Easier macro dosing - Page 2
Planted Tank Forums
Your Tanks Image Hosting *Tank Tracker * Plant Profiles Fish Profiles Planted Tank Guide Photo Gallery Articles

Go Back   The Planted Tank Forum > Specific Aspects of a Planted Tank > DIY


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-01-2006, 03:32 PM   #16
Wasserpest
Are these real?
 
Wasserpest's Avatar
 
PTrader: (168/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Monterey, CA
Posts: 15,046
Default

Andrew, thanks for embracing and improving this! You are right... looks like the rate of solution is less than I thought. It is going down, slowly, but probably needs to go faster.

My next step will be to eliminate most of the stopper and leave the vial pretty much open, just need to find something to prevent curious loaches and such going in there and getting a mouthful of salt

Tilting the tube to its side is an idea, but I don't like it too much because it will reduce the amount of fertilizer that fits into the tube. I am hoping to find a way to pretty much fill up the tube and then watch it go down to nothing.

Adding a smaller tube to the inside is brilliant... I guess you could drill a hole into the side of the vial just as well. Maybe the inserted tubing you are suggesting will actually create a bit of density driven circulation? This will be the next step if I can't increase the rate of solution "naturally".

Was also thinking of placing some tubes into the chamber of my AC Mini, you know, where the water circulates before it goes through the filter media. This might be a good way to get them tubes out of sight.
Wasserpest is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 12-02-2006, 03:37 AM   #17
g8wayg8r
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
g8wayg8r's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: St Charles, MO
Posts: 517
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest View Post
Tilting the tube to its side is an idea, but I don't like it too much because it will reduce the amount of fertilizer that fits into the tube. I am hoping to find a way to pretty much fill up the tube and then watch it go down to nothing.
Pleased to help. How bout stuffing the test tube or vial with glass wool or some other coarse, open media to keep the the salts in place. You could invert it or tilt it on it's side. For that matter, you could fill and tube with the salts and pack both ends. There are lots of ways to go. I'm sure you are going to find a good one. I would love to try but I'm still a bit uncertain as to how much I should dose. Guess there's no substitute to getting you hands wet .
__________________
Andrew, MASI Treasurer

This message is always under construction: 75-gallon tank; 2, Eheim 2026 filters - one twice broken; Tek Light with 4, 54W T5s (6000K) ; Sand on top of 4:1 sand:clay mixture; Milwaukee CO2 controller; PlantGuild vortex CO2 reactor; pH = 6.6, kH=70mg/l, GH=120mg/l; EI; Flourish excel on 50% weekly water change: AGA Member.
g8wayg8r is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2006, 07:55 PM   #18
Wasserpest
Are these real?
 
Wasserpest's Avatar
 
PTrader: (168/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Monterey, CA
Posts: 15,046
Default

You know, you have some great ideas there...

The open vials still didn't dissolve enough of the salt. So like Andrew suggested, I stuck some sponge into the vial, and turned them around. Now I see a lot of salty water diffusing out of the bottom. Maybe too much. But I am sure there are 1000 ways to slow that down, maybe by adding a little plastic disk with a hole on top of the sponge, maybe just using a stopper with a smaller hole. I will keep watching it for a while to get an idea of how much fertilizer per hour gets dissolved.

For my 10gal tank, I used some smaller test tubes and placed them open top into the little water circulation compartment of the AC Mini. With the added circulation there I am sure it will dissolve more fertilizer than if you passively place it into the tank. Just need to keep monitoring it to find the correct rate.
Wasserpest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2006, 07:08 PM   #19
Wasserpest
Are these real?
 
Wasserpest's Avatar
 
PTrader: (168/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Monterey, CA
Posts: 15,046
Default

Time for an update, and a few pictures...

Just as a reminder... the objective here is to simplify macro dosing. While the water pump method works great, you still need an electronic timer and a pump (expense, complexity), you need to mix the solution every 2 or 4 weeks, and there are questions whether the solution degrades over time.

This is thought to overcome all three disadvantages. I went into two different directions: 1) using open tubes in a filter and 2) using inverted tubes in the tank.
Wasserpest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2006, 07:14 PM   #20
Wasserpest
Are these real?
 
Wasserpest's Avatar
 
PTrader: (168/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Monterey, CA
Posts: 15,046
Default

Method 1) is extremely simple:



You find some tubes (I used a thin plastic one with a cover, cut it into two, and so I had two of them). Fill them with say a weekly amount of fertilizer, and place them into your filter. I am using an AC Mini which works very well for this.

To prevent them from getting on the loose, turning over and dumping a weeks worth of fertilizer into my tank at once, I somewhat secured them:



I added my weekly loads of KNO3 and K2SO4 and checked them every day. The KNO3 dissolves much quicker than K2SO4, I will need to partially cover the opening to decrease the rate of solution. K2SO4 worked out pretty perfect, today, 7 days after placing it into the filter, there is almost nothing left.
Wasserpest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2006, 07:23 PM   #21
epicfish
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (266/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Northern California
Posts: 9,417
Default

Hm, so you just let the water wash over the openings of the tubes? Hmm.
epicfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2006, 07:27 PM   #22
Wasserpest
Are these real?
 
Wasserpest's Avatar
 
PTrader: (168/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Monterey, CA
Posts: 15,046
Default

Method 2 is slightly more complex, but allows to dose larger quantities. I started like this:



Using some test tubes, turned them around, with a little bit of sponge and a hole in the stopper. However, adjusting the rate of diffusion is difficult, the hole is either too small or way too big.

So I got a couple of airline valves and use them to adjust the opening on the bottom:



That works pretty good now. Only issue is that an airbubble was trapped in the outflow, blocking things. Once everything got re-primed I could see a tiny bit of fertilizer solution flowing out on the bottom.

For the next couple of weeks, I will do my weekly dose refill and then over the course of the week monitor the setup to see if it works consistently.

So... instead of adding a spoon of dry powder, or dissolving it and autodosing iit, or using a feeder to drop in the ferts, one (or two or four) weeks of fertilizer is added and dissolves slowly over a couple of days.
Wasserpest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2006, 04:19 AM   #23
epicfish
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (266/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Northern California
Posts: 9,417
Default

I recently PM'd Wasserpest about this new setup. And I realized I should've posted it here for general information.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest
Quote:
Originally Posted by epicfish
I read that thread and saw the one with the inverted syringe and the test tube. Instead of sliding the syringe into the test tube, wouldn't it be easier to just fill the syringe with your fertilizers and then just insert the plunger into the back and keep it like that?
You are a good observer! Feel free to address these questions in the actual thread though... that way it might answer questions that others have but not dare to ask.

The reason for the syringe and the test tube is this: I am planning to let that dose for about 4 weeks. The syringe only holds about one weeks worth of KNO3. So for now, the syringe is fine, but once I have one week perfected, I will do 2 weeks, 3 weeks, etc. That won't fit into the syringe. The test tube holds about 2 weeks worth of fertilizer.

While I am working on getting the rate perfect, I am looking out for some good looking test tubes that can hold 4 weeks worth of fertilizer = that would be about 25cc for KNO3, maybe 12cc for K2SO4, and for P I can probably use some of my smaller syringes, I don't dose that much of it anyway.
epicfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2006, 04:24 AM   #24
Wasserpest
Are these real?
 
Wasserpest's Avatar
 
PTrader: (168/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Monterey, CA
Posts: 15,046
Default

Thank you Epic!
Wasserpest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2006, 02:17 PM   #25
Naja002
Planted Tank Guru
 
Naja002's Avatar
 
PTrader: (47/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Usa
Posts: 2,534
Default

Hey Wasserpest,

Seems like You are headed the same direction....Here's a link to an "ECA Slow Dripper" that "Dewmazz" over at APC came up with. I don't know if the idea will help you with this at all, but maybe....:

ECA Slow Dripper

I can't currently think of any uses or modifications for it, but maybe you can.....

Its gravity-operated, so maybe a "Cap" w/ a pinhole on the top end might help. Who knows?

HTH
__________________
Naja002 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2006, 03:46 PM   #26
Wasserpest
Are these real?
 
Wasserpest's Avatar
 
PTrader: (168/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Monterey, CA
Posts: 15,046
Default

Yep, somewhat similar direction. I bet once I get the macros figured out I'll look into applications for micro dosing.

My Macro-doser is completely closed except for the airline valve on the bottom. The concentrated fertilizer solution diffuses out into the water column. This is visible, helps a little to adjust it too. If nothing comes out, the valve needs to be opened further, if a lot of solution is visible, it is probably too much.

I filled them with a weekly supply of KNO3 and K2SO4 on Sunday, and today, Wednesday, about 35% is gone. Pretty close to what it should be. Good thing is that testing the rate is really easy.

I imagine this might just be the future of macro dosing for planted tanks. You read it here first, hehe.

Imagine three or four stylish glass tubes in different sizes, with a clear valve attached to a clear cap, tubes attached with transparent snap-things to a good-looking holder made, of course, out of glass, with four reliable, clear rubber suckers to attach this to the side of the tank.

Every month, you fill in a months worth of macros, and after a month, you look at where the fert levels in the tubes are, and as you refill do some fine adjusting of the valves if necessary.
Wasserpest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2006, 03:52 PM   #27
Naja002
Planted Tank Guru
 
Naja002's Avatar
 
PTrader: (47/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Usa
Posts: 2,534
Default

I'm glad its working out for You. I just cannot figure out why it isn't getting moist, caking and clogging....?

That would have been My result!

Keep chuggin' along--You'll get it worked out!
__________________
Naja002 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2006, 04:59 PM   #28
Wasserpest
Are these real?
 
Wasserpest's Avatar
 
PTrader: (168/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Monterey, CA
Posts: 15,046
Default

The glass tube is filled with water and fertilizer. The salt settles on the bottom of the water-filled tube. No air in the tubes. Makes sense now?
Wasserpest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2006, 05:10 PM   #29
Naja002
Planted Tank Guru
 
Naja002's Avatar
 
PTrader: (47/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Usa
Posts: 2,534
Default

Yep, actually it does......

But for me: it would still find a way to cake and clog!
__________________
Naja002 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2006, 06:21 PM   #30
Wasserpest
Are these real?
 
Wasserpest's Avatar
 
PTrader: (168/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Monterey, CA
Posts: 15,046
Default

I doubt it. Unless you are using inferior chemicals, salts like KNO3 and K2SO4 should completely dissolve.

For this method, it doesn't matter if they cake or clump. There is a concentration gradient between the saturated solution in the vial, and the water outside it. Controlled by the valve, the heavier saturated solution moves down, the water moves up into the vial.

Nothing clogs. If salt crystals are blocking the valve, they dissolve the fastest. If that seems like an issue, you can use a bit of sponge to keep the undissolved fertilizer away from the valve. I tried it both ways, with and without sponge, and don't see much difference in the solution rate. Without the sponge, you can cram a little more fertilizer into the tube = advantage.

When filling the tube, I first put in a little bit of water, then the salt, then fill it up with water, then stir it to make sure there is no air in it. The salt settles to the bottom, then I close the tube with the stopper/valve/syringe whatever I use, making sure there is no air in the valve which would block the whole flow.

It's really much easier than I make it sound.
Wasserpest is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 03:31 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright Planted Tank LLC 2012