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  Topic Review (Newest First)
12-20-2007 01:02 PM
vidiots
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest View Post
Considered that a few times, but I am not sure if the membrane withstands prolonged exposure to the micro solution. I don't want to dose weaker solutions, they tend to grow fungus and "stuff".

So the dosing volume might be an issue too. Needle valves clog fast when dosing Flourish...

I have some little timer circuits on order which let me dial down the dosed amounts (15 sec minimum). That, in combination with the waterpump doser, will be my weapon of choice. Cheap, reliable, fairly precise, and self-mixing. Sweet.
Been using mine continuously for over a year and have had no problems with things gunking up on me yet. Granted my reservoir and tubing have become stained over time and don't look as nice as they did at first but they still function just like they are supposed to. I am using 2 of those Tom aqualifters one for micros, and one for macros. I'm using 1gal milk jugs as my reservoirs.
12-03-2007 05:00 AM
plantbrain If you add a little HCL in the micro mix, then you do not get that funk in the line........

Also, more dilute solutions make it easier to use timers and dose more volume and more precision on the amounts that you dose.

It's easier for most any system to dose a larger volume more precisely.
3.5 gallons per hour is pretty low, so a simple timer with 1-15 min increments (intermatic digital etc) can be programmed to dose 220 mls at zero head.

Now adding a valve or better yet, head pressure(less clogging issues with small orifices) can tweak that down to much less.

Whatever amount you really want.
You can also use a larger adapter for the tubing, but you still have the small pump part that's the constriction/clog point.
However, some simple things get around the issues of funk in the lines or rot of the traces.

This is really old news about dealing with fungus etc:
# Put your traces in a dark brown or opaque bottle (I use well rinsed glass cough syrup bottles). Light can destablize chelates.
Refrigerate stock (mark it well so someone doesn't take a swig) and leave a small 25ml bottle by the aquarium for convenience.
Since dry ingredients are more stable, only mix up a month's worth of PMDD at a time. Kevin Conlin adds a little HCL to the brew; (about 0.8ml 9M HCl/500ml). SeaChem acid buffer also or H3PO4 can be added to stop fungus(it hates really acid conditions....as well as bacteria, think peat acid bogs). Excel also will work pretty well, but dose not last that long, it will not oxidize anything at least.

Should help out a lot no matter what auto dosing routine you want to use.


Regards,
Tom Barr
12-02-2007 09:58 PM
Wasserpest Considered that a few times, but I am not sure if the membrane withstands prolonged exposure to the micro solution. I don't want to dose weaker solutions, they tend to grow fungus and "stuff".

So the dosing volume might be an issue too. Needle valves clog fast when dosing Flourish...

I have some little timer circuits on order which let me dial down the dosed amounts (15 sec minimum). That, in combination with the waterpump doser, will be my weapon of choice. Cheap, reliable, fairly precise, and self-mixing. Sweet.
12-02-2007 08:52 PM
plantbrain Okay, now I'm offended, rednecks do not use them big words like "Solenoid".

Actually, this tiny dosing pump that cost 11$ from Tom's might get you thinking:

http://www.marinedepot.com/ps_ViewIt...ct~OE1137.html

Now since it has a max head of 30 inches, placing it up at 24 inches and on a timer.......will allow you to dose continuously by VARYING THE HEAD LEVEL, and/or with a timer.

Simply measure the rate of fill in a flask for 1 hour.
Adjust to suit with the head level height and /or a timer.

Very easy also.
And 11.99$+ your time and timer.
Add a needle valve to it if you wish to control the flow more than with just the height increase(which might not be practical in some cases).

Regards,
Tom Barr
12-02-2007 07:28 PM
vidiots
Quote:
Originally Posted by garuf View Post
ok so I'm baffled.
any chance of this being simplified even further? would it not make more sense to use gravity and rig up something like you have for measuring out spirits out at pubs?
Now there is a cool idea. They make a number of different gagets that measure out a single shot for liquer bottles. I doubt my wife will let me play around with the ones she got for our bar, so I'll have to try to find some to play with.
11-28-2007 05:42 AM
Wasserpest In life, things don't always work out. What seems like a great idea one day soon catches up with the harsh reality and quickly breaks into pieces.

While the new check valves work very well for this little machine, some other problems with the "solenoid" and balancing has made me decide to abandon this for the moment. I needed something to dose micros in my 100gal tank, and this was taking too long to get perfect.

I might work on this design again sometimes next year, for now I have set up my proven waterpump doser, with a very small outlet hole to reduce the dosed solution and keep it pretty concentrated to prevent mold. I will need to check regularly to see if the outlet clogs, apart from that it is very reliable.

I ordered some timers that can be set from 15 seconds to a couple of minutes, which turn on when they are powered on, then turn off after the preset time. I am going to play around with them, reducing the pump time further will allow to concentrate the solution even more, maybe then it will be near perfect.

A nice side-effect of the waterpump dosing is that the solution is thoroughly mixed every day. That was one concern here with this method.
11-24-2007 12:39 AM
swylie
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest View Post
Thanks... and I was so proud of my DIY solenoid.

I think this design has some potential for semi/commercial marketing. Some good points:

Cheap
Easy to adjust dosing volume
Pretty precise dosing
All it really needs is to be cheap (cheaper than peristaltic) and reproducible. You can handle the adjustments with the solution concentrations if need be. Your DIY solenoid is awesome indeed, and the price can't be beat, but I think you'd have a hard time charging money for it. Not that money was your motivator; clearly you just like to build things.
11-24-2007 12:29 AM
Wasserpest Thanks... and I was so proud of my DIY solenoid.

I think this design has some potential for semi/commercial marketing. Some good points:

Cheap
Easy to adjust dosing volume
Pretty precise dosing

Peristaltic pumps are somewhat more compact and simpler though. And if you add a real solenoid you will also add some cost, and the potential of another thing gumming up with micro sludge.

This one is something for the geek in me... there is so much to adjust... how fast the little balloon blows up, how much air pressure lifts the fertilizer solution into the tank... One could probably add a third airline that mixes up the nutrients gently. And maybe add a flush mode to clean any settled down stuff when you add new solution. Oh, the possibilities!

Thanks for asking, the canister filter is going semi-well. Got the filtration sponge, and ran the thing actually for a few minutes. Worked very well, only the pump is one loud beast. Need to check if it is missing a grommet or two. Anyway, I'll post things in the homebuilt canister thread soon.
11-23-2007 11:53 PM
swylie If you could find a non-redneck solenoid I bet you could refine these and sell them. How's the canister filter coming along, btw?
11-23-2007 10:04 PM
Wasserpest Yay. After much searching I finally got my free samples!



And, as expected, it works awe-some-est. I tried to do it the simple way first, without my Redneck Rubber Glove Solenoid, but no go. With the new design, it works like a charm. Comparing the various check valves (by blowing and sucking on them, if you must ask), it seems like the 402 flavor works best, along with the tiny 400 (if you have very small tubing). The other two felt like they had an ever so tiny cracking pressure point. Might still work, but I think the 402 was the best of the samples.



Tubing refills in a few seconds after the rubber glove bubble has collapsed.

I might set up a real "Microdoser" with micro dimensions for my 10gal tank, using the 400 checkvalve. But first I will enjoy this one for a few months.
11-21-2007 07:48 PM
Wasserpest They don't work for the setup described here. The trick is to find a CV with very low cracking pressure, because there is almost no pressure to refill the tubing.

I'll report back with results.
11-21-2007 07:13 PM
bgoodwins WP, i've had pretty good luck using the (hagen i think?) spring loaded clear and black check valves in my autodosing system.
11-21-2007 06:34 PM
Wasserpest Finally... received some samples!!! From http://www.air-logic.com/catalogs.cf...opCategoryID=3

Eager to try them out... this did not work too well with regular aquarium check valves, but I have high hopes for these specific check valves, which boast very low cracking pressure, and are made for liquids rather than air.
11-11-2007 11:10 PM
Wasserpest Thanks for the feedback, but yes, the purpose behind all this complexity is to set it up and not touch it for a month. Hand-squirting into the tank is good, but not what I want to explore here.
11-11-2007 11:29 AM
garuf It would be manual dosing yes, but you could use a hybrid of the 2, using the spirit dispenser to measure out the ferts, no, it wouldnt work without something to push the dispensor up.
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