I dose kalkwasser every hour through a kalk reactor and keep the ato separate. Has worked very well for me. Kalk through the ato is very messy, hard on equipment, and inconsistent due to varying evaporation rates. Using a kalk reactor is more stable and ensures you're always dosing a fully saturated level of kalk.
Mike,Thanks for the reply. I bought a couple of DIY dripper sets from BRS and intend to use the drip method because of monetary reasons. So lets say I evaporate about 1 gallon/day on my 65g DSA with 40g sump. Can I drip 1/2g kalk per day and let the ATO take care of the rest? What are some good ways to estimate the strength of the solution, as I know that 1 - 3 tbsp/gallon is recommended.
The best way to know how much to drip daily is to test your parameters often (daily if possible). Your alk and cal levels will let you know how much is needed. It's basically dose and test, dose and test until you get it dialed in to match the uptake of your system. Start with low amounts and slowly work your way up to ensure you're not dosing too much too quickly which would cause big, potentially harmful swings. Fully saturated kalk has a pH of around 12 so you could test pH to see how much you need to mix per gallon to reach that level. Also, it is best to drip kalk at night when your lights are off to help keep the overall pH of the system more stable.