View Full Version : Next DIY Projects: 1.Kalk Doser 2.Top-Off


flyingarmy
12-26-2006, 3:51 PM
My next 2 projects are in the works. Thanks to sammy33's post about his Kalk doser I am itching to get mine project going. I recently bought an Aquadyne Octopus 3000 from Big D (he regrets letting it go) and I wanting to incorporate it's capabilities with a top-off system and kalk doser. I wanted to do a top-off and kalk doser seperate due to the amount of evaporation I have on my tank. I think it would be more beneficial to my system to have each seperate and seperately controlled. Big D has suggested using the PH controller probe to trigger the kalk doser and I have to do some more research on that option but it seems fairly simple. The top-off should be pretty easy since the Octopus 3000 included a float switch. I bought a Water System pre-filter at Lowes today with all the required plumbing for a kalk doser. Just need to buy some Mrs. Wedges Pickling Lime and I should be in business. I am setting up the Octopus 3000 tonight with several X10 modules to control temp, randum surge pumps and lights. One thing nice about the Octo 3000 is that is can control light for both my tanks and some of additional pumps for waves/current without too much trouble. I'll keep everyone updated on my progress!

Sprayin70
12-26-2006, 3:57 PM
Sounds good. I may have to try the Kalk doser my self!

flyingarmy
12-28-2006, 10:01 AM
Here are some initial pictures of my Kalk Doser DIY project.

I bought a Whirlpool "Whole House Prefilter" from Lowes for $20, the fittings and tubing. I had to modify the prefilter with a tube going down to the bottom so the RO water would mix the kalk as it is pumped from the holding tank. As you can see I used several pieces of hard/soft tubing (leftovers from other projects) but I suggest having one piece of hard tubing all the way to the bottom of the prefilter. I am using a 80PGH fountain pump located in my RO container to dose the kalk. I drilled small holes in the tube so the RO water would pump into the prefilter chamber, mixing the kalk. The clear mixed kalk RO water will be pumped out from the top of the prefilter and dripped into my sump. I bought Mrs. Wedges Lime yesterday and tonight hopefully I will get a chance to test out the system. I will have to fine tune the Aquadyne Octopus 3000 to trigger the dosing pump based upon PH settings. Here as a few build pictures of the kalk doser:
http://www.flyingarmy.com/Temp/Kalk2.JPG
http://www.flyingarmy.com/Temp/Kalk4.JPG
http://www.flyingarmy.com/Temp/Kalk5.JPG
http://www.flyingarmy.com/Temp/Kalk8.JPG

Vettesarebest
12-28-2006, 10:17 AM
Looks good!!

Sprayin70
12-28-2006, 4:26 PM
Good job! I think I will build mine this weekend.

mojo
12-29-2006, 8:15 AM
Are you sure you want to use those brass fittings for water going directly in your tank?

flyingarmy
01-03-2007, 10:09 AM
Are you sure you want to use those brass fittings for water going directly in your tank?

Mojo...thanks for the advice. After thinking about the corrosion etc of the brass fittings I changed them out to plastic fittings. Here is the finished product hooked up to my Octopus 3000. It is dosed every night when the ph is low.

http://www.flyingarmy.com/Temp/Doser.JPG

I did some modifications to my wet/dry also. I put a glass panel making it a sump, more water volume and LR/LS for the 20GAL Reef. I have to work on the micro bubbles with some sort of water diffuser coming out of the fisrt chamber since bubbles are being suspended on the LR in the main chamber, but are not being pumped back into the main tank. Here is a picture:
http://www.flyingarmy.com/Temp/Reef Sump.JPG

mojo
01-03-2007, 10:16 AM
Looks awesome!

Kevin
01-03-2007, 10:33 AM
That is great! I think that will be my next DIY

glxtrix
01-03-2007, 10:38 AM
lookin good. I also made one of those kalk reactors, turned out pretty nice, and its pumpin into another container which has carbon in it. I'll post some pics when I bring my camera to work.

flyingarmy
01-03-2007, 10:55 AM
lookin good. I also made one of those kalk reactors, turned out pretty nice, and its pumpin into another container which has carbon in it. I'll post some pics when I bring my camera to work.

Just a quick question: Why do you pump it into another container with carbon? Inquiring minds want to know!

glxtrix
01-03-2007, 11:12 AM
no specific reason. I do it that way cuz I only have a 15g tank with limited space to run carbon, so thats my "extra space" to run carbon, or what ever.

flyingarmy
01-03-2007, 11:13 AM
Cool...just wondering! :thumbs:

glxtrix
01-03-2007, 11:19 AM
no worries man, askin questions is what this forum is all about! I'm glad I can help. Yeah its not necessary at all, but i figured it couldnt hurt. I run a small powerhead thu everything, its only about 80gph, maybe a tad under powered, but it gets the job done.

Amici
02-28-2007, 11:17 AM
OK a few questions about this, is it worth it to kalk a tank that is say 30 gal? Dont you run a higher risk of it over dosing? And how do you control when it doses so that it doesnt over dose and what not. I know pretty much nothing about kalk dosers.

rhomer
02-28-2007, 11:42 AM
I've been looking into doing something like this, I have a couple of questions.
What is your effluent PH?
How do you get the Kalk to mix?

Rob

glxtrix
02-28-2007, 11:53 AM
the kalk is mixed thu a pump that pumps in pure RO or RODI water. Your basically using the water fuilter in reverse, water goes in the "OUT" side so it can run down the tube, water then is forced up thu the kalk mixing it. That saturated water is then forced out the "IN" section going to your tank. The whole system is ran by a float switch, I think sammy has a video on here about the setup so you can see it. And the drip rate is controlled my a sinple valve that lets the water drip into the tank. Gawgdude, i have this lil contraption on my 15g tank, its pretty much all relative to how much calcium and alk demand you have in your tank. I ahve a lot of SPS and clams, so the demand is high. I really need to get a PH monitor cuz I really have no clue what exactly my PH is at, I have test kits and it says around 8.4, but an exact number would be nice.

rhomer
02-28-2007, 12:10 PM
That is what I was concerned about. If the PH of the effluent is that low then there really isn't any mixing going on in the chamber (at least this is my understanding). From what I've read the PH effluent of a kalk reactor should be 12.5 which I beleive is a crude way of measure Kalk saturation. There are others here that have kalk reactors that I'm sure have more info about this.

This isn't any kind of attack, I just didn't see how the effluent could be a saturated mix without a mixing pump or stirrer. I loved the clean design and was sitting here wondering if I could stop by Lowes tonight to pick one up.

I'm more than open for someone to correct me if I'm wrong, if so I will be building one of these tonight.:D

Rob

glxtrix
02-28-2007, 12:39 PM
oh crud, I read that wrong, sorry, yeah the kalk coming out will be very high, around 12 or so. I cant test that high so I dont know the exact number, I just ran a test and the color in the bottle was of no color range on my sheets, lol. Its def high, hence why you add it to a sump or a place of high flow.

mufret
02-28-2007, 12:40 PM
I recently retired my DIY reactor and if you aren't the DIY sort, Tunze makes a piece of equipment with a very similar design and function (Calcium Dispenser - 5074.000). It's designed for their Osmolator but can be used with any topoff setup that uses 1/4 tubing. It's a bit more than the DIY so certainly see if you can find a used one, which would make the cost pretty close to the cost of the DIY reactor.

I'm going to test my effluent this evening but I don't think the effluent you will get out of any of these "static" reactor will be fully saturated. It is, however, going to much better than just adding RO/DI water back to your system. So for a relatively small investment, you will be able to provide a constant source of calcium to our calcium loving friend and at the same time help maintain the PH in your system.

rhomer
02-28-2007, 12:43 PM
Thanks guys for the advice. I currently have a calcium reactor on the system and my PH sits at about 8.0 during the day and 7.8 at night and my alk tends to be on the low range 3 - 4 mg /l. I was looking to add a kalk reactor to correct this more then dose calcium.

Unfortunatly used ones almost never come up and usually go for nearly full price. So I've been poking around to building my own.

Another thread hijacked.

Rob

flyingarmy
02-28-2007, 2:12 PM
Thanks guys for the advice. I currently have a calcium reactor on the system and my PH sits at about 8.0 during the day and 7.8 at night and my alk tends to be on the low range 3 - 4 mg /l. I was looking to add a kalk reactor to correct this more then dose calcium.

Unfortunatly used ones almost never come up and usually go for nearly full price. So I've been poking around to building my own.

Another thread hijacked.

Rob


Rob...

It's honestly quite simple to build one (even a pilot can do it)! All the items can be bought at Lowe's except for the pump. Mine is finally tuned perfectly for my 20GAL Reef. You just have to monitor it to make sure it's not over-dosing. It keeps my calcium/ph right where I want it. Good luck and let me know if you need a parts listing.

Mark

JustOneMoreTank
02-28-2007, 2:47 PM
The effluent from the DIY Kalk reactor should be 12+. The RODI water slowly moving thru the kalk powder from the bottom going up will dissolve as much as the water can carry. It should be fully saturated. :) Everyone remembers middle school science class right? Water is the universal solvent... In this case we have really pure RODI water so it actively wants to dissolve that powder. :)

Cameron
02-28-2007, 3:18 PM
If you don't mind a drip system, I have a rubbermaid container with an IV drip attached that was designed to dose. Super cheap.

rhomer
02-28-2007, 3:24 PM
Uhh thanks Cameron :), but I was looking at a pressurized type that I can run inline with my topoff.

Rob

Cameron
02-28-2007, 3:33 PM
Yeah I figured. I do have a standard RO canister with 1/4" fittings sitting empty I would part with for $15. Same one some of the guys use as a DIY project.

Just trying to move some merchandise and I will shut up after this post. Starting to sound like a bad used car salesman.

rhomer
02-28-2007, 3:35 PM
Nothing to see here move along move along.

Cameron
02-28-2007, 3:37 PM
What comment... what are you talking about? ;)

flyingarmy
02-28-2007, 3:45 PM
I've been looking into doing something like this, I have a couple of questions.
What is your effluent PH?
How do you get the Kalk to mix?

Rob

The PH of the kalk mix is around 12, but to make sure I don't over shot my tank PH I add vinegar to drop the PH before it goes through the kalk mix. I get a small spike, but using my Octopus 3000 and it's PH dosing capabilities it works very well at maintaining the PH and toping off the tank with Calcium rich RO/DI water. Good luck!

rhomer
02-28-2007, 8:29 PM
Well this is about the easiest DIY project ever. It cost 34 dolloars at Lowes for the filter, but oh well. I will keep it in the sink till I'm sure no leaking. Next will be get the pickling lime at the store. I used John Guest fittings for the RO water.

Cameron
03-01-2007, 12:01 AM
If someone wants to do this, I ended up with a few extra RO units and am asking what I paid for them which is $15 bucks. Cheaper than Lowes!

glxtrix
03-01-2007, 10:21 AM
whooo hooo good job Rob, yeah they are super easy to build and maintain, I love mine.....just wish I had a larger system so it could empty a bit faster into the sump. Oh well, let us know how it works out. Also if youre looking for the pickling lime, Im not sure if there is a kroger by you but they sell it in the produce section. Its Mrs wadges too, or ou could go online to their site and buy it.