DIY Auto Doser Question - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 93 (permalink) Old 07-07-2013, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
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DIY Auto Doser Question

So I want to start auto dosing my fertilizers so that I do not have to worry about forgetting before I leave in the morning or going away for a few days.

Basically the design that I had in mind was to add air tube into a liquid fert bottle (siliconed in) and connect it to one of toms aquatic pumps. Then have another air tube form a drip line (connected to other end of pump) into the tank. I'll put the pumps on timers (2 minutes a day or something small to start until I can get an accurate measurement.

This seems too simple... What am I missing?

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Last edited by Finalplay10; 07-07-2013 at 09:19 PM. Reason: update
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post #2 of 93 (permalink) Old 07-08-2013, 12:07 AM
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One thing to watch out for is that those pumps might not be able to lift (carry the fertilizers) very high, so if you have a significant head height, you may run into issues.

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post #3 of 93 (permalink) Old 07-08-2013, 02:25 AM
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If you want precise dosing, it's best to use a peristaltic pump.

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post #4 of 93 (permalink) Old 07-08-2013, 02:38 AM Thread Starter
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I understand that but unfortunately there's no such thing as an affordable peristaltic pump. Toms is the cheap alternative. Is it going to be 100% perfect? No, it's not. Is it going to be close enough? Personally, I think it will be. I just need to keep the whole system under 30" long to avoid stressing the pump. I plan on using a few test runs with water so that I can measure how much is actually being dosed prior to my letting it put anything into my tank.

The 30" shouldn't be an issue. I have room on the back of the stand where I should be able to place this system.

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 07-08-2013 at 01:04 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #5 of 93 (permalink) Old 07-08-2013, 03:01 AM
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You can get a peristaltic for $25, pretty affordable. You'd need to a build a dc motor controller, maybe.

But yeah, I guess you can make it work with the tom's pump with lots of adjusting.

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post #6 of 93 (permalink) Old 07-08-2013, 03:07 AM Thread Starter
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I have no idea how to make a DC controller...

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post #7 of 93 (permalink) Old 07-08-2013, 03:52 AM
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actually, I got a peristaltic pump to run by just plugging a 12vDC adaptor to it. You don't need to worry about controlling the speed.

http://aquatictechtank.net/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=15

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post #8 of 93 (permalink) Old 07-08-2013, 04:08 AM Thread Starter
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Mistergreen are you using that arduino that you show in the video to control the pump? I don't see myself going into that much detail for this particular build. Would I be able to just get a 12vdc adapter and run with that? How would you recommend controlling this pump? Also i was unable to find a suitable adapter. Can you recommend one? Thank you.

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Last edited by Finalplay10; 07-08-2013 at 05:34 AM. Reason: Update
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post #9 of 93 (permalink) Old 07-08-2013, 05:42 AM
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Just run the pump with water into some sort of ml measuring container for 2 minutes. Once you have the amount of water pumped, use this calculator http://calc.petalphile.com/en/ and input the size of container, the measured dose and mix ferts accordingly. This should do just fine as long as you test it every once in a while to make sure its moving the same amount of liquid. Keep us posted on your progress, I am thinking of doing something like this once I start doing ferts.
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post #10 of 93 (permalink) Old 07-08-2013, 06:03 AM Thread Starter
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Ya I get the concept but I do not understand how to set this thing up. Im guessing that I would just need two pumps and two 12vdc converters to run this thing. I am just not sure how to use a converter or which one to use. Once I get it running I will work out all of the conversions with water as u explained.

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post #11 of 93 (permalink) Old 07-08-2013, 06:29 AM
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I was talking about using the cheap pumps you mentioned at first. I assumed they had regular plugs on them and you would just use a timer.
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post #12 of 93 (permalink) Old 07-08-2013, 06:30 AM Thread Starter
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Regular timers are tough because they all have 15 minute intervals minimum. I haven't been able to find one with less of an interval yet.

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Last edited by Finalplay10; 07-08-2013 at 06:51 AM. Reason: update
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post #13 of 93 (permalink) Old 07-08-2013, 09:22 AM
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The toms pump pumps quite a bit of liquid too. I'm not sure how you would adjust the rate.

You can use irrigation electronic timers for 1 minute everyday but they can be difficult to use. They do sell electronic aquarium timers you can use.

Yes you can hook the 12vdc adaptor straight to the peristaltic pump. The YouTube videos on the site shows that. I keep old adapters from cellphones etc... So it was free. The smaller the voltage, the slower the pump rate. Try a 9vdc or you can use a potentiometer to limit the voltage to adjust the rate. That's all the arduino is really doing. You can get one off eBay or RadioShack if you really need to buy one.


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post #14 of 93 (permalink) Old 07-08-2013, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finalplay10 View Post
Regular timers are tough because they all have 15 minute intervals minimum. I haven't been able to find one with less of an interval yet.
Get a digital timer - you can program them down to 1 minute increments.

There are some cheaper ones available at Target for about $16 for two.. I use those to control my finnex lights since they don't have grounds.

There's one available at home depot that is about $15 that is grounded.
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post #15 of 93 (permalink) Old 07-08-2013, 06:37 PM Thread Starter
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I have a coralife digital timer around here somewhere that I have never been able to figure out. Perhaps I will give that another shot. Can I use electrical tape to cover the exposed wires on the adapter? Think I should be able to pull this off.

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