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Old 11-15-2012, 09:11 PM   #1
ronaldvalente
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Automated Ferts


I have a dosing pump lying around and an Apex Jr. controller on my tank. I am planning to automate my fert dosing. Any tips?

My plan was to setup a ATO type bucket with the proper dilution and ppm of each fert.

The dosing pump would run for the required time 3 days per week. On the 7th day I would do a water change. (Following the EI dosing)

Does this all sound do-able?

Possible issues:
- Separation of the combined ferts in one container.
- Air contamination to ferts.
- Light contamination to ferts.

Comments/Ideas welcome.

Thanks!

-R
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:45 PM   #2
Darkblade48
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Are you planning to only automate macronutrients (or micronutrients)? Or do you have another dosing pump?

I assume you are aware you cannot mix the two together and dose them at the same time.

In general, the chemicals will not precipitate out, unless you make them very concentrated.

As long as the containers are well sealed, then you shouldn't run into any issues with air contamination either.

As for light contamination, you can just wrap the bottles in construction paper or something similar.
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:48 PM   #3
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Use a minimum of 2 containers. Macros in one, micros in the other.
Specifically, do not mix phosphate with iron. Other than that make as strong or as weak a solution as you want, as suits the volume the pump will dose out. At some fairly strong solution no more fertilizer will dissolve, so if you are stirring a lot and cannot dissolve any more that is too strong a mix.

Light can deactivate some chelated fertilizers. I would keep the mix in a dark container, and cover it.

Air is probably not itself a problem, but an open container can accumulate dust, people may throw things into it, danger to children... As much as possible close the container. Highly likely you are depending on air entering the container so the pump can do its job, but plenty of air can enter through a very small opening, you sure do not need a wide open bucket for this.
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:50 PM   #4
ronaldvalente
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkblade48 View Post
Are you planning to only automate macronutrients (or micronutrients)? Or do you have another dosing pump?

I assume you are aware you cannot mix the two together and dose them at the same time.

In general, the chemicals will not precipitate out, unless you make them very concentrated.

As long as the containers are well sealed, then you shouldn't run into any issues with air contamination either.

As for light contamination, you can just wrap the bottles in construction paper or something similar.
Thanks for the heads up, I was unaware that you cant mix macro and micro together outside the tank. I was planning on using something like a ball jar with an air hose to pull the macro into the tank.

I will start there because currently my micro in the tank is great, the macro is almost non-existant.

Thanks again for the help!

R
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:09 AM   #5
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Is there a cheaper and/or better option than Seachem Plant Pack Enhancers, NPK?
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:11 AM   #6
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I get dry ferts from
www.aquariumfertilizer.com
There are other sources, and each one seems to have specials or package deals. If you find one company that packages the things you need, that is the one to go with.
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
I get dry ferts from
www.aquariumfertilizer.com
There are other sources, and each one seems to have specials or package deals. If you find one company that packages the things you need, that is the one to go with.
Thanks, I will take a look. I could pre-mix and pull them in that way.
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