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10-24-2004, 11:58 AM
DIY Kalk reactor...
It's simple, really...
-An ro/di feeding tank(auto ro/di, basically any source) for a continuous flow of fresh water.
-A 5 gallon bucket with lid
-2 float valve or switch(I use valves)
-A small power head
-A appliance timer with the ability to have 3 on/off cycles in a 24hr period
-A source of pure lime(pickling lime, kalkwasser mix, etc.)
-A small bulkhead for an outlet from 5 gl bucket to float valve in sump via 1/4" vinyl tubing
(usually modified sprinkler drip system parts... plastic only!!!)
#1 Drill the 5 gl bucket for initial float valve from ro source and install float valve(as high as possible allowing space for a snug fit for the lid) and bend the arm so that it will not come in contact with the solution in the bucket when in use.
#2 Drill the out let about 1/2-2/3 from bottom of bucket (sized to your bulkead fitting for the line going to the float valve in your sump) and install outlet(make sure you use a valve in-line for maint reasons).
#3 drill a hole just big enough for your powerheads cord to rest at the same level as your ro inlet/float valve and then with a sharp knife or utility knife, make a slit from top of bucket to hole to slip poerhead cord through so that the lid will sit snuggly on top of bucket.
#4 place powerhead into bucket about 2/3 way down(just hanging is fine as long as the nozzle looks to agitate the water well when on and place cord into the pre-drilled and cut hole then secure from the outside of the bucket with whatever you feel comfortable(plastic clamp works well)...test to make sure you have no leaks and reactor is done.
#5 Now install float valve into sump and adjust to desired height for top off to remain(a plastic float valve/switch is required here).
#6 now close outlet valve from bucket to sump and install reactor as desired(other buckets, etc may be used... just modify to fit all parts. Narrower reactor tubes may need float switches due to lack of space that a float valve usually requires.
#7 begin allowing the reactor to fill with fresh ro/di water and add just a cup or so of pure lime... when you can operate your powerhead submersed, do so to test how well it's agitating the solution(kalkwasser, limewater). You should test the ph there and it should remain(in the reactor at about 12-12.5).
#8 Now set the proper time on the timer. At the time of all lights out(other than moonlights if desired), set the timer for at least 5 min-30 min, do it again for when lights begin coming on, and once in about the middle of those 2 times while lights are out(early am). Now, plug your powerhead in and you're done(tweak as needed and monitor your ph, alk, and ca for a few days.
I add about 1 cup of lime to the reactor a week, but situations are different all around. Test your ph in the reactor, if it's falling, first test your powerhead and make sure that everything is running(dosing) as neccessary. If all's good, add lime to the reactor and test again in about 15 min. Things should be back to norm. This is what I have used for a while no with no probs other than my 1st bucket's outlet was too low and occasionally clogged with lime... still very little chances of overflow, but that has not reoccurred since redesigning for a higher return.
Here's some pics...
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