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View Full Version : Kalkwasser Reactor/Stirrer Plumbing?


jcarrara
04/27/2006, 04:47 AM
I'm in the planning stages of my first reef tank and have been keeping FO for about 10 yrs. I have been researching different Kalkwasser reactors & stirrers and I'm a little confused on how they are plumbed for top off purposes. Can I directly plumb my RO/DI out line to a reactor itself? I have seeen a few that state: "Not for use with direct top-offs from RO or RO/DI units (Not for pressurized applications)" and others that dont list the warning but suggest "gravity feed" I'm planning on having and RO/DI system top off my sump to replace evaperation. It would be nice if I could simply run the RO/DI out line to the reactor then to the sump without the need for a RO/DI reservoir.

Also why is there a need for some sort of drip mechinism after the reactor if I can directly plum my RO/DI to it? Wouldn't the pressure from my RO/DI system force the kalwasser solution out of the stirrer/reactor itself which then could be controlled by a simple float valve in my sump?

Any advice on whether to go with a reactor or a stirrer and who makes the best model would be appreciated. I may DIY my own...just looking to get some ideas.

Thanks in advance for all your help.

Peace Out

John

Ereefic
04/27/2006, 07:49 AM
I believe you don't want your RO lined plumbed directly to the reactor for a couple of reasons.

First, the RO unit would be shutting on and off around the clock, don't think this is good for RO units.

Secondly, you'll have an endless supply of 'topoff water' hooking it up like that. Imagine if your float switch, etc. were to stick on, diasaster!!

Your best bet is to get a dosing pump and pull the water from a resivour (trash can, etc.).

I have a 33gal. trash can that holds RO water. I have a Litremeter III that pulls water from that and pumps it into the reactor. Works great!!

jun_celis
04/27/2006, 07:57 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=7258002#post7258002 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Ereefic
Your best bet is to get a dosing pump and pull the water from a resivour (trash can, etc.).

Mine is setup that way too. I have a feeding pump that I got from ebay. It drips from 0-295ml/hr. Enough to replenish 1 gallon evaporated water per day!

jcarrara
04/27/2006, 04:25 PM
I don't plan on using an electric float switch but a float valve that would shut off the supply of kalwasser solution off based on evaporation. I would think it would turn the RO/DI on and off no more or less than if it was connected dirrectly to the sump.

I guess what I'm basically asking is why can't you plum a Kalkwasser reactor/stirrer "in line" with a RO/DI unit on the way to the sump controlled by a float valve.

RO/DI ---> Kaleasser Reactor/Stirrer ----> Sump w/ Float Valve

I would also think (and hope) that there is no need for some sort of electronic drip mechinism/doser? Wouldn't the pressure from my RO/DI system force the kalwasser solution out of the stirrer/reactor itself which then would be controlled by the float valve in my sump....I think?

I'm thinking maybe the pump in a reactor mightcreate enough pressure to force the float valve open where a stirrer would create less pressure and might not.

Am I "way off base" with this whole concept?

Thanks again.

Peace Out

John

Ereefic
04/27/2006, 05:28 PM
An endless supply of water scares the heck out of me. If the float valve gums up, which it will, from the kalk mix and doesn't shut off, your screwed. You need to stay on top of cleaning the float valve, and even then it might bite you in the arse.

I don't think RO systems are meant to be turned on and off, but rather be turned on for a length of time and then off. I thought I've read constant on/off can damage something or atleast you'll burn through filters alot quicker. That's why some RO systems have a holding tank, so it's not turning on and off everytime you get some water.

IMO, if your going to use a kalk reactor, invest in the proper equipment to run it.

jcarrara
04/27/2006, 05:46 PM
Thanks for the reply. I see what you're saying about the "gumming up issue". I didn't realize the kalk was that sticky. I think worse case , if it did happen, it would just stop any top off from occuring. From what I've read about all the RO/Di sytems and the way it was sold to me as an "automatic top off system" they are meant to be plumbed directly to the sump and turn off and on with the float valve in the sump. The is no electricity involved in the RO/DI....it's just run on water pressure. I was just hopping to incorporate an easy way to dose kalk as simply and cheaply as possible. I'm really limited on cabinet space and trying to keep everything in it so I'd like to stay away from the external trash can concept if at all possible.

Thanks again.

Peace Out

John

ReeferMonkey
04/27/2006, 07:12 PM
RODI units aren't really well suited to being run in-line with your reef system. Being pressure-driven, you can't just turn it on or off except with an electronic valve.

Every reefer I've ever known that has an RODI keeps it as a seperate system and uses a reservoir of various size for top off/kalk supplemetation. Ereefic is right on the money, you DO NOT want an unlimited supply of water to be available if your top-off sticks on. That's not good at all, quite a few folks have lost tanks full of livestock when their top off got stuck on and their whole reservoir knocked their SG (pH in the case of kalk) out of whack.