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View Full Version : any experience with Fishbowl Innovations Kalkwasser Reactors?


fishworm
11/19/2007, 04:14 AM
I am looking for a decent Kalk reactor to hook up inline with my ATO reservoir. I stumbled across the Fishbowl Innovations unit and it looks pretty good for the price. have any of y'all heard of it or used it?

I dont really have the time or patience to build my own, so I want to pick up a decent one. if that one is no good, which one would be best?


also, I finally decided to upgrade my crappy Seaclone 150 skimmer. I think I have decided on the octopus NW150 for my 75 gallon tank.


now I just have to save my pennies and upgrade my lighting. y'all were right, should have spent the extra 200-300 bucks and got MH. :)

fishworm
11/20/2007, 04:59 AM
anyone?? anyone?? bueller??


guess I can volunteer myself to try one of these out and review them here. :) I love being the guinea pig.

aninjaatemyshoe
11/20/2007, 09:36 AM
IMO and IME kalk reactors are a waste of money. Mixing the kalk directly in the reservoir is plenty sufficient for maintaining calcium and alkalinity in a non-demanding system. Now, if you have a calcium demanding system, such as an SPS loaded system, adding kalk wouldn't supply what you need anyway. In this case, you'll want to go with either a dosing system or a calcium reactor (the former of which being my preferred method).

setec69
11/20/2007, 09:43 AM
I am not sure I would call a Kalc reactor a waste of money. A lot of SPS tanks use a calc reactor for the calcium and a kalc reactor to maintain the ph.

BrokeColoReefer
11/20/2007, 11:04 AM
a kalk reactor a long way from a waste of money, adding kalk directly to your top off system can foul the lines and float valves. If they stick and your on vacation your tank could dry up or flood. I would put a kalk reactor on its own dosing pump and keep it seperate from your top off system.

Fishbulb2
11/20/2007, 11:33 AM
Also, if you have a very small reservoir, it's pain to mix in kalk constantly. I have a 5 gallon bucket for topoff and I refill it every week. I don't want to mess with kalk once a week. Instead I service the reactor like once a month and that's sufficient. So with smaller volume set ups, it's way more convenient to use a reactor.

VaderWS6
11/20/2007, 11:37 AM
I was actually going to buy the Fishbowl Innovations reactor. But after a lot of research, I decided to go with the GEO reactor instead. I'm so glad I did! :rollface:

aninjaatemyshoe
11/20/2007, 02:33 PM
It would be one thing if a kalkreactor costed $30-$50, but they cost around $200. I've ran my aqualifter inline with the kalk water/freshwater reservoir for about a year now and no issues whatsoever. Also, I've seen many other people get away with it no problems. Even if this was a concern, it would be easy enough to make a reservoir to hold the kalk water in between the freshwater reservoir and sump and make the aqualifter push water into it. The point is that it isn't really necessary to have an apparatus that constantly stirs it around, especially one that costs $200. Save your money and put it towards a good two part dosing system.

BrokeColoReefer
11/20/2007, 02:52 PM
here is my $19 kalk reactor. I never said they had to be expensive, but they are definatly worth the money. Acrlyic tube is expensive. A 30" tube of 8" acrylic costs alone $130. Add in the flanges and stirers and you can see why there expensive. Kalk additions are important IMO. All i was saying, when you add a float valve to the mix, and your only means of makeup water is kalk water, then you will eventually have a build up problem. Looks like you have a good method laid out. What type of float valve are you usuing? or is te aqua lifter on a electronic float switch? that would seem to be the best method...

do you make up kalk water to fill your resivor? one of the beauties of a kalk reactor is that you dont have to make up kalk water and hanlde the caustic materials on a regular basis. My reactor holds enough kalk to last 6 months.

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a168/BrokeColoReefer/IMG_0235.jpg

Fishbulb2
11/20/2007, 03:33 PM
definitely agree that you don't need a $200 reactor. but even a cheap reactor can be make kalk addition way more convenient. If I had a larger tank and a fish room, I would just use a 40gallon brute container and not bother with a reactor. But for something I have to deal with on a weekly basis, even a couple hundred dollars is worth it to me. I've used commercial units and DIY reactors. I felt like both worked rather well but I would never go reactor-less on my little setup. Too much work for me.

aninjaatemyshoe
11/20/2007, 05:55 PM
I use an aqualifter on a pressure actuated electronic relay to draw water from 5 gallon water cooler jugs that I fill with RO/DI water. I typically mix the kalk in the water jug each time I change them out. I think you guys must be using a direct input from your RO/DI, using a float valve or something to that effect. I don't personally like float valves for just the reason you mentioned.

Absolutely kalk addition is important, I would never be able to maintain my alkalinity without one (calcium is not really an issue for me).

My method works well for me and I'm sure that the kalkreactor method works well for others; to each his own. Fishworm seemed concerned with price, so I think he may do better with a method similar to mine (which avoids spending $200 to achieve pretty much the same ends).

BrokeColoReefer
11/20/2007, 06:15 PM
can i get a link to your pressure actuated electronic relay?
thanks!

aninjaatemyshoe
11/20/2007, 07:13 PM
This is basically the one I use (the one at the top):
http://www.saltycritter.com/waterlevel.htm

I prefer these over the float switch ones because they don't have any "mechanical" parts that can get obstructed. The Tunze Osmolator would also be a good choice, but I think I've heard people have issues with theirs.

fishworm
11/21/2007, 06:37 AM
thanks for the tips. I'll definately have to do more research.

good thing is that I might be able to talk someone into getting me one for Christmas so the cost wont be an issue. :) :D :)

setec69
11/21/2007, 06:49 AM
I have the Tunze auto top off and it is going to run into my kalc reactor once I get it set up, but I love the Tunze. I have never once had a problem with it and it has been running almost a year now, but you do pay a bit more, so if price is an issue, I am sure you can find something that will work. I have seen them cheaper than the site listed above. I think I paid 120s for mine but it was almost a year ago so it is possible there was a price increase or I just forgot how much I really paid.

Tunze does have an entire set up that you can get, it has the bucket, the top-off and a kalc reactor. I think it runs $280ish for everything. If that sounds like a path for you, call Rodger at Tunze, he is very helpful and can direct you to someone that can sell you the unit or search the sponsor forum. I use reef specialty my self as Mike is very good at telling if something is useless and overpriced.

BrokeColoReefer
11/21/2007, 06:58 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11224973#post11224973 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by aninjaatemyshoe
This is basically the one I use (the one at the top):
http://www.saltycritter.com/waterlevel.htm

I prefer these over the float switch ones because they don't have any "mechanical" parts that can get obstructed. The Tunze Osmolator would also be a good choice, but I think I've heard people have issues with theirs.

I love spectra pure products. thank you for the link!

1) Back on subject. To boil this down, you really have 6 main ways of dosing kalk from a reactor or resivor. You can use a electronic float switch and a luft pump or cheap doser like the aquamedic and provide all your top off trouble free that way.

2) You can run the reactor directly to a float vavle, i warn you. This will clog fast and is the least desirable method.

3) You can get a controllable dosing pump like the litermeter3 or the like, and dial in exactly how much kalkwasser you want to add. This works for me because i like to have control over how much i dose

4) You can dose two part with dosing pumps, this works extremely well but has semi high start up cost (www.twopartsolution.com)

5) You can forgo the reactor all together, mix your kalk water, siphon of the top, and store it and dose it much like the scenario in option 1.

fishworm
11/21/2007, 07:13 AM
the way the system is set up now, I have a 20 gallon tank holding the RO/DI top off water. I have a float switch from autotopoff.com in the sump, connected to a small eheim pump sitting in the ATO tank.

I am looking for something I can hook up inline with the hose from the ATO tank to the sump.

you can see the ATO reservoir on the left in this pic, and the 55gal sump/fuge with the float switch on the right. all I really need is something to keep the kalk mixed so it will flow into the sump with the top off water.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m254/Trainworm/fish%20and%20fishing/1reefsump2.jpg


keep in mind that I am still new at this and really have no idea what I am doing. :D