Help me build a safer kalk ATO.

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by anathema, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. newhobby

    newhobby Guest

    I'm planning on having this as expansion module for RA.
    I've got some samples from the manufacturer already, but nothing for immediate use that would benefit the OP right now.
  2. anathema

    anathema Guest

    So this is what I come up with looking for a welco for sale: I'm guessing it's missing parts? Don't see a motor.

    Some more searching turns up a huge array of brands and prices. Any of you guys doing this have a model # or suggestion for a pump that would be suitable yet somewhat affordable?
  3. iani

    iani Guest

    The quick release pump head is what you want. That pump head in particular is compatible to the right size tubing for what we need. Message the seller to get more info about the actual motor/controller. You want to look for one that does 5-600 rpm.
  4. houser

    houser Past President

    IMO a super reliable ATO and a good autofeeder are all you need to run autonomously for weeks on end.
    For all - the peri delivery rate is a function of the head rpm and the tubing inner diameter. For every revolution a discrete volume is dispensed. Since the rollers crush the tube the pump has a strong push/pull ability. That's why they can lift liquid 50 feet and/or fight through a clogged dispensing tip (kalk precip).
  5. Thales

    Thales Past President

    I don' think this makes sense at all. Real safety in regards to a reef tank is an oxymoron.
  6. Thales

    Thales Past President


    Do you need the peri for head? A valved down MJ, on a timer on a dual float switch works great for me and seems to be slow enough to avoid overdoses. Though I like peris, if head or distance is not your problem, the real issue is dosing rate - you just need it to be slow. I don't think peris are inherently more reliable for ATO application and I also don't think you need the fine adjustability the can provide, and that you really are just swapping one set of problems for another.

    Here is some more info if you need it:

    BTW, my kalk over doeses have all been from user error (lack of maintenance is user error) , not from problems with the automation - I regularly leave the tank for weeks and have had no problem ever.

    Good luck Gusty, I know your pain!
  7. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    Rich's reactor is simple, cheap and effective.

    If you can, go with larger output hosr, like 1/2", that way it won't clog :-
  8. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Over the years, I have read a lot of horror stories on how X/Y/Z killed everything in my tank.
    Of the non-newbie mistakes, Kalk overdose on an ATO sure seems to be high up on the list.

    I was just passing on a fundamentally different way to dose kalk that sure seems a whole lot safer,
    and because of that, could make a real overall difference in safety.
    And it is hardly a new idea. Lots of people do it that way.

    Thus, I have to disagree.
  9. Thales

    Thales Past President

    Most of the Kalk problems that are reported by non newbies are user error, not because of a fundamental shortcoming of the system.

    Sure, and there are many reports of people with a non kalk ATO that have killing everything disasters because of the ATO (which are really the same problems that exist with a Kalk integrated ATO). And, you have increased the complexity of the system with has its own problems. Without addressing those issues, I think your sense of security is false.

    With what? That real safety in regards to a reef tank is an oxymoron? I don't see anything in your post that even addresses that idea. You never get real safety with a giant box of saltwater and combined with tons of moving parts and electricity.
  10. anathema

    anathema Guest

    Safety first.

    [img width=600 height=200][/img]
  11. Thales

    Thales Past President

    Point taken!

    Did you snag a masterflex?
  12. anathema

    anathema Guest

    No I am in the all too familiar position of having enough in the budget to pay my bills, but not enough to buy all the toys I want. At the moment I am in a holding pattern.

    I really like the idea of throwing a valve on the MJ though. I feel really stupid for not having thought to do that myself. I have a valve in a box that is all set up with hose barbs and everything, so I'm putting that together today.
  13. xcaret

    xcaret Supporting Member

    How about this one?
    Variable RPM

  14. anathema

    anathema Guest

    Looks serious to me!

    Let's talk in a couple days when I'm off work. I'm also going to be done with the 40G tank in a few days so i need to meet up anyway.
  15. xcaret

    xcaret Supporting Member

    OK, I'll be gone next week from Wed. til Sat. but this week works.

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