While others polish their shiny cars or consume alcoholic beverages while watching NFL games, I am busy constructing my next auto-doser. Of course I could buy a bunch of peristaltic pumps and Liquidosers, but where is the fun in spending $1000 when you can do it yourself for <$100.
Here are my 5 stages of autodosing:
1) No dosing.
Disadvantage - plants didn't like it.
2) Manual dosing twice a week.
Disadvantage - gets old really quick, just like DIY CO2 on a 100gal tank.
3) Powerhead dosing.
Great for macro dosing. Disadvantage - micro solution starts to grow stuff in it.
4) The Fluidoser.
Works great for dosing ~2ml/day or more. Disadvantage - regular checkvalves
fail (leak) with smaller quantities, like 0.2ml/day.
So there it comes -
5) The Microdoser. This beauty will supply my 10 gal tank with concentrated solutions of micros and phosphates.
Here is what we need:
- a mechanical timer
- a toggle bolt (which is a fancy drywall anchor)
- 3 syringes
- a cap which sits on top of the bolt
- a container which contains the syringes
- some way of connecting the container with the timer
To assemble, we drill a hole into the cap, drill 3 holes into the bottom of the container, and drill a big hole into the container cap (so the timer wheel can still spin around). Drill another hole into the center of the timer wheel, I made it so the metal bolt could be screwed into it with some effort and is now permanently stuck there.
I used a Knorr Chicken bouillon plastic container which is semi-transparent, nice, that way light is kept away from the micro solution, and I can still see what's going on in there. This container needs to be tall enough to contain the syringes with their plunger pulled out. See your (or your mothers) kitchen.
Finally, all assembled, just need to add some hoses. I used 6 ml syringes, and each day, each spin of the timer wheel, each step of the drywall anchor thread, advances 0.2ml of Flourish, Flourish Iron, and Phosphate solution into my 10gal tank. So I and my plants are set for 5-6 weeks of dosing.
Credits for the initial idea go to Mr. Ruud
from Holland: Prototype slangen doseerpompje voor een tientje.