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Kalk reactor questions

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pfish

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I have been using a PM Kalk reactor dosing at night, and a calcium reactor during the day. I've been getting good results. Ph 8.1 at night 8.3 just before lights out. Ca at 410 Kh at 9.
the problem is that the kalk effluent loses its potency within a weeks time.
I'm evaporating about 5 gal/day so 5 gals runs through the kalk reactor/ day.
The reactor holds 2 gals and I put about 1 and 1/2 cups kalk powder in it.
the effluent starts at about 13ph and by the end of the week it's at 11ph, so the nighttime ph drops to about 7.8 which i think is too big a swing. so I've been having to add about 6 tablespoons of kalk powder to the reactor every 4 days or so to avoid this drop in potency. I'm using Seachem Kalk powder and reverse osmosis top off water which test out very pure.
Is this normal for a kalk reactor?
What are other peoples experience with kalk reactors.
 

pfish

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180 gal, I'm just estimating the evoporation. It could be less but the thing I'm concerned with is how often I have to add kalk powder to my reactor. I'm having to completely replace it every week to maintain it's potency. Is this normal?
 

DonW

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pfish said:
180 gal, I'm just estimating the evoporation. It could be less but the thing I'm concerned with is how often I have to add kalk powder to my reactor. I'm having to completely replace it every week to maintain it's potency. Is this normal?
I'd say thats about right. 5g per day is also about right. If you were mixing in a bucket you would be using 10 tsp per day.

Don
 

pfish

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I Guess that seems right to me. Now that you have put it that way. 2 teas per gal and 5gal per day. So a cup and a half of kalk powder per week would be close to that. If I want to do less maintenance on the kalk reactor I'll have to get a bigger reactor .
Thanks for the reply.
Pfish
 

supafly

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I am about to start my Kalk reactor in a similar size tank with similar evaporation rate but in a 3 gal kalk reactor with about 2 cups of Kalkwasser to start. I am hoping I wouldn't have to add kalk as often as you, or at least 2 weeks intervals at best.

Q: Do levels drop off even more if you don't replenish it weekly? How much?
Q: What time interval do you have the kalk reactor mixing?
Q: When replenishing kalk in the reactor, do most people just add more on top or remove the old and put in new kalk?
Q: What is the ideal water to kalk ratio used to before it is exhaust? e.g. 2tsp/gal, 2tsp/2gal, 2tsp/3gal.....?

I know it's alot of questions, but I am just learning about it and would appreciate any guidance.
 
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pfish

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Edmonds, WA
I measure the ph in the kalk reactor. It is close to ph13 when the kalk powder is first added. I add 2 cups into the reactor when the ph drops to 11. I have a 240 gal mixed sps lps tank and the ph drop takes about 2 weeks. I only run the kalk at night when ph wants to drop.
About once a month I siphon out all the leftovers in the kalk reactor when the precipitate at he bottom turns a dark grey, which is inert material.
I hope this helps.
 

supafly

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So you're adding 2 cups on top of the 1.5 cup that is already in the reactor to bring it back up to ph13. And then once a month you dump everything out and start over? That sounds like you're wasting alot of kalk. To me, Kalk seem to have more potential even after the ph has dropped. I mean one of the benifits of using kalk is to maintain hight ph, but its other properties like calcium/alkalinity also serves a purpose. My objective for using Kalk is to help maintain the high demand for calcium/alkalinity by my SPS dominant tank as my calcium reactor is not keeping up. The hight ph is just a bonus.

What brand of Kalk are you using? Why the grey coloration?
 

NaH2O

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I'm tagging along on this thread, as I've recently set up a kalk reactor, and checking to see I'm using it correctly. I'm running mine 24/7, and I notice a slight drop in my tank pH when it is time to replenish the kalk in the reactor. I usually add enough kalk to last 3 or 4 days (at the 2 tsp/gallon evaporated ratio), then I add more. I use Warner Marine Kalkwasser Plus, and really like it, plus it is analytical grade. I haven't noticed any grey coloration to it. I have the powerhead on my reactor hooked up to the AquaController, and it is set to mix for 1 minute every 255 minutes (as long as I could set it for). Hope this helps.
 

DonW

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Unless you stir very frequently your not going to maintain much more than 11. Kalk will help with ph swings but it will not cure a co2 problem. If you are getting big swings with 5g per day, look at better circulation and airation. There is no reason a ca reactor shouldnt be able to keep up with ca and alk, unless its not tuned properly.

Don
 

supafly

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NaH2O said:
I use Warner Marine Kalkwasser Plus, and really like it, plus it is analytical grade. .

Where did you get this? Do you have a link?

Don,
I don't think a ca reactor can always produce enought. In my situation,
I have a 180g with about 70 medium-large SPS colonies. My Ca reactor holds almost 3 ARM's container and has a bubble count that is at about 100+. My effluent Ca level is over 600ppm, Alk is 12dkh, meg is 1275 and my drip rate is close to a stream. I had it running for 4 months and have been trying for the past 3 months to dial it in to different setting but cannot seem to maintain my levels steady. I have used additive to get the levels to where I want but then it would drop within a week. I know the consumption in my tank is high and it's the only explaination why my levels keep dropping. I can't figure any other way to get more out of my Ca reactor, hence the Kalk addtion. I don't have a ph swing problem, I have a large skimmer with over 40x water turnover. Anything else you can think off?
 
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pfish

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Edmonds, WA
I'm adding kalk with my top off water, it replaces all evaporation. I'm using a high grade of kalk made by two little fishes. My calcium and alkalinity are stable at 450ppm cal and 9.6 dkh alk. I'm not using it for ph stabilization but do dose at nite in order to avoid ph swings. I use also for the precipitatioin of phosphate. My Kalk reactor is pump stired vigorously every 3 hours for 15 min. I read that when the kalk turns grey it is inert and my kalk goes pretty grey and the ph drops to 11 after two weeks. Maybe my info is wrong, but my system is working.
 

DonW

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supafly said:
Where did you get this? Do you have a link?

Don,
I don't think a ca reactor can also produce enought. In my situation,
I have a 180g with about 70 medium-large SPS colonies. My Ca reactor holds almost 3 ARM's container and has a bubble count that is at about 100+. My effluent Ca level is over 600ppm, Alk is 12dkh, meg is 1275 and my drip rate is close to a stream.
You can get WM at Reef Geek, good prices and service. If your ca reactor effluent is only 12 there is a problem. As I stated "properly adjusted" ca reactor should keep up. The reactor DKH should be at least 3 times that high.

Don
 

DonW

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supafly said:
whops, I meant 12 meq/l = 33.6dkh
You may want to look at the ca reactor setup calculator. Sorry I dont have a link but its posted here. With a decent reactor big enough to hold 3 tubs of arm you should easily be able to maintain ca and alk. Also if you slow the flow a little you can get the alk up closer to 60 or 70.

Don
 

wrightme43

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The set up calculator is found under Forums, scroll down to Great Threads, then scroll down to Reef Calculators. It brings up a page with the info. Hope this helps.
 
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