DIY magnetic stirrers

I call my self looking through the site and haven't found anything on this, so here goes.
Has anyone tried to make their own magnetic kalkwasser stirrers? I have one (not magnetic) that seems like everyone has gotten away from that incorporates a pump. As we all know they lock up continuously and now I'm trying to convert it to a magnetic stirrer. My problem is, with the powder settling to the bottom of the unit I'm afraid when it comes time to start the stirrer it will need a motor that has a little more gusto than a computer fan, etc.
I think this is a good idea but it needs a bit of tweaking. I also am going to try to use what I've got and the bottom of the kalkwasser reactor is around a 1/4" thick. So, I think the magnets might have to be a little stronger also. Any ideas on what motor to use? I'm open to any and all ideas...

Thanks,
Carl
 

Sk8r

Staff member
RC Mod
What is useful to understand about kalk is that it takes only one stirring to mix it to the limit of 2 tsp per gallon, which is all that can dissolve in a gallon of ro/di unless you alter the ph, which isn't generally desirable. Any kalk that can't dissolve will fall to the bottom of the vessel or tank UNTIL more fresh water arrives: then 2 tsp of that will dissolve in the new water, etc, and any unused will lie at the bottom and wait. I used to just dump a couple of pounds of kalk into a 30 gallon barrel of fresh water, stir it once, and rely on my topoff pump to deliver the kalk-laden water to the tank. New water coming in---stir it with a stout stick, and repeat until the kalk at the bottom was mostly gone. THen more kalk.

A stirrer can do the job in a small vessel through which the water passes, but does not need to run all the time. Undissolved kalk in the tank is not a disaster, but it's not desirable.

If you decide to go with a large barrel for a topoff reservoir and go that route, the excess kalk will always go to the bottom of your reservoir: if you can just hoist your pump a little above it, that will prolong your pump life: it will chew up impellers, especially in small pumps.

If you want a small vessel with a stirrer, confining the kalk there, you could put your stirrer on a timer to only run for one minute a day, assuring it kicks up some to dissolve, then settles again. All the above may be TMI, but I thought it might help. If you need to kick it up just once a day, any very small pump on a timer could do it.
 

Member No. 1

Ver. 2.1.1
Premium Member
I think you will be hard pressed to find any info or locate a Kalk reactor that uses a magnetic stirrer on the bottom due to the kalk "caking". Most if not all I have even seen are units that either use a small pump to circulate the water inside the chamber, or a stirring rod hanging down from a top mounted gear motor.
 
I agree SK8R, when my tank was up and running about 6 years ago I used a kalk reactor (stirrer) than incorporated a pump. As we all know the idea was great but after a while the pump would lock up. When my ATO would call for water the water was fed into the reactor and the dissolved kalkwasser would go into the sump. This worked very well for me, all my corals flourished everything seemed in check. I am wanting to start my aquarium back up after sitting idle for 6 or so years. Now I'm wanting to use a magnetic stirrer on my existing reactor and do away with the pump. I think I may have found the motor that would seem to be strong enough to do the trick. My son is remodeling a bathroom in his house and is replacing the vent fan. The fan is low profile, AC, and I think it would be strong enough to do the trick. I will not have this running constant but will come on and run for a few minutes a few times a day. I'm going to build this up and see how it works, will let you know. What do you guys think of my ideas? Pros and cons...
 

Sk8r

Staff member
RC Mod
Sounds like a plan. I have a basement sump so a giant reservoir is doable for me, but a good stirrer that can keep working would be an asset in a more confined space, and a plan that would enable a small kalk feed would be a boon to the community. I have to say I broke 2 lab-rated stirrers before I went over to a 'dump it in' barrel.
 
Sounds like a plan. I have a basement sump so a giant reservoir is doable for me, but a good stirrer that can keep working would be an asset in a more confined space, and a plan that would enable a small kalk feed would be a boon to the community. I have to say I broke 2 lab-rated stirrers before I went over to a 'dump it in' barrel.

I will try to take pictures and let everyone know how it works. I'm thinking that this might work.
 
I posted pictures of the Kalk Stirrer I made in the DIY forum just now. I put it there because I thought it would be better suited there. Take a look and let me know what you guys and gals think...
 
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