The Planted Tank Forum - View Single Post - Autodosing for Dummies
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 06-24-2006, 04:14 AM Thread Starter
Are these real?
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Monterey, CA
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Originally Posted by vidiots
Interesting idea, can you give more specifics about the pump you used and volume of the container etc.
I think pretty much any pump will work, but if you put the container underneath the tank, it needs to be strong enough to lift up the water. My favorite little pump is the AS MiniJet 606, not only for this application, it is reliable, silent, strong, and fairly inexpensive. I have also used a Hydor Pico which sucks water from the bottom and empties the container well.

The containers I am using are prolly half a gallon. What I would do is to use this as a top off as well. So if your tank is losing about a gallon per week, use a larger container. For a 10 gal tank, you probably want to scale things back.

Originally Posted by vidiots
I recently tried something similar that didn't work very well. I used a 1 gallon jug that had two holes drilled in the cap which were fitted with airline bulkheads. To one of the connectors I attached a rigid airline tube to the inside of the cap and a hose that ran to the tank on the other side of the cap. To the second bulkhead I attached a hose that ran to an air pump. I figured when the air pump was on it would basically blow the liquid from the bottle into the tank. The problem was that it was very inconsistant with the dosing. It required much more time to send the same amount of fluid as the water level in my bottle dropped. This was probably due to the change in back pressure caused by the increasing height the liquid needed to be pumped.
I think you hit the famous nail on its famous head with your observation. For a container as large as a gallon, the pump method like I described works better. I am using 16oz or 24oz or so Gatorade bottles the way you described, and place them on the same level as my 10 gal tank, and that works great. One key for success is NOT to restrict the outflow (which will pressurize the bottle and therefore give you very different results with full and empty bottles), but to control the airflow into the bottles.

Originally Posted by vidiots
I have been considering trying a gravity feed, and using a soleniod valve connected to a timer to turn it on and off. Just havent looked into the solenoid valves yet. I figure if this works it should provide a very consistant rate of flow.
Please share if you find a working method. There are many ways to do inexpensive fert dosing (Water pump, air pump, aqualifter, oral syringe, automatic feeder are a few that come to mind) but sure there are more. Just keep track of cost... using solenoids and valves can add up quickly.
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