get really nervous when there is not a picture of a fish or a coral on the label :)
 

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Do you just put the kalk in the reservoir itself or do you use equipment? Glad to here the PH stays constant, that's what I'm looking for. As far as I understand, Kalk will help maintain calcium as well as keep PH steady, right? So in my mind and what I need to order is: The Tunze Osmolator (maybe nano for 65 gallon) or the bigger one, Little Fishies Kalk Stirrer, MJ12 for Stirrer and Kalk itself.

How often do I need to change kalk out so I order plenty to have at hand?
I add the kalk to my 10 gallon top off container. I use about ten gallons of top off water a week. The only time it gets stirred is when I add water. I change about once a month. Recently I have thought about getting a reactor. I have a feeling the kalk may start to wear the little feed pumps out prematurely.
 
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